University of Portsmouth

Degree level: Undergraduate

Environmental Science

Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Overview Environmental scientists deal with the big questions facing humanity. If you want to tackle climate change and preserve Earth's natural resources, this BSc (Hons) Environmental Science degree, accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), will prepare you for the challenges ahead.

  • Work in our labs using the same technology as the world's leading environmental researchers – including plasma spectrometry and electron microscopy – and use teaching and research facilities at our internationally renowned Institute of Marine Sciences
  • Take advantage of our waterside location, with boats available for marine excursions and the option to learn power boating with the RYA or PADI-certified scientific and technical diving
  • Have the chance to go on field trips to destinations such as Malta, Portugal, Belize and Malaysia
  • Build experience on a one-year work placement in industry, or study abroad at one of our partner universities in Canada, Australia, Germany, Poland, Spain, Malta, Slovakia, Hungary or France
Accredited by: This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). Careers and opportunities Environmental science is at the forefront of our efforts to preserve and protect the natural world. As our understanding of environmental cause and effect continues to develop, environmental scientists are in high demand, including within the many sectors and industries tasked with reducing their environmental footprint. On this BSc Environmental Science, you’ll explore how the environment is changing and discover new ways to minimise our impact on the planet. You'll examine the physical and social aspects of environmental issues and develop practical skills to carry out your own environmental research, including analysing pollutants, soil structure and water quality. Once you graduate, you'll be ready to go after jobs in academia, business or government in a wide range of environmental specialties, including conservation, pollution control, waste management, sustainability, climate change and energy resources. You'll be able to apply for Associate Membership of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and with more experience, you could work to become a Chartered Scientist (CSci) or Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv). Chartered Membership of the IES is required in many environmental careers. You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level, such as on our MSc Geological and Environmental Hazards or MSc Environmental Geology and Contamination. What jobs can you do with an environmental science degree? Roles our graduates have taken on include:
  • environmental chemist
  • environmental technician
  • environment and sustainability coordinator
  • geographic information scientist
  • hydrologist
  • climate change modeller
  • chemical risk advisor
  • marine scientist
  • ecologist
  • conservation officer
  • environmental policy officer
Graduate roles Organisations our graduates have gone on to work for include:
  • Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)
  • Alcatel Submarine Networks
  • Rentokil Initial
  • Eurofins
  • Network Rail
  • Portsmouth Water
Placement year After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry. Placements give you the opportunity to apply what you've learnt so far in a real workplace, boosting your employability and making you attractive to employers after graduation. Students have completed work placements at top organisations, including:
  • Leap Environmental
  • Mott MacDonald
  • Enitial
Whichever route you choose, you'll receive support and guidance. Our specialist team of Science and Health Careers advisors can help you with finding a work placement and improving your employability skills.

Course details


Year 1 core modules [all worth 20 credits each]:

  • Ecology, Plants and Human Impact
  • Global Environmental Challenges
  • Introduction to Marine Ecology and Oceanography
  • Planet Earth
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Science for Earth Systems |
Year 2 core modules:
  • Research, Fieldwork and Professional Skills (40 credits)
  • Environmental Chemistry and Monitoring (20 credits)
  • GIS and Remote Sensing (20 credits)
Year 2 optional modules [all worth 20 credits each]:
  • Energy Resources and the Science of Zero Carbon
  • Environmental Change
  • Hydrology and Geoenvironmental Risk
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Overseas Study
  • Practical Boating Skills
  • River Processes
  • Scientific and Technical Diving Techniques A
  • Scientific and Technical Diving Techniques B
  • Transport and Sustainability
Year 3 core modules:
  • Environmental Science Dissertation (40 credits)
  • Environmental Audit and Assessment (20 credits)
  • Environmental Pollution and Waste Management (20 credits)
Year 3 optional modules [all worth 20 credits each]:
  • Analytical Methods for Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • European Study Tour
  • The Green Economy
  • Tropical Study Tour
  • Climate Change
- Conservation Biogeography

Assessment method

You’ll be assessed through:

  • field work or lab notebook recordings
  • reports
  • site surveys
  • computer-based exercises
  • oral presentation and essays
  • posters
  • presentations
The way you're assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous academic year of how students on this course were typically assessed:
  • Year 1 students: 52% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 40% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 40% by written exams, 12% by practical exams and 48% by coursework
- Year 3 students: 33% by written exams, 4% by practical exams and 63% by coursework

Professional bodies

Professionally accredited courses provide industry-wide recognition of the quality of your qualification.

  • Environmental Sciences, Institute of

How to apply

Application codes

Course code:
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Entry requirements for advanced entry (i.e. into Year 2 and beyond)

We welcome applications for advanced entry. If you’d like to apply for advanced entry, you need to select the required year when you complete your UCAS application.

This course may be available at alternative locations, please check if other course options are available

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
PTE Academic54An overall score of 54 with a minimum of 51 in each skill.
TOEFL (iBT)7979 with a minimum of 18 in Reading, 17 in Listening, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing.
Cambridge English AdvancedCambridge English: Advanced (CAE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Cambridge English ProficiencyCambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Trinity ISEPassTrinity College Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Level III with a Pass in all 4 components

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
International £17200 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students who are resident in EU countries: please note that the net fee is inclusive of the Transition Scholarship Placement Year and Year abroad: UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £925 | EU – £925 (including Transition Scholarship)| International (Non-EU) – £1,900. Fees are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Fees may also go up in later years, in line with inflation. For more information about fees, go to The cost of travel or accommodation for compulsory fieldwork is included in the course fee, but you will need to pay for meals and other subsistence costs (typically £10-15/day). For compulsory project work, normally in the UK in the summer between course years 2 and 3 of study, you will be expected to pay for any travel, accommodation and meals if you choose to do project work that requires travel. Costs will depend on your chosen location. For optional fieldwork, costs of travel, accommodation, meals and other subsistence are in the region of £2000 - 3000 (Malaysia/Belize) and £800 (Portugal). For optional diving skills units: The Scientific and Technical Diving A unit is available if you have not dived before. It includes a PADI Open Water course, Dry Suit course, combined with the Scientific and Technical Diving course, and costs around £1000 for tuition, transport and diving costs. The Scientific and Technical Diving B unit is available if you hold a PADI Open Water certificate. It includes an advanced diving course (e.g. PADI Advanced Open Water), Dry Suit course, combined with the Science and Technology Diving course, and costs around £900 for tuition, transport and diving costs. The Practical Power Boating Skills unit will cost in the region of £750. On a sandwich year, you will be expected to pay for travel, accommodation and subsistence associated with placement. These costs will be in the region of £50 - £1000.
Environmental Science at University of Portsmouth - UCAS