Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses>Environment, Economics and Ecology (Extended Degree) (BSc)

Overview A unique degree exploring the relationship between economic and social pressures and their impacts upon our complex global environment

UCAS code


Typical offer

Decided by interview (full entry requirements)


4 years full-time

Economic development, population growth, poverty, and globalisation: all place increasing demands on our environment and its resources. 

Our unique environment, economics and ecology degree will equip you with the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to understand and tackle these complex problems.

Environment building: interior. Photo by David Rippin a lecturer in the department
Photo by David Rippin

In 2015 we moved into a £12m state-of-the-art building

Course content What you’ll study


You will become an expert in environmental economics, policy and ecology. You will develop an interdisciplinary knowledge base that will enable you to understand and solve contemporary environmental problems

Foundation year

This year is taught at York College and all modules are compulsory:

  • Academic Skills
  • Environmental Study Techniques
  • Maths and Statistics
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Living Organisms and Environment
  • Physical Geography
  • Human Geography - Sustainable Development
  • Individual Project

These modules are designed to provide a foundation for students with non-A-level backgrounds (or equivalents) so that they are able to engage with the BSc and MEnv programmes offered by the Environment Department.  

Year 1

The first year modules introduce you to the main ideas and concepts giving you the foundation to progress to more advanced material in later years. 

These modules are core.

  • Introductory Economics 
  • Introduction to Environment, Economics and Ecology
  • Tools and Techniques for Studying the Environment 
  • Environment, Development and Society 
  • Ecological Principles for Studying the Environment
  • Environment Field Project

Full listing of the degree structure and modules

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.

Year 2

You will take a range of core modules to develop your knowledge of the environment, economics and ecology. You can then begin to tailor your degree to your own interests with a choice of optional modules.

Core modules:

  • Applied Economics for the Environment
  • Ocean Management and Conservation
  • Environmental Policy
  • Residential Field Trip
  • Economics of Sustainable Development

Optional modules:

  • Climate Change
  • Ecosystem Processes
  • Food, Space, Culture & Society
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Environmental Ecology
  • Geographies of Development
  • Megacities and Urbanisation
  • Sustainable Tourism and Mobilities

You can also choose optional modules from a range of electives from other Departments.

Full listing of the degree structure and modules

Year 3

You specialise further in Year 3 with your independent research project, and a range of core and optional modules.

Core modules:

  • Research Project
  • Environmental and Natural Resource Economics or Biodiversity and Society

Optional modules:

  • Land Use Change and Management
  • Environmental Hazards
  • Atmosphere and Ocean Science
  • Environmental Politics
  • Environmental Psychology for a sustainable society
  • Gender, Environment and Global Poverty
  • Sustainable Development and Social Inclusion (Department of Social Policy and Social Work)

Or you can choose optional modules from a range of electives from other Departments.

Full listing of the degree structure and modules

Study abroad

The University has exchange agreements with a number of other universities across the world. Typically one or two students from the environment department study abroad every year in places such as Australia, Canada and the US.

My degree has provided me with a good mix of both hard and transferable skills. The numerical skills I gained – such as applied statistics and mathematics – as well as the fact checking and research skills are part of my role today.
Graham Neale
Contracts Officer
National Grid Environment

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed

Teaching format

Teaching includes field-based learning, research-led teaching and a more traditional combination of lectures, tutorials, and seminars.
Practical work is a key feature, both in individual projects and in groups.

Field trips form an important part of your course, with excursions (residential and non-residential) each year.

  • In Year 2 you will participate in a field trip to Tenerife.
  • In Year 3 there are optional field trips to Iceland and Prague


Each module will be assessed either by coursework, closed examination or a combination of both. Coursework can include:

  • Practical write-ups
  • Oral presentations
  • Data analysis exercises
  • Essays
  • Reflective writing

In your final year, you will complete an independent research project based on your interests and career aspirations.

Careers Where you’ll go from here

Your degree will equip you with the specialist skills and knowledge for a career in environmental management or a related field. Many of our graduates also find careers in other areas with the transferable skills they learn during this course.

Career opportunities

  • Economist
  • Environmental Consultancy or management
  • Public sector i.e. Environment Agency, DEFRA
  • Wildlife conservation

Transferable skills

  • Project management
  • Feasibility studies
  • Data analysis
  • Research skills
  • Time management

Entry requirements How to get here

Course entry

All applications must be made through UCAS. This degree with foundation year at York College is for mature students from a non-traditional A-level background and offers are made on an individual basis, after interview.

How to apply

Unistats for this course

Enquire Contact our admissions tutor if you have any questions