Environmental Science BSc (Hons)
BSc Hons Environmental Science
From climate change to depleting natural resources, our planet faces many challenges. Environmental scientists stand on the front line in tackling these issues. If you want to join them, this is the course for you.
On this BSc (Hons) Environmental Science degree course, you’ll explore how the environment is changing and what steps we're taking to minimise our impact on it. You’ll use the latest tech to analyse pollutants, soil structure and water quality and go on plenty of field trips to put your skills to work outside of the classroom.
This course is your first step towards professional certification as an Environmental Scientist. The Government is putting sustainability at the heart of policy making. So your skills will be in high demand for a wide range of Master’s, PhD’s and jobs within the environmental sector including academia, business or Government positions.
100% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2019)
BSc (Hons) Environmental Science degree entry requirements
Qualifications or experience
- 112-128 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 points from a Science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science/Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics).
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this degree course you’ll:
- Examine the physical and social aspects of environmental issues and develop practical skills to carry out your own environmental research
- Get experience in our environmental labs using the same techniques employed by the world’s leading environmental researchers, including plasma spectrometry and electron microscopy
- Make use of teaching and research facilities at the internationally renowned Institute of Marine Sciences
- Go on field trips to locations such as Somerset, Isle of Wight, Malta, Portugal, Malaysia and Belize
- Develop leadership and teamworking skills by working on group projects in the field and in the lab
- Take advantage of our waterside location with boats available for marine excursions and the option to learn scientific and technical diving in a PADI-certified unit
- Do a final year independent project considering the ethical issues connected to the project and health and safety documentation
- Have the opportunity to study abroad at institutions including Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain), Universite du Havre, (Le Havre, France) and Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland)
On this course, you can do your final year project abroad. Previous students have gone to Brazil, Canada, the USA, Romania, Ukraine, Tenerife, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Costa Rica, Zakynthos and Iceland.
Careers and opportunities
After the course, you could go on to study Master’s PhD’s, work in academia, business and Government in a wide range of environmental specialties such as, conservation, pollution monitoring and control, waste management, sustainability, audit and assessment, climate change and energy resources.
What jobs can you do with an Environmental Science degree?
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- Environmental chemist
- Environmental consultant
- Geographic information scientist
- Conservation officer
- Waste Management Manager
- Environmental Policy officer
- Climate change modeller
Work experience and career planning
To give you the best chance of securing a great job, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course and for up to 5 years after you graduate.
We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies and build links in the industry.
I liked that the course is very multi-disciplinary. The lecturers are very helpful and most are still active in their own areas of expertise, providing up-to-date information and support.
What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Environmental Science degree
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.
Core modules in this year include:
- Ecology, Plants and Human Impact
- Environmental Systems
- Introduction to Marine Ecology and Oceanography
- Planet Earth
- Quantitative Methods
- Science for Earth Systems
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Environmental Chemistry and Monitoring
- Environmental Fieldwork and Professional Skills
- GIS And Remote Sensing
- Research Design and Data Analysis
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Energy Resources
- Environmental Change
- Hydrology and Flood Hazard Assessment
- Hydrology and Freshwater Ecosystems
- Introduction to Teaching
- Practical Boating Skills
- Scientific and Technical Diving Techniques
On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Environmental Science Dissertation
- Environmental Pollution and Waste Management
- Environmental Audit and Assessment
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- European Study Tour
- Tropical Study Tour
- Environmental Conservation
- Climate Change
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.
Students have completed work placements at top organisations, including:
- Leap Environmental
- Mott MacDonald
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
Academic skills support
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- Academic writing
- Note taking
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Presentation skills
- Working in groups
- Revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Support with English
If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- laboratory work
- field work
The academic year runs from September to June (with some courses starting in October rather than September in 2020/21 only). There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- Teaching block 1 – September to December (October to December for some courses in 2020/21 only)
- Assessment period 1 – January (and early February for some courses in 2020/21 only)
- Teaching block 2 – January to May (February to May for some courses in 2020/21 only)
- Assessment period 2 – May to June
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- field work or lab notebook recordings
- site surveys
- computer-based exercises
- oral presentation and essays
The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
- Year 1 students: 52% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 40% by coursework
- Year 2 students: 40% by written exams, 12% by practical exams and 48% by coursework
- Year 3 students: 33% by written exams, 4% by practical exams and 63% by coursework
Tuition fees (2021 start)
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – Awaiting confirmation
- International students – £17,600 per year (subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
Your travel and accommodation costs for compulsory fieldwork are included in the course fee, but you’ll need to pay for meals and other subsistence costs
You’ll need to contribute travel, accommodation, and meal costs for compulsory project work, which normally takes place between years 2 and 3. These costs are between £0–£500.
You’ll need to cover the cost of any optional fieldwork that you do, including travel, accommodation, meals and other living cost. These will vary depending on location. For example, the cost of fieldwork in Malaysia is around £1,500, while the cost of fieldwork in Portugal is around £800.
If you haven’t dived before, you can take the Scientific and Technical Diving A module, which includes a PADI Open Water course, Dry Suit course and Scientific and Technical Diving course. This module costs around £860, covering tuition, transport and diving costs.
If you already hold a PADI Open Water certificate (or equivalent), you can take the Scientific and Technical Diving B module, which includes an advanced diving course (e.g. PADI Advanced Open Water), Dry Suit course and Scientific and Technical Diving course. This module costs around £800, covering tuition, transport and diving costs.
The optional Practical Power Boating Skills module will cost in the region of £710.
How to apply
To start this course in 2021, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – F900
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
How to apply from outside the UK
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.