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 2022
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based
  • UCAS Code FX99
  • Study abroad opportunities

Accreditations

Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA), Mountain Training Association

Mountain Training Association logo

Overview

Find out more about Changes at Stirling, including how you'll be taught, start dates and how we're making campus safer.

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 learn how to design, lead and deliver outdoor programmes with environmental and ecological learning outcomes.

You’ll explore global environmental issues, contemporary environmental science, landscape evolution, and scientific techniques.

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 work placement module and gain the Mountain Leader Award, endorsed by the Mountain Training Association. This is a physically demanding course requiring a certain level of health, fitness and mobility.

"This is a unique degree that offers a solid grounding in environmental science complemented with outdoor experience and leadership –balancing scientific training with broad career opportunities."

Daniel Souto, BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Outdoor Education

Top reasons to study with us

Professional accreditation

The Mountain Leader Award is recognised by the Mountain Training Association and the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA).

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

Entry requirements for your country/region

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

Year 2 entry is possible but subject to approval of individual qualifications and experience. 

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 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.

Advanced entry

Entry may also be possible with an HND in a Science based subject and experience in outdoor setttings.

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.

Other routes of entry

If you’re an international student and don’t meet the academic and English-language requirements for entry onto this degree, there are other options. You could take our International Foundation in Science, Computing and Engineering which prepares you for entry onto our degrees. Delivered by INTO University of Stirling on our Stirling campus, you can benefit from excellent teaching and supportive English language training.  Successful completion of the International Foundation in Science, Sport Computing and Engineering or Maths provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

English language requirements

Due to disruption in English Language testing caused by COVID-19, we are accepting alternative English Language tests (including online English Language Tests).

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

  • IELTS Indicator 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
  • Duolingo 95 overall with a minimum of 90 in all sub-skills
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator -  Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 1 February 2021

If you are from India, Ghana or Nigeria please also check your country/region specific page for any additional, or changes to, English language requirements.

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

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’ve strong links with conservation 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 learn from some of the UK’s top mountaineering instructors and outdoor educators. The optional but included Summer Mountain Leader Award requires you to complete a minimum of 40 quality mountain days.

This degree requires a high 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 is intended only as an example of what you may study and features details for the current academic year (2021/22). Modules are regularly reviewed and are subject to future changes.

Course details

Teaching

We've been awarded five star excellence for our teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2020.

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 experience for your Mountain Leader Award.

The course includes an optional five-day fieldtrip in the UK in Year 2, and the option for field classes in Spain or Iceland in Year 3. Costs for these are subsidised, but a financial contribution is required.

The Outdoor Education modules are taught primarily via residential field classes, which take place in some of Scotland’s most stunning locations.

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 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 at the start of their 3rd year 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; the national parks, 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.

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: 2021/22 2022/23
Scottish students £1,820* £1,820 *
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
European Union students £17,900 £18,800
Overseas students (non-EU) £17,900 £18,800

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 who are living in the Common Travel Area of the UK, Islands or Ireland and are starting a course of study in Scotland in session 2021/22 will be entitled to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding. See more information on the SAAS website.

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.

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 2021/22, 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

What jobs can you get with an Environmental Science and Outdoor Education degree?

Our combined approach for this degree will allow you to enter a wide range of relevant careers, from outdoor instructor through to environmental consultant or ecologist. Graduates have found work as countryside rangers, guides and environmental science or geography educators (raising public awareness of environmental issues), and other careers specific to outdoor education.

In addition, students will be prepared for employment in the same professions as our standard Environmental Geography and Environmental Science graduates, such as education, conservation and the environment, science and technology, travel and related occupations, and sports and fitness.

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.

Employability skills

Engagement with potential employers, work-related learning and the dissertation project in your final year will develop your professional skills. Throughout the course you’re encouraged to develop personal effectiveness skills to allow you to complete work in a professional and timely manner. 

Companies we work with

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

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What our students said

Julie Cunningham
Julie Cunningham
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
Rebecca Davies
BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Outdoor Education
Studying Environmental Science and Outdoor Education at the University of Stirling has been fantastic for meeting like-minded people who love the outdoors as much as I do.
Read Rebecca's story