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What makes Ecology and Environmental Science at Worcester special?

Ecology and Environmental Science make an excellent combination for students wishing to learn more about the environment and how it operates.

At Worcester you will be provided with an unrivalled amount of hands-on ecological experience, including biological surveying and project management, which is coupled with invaluable underpinning knowledge.

Key features

  • Enthusiastic and experienced lecturers committed to high-quality research-based teaching
  • A friendly, supportive learning environment with an open-door policy and support from a personal academic tutor
  • Numerous fieldwork opportunities, including optional residential field course to Provence in the South of France
  • State-of-the-art facilities to support your learning, including lab-based analytical equipment and a wide range of specialist field equipment.  
  • The ability to apply the analytical theoretical techniques and knowledge to real-life ecological/environmental issues
  • Opportunities to study abroad or undertake a placement year within the ecology sector

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

At least 4 GCSE’s (or equivalent) at grade C or above (including Maths, English and a Science) plus:

96-112 UCAS Tariff points.

96 UCAS points must include AS or A2 in Biology and A2 in another science (including Environmental Science and/or Geography).

The University will consider each application on its individual merits and will recognise a range of qualifications not currently included in the Tariff, including Access courses, European Baccalaureate and pre-2002 qualifications such as GNVQ.

The points above are the new UCAS tariff, which will be used for courses starting from September 2017. See our new UCAS tariff page for more information.

Other information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from http://www.ucas.com   

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Course content

What will you study?

Here is an overview of current modules available on this course. Regular updates may mean that exact module titles may differ.

Year 1

Mandatory

  • Ecological Diversity and Surveying
  • Introduction to Environmental Sciences 
  • Introduction to Ecology

Optional

  • Environmental Change – Past and Present
  • Current Environmental Issues
  • Introduction to Climate Change
  • Basis of Biological Surveying
  • Earth Systems, Processes and Landscapes
  • Introduction to Geology
  • An Introduction to River Science 

Year 2

Mandatory

  • Ecology – Individuals to Ecosystems
  • Theory and Practice of Environmental Analysis
  • Research Practice and Professional Development

Optional

  • Field Techniques and Identification Skills
  • Ecology of Fresh Waters
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Work Experience 
  • Meteorology and Climate
  • River Monitoring and Assessment
  • Natural Hazards

Year 3

Mandatory

  • Independent Study in Ecology or Independent Study in Environmental Science
  • Restoration Ecology 
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Residential Environmental Field Trip
  • Environmental Pollution and its Management

Optional

  • Project Management
  • Zoo-based Conservation
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Applied GIS and Remote Sensing
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Atmospheric processes, air pollution and its modelling
  • River Conservation and Management
  • River science research project
  • Environmental Geology

For further information about studying Ecology and Environmental Science at the University of Worcester, download a copy of the Applicant's Handbook.

Student Experiences

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

We enable you to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. 

A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.

Teaching

You are taught through a combination of lectures, field trips, laboratory practicals and interactive workshops. Interactive workshops take a variety of formats and are intended to enable the application of learning through computer based activities, discussion and small group activities.  Seminars enable the discussion and development of understanding of topics covered in lectures, and laboratory and field practicals are focused on developing subject specific skills and applied individual and group project work.  Talks by environmental practitioners are also an important part of the course relating theory to practice.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first two years of the course and in the third year close contact should be kept with your Independent Study supervisor.

You use industry-standard analytical equipment throughout the course and have access to computer laboratory facilities with the latest software for geographical information systems (GIS), statistical analysis and meteorological modelling. You also use a wide range of field equipment.

You have an opportunity to undertake a semester long work placement module in the second year of the course, and are strongly encouraged to undertake environment-focussed paid or voluntary work during vacations and/or volunteer during semester. We have close links with environmental and wildlife associations which offer opportunities.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 12-16 contact hours of teaching.  The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study. 

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

  • 3-5 hours of group lectures
  • 3-5 hours of supervised lab practicals
  • 4 hours of field trips
  • 4 hours of interactive workshops or seminars

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 28 hours of personal self-study per week.  Typically, this will involve, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources. 

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes lecturers who have all had research and teaching experience at University level.

Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and a number of the course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Assessment

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.  Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.  

Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, laboratory and field reports, presentations and a final year independent studies project.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1
3 x formal examinations or in-class tests of 1-1½ hours’ duration
2 x essays/reports/laboratory reports
2 x group presentations
1 X reflective diary

Year 2
3 x formal examinations or in-class tests of 1-1½ hours’ duration
4 x essays/reports/laboratory reports/critiques
1 x case study
1 x individual presentation

Year 3
1 x formal examinations of 1½ - 2 hours’ duration
4 x essays/reports/laboratory reports
2 x group presentations
1 X independent study report

Feedback

You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Ecology Joint Honours

Dr John Dutton talks about why the University of Worcester is the best place to study Ecology.

Meet the team

Here are a few members of the department who currently teach on this course:

  • duncan-westbury

    Dr Duncan Westbury

    Duncan has extensive research experience in the management of agro-ecosystems to support biodiversity whilst simultaneously supporting ecosystem services within the farmed environment. Key areas of interest include approaches to reduce the use of pesticides in farming, and the promotion of wild pollinators. His undergraduate teaching is strongly influenced by previous and current research activities in agro-ecology. Duncan is the course leader for the BSc (Hons) Environmental Science programme.

  • diana-dine-science-university-worcester

    Dr Diana Dine

    With extensive experience in analytical techniques, Diana has developed an interest in contaminated soils and pollution regulation. To enhance student learning and employability, Diana has produced a variety of field and laboratory investigations for students and has co-authored a textbook on experimental design and statistics. This includes the determination of heavy-metal levels in contaminated soil at industrial sites; the extent of zinc leaching from galvanised structures and the retention of heavy-metals in constructed wetlands. Additional studies include the determination of nutrient concentrations of soils under different management regimes.

  • john-dutton-science-university-worcester

    Dr John Dutton

    Has extensive experience of teaching undergraduate students, and has been involved with a wide-range of research topics. These have included the role of rabbits in sand-dune conservation, habitat use by small mammals, habitat restoration, and the ecology and impact of re-emerging wild boar in the Forest of Dean. John has also led ecological research expeditions. With extensive experience of working within the conservation sector as a countryside ranger and running a wide variety of practical habitat management projects, John also has a good knowledge of the management of recreation/ conservation issues.

Careers

Where could it take you?

The Environmental Science course will prepare you for a range of rewarding careers, including environmental consultancy, roles in local government (e.g. environmental services, town and country planning, climate change development officers), and conservation management. Potential employers include: the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, Natural England, the Wildlife Trusts, and in analytical laboratories e.g. Eurofins.

A degree with Ecology is much in demand by employers who look for a wide range of intellectual, practical and social skills and a range of technical and IT skills such as the use of DNA technology, IT-based vegetation analysis, data analysis, and applied statistics. Ecologists are required in scientific fields and other fields such as the media, retailing and finance.

Many of our students also continue their education by studying further for an MSc, MRes, or PhD. Opportunities to pursue research careers at universities or research institutes are also available.

university-worcester-undergraduate-prospectus-cover-2018-small

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Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in 2017 will be £9,250.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in 2017 will be £11,700 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in 2017 will be £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module and £2,313 per 30-credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying.  The amounts vary between courses.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £94 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £153 per week.

For full details visit our accommodation page.

Apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Ecology and Environmental Science BSc (Hons) - DN49

 

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

 

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

UCAS CODE:

DN49

Apply now via UCAS

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111
admissions@worc.ac.uk  

Course leaders

Dr John Dutton
Course Leader, Ecology Joint Honours
01905 855237
j.dutton@worc.ac.uk

Dr Duncan Westbury
Course Leader, Environmental Science
d.westbury@worc.ac.uk
01905 54 2461