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 2023, January 2024
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study part time, full time
  • Delivery on campus
  • UCAS Code F900
  • Study abroad opportunities

Accreditations

Institute of Environmental Sciences,Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences

Institute of Environmental Sciences logo      CHES Accredited 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

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences (CHES), the education committee of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). CHES 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. Research-based learning prizes are awarded for the best dissertation 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. Please check the SWAP progression routes document for details.

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 by possible depending on your qualifications. To find out more go to our advanced entry page.

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

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply

If you’ve taken exams over two sittings, repeated an exam, or been upgraded, the entrance requirements may be higher.

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 5.5 in each skill
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 59 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
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator -  Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 23 August 2022

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language 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 current academic year (September 2022). 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 2021.

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 degraded through past industrial activities.

You will have the choice of two residential field trips (in Yr 3 & Yr 4). Currently one of these is based in the NW Highlands of Scotland; and we are we 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

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 and Employability Service is ranked 1st in Scotland and Top 5 in the UK (UK International Student Barometer (ISB) Benchmark and Global ISB Benchmark 2018). They will not only help you to secure placements but also offer all 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 and Employability 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: 2022/23 2023/24
Scottish students £1,820* £1,820 *
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
European Union students £18,800 £20,300
Overseas students (non-EU) £18,800 £20,300

Scottish students

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

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

Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government on their behalf. If you’re unsure of your fee status, you can check your eligibility.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you’ll 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 will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

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 below for more information.

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.

European Union students

For EU students starting studies in academic year 2022/23, we will award an automatic scholarship of up to £30k over the duration of your course. This is subject to eligibility criteria.

Students from the Republic of Ireland should see the fee and funding information under England, Wales, NI and Republic of Ireland.

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.

Overseas students (non-EU)

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 opportunities

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

Students domiciled in Scotland

The University of Stirling offers undergraduate funding opportunities for students domiciled in Scotland. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

EU students

For EU students starting studies in academic year 2022/23, we will award an automatic scholarship of up to £30k over the duration of your course. This is subject to eligibility criteria.

Students domiciled in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Republic of Ireland who meet the conditions of their offer and select the University of Stirling as their Firm or Insurance choice on UCAS.

The University also offers the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to selected students and provides a £1,000 cash award per year for years 1-3 of study. To be considered for the Merit Scholarship, students require a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

In addition, students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland who enter in year 1 and progress successfully through years 2 and 3 will receive our Honours Year Scholarship, which covers the cost of undergraduate tuition fees in the Honours year of study.

You don’t need to apply for the awards listed above - we'll automatically identify your eligibility as part of the admissions process.

To explore other scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

Students domiciled overseas

The University of Stirling offers generous undergraduate funding opportunities for overseas students. To find out if you're eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

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.

EU and overseas 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.

Previous graduates have gone on to enjoy successful careers in areas such as environmental consultancy, transport planning, waste management, environmental protection agencies, education and ecotourism.

Others take a route via postgraduate study, for example, in environmental management, education, information technology, remote sensing and waste management or research towards the award of a PhD.

What jobs can you get with an Environmental Science degree?

Jobs related to an Environmental Science degree include:

  • environmental consultant
  • environmental education officer
  • environmental engineer
  • environmental manager
  • marine biologist
  • nature conservation officer
  • recycling officer
  • scientific laboratory technician
  • sustainability consultant
  • waste management officer
  • water quality scientist

Jobs where your environmental science degree would be useful include:

  • environmental health practitioner
  • energy manager
  • estates manager
  • geotechnical engineer
  • landscape architect
  • quality manager
  • town planner
  • toxicologist
  • transport planner

Employability skills

We place great importance on teaching subject-specific and transferable skills that enhance your employability; skills modules  and regular careers sessions are embedded into the core teaching. Our alumni contribute to this, as invited speakers and discussion partners.  The Faculty of Natural Sciences has its own Careers and Employability Consultant to advise you on developing your employability.

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.