Hikers on a ridge trail. BSc (Hons) Environmental Science.
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 2021, September 2022
Accredited
Yes

See how you'll be taught in 2021/22 in our Covid information for applicants.

Overview

Environmental Scientists deal with the big questions facing humanity. If you want to tackle climate change and preserve Earth's natural resources, this accredited BSc (Hons) Environmental Science degree will prepare you for the challenges ahead.

On this course accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), you’ll explore how the environment is changing and discover new ways to minimise our impact on the planet. 

You'll also analyse pollutants, soil structure and water quality and learn the social side of environmental issues. You’ll work in our labs using the same technology as the world's leading environmental researchers, including plasma spectrometry and electron microscopy. 

You'll get out in the field too, on trips to destinations such as Malta, Portugal, Belize and Malaysia – and have the chance to gain valuable work experience on a one-year placement, and study abroad at one of our partner universities in Canada, Australia, Germany, Malta, Slovakia, Hungary or France.

With our world-renowned Institute of Marine Sciences here in Portsmouth, you’ll have plenty to do right on your doorstep, from power boating courses to PADI diving lessons.

After graduation, you'll be ready to take the next step towards becoming a Chartered Environmental Scientist, and be ready for jobs in environmental science, academia, business or government.

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework
Institution of Environmental Sciences logo

Accredited by:

This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES).

Entry requirements​

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science degree entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels – ABB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–128 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 points from a Science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science/Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics) (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 27

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Typical offers
  • A levels – ABB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–128 points, with 32 points from an A level in a Science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science/Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics), or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your 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, Isle of Wight, Malta, Portugal, Malaysia 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 considering the ethical issues connected to the project and health and safety documentation
  • Have the opportunity to study abroad at institutions including Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain), Universite du Havre, (Le Havre, France) and Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland)
  • Have the opportunity to learn a language and earn credit towards your degree as part of the University's Institution-Wide Language Programme
Environmental Science / Marine Environmental Science BSc (Hons) - Dr Sarah Reynolds

Dr Sarah Reynolds, the course leader for both the Environmental Science BSc and the Marine Environmental Science BSc, discusses the courses at the University of Portsmouth.

Dr Sarah Reynolds: This course is unique in that it provides you with not only the real strong grounding in the science that makes you confident in what you know, but it's really hands on.

Lots of practicals, lots of lab work and the position that we're in, the coast is literally on our doorstep. We have these fantastic environments in the terrestrial system too to explore, means that you get such a well rounded programme.

Having such a range of analytical capability within our laboratories is a unique opportunity for students to get that really good hands on experience. We can measure nutrients in both freshwater and the marine environment. We have a range of ICPs which are responsible for measuring things like heavy metals. We have a flow cytometer which can look at bacteria and small phytoplankton, and we also have a flow cam which takes images, it's an image analysis, to look at phytoplankton and zooplankton. It's really great for students to use that data in their projects.

One of the best things about the course here at the University of Portsmouth is our amazing opportunities with field work. We start right in the first year with a residential trip over in Somerset, where you start to really get some of those basic field skills. In the second year we also have a really amazing field trip to Malta. A week out there learning all different aspects about the environmental science of Malta. In the final year we have some optional field trips, and these include a trip to Portugal or a trip to Malaysia.

We offer a pathway within the degree programme to take a year out and go and work in industry, so we have a placement year. We've had a number of students have some really successful placements and we've had students offered jobs before they've even finished their degree programme. The students that we have on the degree are, they're fantastic. They're passionate students. They come in with that passion already and to watch them grow and develop and head off into some really fantastic jobs, it is, it's the best thing about the job. I'm so proud of them. Their passion gives me hope.

Rachel Archer, BSc (Hons) Environmental Science student

We have a second year field trip to Malta and a third year field trip to Malaysia. There are also second year optional units of diving or boating, both are really fun.

Rachel Archer, BSc (Hons) Environmental Science

Careers and opportunities

After the course, you could go on to study Master’s PhD’s, work in academia, business and Government in a wide range of environmental specialties such as, conservation, pollution monitoring and control, waste management, sustainability, audit and assessment, climate change and energy resources.

What jobs can you do with an Environmental Science degree?

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • Environmental chemist
  • Environmental technician
  • Environment and sustainability coordinator
  • Geographic information scientist
  • Conservation officer
  • Waste management manager
  • Environmental policy officer
  • Hydrologist
  • Climate change modeller

Organisations our graduates have gone on to work for include:

  • Eurofins
  • Network Rail
  • Portsmouth Water

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 Environmental
  • Mott MacDonald
  • Enitial

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

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course and for up to 5 years after you graduate.

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

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Environmental Science degree

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

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Core modules

All modules in this list are worth 20 credits each.

  • Ecology, Plants and Human Impact
  • Global Environmental Challenges
  • Introduction to Marine Ecology and Oceanography
  • Planet Earth
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Science for Earth Systems

Optional modules

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules

  • Research, Fieldwork and Professional Skills (40 credits)
  • Environmental Chemistry and Monitoring (20 credits)
  • GIS and Remote Sensing (20 credits)

Optional modules

All modules in this list are worth 20 credits each. 

  • Energy Resources
  • Environmental Change
  • Hydrology and Geoenvironmental Risk
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Practical Boating Skills
  • River Processes
  • Scientific and Technical Diving Techniques A
  • Scientific and Technical Diving Techniques B

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

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

Core modules

  • Environmental Science Dissertation (40 credits)
  • Environmental Audit and Assessment (20 credits)
  • Environmental Pollution and Waste Management (20 credits)

Optional modules

  • European Study Tour (20 credits)
  • Tropical Study Tour (20 credits)
  • Conservation Biogeography (20 credits)
  • Climate Change (20 credits)

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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Academic skills 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

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • laboratory work
  • field work
  • workshops

Environmental Science lecturer, Professor Jim Smith, on developing vodka from crops grown in Chernobyl

Vodka distilled from grain and water sourced in a nuclear disaster zone? Professor Jim Smith explains how his safe, good-tasting and high-quality vodka is the first consumer product to come out of Chernobyl since the 1986 disaster.

I liked that the course is very multi-disciplinary. The lecturers are very helpful and most are still active in their own areas of expertise, providing up-to-date information and support.

Anita Carey, BSc (Hons) Environmental Science

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

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

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • field work or lab notebook recordings
  • reports
  • site surveys
  • computer-based exercises
  • oral presentation and essays
  • posters
  • presentations
The way you're assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous academic year of how students on this course were typically assessed:
  • 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

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2021 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,600 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

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 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

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 Malaysia is around £1,500, 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 module, which includes a PADI Open Water course, Dry Suit course and Scientific and Technical Diving course. This module 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 module, which includes an advanced diving course (e.g. PADI Advanced Open Water), Dry Suit course and Scientific and Technical Diving course. This module costs around £800, covering tuition, transport and diving costs.

The optional Practical Power Boating Skills module will cost in the region of £710.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2021, apply through Clearing by completing this short application form, calling our Clearing hotline on +44 (0)23 9284 8074 or going to our Clearing section to chat with us online.

You can also find out how Clearing works, sign up for Clearing updates and book a call back on results day.

International and EU students

Clearing is open to all applicants. But if you'd prefer to apply without going through Clearing, use our online application form.

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

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

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

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

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also 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. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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