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BSc (Hons) Environmental Science

UCAS Code F900 Part-time study available Fast-track your degree Study abroad opportunities

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

Institute of Environmental Sciences logo      CHES Accredited logo

Key facts

  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September or January
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based
  • Accreditations Institute of Environmental Sciences, Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences

Register now for our webinar on Wednesday 17 April 2019 to find out more about the course from a current student, and get answers to any questions you might have about studying at Stirling.

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, such as climate change, pollution, loss of biodiversity and the sustainable provision of energy, food, and clean water.

Stirling is a hub for conservation and environmental organisations. It's a superb place to study Environmental Science. We were one of the first UK universities to introduce a Environmental Science degree and our course is accredited by the Institute of Environmental Sciences. 

You’ll gain a scientific grounding and relevant, employable and in-demand skills. Specialist skills modules are included in each semester of our course, and regular careers sessions are embedded into core teaching. Field training is a fundamental element that includes field courses in Scotland, Iceland and Spain.

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.

'The degree is taught with the perfect balance of theory and practical application. The wide range of modules allowed me to focus on the areas which interested me the most and, as the staff members were all experts in their field, I was provided with high quality teaching.'

Raeannon Sinclair, BSc Hons Environmental Science, 2012-2016

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Professional accreditation

    This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences and the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences. Accreditation demonstrates that the course meets the QAA benchmark statement for earth sciences, environmental sciences and environmental studies. It also signals to potential employers that the teaching, learning and research is aligned to high quality professional development.

    Benefits of accreditation for our students include:

    • Free student membership of the Institution of Environmental Sciences.
    • First steps on an environmental career path that could take them to Chartered Status.
    • Exclusive access to the members’ area on the IES website, with news about jobs and events.
    • Electronic copies of Environmental Scientist journal.
    • Free or reduced entry to IES events.
  • Prizes or awards

    Altajir Scholarships (£500) are awarded to the highest performing students in year 3 of the BSc/MSci programme. Research-based learning prizes are awarded for the best dissertation in 4th year.

  • Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

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

    GCE A-levels

    IB Diploma
    32 points

    BTEC (Level 3)

    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.

  • Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

    SQA Advanced Highers

    GCE A-levels

    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 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

    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 one of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics

  • 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 - 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

    More information on our 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

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 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 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. This includes a residential fieldtrip to Aviemore or the Lake District.

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. The Faculty also offers a competitive summer bursary programme to provide students with valuable work and research experience.


The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2018/19 on this course of study.

Loading modules...

Course details

  • Teaching

    We've been awarded five-star excellence for our teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2017/18. 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 landscapes as diverse as the Scottish Highlands, the Forth Estuary and land degraded through past industrial activities.

    A residential field class is held in Year 2. We also offer a choice of optional fieldtrips to southern Spain or Iceland in Year 3, to study unfamiliar environments, develop an understanding of how these landscapes have evolved and the environmental management issues they present.

  • 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

    Classroom hours vary depending on the modules being studied.  Typically you can expect 9 hrs of lectures per week plus between 3 and 9 hrs of practicals.

  • Study abroad

    Environmental Science has a well-established exchange programme with the University of Guelph in Canada. There are also Erasmus agreements in place for the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), the University of Tübingen (Germany) and the University of Wageningen (The Netherlands).

  • Contact
  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (Fees are different for each course)

      2018/19 2019/20

    Scottish/EU Students

    Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland or the EU will be able to 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 online.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    Important note for EU students

    The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2018 and 2019 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree. The future fee status of EU students enrolling in UK universities will depend on the timing and terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union. The University will make decisions on fee levels for EU students enrolling in 2020 when further guidance is available from the Scottish and UK governments, and will publicise information about fee levels and financial support available on the University website.

    While students should be aware this may mean a change from the current position where EU students are treated with equivalence to Scottish students, it is also important to note that any changes would also require changes to existing UK and Scottish legislation. Current indications are that the UK would leave the EU at the earliest in 2020, so any changes would not take effect before the academic year 2020/21.


    *This tuition fee is set by the Scottish Government, and may be subject to change.


    Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland

    If you’re domiciled in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you’ll be able to apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    If you successfully complete Years 1-3 of your course, you will also be eligible to receive an Honours Year Scholarship valued at £9,250 to cover the tuition fee costs of your fourth and final year of study. Learn more about the Honours Year Scholarship.

    There is additional funding available for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland – please see Funding opportunities below.

    £9,250 £9,250

    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    You will be liable to pay fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    £14,460 £14,820

    You should expect to pay fees for every year you attend. Fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

  • Funding opportunities

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

    Students domiciled in Scotland and the EU

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

    Students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK)

    The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales or Northern 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 and Northern 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.

You can transfer onto our integrated masters (MSci) Environmental Science course leading directly to a postgraduate qualification that is tailored to those seeking a career in the environment sector.

  • The University of Stirling consistently earns five QS Stars for employability, with more than 97% of our students in employment or further education within six months of graduating. (HESA DLHE 2016/17)

What jobs can you get with an Environmental Science degree?

An environmental science degree can find you a job as a:

  • environmental consultant
  • nature conservation officer
  • recycling officer
  • sustainability consultant
  • environmental education officer
  • environmental manager
  • transport planner
  • teacher
  • ecotourist officer
  • waste management officer
  • water quality scientist
  • Employability skills

    We place great importance on teaching subject-specific and transferable skills that enhance your employability; a skills module is included in each semester's course 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 also offers a competitive summer bursary programme to provide students with valuable work and research experience.

Karen Lai
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.
Karen Lai
Hong Kong BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
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