Environmental Science BSc (Hons)
What makes Environmental Science at Worcester special?
Studying Environmental Science at the University of Worcester will ensure you are on track for a successful and rewarding career in the environmental sector. Through our flexible programme you can focus on key areas of environmental science, including atmospheric pollution, climate change and its mitigation, the contamination of soil and water, river science and the biomeasurement of toxicity. Studying Environmental Science at the University of Worcester means you will get the degree you want!
At Worcester, the Environmental Science degree programme is highly contemporary ensuring our students receive training in advanced and cutting-edge techniques. This will include atmospheric sampling using drones, forecasting the movement and abundance of airborne pollen and pathogens, the detection of pesticides using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), mapping using GIS software, and measuring responses of plants and invertebrates to climate change.
For further information about studying Environmental Science at the University of Worcester, download a copy of the course flyer.
- Small class sizes (typically 15-30 students)
- Exceptional staff contact time (typically 12-16 hours per week)
- Numerous field sites within 45 minutes of the University campus
- Strong emphasis on students attaining field and lab based skills
- Authentic assessments that prepare students for the real world
- Training in state-of-the-art equipment
- Strong links with the environmental sector
- Flexibility in the degree programme to tailor your course
- Study with BSc Ecology as a joints honours programme
Training students for the future
The University of Worcester is superbly placed geographically to take advantage of numerous local sites of interest, including nature reserves and those being impacted by industry. 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. Students will receive essential training in a variety of field and lab techniques enabling you to investigate key topics using state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. This is coupled with students being assessed using authentic assessments that prepare them for the real-world.
The strong emphasis on field and laboratory work has not only been acknowledged through accreditation by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), but also through the success of our graduates in securing highly relevant graduate jobs after completing the course. Many of our students are also inspired to continue their education on Masters or Doctorate courses.
The Single Honours course has been accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). Accreditation highlights its excellence.
IES accreditation means it meets very high standards of teaching and learning, supported by a strong component of practical, field, and theoretical activities.
What qualifications will you need?
96 UCAS tariff points must include two A levels from: Chemistry, Geography, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geology, Maths, Biology, or Physics.
104 UCAS tariff points must include one A level from: Chemistry, Geography, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geology, Maths, Biology, or Physics.
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, Foundation courses, European Baccalaureate and pre-2002 qualifications such as GNVQ.
Don’t quite meet the entry requirements or returning to education? Consider studying a Biological Science with Foundation Year.
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email email@example.com for advice.
Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from http://www.ucas.com
If you are an international student who does not have the relevant entry requirements for direct entry onto this course, our pathway courses at University of Worcester International College could be the right option for you and enable you to still graduate with this degree. To find out more visit the Science and Health & Social Science pathways page.
Environmental Science Events
To find out how you can become part of the next generation of scientists that make a difference, come along to one of our open days. A visit to the University of Worcester will certainly help you to select a course that is right for you.
We also offer “Applicant Days” for students that have applied to study the course either as a Single Honours, or Joint Honours with BSc Ecology. Applicant Days give you the opportunity to 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or complete this enquiry form.
Book your place at an Open Day
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What will you study?
Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative.
Teaching and Assessment
How will you be taught?
At the University of Worcester, we ensure you are afforded the opportunity to attain your full academic potential. We enable you to develop independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning, whilst enhancing your future employment success.
Your University education will be based on an integral mixture of independent study, a wide variety of taught sessions, and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system. With regular meetings with your academic tutor you will be able to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enhance your employability.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, field excursions, site visits, laboratory practicals, seminars, interactive workshops, and due to our excellent contacts in the environmental sector, guest lectures from industry experts.
At Worcester you will receive essential training in a variety of field and laboratory techniques using state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Continuing technological advances means the discipline rapidly changes, and at Worcester, due to our impressive research profile you will be trained in highly advanced and cutting-edge techniques.
In the second year of your course, you have the option to study abroad for a semester at a university either in Europe or further afield. Previous students have studied at American, Canadian, Australian and Spanish universities. Other destinations are also available! You can also choose to take an industrial placement with a relevant organisation for a whole year after your second year of study.
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. Postgraduate research students with expertise in aspects of a module are also invited to contribute to teaching under the supervision of module leaders.
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 in Environmental Science allows 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.
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 an example for a single module in Year One over one semester is as follows:
- 20 hours of lectures
- 8 hours of interactive workshops
- 6 hours of computer practicals (running simulations and modelling)
- 6 hours of supervised laboratory practical
- 4 hours of fieldwork activities
- 4 hours of seminars
In addition to contact time with University teaching staff, you are expected to undertake around 22 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).
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 do count towards the overall module grade.
To enhance the employability of our graduates there is a focus on coursework that is directly related to real-world situations. We use a wide range of assessment types including: practical reports, scientific reports, essays, site evaluations, management plans, critiques, poster and oral presentations, in-class tests, and examinations. However, there is less emphasis on in-class tests and formal examinations.
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 as follows:
6 Scientific reports
2 Practical reports
2 Group Presentations
1 Exam (1 hour)
1 Video podcast
2 Scientific reports
2 Project reports
1 Research proposal
4 Practical tests/exams
1 Student-led seminar
1 Oral presentation
2 In-class tests
1 Exam (1.5hrs)
1 Research dissertation
3 Scientific reports
2 Practical reports
1 Field notebook
2 Oral presentations
2 In-class tests
1 Planning exercise
1 Case study evaluation
Supporting your Learning - Feedback given to students
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 hand-in.
Meet the team
Here are some of the key members of the department who teach on this course:
Dr Duncan Westbury
Dr Westbury is the course leader for the BSc (Hons) Environmental Science programme. He 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 and natural enemies of pests. His undergraduate teaching is strongly influenced by previous and current research activities in agro-ecology.
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. John is the course leader for the BSc (Hons) Ecology (joint) programme.
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.
Dr Matt 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.
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.
Bev 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. Bev 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 UK’s 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.
Dr Tim Pettitt
Dr Tim Pettitt is a plant pathologist/mycologist with over 30 years’ practical experience in microbiology and epidemiology, with special interests in soil- and water-borne plant pathogens. He is also investigating the impact of plant pathogens on ecosystems, and the development of natural microbial suppression in the management of plant diseases.
Prior to starting at Worcester, Tim worked for 10 years as a research leader at Horticulture Research International and was Manager of the Eden Project Science Team in Cornwall for a further ten years.
Dr Mary Hanson
Mary is a research scientist with an interest in the environment and microbiology, particularly plant pathogens. Her research has focused on using molecular techniques to detect and diagnose crop diseases, funded by both the UK government and private sector.
She has several years’ research experience and teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in these areas.
Where could it take you?
As an Environmental Scientist at the University of Worcester, you will be able to develop a wide range of intellectual, practical and social skills deemed essential by employers. These include the ability to work independently and as part of a team; communicate effectively (both written and oral); competence in the use of information technology (IT); and how to critically evaluate information.In addition to these transferable skills, you will also gain many specialist skills depending on the modules taken.
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 environmental analysis laboratories. Potential employers include: Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, Natural England, the Wildlife Trusts, environmental consultancies, and waste management companies. 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.
Request or download a prospectusRequest now
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.
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.
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.
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 do you apply?
Applying through UCAS
The UCAS code for the BSc Environmental Science degree is F750
See our Environmental Science degrees page for Joint Honours options
UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK
Ciaran Dunnion - BSc (Hons) Ecology and Environmental Science
I really enjoyed how practical and hands on the course was. Worcester is in close proximity to many nature reserves and rivers etc., which meant every module included field trips to apply learnt techniques and knowledge in the field.
The support I received was brilliant, whether it was in the lab, field, or about assignments. Staff are very approachable.
Highlights include the Provence trip, an opportunity to study in a different environment and learn about landscape scale environmental management.
Huma Zulfiqar - BSc (Hons) Environmental Science Graduate
I really enjoyed the course, I took a lot of very interesting module choices and received great support from staff throughout my three years at university.
I thoroughly enjoyed my university experience at Worcester and met lovely people along the way.
Helen Webster - BSc (Hons) Environmental Science Graduate
My time at Worcester provided me with many opportunities to prepare for my future; I have had the chance to develop many skills both in the field, and the laboratory.
The balance between theoretical and practical work was very good, as it enabled me to apply the theories taught, to real life situations; a skill that will serve me well in future employment situations.
For me, the most enjoyable aspect of the course was our field trips, which were often and varied; the residential trip to Provence was a great opportunity and also great fun!
Andrew Heavens - BSc (Hons) Environmental Science Graduate
At Worcester I always felt welcome and supported; staff wanted me to succeed and excel in Environmental Science.
The field trips allowed us to have that essential out of classroom experience, which helped significantly with my learning.
Without the analytical and data analysis skills taught at the University of Worcester, I wouldn't have been able to adapt to study for my MSc in Advertising and Marketing.