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Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses>Environmental Science (BSc)

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science

Understand and manage human impacts on the environment using a multi-disciplinary approach

Year of entry: 2020

UCAS code

F900

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

ABB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fees

£22,080 per year (2020/21)

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There has never been greater need for scientists who understand how the Earth system functions and responds to human activities, and who can apply this knowledge in the broader social and economic context of managing the environment to ensure a sustainable future.

Research-led teaching with a multi-disciplinary focus will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to address complex environmental problems such as climate change, air pollution and energy transitions.

Accreditation

Accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences.

Working together

Our staff collaborate with a broad range of private and public organisations including UNEP, DEFRA, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Overseas Development Institute, Willis Global Insurance Broker.

Strong links

Our Department has strong links to global policy makers including UNEP and WHO

Course content

You'll build a strong foundation in the physical sciences, providing the background knowledge you need to make informed judgements about environmental issues. You will also study the broader social, political and economic aspects of managing the environment. 

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:

Year 1

The first year modules give you an introduction to the fundamentals of environmental science, providing you with a foundation for more advanced material in the following years. 

Core modules

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

You'll take a range of core modules to develop your knowledge of environmental science. You can then begin to tailor your degree to your own interests with a choice of option modules.

Core modules

Option modules

You'll choose 40 credits from the below options:

You can also replace some option modules with electives from other Departments.

Year 3

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

Core modules

Either

Option modules

Choose three from:

Or you can replace some option modules with electives from other Departments.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Debate, interpret and explain current and emerging issues in environmental science occurring on a range of scales using appropriate methods and norms, and engage critically with best evidence on the impacts and management of climate, environmental and land use change, pollution and development 
  • Obtain, synthesise and critically evaluate complex information on environmental science and related areas from a wide range of reliable sources 
  • Cut across disciplinary boundaries to link knowledge and experience from a wide range of natural, physical and social sciences to understand the complex interactions occurring within and between natural and human environments 
  • Plan, design and execute research as an individual or as part of a team to address environmental questions and problems using critically-selected field, survey and laboratory methods at appropriate temporal and spatial scales 
  • Critically analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data using appropriate scientific and technological information and tools such as geographical information systems (GIS) and statistical packages to draw meaningful conclusions from research in the field of environmental science 
  • Effectively communicate knowledge, complex ideas and persuasive arguments to professional and non-specialist audiences using verbal, written, visual and digital media 
  • Recommend sustainable solutions to environmental problems that consider the broader social, political and environmental contexts, and the ethical implications of their application by applying knowledge, theories and approaches from environmental science and related disciplines 
  • Work responsibly as part of a team or as a team-leader to set challenging yet attainable goals and make an important contribution to defining the way in which our environment functions, understanding how it will respond to human activities and developing sustainable solutions 

 

 

 

 

For me, the most important thing at York has been the community. You always feel like you’re part of a family.
Chloe, second year student. Read more on Chloe's blog.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £22,080

Additional costs

Field work is integral to your course, so in Years 1 and 2, there are core residential field trips. The travel and accommodation costs of these are included in your student fees.*  Compulsory trips include both residential and day trips. Optional field trips are not paid for, and you will be asked to contribute to the cost of these.

* The Department covers the costs of flights up to a maximum based on typical flight costs from regional airports bought in good time

 

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2020/21 throughout the year.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

You'll be taught through a combination of 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.

  • You'll participate in field trips to the North York Moors (Year 1) and to Tenerife (Year 2)
  • In Year 3 there is an optional field trip to Iceland

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures4 hours per week
Seminars3 hours per week
Practicals1-3 hours per week
Field trips2 weeks

These figures are based on an average student in an average week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.

Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during term time. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.

Facilities

 

Our state-of-the-art building contains purpose-built labs, lecture theatres and seminar rooms.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Environment and Geography, which is based on Campus West.

Your contact hours will be divided between the Department of Environment and Geography, the Department of Biology and other locations nearby.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

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

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

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

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams36%53%40%
Coursework59%46%55%
Practical exams5%1%5%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Careers and skills

The BSc in Environmental Science will equip you with practical, applied skills for both environment-related employment and more general career opportunities. The department has a track record of providing a springboard to a wide range of careers and postgraduate research. Find out more about careers and employability.

Career opportunities

  • Environmental conservationist
  • Graduate policy analyst
  • Flood risk officer
  • Graduate environmental consultant
  • Environmental engineer
  • Oil and gas analyst

Example employers

  • Network Rail
  • Environment Agency
  • Anglian Water
  • Atkins
  • Department for International Development
  • WSP│Parsons Brinckerhoff Consultancy
  • DEFRA

Transferable skills

  • Project management
  • Feasibility studies
  • Data analysis
  • Research skills
  • Time management
Having a supervisor at York was invaluable. The pastoral care that the University offers helps with applications and interview skills. York also allows you to be independent and work at your own pace, which really helps when you start doing your own projects in a work environment.
Carmel Parry
Network Asset Strategy Planner
Yorkshire Water

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels

ABB including two of the following: Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Environmental Studies, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology or Life and Health Sciences

Access to Higher Education Diploma 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma BTEC National Extended Diploma with DDM
Cambridge Pre-U D3, M2, M2
European Baccalaureate 75% overall
International Baccalaureate 34 points

You should also have GCSE Mathematics at grade 4 (C) or above, or equivalent.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 169 each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in Listening, 21 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 21 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

All applications must be made through UCAS. There are no formal interviews. Students who are offered a place are encouraged to attend one of the departmental visit days held during the Spring Term.

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Department of Environment and Geography

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