BSc (Hons) Environmental Science

Our innovative environmental science degree will equip you to tackle the world’s environmental problems. Study at Stirling and be the difference in protecting our planet.

Environmental Science

Key facts

  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September 2024, January 2025
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study full time, part time
  • Delivery on campus
  • UCAS Code F900
  • Study abroad opportunities

Accreditations

Institute of Environmental Sciences (IES),Community for Environmental Disciplines in Higher Education (CEDHE)

Institute of Environmental Sciences logo      Community for Environmental Disciplines in Higher Education (CEDHE) logo

Overview

If you want a career tackling the world's most pressing environmental challenges this is the course for you.

Today’s environmental scientists are challenged to find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems from climate change, pollution, and the loss of biodiversity to the sustainable provision of energy, food, and clean water.

We were one of the first UK universities to introduce an Environmental Science degree and our course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences. We conduct world-leading research and we are a hub for conservation and environmental organisations.

The University was selected to host Scotland’s International Enviroment Centre and Scotland’s Hydro Nation Chair. The Forth Environmental Resilience Array (Forth-ERA) is a state-of-the-art environmental monitoring system – the first of its kind worldwide – that links local sensors, satellite data and artificial intelligence via the 5G network to provide real-time data for sustainable decision making. You will learn from our researchers working at the forefront of finding solutions to global problems together with outstanding networking and career opportunities, making Stirling a superb place to study Environmental Science.

You'll gain a scientific grounding and relevant, employable and in-demand skills. Specialist skills modules  and regular careers sessions are embedded into core teaching. Field training is a fundamental element that includes field courses in the UK and international destinations.

At Stirling, we’re passionate about Environmental Science and offering you innovative, interdisciplinary and research-led teaching that’ll inspire you to be the difference, and protect our society and the planet.

Top reasons to study with us

* Rankings are based on institutions within the Guardian University Guide

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Community for Environmental Disciplines in Higher Education (CEDHE), the education committee of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). CEDHE is the collective voice of the environmental sciences and related disciplines in higher and further education. University of Stirling Environmental Science students are entitled to join the IES with a free student membership, a first step towards chartered status.

Prizes or awards

Altajir Scholarships (£500) are awarded to the highest performing students in year 3 of the BSc/MSci course. Prizes for research-based learning and contributions to sustainability are awarded for outstanding dissertations in 4th year.

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.

Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

SQA Advanced Highers
ABB

GCE A-levels
ABB

IB Diploma
35 points

Essential subjects
To include Biology and one of Environmental Science, Geography or Geology

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 Biology and one of Environmental Science, Geography or Geology.

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

Year 2 entry
Entry into Year 2 may be possible depending on your HNC/HND course. To find out more go to our articulation page.

Other qualifications
Advanced entry may be possible depending on your qualifications. For more information, contact our Admissions Team at admissions@stir.ac.uk.

Other routes of entry

If you don't currently meet our academic requirements, INTO University of Stirling offers a variety of preparation programmes that can earn you the qualifications and skills you need to progress onto some of our courses. Explore INTO University of Stirling to see the Foundation and International Year 2 routes available.

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

The environmental systems on which our society depends are complex and fragile. To understand these systems, environmental scientists need to take an interdisciplinary approach that combines knowledge of the geological, physical, chemical and biological processes that shape our natural environment.

This course will equip you with the analytical, field and laboratory skills to understand the complex interactions between people and the environment. Research-led teaching ensures you are up-to-date with the latest knowledge.

Semesters 1-4 will explore the science behind the global geological, physical, chemical and biological processes that shape our natural environment. We'll also provide training in laboratory and field skills through a series of core and optional modules.

Semesters 5-8 will provide specialist training in core modules, such as: Environmental Policy and Management; Geographical Information Systems; and Methods and Applications in Environmental Science.

Many students work closely with academics throughout their time and benefit from actively participating in research programmes. Our alumni contribute to our teaching, as invited speakers and discussion partners.

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

The University of Stirling achieved five stars for teaching in the QS Stars University Ratings 2024.

Our research-led teaching is at the core of your learning as our staff are world-leaders in Environmental Science research. Our teaching methods include lectures, field and laboratory practical exercises, seminars, and individual and group projects.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork is integrated into the course. Stirling provides an ideal location for studying the environment – the campus has a loch and woodlands set against the backdrop of the Ochil Hills. There is also easy access to national parks and landscapes as diverse as the Scottish Highlands, the Forth Estuary and land affected by industrial activities.

You will have the choice of two residential field trips in Year 3 and Year 4. Currently, one of these is based in the northwest highlands of Scotland, and the other will be at an overseas destination. These 7-day field courses let you immerse yourself in different environments and will introduce you to the process of designing, conducting and analysing your own small research project.

Assessment

We use a wide variety of methods to assess your skills broadly. Modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examinations that include written assignments such as essays and reports, field sketches, presentations, group and individual projects.

Classroom hours

While some lecturing material may be provided online for study in your own time, you will be required to be on campus for practical classes providing essential field and laboratory skills.

Seminars and tutorials provide a lively environment for interaction with your tutors and fellow students.

Work placement opportunities

The environmental hub at Stirling offers a variety of placement opportunities. Our Careers Service can help you secure placements and offer the support and advice you need to plan your career, develop your employability or think about further study. The Faculty of Natural Sciences has its own Careers Service Consultant to advise you more specifically on developing your employability.

There are opportunities to volunteer and engage with environmental initiatives on campus through the student union:

You will also have the opportunity to enrol on the My Stirling Award programme and gain formal recognition on your degree transcript for your volunteering and extra-curricular activities.

Study abroad

You will have the opportunity to study abroad for one semester in Year 3. Environmental Science has a range of well-established exchange programmes throughout the world. A popular destination, for example, is the University of Victoria in Canada.

Find out more about studying abroad.

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 towards your travel, accommodation and subsistence for the Scottish field course in 2nd year and the optional field course in 3rd year.

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

We focus on scientific knowledge and technical training to create genuine career opportunities with a wide range of organisations, including water authorities, research institutes, renewable energy companies, conservation bodies, businesses, local authorities and government agencies. 

As well as preparing you for the job market, some of our students choose to progress to postgraduate study, for example, in environmental management, education, information technology, remote sensing and waste management or research towards the award of a PhD. 

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

Olivia Azevedo
Olivia Azevedo
Portugal
BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
Stirling seemed like the perfect place to study...the feedback from students is very positive and there is an access course that allowed me to get the necessary qualifications to apply for the degree of my choice.
Read Olivia's story
Karen Lai
Karen Lai
Hong Kong (SAR)
BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
I have met a lot of great people here, from across the world and of all ages. It has also helped me a lot with my course too, as well as my perception of different environmental issues and how we can do better as a community.
Read Karen's story
Laura Whyte
BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
The University of Stirling has links with conservation organisations which allowed me to volunteer and gain fieldwork skills I otherwise would not have. I worked with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to monitor hen harrier populations at Flanders Moss just outside of Stirling.
Read Laura's story

Flexible study

Are you interested in more than one of our courses? You might not have to choose between them. Here at Stirling, we believe in choice and offer more than 170 course combinations.

Environmental Science can be combined with any of the following courses:
Course nameUCAS code
Economics UCAS code for this combination: FL91
Mathematics UCAS code for this combination: F9G1
Politics UCAS code for this combination: FL92

For a combined honours degree where the two subjects have different entry requirements, you will usually be asked to meet the higher entry requirement.

Find out more about degree flexibility and how you can take combined courses.