Encompassing physical science and ecology, environmental sciences has roots in biology, chemistry and earth science, giving students an understanding of the world around us, as well its inhabitants. The rapidly growing population, and increase in stress on resources, it is becoming more important that we are aware of our effects on the environment we rely on so heavily.
Highlighted courses and degrees in environmental science
An undergraduate degree in environmental sciences will give a good foundation of knowledge around the subject area, before exploring the more complex areas. You will study modules on biology, geography, geology, biodiversity, sustainability, and ecology, as well as others.
Your degree will be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical sessions, laboratory sessions and field trips. You might be required to take part in a work placement.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation can influence where you choose to work after you have graduated. Common specialisations include:
If your degree requires you to write a dissertation or submit a research project in your final year, this will give you an opportunity to further explore a favoured area of environmental science.
The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study. Different countries can have different accreditation systems. Generally, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc), or an integrated Master of Environmental Science (MEnvSci).
Some environmental science degrees are accredited by professional bodies, such as the Institution of Environmental Sciences.
Typically, an undergraduate degree in environmental science will take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years, when studied full-time.
Once you have successfully completed your degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or a PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.
The entry requirements for an environmental science degree will depend on your institution of choice. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their environmental science programmes.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.
Due to the holistic nature of an environmental science degree, graduates will have a wide variety of career opportunities available to them. You might choose to work as an environmental scientist, within industrial organisations, consultancy agencies, and local government. You might also choose to work in research and development.
As well as working directly within environmental science, you will have gained transferable skills that provide you with career paths not directly related to the field. Skill include project management, data collection and analysis, evaluation and management, and problem solving.
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