Environmental Science BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code
F900
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2018, September 2019
Recognised
Yes

Overview

From climate change to depleting natural resources, our planet faces many challenges. Environmental scientists stand on the front line in tackling these issues. If you want to join them, this is the course for you.

On this BSc (Hons) Environmental Science degree course, you’ll explore how the environment is changing and what steps we're taking to minimise our impact on it. You’ll use the latest tech to analyse pollutants, soil structure and water quality and go on plenty of field trips to put your skills to work outside of the classroom.

Accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), this course is your first step towards professional certification as an environmental scientist. The Government is putting sustainability at the heart of policy making. So your skills will be in high demand in conservation, sustainability, underwater exploration and environmental consultancy after the course.

What you'll experience

On this degree course you’ll:

  • Examine the physical and social aspects of environmental issues and develop practical skills to carry out your own environmental research
  • Get experience in our environmental labs using the same techniques employed by the world’s leading environmental researchers, including plasma spectrometry and electron microscopy
  • Make use of teaching and research facilities at the internationally-renowned Institute of Marine Sciences
  • Go on field trips to locations such as Somerset, the Isle of Wight, Malta, Cyprus and Belize
  • Develop leadership and teamworking skills by working on group projects in the field and in the lab
  • Take advantage of our waterside location with boats available for marine excursions and the option to learn scientific and technical diving in a PADI-certified unit
  • Do a final year independent project on a topic such as health and safety, ethics, or resource management
  • Have the opportunity to study abroad study abroad at institutions including Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain), Universite du Havre, (Le Havre, France) and Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland).

On this course, you can do your final year project abroad. Previous students have gone to Brazil, Canada, USA, Romania, Ukraine, Tenerife, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Costa Rica, Zakynthos and Iceland.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies and build links in the industry.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Students have completed work placements at top organisations, including:

  • Leap Environment
  • Mott McDonald
  • Enitial

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Careers and opportunities

After the course, you could go on to work in areas such as environmental consultancy, pollution monitoring, control and assessment, research, conservation, planning, and addressing sustainability issues.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • geographical information scientist
  • environmental consultant
  • spatial analyst
  • coastal process scientist

You could also do postgraduate study.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Professional accreditations

This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and gives you automatic Student Membership status while you study, allowing progression to Associate Membership when you graduate.

With appropriate experience in the industry, you can usually achieve Full Membership within 1 year and Chartership within a further 4-5 years.

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements for this course may be more flexible during Clearing.
Entry Requirements

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2018 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,100 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

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.

Your travel and accommodation costs for compulsory fieldwork are included in the course fee, but you’ll need to pay for meals and other subsistence costs

You’ll need to contribute travel, accommodation, and meal costs for compulsory project work, which normally takes place between years 2 and 3. These costs are between £0–£500.

You’ll need to cover the cost of any optional fieldwork that you do, including travel, accommodation, meals and other living cost. These will vary depending on location. For example, the cost of fieldwork in Belize is around £3400, while the cost of fieldwork in Portugal is around £800.

If you haven’t dived before, you can take the Scientific and Technical Diving A unit, which includes a PADI Open Water course, Dry Suit course and Scientific and Technical Diving course. This unit costs around £860, covering tuition, transport and diving costs.

If you already hold a PADI Open Water certificate (or equivalent), you can take the Scientific and Technical Diving B unit, which includes an advanced diving course (e.g. PADI Advanced Open Water), Dry Suit course and Scientific and Technical Diving course. This unit costs around £780, covering tuition, transport and diving costs.

You can take a Practical Boating skills unit, which includes a Day Skipper Theory course, a Powerboat Level 2 course and VHF radio course. This costs £550.

We supply field kit but you need to make sure you have suitable clothing for fieldwork such as appropriate footwear (walking boots) and a waterproof jacket and trousers.

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Science for Earth Systems
  • Environmental Systems
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Planet Earth
  • Introduction to Marine Ecology and Oceanography
  • Biodiversity and Evolution

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Environmental Fieldwork and Professional Skills
  • Environmental Chemistry and Monitoring
  •  Environmental GIS and Data Analysis

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Oceanography
  • Energy Resources
  • Hydrology and Freshwater Ecosystems
  • Hydrology and Flood Hazard Assessment
  • Environmental and Climate Change Theory
  • Scientific and Technical Diving Techniques (PADI-accredited course)

Core units in this year include:

  • Environmental Auditing Assessment
  • Environmental Science Project

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Waste Management and Environmental Pollution
  • Climate Change
  • Contaminated Land and Groundwater Management
  • Groundwater Protection
  • Applied Coastal Geomorphology
  • Environmental Science Study Tour

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.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Teaching​

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • laboratory work
  • field work

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Your workload

The time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 27% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 73% studying independently
  • Year 2 students: 28% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 72% studying independently
  • Year 3 students: 19% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 81% studying independently

How you're assessed​

You’ll be assessed through:

  • field work or lab notebook recordings
  • reports
  • site surveys
  • computer-based exercises
  • environmental data analysis
  • posters
  • projects
  • presentations

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 1 students: 52% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 40% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 40% by written exams, 12% by practical exams and 48% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 33% by written exams, 4% by practical exams and 63% by coursework

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.

Apply

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

How to apply

Want to start this course this year? There are still a few places available. To discuss your options and secure your place, give us a call on 023 9284 8090 or ask us to call you back.

If you want to start this course in 2019, you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 5 September. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – F900
  • our institution code – P80

Not quite ready to apply? Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Contact information
  • Admissions
  • +44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Get in touch

Programme specification
Subject Area
Earth sciences
Geography and environmental sciences
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