BSc (Hons) Environmental Management - University of Portsmouth
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BSc (Hons)

Environmental Management

UCAS codeDD47

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Developing the skills and knowledge to work in environmental management

Course Overview

Why take this course?

This course is designed as a first step for those wanting to work in environmental management in the public sector, public industry and consultancy.

It is taught by fully accredited geography staff, with experience in environmental management, in buildings with state-of-the art laboratories and teaching facilities. Lecturers draw from their varied experiences as practitioners and researchers to bring the subject matter to life and offer real world insight into environmental issues and management. The skills and knowledge obtained on this course can be employed by those wishing to work in the environmental sector.

This course is formally accredited by the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Management (IEMA). As a student on this course you will be able to become a member of IEMA, allowing you access to significant learning, materials and employability related materials. It also gives access to potential placement opportunities via the IEMA members web site. In addition, all graduates will obtain the IEMA Graduate Standard (GradIEMA) award on completion of the course.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Learn about theoretical and practical aspects of environmental management, taught by staff with a wealth of experience in research and applied practice in the real world.
  • Develop a detailed understanding of sustainability and environmental management through class and field based study, and develop essential transferable skills for employment.
  • Take an optional sandwich year to gain appropriate work-based learning or receive support from the University’s employability group by taking a professional placement or an Erasmus based placement.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • specific careers directly related to this qualification include becoming an applied practitioner, and a researcher and/or a lecturer in sustainable environmental management
  • environmental consultant
  • coastal or river management
  • water industry employee
  • teacher/lecturer
  • researcher/scientist



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Structure & Teaching

Year one

The first year assumes no prior knowledge of environmental management and sustainability and is designed to give a broad-based introduction to the subject as well as an understanding of the key skills required within the degree programme.

Core units in this year include:

  • Global Environmental Challenges
  • Environmental Processes and Hazards
  • Society and Place 
  • Tools for Geographical Enquiry 
  • Practical Fieldwork Skills 
  • Academic Communication Skills

Year two

The second year focuses on developing core knowledge in relation to environmental sustainability and management. It focuses on current issues and practice.

Core units in this year include:

  • Sustainable Environmental Management
  • Environmental Assessment and Management
  • Environmental Management: Malta Fieldwork
  • Research Design and Practice
  • Employability skills for Geographers

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Environmental Hazards: Concepts and Monitoring 
  • Dynamic Landscapes: Rivers, Glaciers and Coasts
  • Environmental and Climate Change: Theory; Mapping and Modelling Our World 
  • Geopolitics and Geographies of Development 
  • Reconstructing Communities

Year three

The third year focuses on developing practical and professional skills associated with being an environmental manager. In particular, it focuses on applied environmental management skills.

Core units in this year include:

  • Managing Urban Ecosystems: Healthy Environments
  • Applied Environmental Management
  • Environmental Management: Independent Study (Environmental Dissertation or Company Report)

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Environment and Development
  • Cold Environments
  • River and Shoreline Management
  • GIS in the Workplace
  • Databases for GIS
  • Past Climates and Landscapes

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Placement Year or Year Abroad

Sandwich year options are common across undergraduate pathways in the Department of Geography. The Sandwich course option entails taking a year out in year two and either applying for a work-based placement or an Erasmus based placement. You will also have the opportunity via our agreement with IEMA to apply for a place-based opportunity using their employers' links.


This course provides an excellent blended learning opportunity with delivery through interactive live and online lectures, seminars, laboratories and workshops. Lecturers draw from their varied experiences as practitioners and researchers to bring the subject matter to life. The focus of this course is on the course is on identifying environmental issues and current monitoring and management-based techniques.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 27% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 73% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 28% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 72% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 19% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 81% studying independently and 0% on work placement


You will be assessed in ways that align with the vocational nature of the course, such as:

  • Consultancy reports
  • Essays
  • Presentations
  • Applied projects 
  • Exams
  • Media based assessments

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 52% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 40% by coursework
  • Year two students: 40% by written exams, 12% by practical exams and 48% by coursework
  • Year three students: 33% by written exams, 4% by practical exams and 63% by coursework

Tutor's view


Rob Inkpen
Course Leader

This exciting, new course addresses one of the most significant challenges facing humanity – sustainable environmental management. The course provides students with not only in-depth understanding of the issues and policies associated with working towards sustainable environmental management but also with the practical skills required to measure, monitor and mitigate human impacts upon the environment. We view this as an exciting opportunity to produce highly qualified, skilled and motivated graduates for an expanding national and international employment market for environmental management.

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Facilities & Features

Specialist Software and Equipment

We offer fully equipped physical geography labs for the analysis of a wide range of environmental samples. Brimming with ultra-modern equipment, you’ll have access to our facilities for project work and interpreting field data with our dedicated geographic information science equipment.

GIS and Remote Sensing Laboratory Resources

This laboratory provides the capability of collecting data from most types of photography imagery or documentary sources. Equipment comprises a high-resolution aerial photograph scanner and A0 large format scanner. Photogrammetric software supports advanced levels of digital remote sensing. Industry standard GIS software and enterprise database software are available to support the full spectrum of spatial analysis. These facilities are supported by a full-time Senior GIS technician.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

The cost of travel or accommodation for compulsory fieldwork is included in the course fee, but you will be expected to pay for meals and other subsistence costs.

On a sandwich year, you will be expected to pay for travel, accommodation and subsistence associated with placement. These costs will be in the region of £50 - £1000.

In the final year you may choose optional units which have field trips associated varying between £300 - £2000. Other non-field based options are available at no cost.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

The BSc in Sustainable Environmental Management develops a wide range of transferrable skills valued by employers in applied management such as environmental communication, problem solving, decision making, team work and IT.  

Roles our graduates from similar courses have taken include:

  • planning
  • environmental management
  • business management
  • carbon and resource management
  • impact assessment
  • water and waste industry construction
  • teaching and environmental education

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

The Sandwich Course option will provide you with the opportunity to undertake a professional practice placement in your second year if you will be encouraged to apply for relevant work experience throughout.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates. You’ll also be able to explore course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you'd like to tour the campus or meet teaching staff before you apply, find out about our other visiting opportunities.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Booking for Open Days for 2019 entry opens soon. Register here for priority booking.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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