BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Outdoor Education

Environmental Science and Outdoor Education is our unique course blending environmental science with practical teaching on running outdoor activities. Be the difference outdoors!

Environmental Science and Outdoor Education

Key facts

  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September 2024
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study full time, part time
  • Delivery on campus
  • UCAS Code FX99
  • Study abroad opportunities

Overview

If you want a highly respected degree in Environmental Science that also provides you with outdoor teaching and guiding activities, this unique degree has been designed for you.

The University of Stirling is a superb place to study Environmental Science, with our history of innovation in environmental research and study. This course blends the academic elements of our Environmental Science degree with practical training in navigation and outdoor safety.

You'll explore global environmental issues, contemporary environmental science, landscape evolution, and scientific techniques. In addition, you’ll learn how to design, lead and deliver outdoor programmes with environmental and ecological learning outcomes.

Our leading mountaineering instructors and outdoor specialists will teach you outdoor leadership, mountain skills and environmental education. You'll have the opportunity to complete a semester abroad, a work placement module and gain the Mountain or Lowland Leader Award, endorsed by the Mountain Training Association. This is a physically demanding course requiring a good level of health, fitness and mobility.

Top reasons to study with us

* Rankings are based on institutions within the Guardian University Guide

Prizes or awards

At the end of year 3 the Altajir scholarship of £500 is awarded to the two best performing students in Environmental Science and Environmental Geography.

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

SQA Highers
AABB - by the end of S5
AAAB - by the end of S6

GCE A-levels
BBB

IB Diploma
30 points

BTEC (Level 3)
DDM

Essential subjects
To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics.

Widening access students
Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

Other Scottish qualifications

Scottish HNC/HND
Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

Access courses
University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

SWAP access course - for mature students only.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

Foundation Apprenticeships
Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Essential subjects
To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics.

Other qualifications

English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
Merits and Distinctions

English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

Essential subjects
To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics.

International entry requirements

Advanced entry

Advanced entry is not available for this course.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 56 overall with a minimum of 51 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

Course details

We blend lecture-based teaching, substantial field-based learning about the environment and practical training in navigation, mountain hazards and outdoor safety. We’ll also train you to design and deliver outdoor courses with environmental and ecological learning outcomes.

We have strong links with outdoor education and environmental management employers, giving you the opportunity to get hands-on experience working with industrial partners during your degree.

In the outdoor education components you'll get to learn from some of the UK's top mountaineering instructors and outdoor educators. All students shall complete their Mountain or Lowland Leader Training in Year 2, with the option to complete the Mountain or Lowland Leader Assessment in Year 3 or 4. Students who wish to complete their assessment require a minimum of 40 quality mountain days or 20 quality lowland days respectively.

This degree requires a good level of health, fitness and mobility and a commitment to outdoor pursuits (in particular, mountain walking).

We’ve a proud history of innovation in Environmental Science. University of Stirling was one of the first universities to establish a degree course in Environmental Science in 1980 and we are still committed to training graduates with the skills valued by employers today. We offer the only Environmental Science MSci course in Scotland, which is accredited by the Institution for Environmental Sciences (IES).

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the academic year that starts in September 2024. Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course details

Teaching

We were awarded five-star excellence for teaching in the QS Stars University Ratings 2024.

You'll be taught through a mix of lectures, on-line materials, field and laboratory practical exercises and tutorials. You'll have the opportunity to gain work-based experience as part of your degree, which will count towards your degree progression.

Fieldwork

You’ll spend a considerable amount of time out in our exceptional Scottish landscapes, both on fieldtrips and gaining independent experience for your Mountain Leader Award.

As well as numerous field trips in Year 1 and Year 2, you will have the choice of two residential field trips (in Year 3 and Year 4). Currently, one of these is based in the north west highlands of Scotland; and we are currently seeking a new location for the other, likely to be in continental Europe. These 7-day field courses introduce students to the process of designing, conducting and analysing your own small research project.

Assessment

Students are assessed through a diversity coursework assessments that allow them to demonstrate their understanding and skills on a range of topics. These include written work (outdoor education lesson planning, landscape interpretation and preparing environmental consultancy reports), presentations (in groups or individually) and practical demonstrations. This’ll give you highly relevant training for employment as you study for your degree.

Work placement opportunities

Students have the opportunity to complete a work placement module in the summer between Year 2 and Year 3 that counts towards their degree. A range of employers are available with many students choosing their own work placement company that fits their interest. Previous placements have included shadowing national park rangers, local environmental charities, outdoor education centres and adventure centres.

Study abroad

During Year 3 you can spend one or two semesters abroad where you study courses equivalent to those taken at Stirling and have the opportunity to broaden your environmental and cultural experience.

In addition to the exchange opportunities available to all Stirling students, Environmental Geography has a well-established exchange programme with universities including the University of Agder, Norway, University of Guelph in Canada and the University of Fairbanks, Alaska. 

Find out more about studying abroad.

Contact

Dr Alan Law, Programme Director for Outdoor Education Degrees

+44 (0) 1786 467770

alan.law1@stir.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Academic year: 2023/24 2024/25
Scottish students £1,820 £1,820
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
International students (including EU) £20,300 £21,300

Scottish students

This fee is set by the Scottish Government and is subject to change.

Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, if you are domiciled in Scotland you can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government on your behalf.

You will be charged the annual tuition fee each year when you enrol.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.

You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body. Students from the Republic of Ireland are eligible for a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

We also offer additional funding – such as our Honours Year Scholarship – for students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. See our funding opportunities section below for more information.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

International students (including EU)

Eligible students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. See our range of generous scholarships for international undergraduate students.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

We subsidise costs for fieldtrips, but you’ll be required to make a financial contribution.

Funding

See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

Students from Scotland

Find funding opportunities for Scottish students.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Eligible students will automatically receive our Undergraduate Welcome Scholarship, Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, and our Honours Year Scholarship, which are worth between £1,000 and £9,250.

International students

Eligible international students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. Find funding opportunities for international students.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

International (including EU) students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

After you graduate

Our course will give you the foundation for graduate entry to postgraduate taught and research degree courses in the environmental field. 

This course is not designed to train you to become an outdoor instructor. However, you may wish to gain additional qualifications independently (e.g. SPA or BCU awards) or undertake a suitable postgraduate programme in outdoor education which would qualify you for this type of career.

 

Companies we work with

Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre; Climb Industries; Glenmore Lodge; Oban Mountain Rescue; John Muir Trust.

Discover Uni

Discover Uni provides official data on each university's undergraduate courses, including satisfaction scores from the National Student Survey, details of graduate jobs and salaries, and other key information for prospective students.

What our students said

Rachel Egan
Rachel Egan
Scotland
BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Outdoor Education
The three main stand out features of this course is the chance to undertake a work experience module, complete the Summer Mountain Leader award and gain a first aid qualification. These are all so beneficial to anyone looking into starting a career in the outdoors.
Read Rachel's story
Kyle Ormiston
Kyle Ormiston
Scotland
BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Outdoor Education
The course offers high-quality academic learning on environmental, human and physical geography whilst simultaneously qualifying you to work professionally in mountainous areas and even provides opportunities to work with groups in the outdoor environment. To my knowledge, there are courses that will only provide one of these aspects to aspiring learners making the University of Stirling a uniquely attractive prospect.
Read Kyle's story
Julie Cunningham
Julie Cunningham
United Kingdom
BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Outdoor Education
University of Stirling was my first choice for a variety of reasons, and after visiting each university that I applied to at least once at open days, it still came out on top. As well as being a beautiful campus within easy commuting distance for me (very important as a Mum of three with work and volunteering commitments!), every single person I spoke to at Stirling was welcoming, supportive and genuinely seemed happy to be there.
Read Julie's story

Flexible study

This course is not available as a combined degree.