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What makes Ecology and Environmental Science at Worcester special?

The combination of Ecology and Environmental Science enables students to learn more about the environment and how it operates. Not only do students gain a solid understanding of species and their interactions in communities, habitats, and ecosystems, but they also investigate how such relationships are being affected by human impacts, including environmental pollution.

This degree programme combines the analytical skills of the environmental scientist with the species knowledge and understanding of the ecologist. Graduates of this programme are therefore able to approach environmental issues differently to students studying the single honours Environmental Science degree programme.

Find out more about the different modules we offer by reading Module Highlights

For further information about studying Environmental Science at the University of Worcester, download a copy of the course flyer.

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • Small class sizes (typically 15-30 students)
  • Exceptional staff contact time (typically 12-16 hours per week)
  • Enthusiastic and experienced lecturers committed to delivering high-quality research-based teaching
  • A friendly and supportive learning environment with an open-door policy and support from a personal academic tutor
  • Numerous fieldwork opportunities, including the Mediterranean Environments Field Course
  • State-of-the-art facilities to support your learning, including lab-based analytical equipment and a wide range of specialist field equipment
  • Authentic assessments that prepare students for the real world
  • Opportunities to study abroad (Erasmus)

Training you for the future

The University of Worcester is superbly placed geographically to take advantage of numerous local sites of interest, including nature reserves and industrial sites. This provides an excellent opportunity for students to gain unrivalled amounts of hands-on ecological and environmental experience, including species identification and biological surveying, the analysis of contaminated soils, and the biomeasurement of toxicity.

A key strength of this course is that most modules include practical sessions, enabling students to learn and develop new skills and put theory into practice.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

96-112
UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

96-112 UCAS Tariff points.

96 UCAS points must include AS or A2 in Biology and A2 in another science (which can include 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 pre-2002 qualifications such as GNVQ.

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 UCAS.

Ecology and Environmental Science Events

The University hosts a variety of events across the year. To meet course leaders and find out more about the course and the University of Worcester, come along to one of our open days.

We also offer 'Applicant Days' for students that have applied to study the course. Applicant Days give you the opportunity to further explore our facilities by taking part in academic activities, and find out more about student life at the University of Worcester. For further information or to request a place please email insiders@worc.ac.uk or complete this enquiry form.

 

 

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Course content

What will you study?

Year 1

Mandatory

  • Introduction to Environmental Science
  • Environmental Change - Past & Present
  • Introduction to Ecology
  • Environmental Skills & Applications
  • Classification and Species Identification
  • Basis of Biological Surveying

Year 2

Mandatory

  • Ecology - Individuals to Ecosystems
  • Environmental Analysis & Interpretation
  • Research Practice & Professional Development

Optional

  • Animal Behaviour
  • Natural Hazards
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • River Monitoring & Assessment
  • Field Techniques & Identification Skills
  • Work Experience

Year 3

Mandatory

  • Mediterranean Environments Field Course
  • Restoration Ecology
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Environmental Pollution & its Detection
  • Independent Research Dissertation

Optional

  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Atmospheric Processes & Pollution
  • Environmental Geology
  • Project Management
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Applied GIS & Remote Sensing
  • River Conservation & Management
  • Zoo-based Conservation

For further information about studying Ecology and Environmental Science at the University of Worcester, download a copy of the course flyer.

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 four 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 conservation organisations which offer numerous opportunities.

Contact time

The academic year is divided into two semesters, each consisting of 12 weeks of teaching. In year's one and two, you can expect to have 12-16 contact hours of teaching each week, whilst in your final year you will normally have slightly less contact time to enable student-led independent study.

The type of teaching activities varies per module, but a typical week in Year One would be structured around:

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

Independent self-study

In addition to contact time with University teaching staff, you are expected to undertake around 28 hours of personal self-study per week.

Typically, this will involve: reading through your lecture notes and adding to these; reading additional material provided by lecturers, undertaking research in the library and online; collecting information for individual and group projects; and working on module assignments.Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including The Hive and its library resources, the virtual learning environment (Blackboard), and extensive on-line learning resources (e.g. e-books).

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

8 x essays/reports/laboratory reports
2 x group presentations
2 x formal examinations or in-class tests of 1-1½ hours duration
1 x reflective/field diary/notebook
1 x portfolio

Year 2

6 x essays/reports/laboratory reports/critiques
2 x group presentations
6 x formal examinations or in-class tests of 1-1½ hours duration
2 x portfolios

Year 3

7 x essays/reports/laboratory reports
1 x group presentations
3 x individual presentations
1 x formal examination of 1½ - 2 hours duration
1 x case study report
2 x reflective/field diary/notebook
1 x Dissertation (Independent Study report)

Feedback

Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with your personal academic tutor and module tutors as appropriate. 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. We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of submission.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of modules on the course. The team includes professors in atmospheric science, senior academics with strong research backgrounds, and guest lecturers from outside the University (e.g. Marine Conservation Society, Environment Agency). Practical sessions are fully supported by a dedicated team of technicians, which serves to enhance the student experience.

Teaching is informed by research and consultancy, and more than 85% of lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification and/or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.

The small class sizes allow you to get to know your lecturers well, which ultimately benefits your learning. It also means you get to know all the students on your course and become part of a vibrant student community.

dr-duncan-westbury

Dr Duncan Westbury

Dr Duncan Westbury joined the University of Worcester in 2011 after nearly 10 years of post-doctoral research and lecturing at the University of Reading. He has gained a very strong background in applying ecological principles to habitat creation and management, with specific research experience on the management of agro-ecosystems to support biodiversity whilst simultaneously supporting ecosystem services within agricultural landscapes.

Previously, Duncan has been a lead plant ecologist on several Defra-funded agro-ecology projects investigating methods of promoting biodiversity in arable and grassland habitats. At the University of Worcester, he leads the Ecology and Environment Research Group (EERG), which focusses on the delivery of ecosystem services, and wildlife management.

dr-john-dutton

Dr John Dutton

Dr John Dutton joined the University of Worcester in May 2009 with a strong and extensive lecturing background having lectured at the Associate Faculty of UWE, Hartpury College and at Otley College, Suffolk. He has eclectic research experience, which includes investigating the role of rabbits in sand-dune conservation, small mammal habitat use, restoration ecology and the reintroduction of European beavers, wild boar in the Forest of Dean and expedition-based ecological research.

Carsten Ambelas Skjoth

Professor Carsten Ambelas Skjøth

Carsten has long term experience with atmospheric science in relation to climate, meteorology, bioaerosols, atmospheric chemistry and physics. Key areas of interest include existing and new approaches for detecting and modelling these processes (e.g. using drones, real-time sensors, environmental DNA and next generation weather forecast models) from global to local scale by using both ground based observations, advanced mathematical models and remote sensing. His teaching is directly related to these activities both at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.

rebecca-collins

Rebecca Collins

Becky Collins is an Associate Lecturer and a postgraduate researcher focussing on river science, geomorphology and GIS.After several years spent working for the Environment Agency as a Flood and Coastal Risk Management Advisor, she brings her industry experience and knowledge to her teaching to help equip students with the skills needed for a rewarding career in the environment sector.

dr-matthew-smith

Dr Matthew Smith

Matt has experience of teaching undergraduate and post-graduate students both in the UK and abroad (e.g. Austria and Poland). Matt is an active researcher, and is best known for his work as an aerobiologist studying temporal and spatial variations in airborne allergenic pollen and fungal spores. Other research interests include climate change impacts with particular focus on allergy and health, environmental change in relation to the distribution of allergenic plants, and phenology. He has co-authored more than 70 peer reviewed scientific journal articles and five book chapters, and currently works as an editor for three journals.

dr-beverley-adams-groom

Dr Beverley Adams-Groom

Beverley is a leading expert in pollen forecasting and provides the UK and Ireland with forecasts for all the main airborne allergens, aided by colleagues in the pollen forecast team, and working in association with the UK Met Office. The main discipline for this work is Aerobiology, which is the study of the production, emission and dispersal of biological particles (bioaerosols).

Beverley is also involved in the field of Palynology, which is the study of microscopic biological particles (mainly pollen and spore identification). She applies this in the quality assurance of honeys for the UKs honey companies and analysts. This is a form of forensic work, involving identification of pollen extracted from honey of various countries to ensure the origin and floral composition. Beverley has also worked extensively on crime cases, applying palynology to produce evidence of links between suspect and crime scene.

Mary Hanson_2018

Dr Mary Hanson

Mary is currently researching the detection and quantification of the clubroot pathogen of vegetable brassicas, Plasmodiophora brassicae using molecular and immunological techniques, along with assisting in health related trials research.

Mary has previously studied the epidemiological typing of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus in clinical settings by Multi Locus Variable number tandem repeat Analysis (MLVA). She has also developed assays to determine the effect of environmental factors on the viability of P. brassicae resting spores

dr_tim_pettitt

Dr Tim Pettitt

Tim is a plant pathologist with over 25 years practical experience  in microbiology and epidemiology and special interests in soil and  water borne plant pathogens as well as developing alternative pest and disease control strategies.

Before joining NPARU, Tim worked at the Eden Project for 10 years looking at detection, diagnosis and troubleshooting disease problems in the Eden living collections as well as carrying out quarantine work and disease risk assessments on imported plant material. Prior to this, Tim led a research group at Horticulture Research International investigating and developing practical solutions to a wide range of plant disease problems and supporting their implementation in nurseries.

Careers

Where could it take you?

A degree in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Worcester will prepare you for a range of rewarding careers in the ecological and environmental sector. Furthermore, because you will develop many transferable skills, including intellectual, practical and social skills deemed essential by employers, the programme will also equip you for other less specialist graduate jobs.

The programme will be advantageous for students seeking employment in 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).

There are also opportunities to pursue research careers at university or research institutes. Many of our students are also inspired to continue their education by studying further for an MSc, MRes or PhD.

Cover of the 2020 University of Worcester prospectus

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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 the academic year 2019/20 will be £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in the academic year 2019/20 will be £12,400 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 the academic year 2019/20 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.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

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 £102 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £165 per week (2019/20 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to 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

Get in touch

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

Dr John Dutton

Course Leader, Ecology Joint Honours

Dr Duncan Westbury

Course Leader, Environmental Science