Gain biological and geographical perspectives of the environment with this hands-on course.
- Taught by professionals who are enthusiastic, committed, and supportive.
- Opportunity to specialise - design a programme, suited to your interests and aspirations.
- Emphasis on practical and fieldwork - opportunities within the UK and abroad.
Climate change, pollution, loss of biodiversity, environmental mismanagement, energy use, wastes management, sustainability, and protection of natural systems are among the planet's most pressing problems. We'll help you understand these issues and develop the skills to do something about them. Expect to 'get your hands dirty'! We get you out of the classroom and into the environment as much as possible, so that you'll develop the sort of practical skills that employers look for.
'The campus was perfect for an Environmental Science course, as the natural world was just on the doorstep.'
Ewan Gibson, Environmental Science, Graduated 2014
What you'll learn
This course will give you knowledge of Environmental Science from biological and geographical perspectives. You can design a programme of study to suit your interests and career aspirations.
You have the option to specialise in such areas as: aquatic environments; environmental protection and conservation; science communication; science communication; and earth systems. Optional topics include: marine biology; climatology; sustainable development; river and coastal management; environmental hazards; environmental consultancy; and biodiversity assessment.
You can pick which of these topics you'll study, alongside core topics such as ecology, environmental management, and sustainability.
Environmental science is a wide-ranging subject; at Bath Spa it is studied from two related perspectives: biological and geographical. You'll cover both these aspects in Year 1, along with biodiversity and conservation. You also select another module to suit your particular interests, such as global food issues, global development, or earth environments.
You'll study critical aspects of environmental science in more depth - in particular ecology and environmental management/sustainability. There is also a wide range of further topics to choose from, either building your course around your particular career aspirations, or keeping your options open with a more general approach. Topics include applied microbiology; biodiversity; river and coastal systems; environmental hazards; climate change and sustainability; and science communication. You'll have plenty of opportunity to do practical work in the field and laboratory. And you also have the opportunity to further enhance your employability skills with a work placement.
Now you'll choose a subject to research in depth through your dissertation, and select optional modules from topics as wide-ranging as animal behaviour, nature conservation, climatology, marine biology, plants and people, digital imaging, development and disasters, and coastal and river management. You'll also continue to have plenty of opportunity to develop your practical skills with project work on campus and residential fieldtrips in the UK and abroad. And you can also bring in modules from other areas if you want to develop interests in managing sustainability, science publishing, preparing to be a freelancer or starting your own business.
How will I be assessed?
You'll generally be assessed by a mixture of coursework and examination.
How will I be taught?
We offer an excellent learning environment, with small class sizes. Staff and students are on first name terms and you'll be assigned a Personal Tutor from day one. We get you out of the classroom and into the environment as much as possible, so you can develop practical skills that are highly valued by employers.
You'll be taught in relevant, challenging and interesting ways, including: lectures; laboratory practicals; seminars; simulations of professional practice; fieldwork-based projects; tutorials; and interpretation exercises. You'll be taught by professionals who are trained to teach.
Environmental Science with a year in professional practice (UCAS code: K923)
Subject to approval, you can opt to take a year in professional practice ('sandwich year') between your level 5 (year 2) and level 6 (year 3) studies.
This placement will enable you to put theory into practice, build professional networks and meet and work with potential employers. It will also help with work management and give you experience to bring back to your studies in your final year.
Your degree title will include the phrase 'with a year in professional practice', so it is clear to all employers that you have this experience as part of your degree.
You'll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus programmes in a variety of countries including Spain and Finland.
Fieldwork and practical work is an important part of the course; you'll go beyond the lecture theatre to study a range of environments and habitats. Many are available on site - our Newton Park campus has a rich variety of terrestrial and aquatic environments. We also offer opportunities to venture further afield, in day-long and residential field trips in the UK and beyond. Please note some of these activities may have additional costs.
Work placements, industry links and internships
Short-term work experience is available in the Second Year optional Work Placement module. A year-long placement in professional practice is available within our sandwich degree. Our students have worked with organisations such as Somerset Earth Science Centre, Ecosulis ecological consultancy, county Wildlife Trusts, and Mankwe Wildlife Reserve in South Africa.
Students have gone into roles including: Assistant Ecological Consultant; Land Management and Conservation Adviser; Policy Adviser at Defra; and Waste Awareness Officer. Example employers include:
- Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
- Bath & North East Somerset Council
- Ecosulis ecological consultancy
- Soil Association
- The Environment Agency
- Natural England
- Ministry of Defence
- Office for National Statistics
- Natural Environment Research Council [NERC]
Many graduates have gone on to postgraduate programmes, leading to a teaching qualification (PGCE), MSc or PhD.
Competitions and awards
Each year we award prizes to our students. These are: Best Environmental Science student (at each of Years 1, 2 and 3), and for our graduating cohort, Oxford University Press Achievement in Biosciences Prize, Royal Society of Biology Top Student Award, and the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM) Outstanding Student in Wastes Management Award.
Facilities and resources
Where the subject is taught
You'll be taught at our Newton Park campus. You'll have access to a range of facilities including our:
A wide range of analytical instruments, field and mapping equipment, and ICT resources are available for Environmental Science students.