Harper Adams University

Degree level: Undergraduate

Environmental Management and Sustainability (with placement)

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Course summary

The World is facing a number of global crises – biodiversity loss, environmental degradation, climate change and threats to food and energy supplies. The Environmental Management and Sustainability programme is built around the water, energy and food nexus. Expertise in areas including climate change adaptation and mitigation, water management, sustainable energy, land use and food security are integrated in this programme to train a new generation of professionals. A key focus will be practical approaches to the productive management of land whilst balancing the needs of society for a healthy environment. This will include thriving biodiversity, clean water and air, and safety from natural hazards (such as floods and extreme weather) wrought by climate change, agricultural intensification and the demands of a growing UK and global population. Graduates will develop the skills to address sustainable development issues. This course will provide a combination of underpinning theory and practical application to demonstrate key concepts and allow students to develop their own specialist areas of interest. This programme is interdisciplinary in nature and students can expect to gain a wide variety of insights into environmental management and sustainability. In addition, students will develop transferable skills for use in graduate employment or in the pursuit of postgraduate research. Each year of the programme includes fieldwork and a residential field course in every year. The final year course is currently in South Africa, while the 2nd year course will be in Europe. These residential field courses are supplemented by a wide range of field trips to local sites to contextualise material introduced in lectures and seminars. The programme has a strong applied focus using standard industry techniques underpinned by science. Industry best practise has been driven by technological advances in remote sensing, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and geographical information systems (GIS). The application of these technologies is embedded in the course to promote environmental management and sustainability. The first two years of the course include an emphasis on professional development and employability. In their third year, all students undertake work placement of at least 44 weeks. Students will have a wide range of exciting opportunities available to them. During the placement year, students will have the support of the placement manager and a dedicated tutor. After successfully completing the placement students return to the university to re-join their cohort for the final year of the degree. The university is situated in a rural location with easy access to the countryside of Cheshire and Shropshire, including the Meres and Mosses and the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The university also has its own estate of 400ha including a range of agricultural and semi-natural habitats. The estate and local sites are used in the course for site visits and practical exercises. This is a new course, but it builds on a long history of related courses, taught by staff with a wide range of academic and professional expertise. The BSc (Hons) Environmental Management and Sustainability is proposed to be accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management (IEMA) reflecting its inclusion of the teaching of knowledge and skills that are critical to protecting our environment now and in the future. Accreditation ensures that the curriculum is aligned to best practice in the sector. Graduates will find a diversity of employment opportunities from environmental consultancy and advisors specialising in sustainable business management and environmental land management, to professional roles working in renewable energy, sustainable food production and catchment management. Employers include public and private organisations including NGOs such as the National Trust through to local authorities and the Environment Agency.


The course is comprised of modules covering environmental and sustainability themes along with cross disciplinary subjects in fieldwork, personal development and project management. Each module is worth either 10 or 20 credits (although the final year research project is weighted at 40 credits) and each academic year of the course carries a weighting of 120 credits. Each module has a web page on our Virtual Learning Environment. Here tutors upload material such as presentations, videos, and links to key sources for independent study. Material used in face to face teaching is uploaded in advance of classes, so that students can prepare and subsequently follow up to reinforce their understanding. Many modules also include practical work in the university laboratories, on the university farm, or at locations (e.g. nature reserves) nearby. Each year includes at least one residential field course as detailed below. The first year of the course comprises ‘Core’ modules (meaning all students study the same subjects): · Fundamentals of the Physical Environment (20) · Contemporary Issues in Sustainability (20) · Ecological Principles (20) · Introduction to Wildlife Conservation (20) · Environmental Survey and Field Skills (including two residential field courses) (20) · Skills for the Natural Scientist (10) · Communicating Science in a Digital World (10) The second year of the course builds on the themes introduced in the first year. There are two optional modules (students must select one) and also an elective module. For the elective, students can pick a specialist module delivered by the Environmental Sustainability Wildlife team or any other elective module offered across the university. Second year modules are: · Research Methods (20) · Environmental Quality and Development (20) · Climate Change and Sustainability Indicators (20) · Practical Research Skills (including a residential field course in Europe) (20) · Professional Development for the Natural Scientist (10) · Elective – Urban Ecology and Green Infrastructure (or any other elective) (10) Plus one of two optional modules: · Brownfield Reclamation and Flood Management (20) · Woodland Management (20) The third year of the course is spent on placement with an employer. Students then return to re-join their peers for the final year of the course. A key aspect of the final year is the individual research project where students get to investigate a topic of personal interest. This might involve the collection, analysis and interpretation of data from field surveys, designed pilots or a questionnaire, to answer research questions which they have developed with support of their project supervisor. There are two pairs of optional modules, including a module focussing on forestry that builds on the second year module on woodland management. Students select one optional module from each pair. Final year modules are: · Honours Research Dissertation (40) · Environmental Assessment (20) · Low Carbon Transitions (20) · Integrative Project Management (including a residential field course in the UK) (20) Plus one module from each of these pairs: · Advanced Geographical Information Systems (10) or Contemporary Forestry (10) · Countryside and Environmental Projects (10) or International Field Course in Natural Resource Management (10)

Assessment method

The course uses a range of assessment methods, including written material and verbal presentations. Written work takes many forms, such as traditional reports, essays and literature reviews, but also writing in a style appropriate for popular magazine articles, social media posts, advisory and briefing notes, consultancy reports, and business and site management plans. The emphasis throughout the course is on authentic assessment, which means that work must be prepared in styles and formats that are relevant to the work place. The majority of assessments are coursework. Where ‘examination-style’ assessments are used, these are Timed Open Book Assessments where students produce work to a short deadline (e.g. 24 hours) with access to support materials, rather than being closeted in a traditional invigilated examination room for several hours. All modules include opportunities for formative assessment, for example where tutors provide constructive feedback on students’ draft work before the final version is submitted for marking. Other innovative ways of formative feedback include peer to peer support, mini pitches of ideas, quizzes to cement learning and gradual development of key skills such as presentations. Harper Adams University has a thriving Learning and Teaching department with best practice techniques shared at numerous in-house events where innovative methods for teaching and learning are critiqued and developed. Students submit their work online. Marking and provision of feedback is also carried out online. Students can submit work, and access feedback, while off-campus. During the placement year, students’ progress is assessed through a review process involving the student, employer and academic tutor, designed to identify their Continuing Professional Development needs. The students must also produce two pieces of work tailored to their individual roles and assessed by their academic placement tutor, combined with an assessment of their overall performance completed by the employer. The Honours Research Dissertation is a student’s opportunity to pursue their interest in research and develop a project within the themes of their course. The dissertation is the jewel in the crown of the Honours degree, providing cross disciplinary experience as well as applying experimental and statistical skills developed throughout the degree. During the project the student is supported by their individual supervisor through regular online and/or face to face meetings.

Professional bodies

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

  • Chartered Surveyors, Royal Institution of

How to apply

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

For full entry requirements, including details of all other qualifications accepted, please see our website www.harper.ac.uk The University is happy to consider applications from those who are studying mixed qualifications, such as combinations of BTECs and A levels. Due to the numerous combinations available it is impossible to state the entry requirements for these, but applicants can expect to receive offers with comparable grades to those without mixed qualifications. For advice please contact the Admissions Team. The University is committed to bringing fresh talent to the industries we serve and has developed a range of initiatives to give everyone the best chance to access our undergraduate programmes. Known as 'Access to Harper' our contextualised offer scheme recognises difficulties that some applicants may face and provides those applicants with an offer lower than our standard requirements. Further details can be found at https://www.harper-adams.ac.uk/apply/how-to-apply/access.cfm

Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course


Additional entry requirements


Interviews will take place on an ad-hoc basis should the Course Manager wish to discuss any aspect of your application and for all potentially suitable applicants who require visa sponsorship.

Unistats information

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Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Republic of Ireland £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
EU £13250 Year 1
International £13250 Year 1

Additional fee information

This 4 year course consists of 3 years on campus at a cost of £9250 per year with a placement in year 3 which costs £1850 (Fees for International students are £13,250 per year with a placement in year 3 which costs £3,500) Details of additional costs in addition to course fees can be found in the Fees and Charges brochure available at https://www.harper-adams.ac.uk/apply/applicants/key-info.cfm
Environmental Management and Sustainability (with placement) at Harper Adams University - UCAS