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BSc (Hons) Environmental Science

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science video
  • UCAS Code:
    D449
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

This dynamic degree integrates the natural sciences and examines how a wide range of factors can affect the environment. You'll gain a solid overview in the discipline of environmental science, as well as looking at how humans shape the world around us on both a local, and global scale. In addition to covering the theory this degree is highly practical, equipping you with a host of transferable skills; you’ll spend time on laboratory & field research, computing, data analysis, report writing, and project management.

Practical experience through fieldwork, lab work and work placements form a major part of this degree and there are a range of local, national and international opportunities available. Graduates will be well equipped to find employment with any of these organisations. Alternatively, you may progress to Masters courses and further research.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2017

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

3 years full-time with two 5-week placements (or 4 years with a 40-week placement or a minimum of 30-weeks for 2017 entry)

Accreditations:

The Institution of Environmental Sciences

Required subjects:

At least one of the following subjects: Geography, Environmental Science or Studies, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths.

Entry requirements:

For 2017 entry: (we will use the new UCAS tariff): 104 to 120 tariff points from 3 A-Levels, including 32 from one required subject or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma DMM. For more information check out our 2017 entry requirements page.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each of the 4 components or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements page.

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Year 1

Core units

  • Chemistry: You will be provided with an understanding of some aspects and processes within fundamental chemistry and analytical chemistry and develop your laboratory skills. The unit will predominately be delivered through lectures and practical laboratory sessions. The laboratory sessions will enable reinforcement of the theoretical concepts by dealing with experimentally generated data and will allow for one-to-one and small group discussions.

  • Diversity of Life: Gain an understanding of the origin and diversity of life on earth, how the environment and selection have shaped the patterns of distribution of plants, animals and micro-organisms since life first originated some 3.5 billion years ago, and how it is increasingly being influenced by humans. You will have insights into the basis for classifying organisms and in dealing with the relationships among major groups, and examine the organisation and structure of major groups of living (and some fossil) organisms (microbes, protists, higher plants, invertebrates and vertebrates). You will cover aspects of body size and life history strategies.

  • Environmental Research Skills: This unit provides the necessary skills to conduct independent research in environmental sciences. These skills involve finding and evaluating academic literature, formulating scientific arguments and discussion, writing and presenting these ideas as essays, opinions and research papers. You may also collect field or laboratory data and perform simple numeric calculations and present data in graphical formats. To facilitate discussion and questions, much of the unit will be taught in tutorial sessions, which also allows you to get to know the core teaching team.

  • Fundamentals of Environmental Sciences: Introducing you to the field of environmental science; you will explore a range of topics which you may have the option to study in more detail in years 2 and 3. These may include transport and the storage of nutrients; biogeochemical cycles; eco-physiology; hydrology; atmosphere and climate change; sea level change and ocean acidification and Gaia theory/earth system science. You will discuss the concepts and topics involved in environmental sciences and tackle current issues and problems in lectures and tutorials.

  • Physical Geography: Taking an earth systems approach we will look at the evolution of our planet’s lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere focusing on the dynamic interactions between different earth system and how these interactions lead to environmental change through a narrative-based lecture series. Key themes will include the earth’s geological processes; basic principles of our solar system; heat engine atmospheric and oceanographic systems; biogeographical systems and surface processes, focussing on the physics common to all geomorphological processes.

  • Residential Field Trip: This unit allows you to learn important field skills for your discipline and demonstrate your ability to work effectively as part of a team through experiencing the necessary conditions to conduct field research (both academically and socially). You will have four days of activities related to your discipline, followed by a final project day, where you will work on a team designed project of your choice.

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during the first year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

  • Learning and teaching: 233 hours
  • Independent learning: 967 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 20 hours

Year 2

Core units

  • Advanced Skills for Environmental Science: Through small group discussions, this unit builds and refreshes the academic skills required to enable you to plan a successful independent research project and write a research proposal. It will also equip you with necessary survey, experimental design and data analysis techniques for completing the research project independently.

  • Applications of Environmental Science: You will review a range of applied case studies in which environmental science is an important component. Topics likely to be covered are: air quality management, waste management and technology, Environmental Impact Assessment, renewable energy technology & policy, flood risk management & sustainable urban drainage systems, building efficiency & carbon management plans, environmental policy & legislation, concepts of sustainability, environmental economics.

  • Environmental Pollution: On this unit you will learn to understand a range of polluting impacts that human activities have on the environment. It will provide an overview of the causes of environmental pollution, the harm caused to the environment and the strategies used to both reduce and ameliorate negative environmental impacts.

Option units

  • International Field Trip: Information on each trip will be provided during option selection sessions in the previous year or semester. Each trip will have a key theme or themes (e.g. conservation in practice in China; preparation for climate change in farming communities in Nepal). Much of the work will involve field-based lectures, discussions and also local speakers, but the bulk of activities will involve work on individual projects focussed on specific tasks within these broad concepts. Tutorial sessions will be available daily when on field work with the unit tutors.

Please note that if you choose to participate in the International Field Trip, you will choose either one option unit from each semester or two option units from semester 2 (but this will mean you have asymmetrical work loadings).

Semester 1 (choose one):

  • Ecosystems: We will enable you to develop an awareness of the importance of a range of ecosystems and develop your understanding of how ecosystems can be managed to conserve them.

  • Marine Geography: The geography of the marine environment will be covered in this unit through consideration of the key resources found in marine and coastal environments and their management frameworks, including key factors affecting marine and coastal biodiversity and aspects relevant to biogeography, characterisation of the physical environment and associated dynamic processes, environmental change and implications to the sustainable management of renewable and non-renewable resources. An important element of this unit is the collection and interpretation of marine and coastal data.

Semester 2 (choose two):

  • Behavioural Ecology: Concepts will include the evolutionary underpinning of behaviour, and an understanding of the ways in which organisms make behavioural decisions. Applications will include how behavioural ecology can be used to understand population ecology, and support nature conservation. Topics covered will include foraging and reproductive behaviour, and the interactions between competitors, and predators and prey. The unit will focus on animals, but will also stress how behavioural ecology can be applied to plants, fungi and protists.

  • Environmental & Societal Challenges: Whilst you consider the relationships between humanity and the environment, you will be introduced to some of the big challenges faced by society today that stem from the impact of humanity on the earth system. By discussions about your place in society and your role in providing solutions to these challenges this unit will further your knowledge of science policy and application.

  • Geographic Information Systems: Developing your expertise and knowledge in the area of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geo-spatial science, we will provide you with an understanding of the principles underpinning spatial information science and its associated technology as well as its use in the real world to answer a wide variety of questions. You will manipulate and interrogate spatial data of various kinds whilst developing expertise in GIS and modelling. Emphasis is placed on data capture, analysis and the application of spatial information science for geographic and environmental decision making.

  • Microbiology: Providing detailed knowledge of structure, organisation, metabolism, growth and evolution of viruses, bacteria, protists and fungi, information is also given on microbial motility, adhesion and on some of the diverse metabolic pathways present in microbes, including anaerobic micro-organisms. Selected aspects of microbial ecology, including the microbial loop, will be introduced to enable you to appreciate the roles of microorganisms in natural habitats and in some created by man. There will be a short formal treatment of sterilisation, disinfection, and cryopreservation. Climate change and past environments will be explained from a microbial perspective as well as microbial consortia (e.g. symbioses). Practicals will aim to further elucidate material covered in the lectures and to develop skills in handling, characterising and identifying microorganisms. Practicals will try to accommodate field work and/or a visit an industrial unit.

  • Quaternary Environments: The aim of this unit is to enable understanding of the principles and practice of palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and how palaeoecological and Quaternary data can inform our understanding of the climate and environmental change during the Quaternary. We will also look at the changes that are believed to have taken place during the last 2.6 million years of the Quaternary. Data covered will include different biological and physical proxies such as pollen, molluscs, insects, mammals and sediments as well as more modern methods including ancient DNA. The applied nature of the discipline will also be covered. Data on past environmental change is beginning to be used to a greater extent as a base-line to understand what the environment was like before the increase in human influence i.e. during the time of hunter-gatherers (during pre-agricultural and pre-industrial times). Palaeoecological data from different proxy organism remains (animals and plants) also provide a longer timescale over which to understand ecological processes that operate beyond the length of a human lifetime or even the time represented by written history. Both climate change and other forms of environmental change such as human changes to the landscape will be covered and case studies from around the world will be included. Case studies will be used to further illustrate the theoretical perspective of the “past as the key to the future”.

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during the second year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

  • Learning and teaching: 309 hours
  • Independent learning: 891 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 6 hours

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Year 3: optional work placement

You may choose to complete an optional a 40-week (or a minimum of 30-weeks for 2017 entry) work placement, or two 5 week placements, which can be carried out anywhere in the world. The placement year offers a chance to gain experience and make contacts for the future.

Year 3/4 (Final year)

Core unit

  • Independent Research Project: The independent research project provides you with an opportunity to gain experience of research in a topic of your choice relevant to your degree and to demonstrate your ability to report that research. Such experience is considered essential for those students interested in pursuing academic and/or professional research at a higher level of responsibility and achievement.

Option units

Semester 1 (choose two):

  • Biological Oceanography: Making use of our fantastic location along the south coast, this unit will give you the opportunity of practical ‘hands on’ study, via field trips to locations such as Poole Bay and Poole Harbour. Through a combination of lectures, group problem-solving sessions and field trips, you will develop knowledge and understanding of the history of biological oceanography, the plankton, the benthos, the overall functioning of the ocean biota, as well as introducing some practical problems in biological oceanography (accumulation of pollutants, ocean acidification, and the possible manipulation of the biological pump).
  • Climate & Environmental Change: Combining the expertise of our lecturers and special guest lecturers, this unit will provide a scientific background in the causes of climatic change, both natural and anthropogenic, and the trends that characterise and attribute this. With a key focus on examining the environmental, social and economic impacts of climatic change, you will have the opportunity to explore and voice your predictions of future impacts and the inevitability of uncertainty of those predicted futures. Including a local field trip to investigate microclimates, this unit will allow you to critically evaluate the potential for climate change mitigation and adaptation and the role of policy makers in this.
  • Earth Surface Processes & Landforms: To introduce students to practical geomorphological research using selected case studies thereby developing their ability to design and execute research projects and undertake professional practice within geomorphology.
  • Emergence & Extinction - Reconstructing Pliocene & Pleistocene Environments: Giving you an understanding of past and current theories surrounding the nature and effects of environmental change during the last 10 million years, various lines of evidence are considered including geomorphology, palynology, ice cores, fossil flora and fauna and genetics. The unit will include aspects of evolutionary theory and will consider theories relating both the emergence and extinction of species to wider environmental change. Consideration will also be given to differing approaches to understanding broad ecological changes and to competing hypotheses regarding both individual and mass extinctions.
  • Environmental Remote Sensing: The unit develops expertise and knowledge in the area of environmental remote sensing, providing a detailed understanding of the principles of remote sensing as a source of spatial information. You will learn to manipulate and interrogate remotely sensed data of various kinds whilst developing expertise in image analysis and integrated Geographical Information Systems. Emphasis is placed on data acquisition, analysis and the application of spatial information science for environmental assessment and decision making. Indicative topic areas include land cover mapping, climate change monitoring, coastal management, landscape ecology, habitat characterisation, urban modelling, archaeological prospecting, pollution or hazard mapping.
  • Marine Conservation: This unit aims to enable you to critically evaluate approaches to the conservation and management of marine biodiversity including fisheries and protected areas. You will also examine legal processes and mechanisms that are applied to the conservation of marine and coastal environments.

Semester 2 (choose two):

  • Applied Biogeography: Applied biogeography focusses on the analysis and description of geographical patterns and their effects on biological processes. The unit will look at changes in such patterns over time in response to natural and anthropogenic factors, and the relationships between spatial pattern and biological processes that operate at landscape and regional scales. Many of the environmental pressures affecting sites managed for conservation relate to the surrounding patterns of land use, and to a range of processes operating at larger spatial scales. Contemporary environmental management is thus increasingly supported by spatially explicit analyses that take a broad geographical perspective. Successful completion of the unit will enable you to recognise, assess and analyse landscape and regional scale patterns of land use resulting from both natural processes and human activities, and critically evaluate how such patterns influence key processes affecting biodiversity and the provision of environmental services.

  • Environmental Law & Management: You will need a critical understanding of the body of law that is concerned with threats to environmental quality and ecosystems. Together, we will examine how environmental law seeks to regulate damage to the environment, focusing on particular areas such as climate change, air pollution control, conservation of natural environment, water, waste and environmental management systems. The focus is primarily on the system of environmental laws and regulations in the UK, but will also consider how this has been impacted by European and international environmental law. The broader themes and ideas underpinning the unit will be explored by reference to examples taken from both the UK and other jurisdictions.

  • Freshwater Resource Management: The aim of the unit is to present theory and practice for issues relating to the conservation and management of freshwater resources. It covers a range of aspects of freshwater resource management including sustainable development, conservation and key issues from a planning policy and decision making perspective. By providing a framework to actively make managerial decisions, the unit enables problems to be identified, analysed and solutions to be proposed including the promotion of sustainable communities and public participation in the planning process and environmental assessment.

  • Globalisation & Sustainable Development: Exploring the inter-relationships between controversial and contested terms, sustainable development and globalisation, you will develop the knowledge and skills to analyse, interpret and evaluate, the current issues and debates related to both concepts. We will extend conceptual knowledge of how sustainable development might be achieved in a context where globalisation is the predominant development ethos and unsustainable development and social injustice are accepted. The concepts will be examined from a number of disciplinary perspectives to enable you to evaluate the potential for, and limits to, the development of alternative relationships between people and their environments in a rapidly globalising world.

  • Topics in Wildlife Conservation: You will critically evaluate currently important topics in wildlife conservation from a range of perspectives and develop i) your skills in evaluating ecological data in the context of conservation ecology ii) your powers of reflection on your own perspective and ability to appreciate and integrate other perspectives within conservation ecology.

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during the final year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

  • Learning and teaching: 175 hours
  • Independent learning: 1025 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 6 hours

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BSc (Hons) Environmental Science.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Placement opportunities

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career, therefore we now offer every new student the opportunity to undertake an industrial placement as part of their course.

We have many links to outside agencies and organisations to best support you along your professional development. Our dedicated team of placement officers are there to guide and support you through the placement process and experience.

Through the Student Environment Research Team (SERT), you can also gain experience and practical skills as a volunteer, through a wide range of short projects relevant to your professional practice.

How long is my placement?

You will begin your placement after completion of your second year of study and you must complete a minimum of two 5-week placements, or 40 weeks (or a minimum of 30-weeks for 2017 entry) during your third year of study .

Our students have previously worked for:

  • The Environment Agency
  • Local authorities
  • Environmental consultancy firms
  • National and international wildlife organisations
  • The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Your application

Background and experience

For this course we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have a strong desire to learn more about the interdisciplinary nature of environmental science
  • Are keen to learn through private study and field-based practical skills
  • Want to engage with the environmental problems of our times
  • Can demonstrate their interest and ability by having suitable scientific qualifications and experience.

We are looking for students who are keen to develop their intellectual and professional skills by gaining a sound scientific understanding of environmental science. The course will be suited to students who wish to examine the influence of humans in the functioning of the biosphere and the natural processes that underpin the earth system. We encourage applications from students who have an enthusiasm for investigating complex environmental systems and who enjoy problem-solving and research in order to gain new perspectives. Such analytical skills are important to many employers. Students on this course will typically have a wide range of interests with strong science backgrounds which could include biology, geography and chemistry.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your three main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 20-60 points below the published tariff.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications, there are no interviews or selection activities needed. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply web pages.

Unconditional offer scheme

Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.

We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements. *Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork and site visits form an essential part of all our courses. We make extensive use of our unrivalled local environment, which includes the World Heritage Site Jurassic Coast, East Devon World Heritage Coast, the Isle of Wight and the New Forest.

All fieldwork that is part of a credit-rated unit, with the exception of research projects, is included in your course fees. Overseas fieldwork is not included in your fees, but we do provide travel bursaries each year to support you to gain such valuable experience. Fieldwork provides an opportunity for you to consolidate your learning through practical application.

2017 entry requirements

The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry.

The entry requirements for this course are 104 to 120 tariff points including 3 A-Levels or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma DMM.

UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.

Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies

Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

GCSEs: A minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including a Science, Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.

Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies.

Other qualifications

We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service. It may be that we can still consider it.

Access Courses: BU welcomes Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma (Science) (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent).  Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable (subjects may be specified).

BTEC Qualifications

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires from Distinction, Merit, Merit.

  • Diploma: This course requires at least Distinction, Merit in addition to one A-level in a required subject to acheive the overall tariff.

  • 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent qualifications.

  • Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires at least a Distinction in addition to two A-levels in a required subject to achieve the overall tariff.

A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.

European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 71-75% overall.

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The IB Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course requires 28-31 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff.

Welsh Baccalaureate: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma plus one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit in a required subject.

Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.

Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.

Deferred Entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

International entry requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course? Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.

Careers

Your degree will be centred around developing the scientific skills you need to work in professional practice, as well as equipping you with a variety of transferable skills that will give you a range of career options. Our staff have a wealth of research, educational and consultancy experience and will ensure you are ready for the world of work once you graduate. Within six months of finishing their course, 100%* of our students are in work or further study.

They work in various roles across a range of organisations and sectors, including at Bournemouth and Poole College and Herbs in a Bottle. Among the jobs you can go into once you graduate are:

  • Laboratory assistant
  • Science technician
  • Academic researcher.

Industries worked in

  • Environmental science
  • Science
  • Education
  • Academic research.

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

Course statistics

The National Student Survey

The below information all comes from the National Student Survey completed by some of the students who graduated from this course last year.

  • Students agreed staff are good at explaining things – 91%

  • Students agreed staff made the subject interesting – 100%

  • Students were satisfied overall – 64%

  • Students agreed they got sufficient advice and support – 55%.

At BU, we take our students’ feedback very seriously and have put in place a number of new initiatives for our students:

  • Increased our academic tutor support for students

  • Increased both fieldwork content and small group teaching of specific topics in environmental science

  • Continued our investment in new buildings with better teaching, individual study, and social spaces on campus

  • Improved the individual support for students in developing high-quality work placements.

Additional accreditation, affiliations or exemptions

This course is accredited by the Instiute of Environmental Science.

60% of the course is assessed by coursework

About half of your assessed work will be coursework, however you will also be expected to undertake written exams and to a lesser degree practical exams.

19% is scheduled learning and teaching activities

This course integrates a variety of teaching methods including lectures, laboratory based practicals, field exercises, group activities and research project meetings for both theoretical and reflective based learning.

Part of the course will involve a field research skills week of practical exercises and group based research within the local environment.

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

Course specific material(s) included in your tuition fee:

  • Lab coats, safety glasses
  • Compulsory/assessed fieldwork

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees including lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services. You will receive more details about these if you are offered a place on the course.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat Units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit. 

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

What our students say

Rob Sellen

I enjoyed my dissertation about land contamination surrounding a petrochemical facility with research activities in the field, the laboratory and in the library.

Hear from our alumni

Alex Whiscombe

I studied the native fruit feeding nymphalid butterflies by setting up traps in the forest canopy and undertaking daily monitoring and taking morphological measurements.

Facilities

Biodome

Biodome

Find out about our biodome and see how you can make use of it during your course.

Genetics labs

Genetics labs

Explore our genetics labs and see what equipment we have available for you to use during your course.

Instruments lab

Analytical facilities

Discover what equipment we have in our instrument labs and how this can enhance your studies.

Additional information

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

Open Days

Open Days

Discover what makes Open Days so enjoyable and useful – and register to attend one of our events.

International students

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.