Environmental Science BSc (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:

    BSc: F750
    BSc with Foundation:

  • Level:


  • Duration:

    Full Time: 3 years
    Full Time Foundation: 4 years
    Part Time: 4 years

  • Starting:


  • Fees UK 24/25:

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,540 per 20 credit module
    Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250

  • Fees International 24/25:

    Full Time: £15,200

  • Location:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries

0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries

+44 (0)1604 893981


Our Environmental Science degree covers the broad field that encompasses the aspects of ecology and physical science that evaluate environmental issues and propose appropriate solutions. If you have an interest in the environment and in applying scientific principles to help solve environmental problems, this course is for you.

This flexible, interdisciplinary BSc environmental sciences course allows you to follow a programme with modules drawn from across the subject of environmental science. You are then able to specialise in particular areas of interest in the second and third year or continue to study a more varied programme.

Updated 21/11/2023


  • This course is accredited by The Institution of Environmental Sciences
  • The University of Northampton is proud to work in partnership with RECOUP
  • Opportunities for visits, fieldwork and overseas travel
  • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.
  • You can now join the conversation online with our UON Environmental Science team on Instagram: @northamptonenvgeo

Course Content

  • This Environmental Science course has been designed to contribute towards achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

    SDG7: Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG13: Climate ActionSDG11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesSDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG15: Life on Land

    This Environmental Science BSc (Hons) degree provides you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge of environmental science and to recognise its relevance to society at national and global levels. You will learn how environmental science can be used to help understand both natural and human-caused environmental change and the role that individuals, organisations, and governments play in addressing such issues.

    Partnerships and Accreditation

    This Environmental Science programme is accredited by The Institution of Environmental Sciences.

    The University of Northampton are also proud to work in partnership with RECOUP. RECOUP works in collaboration with all stakeholders to promote, develop, stimulate and increase the levels of plastics recycling within the UK.

    Course Details

    This flexible, interdisciplinary course allows you to follow a programme with modules drawn from across the subject of environmental science. You are then able to specialise in particular areas of interest in the second and third year or continue to study a more varied programme.

    You will undertake a wide variety of activities and encounter new challenges that help support your theoretical learning. The need for accuracy, critical evaluation, and the ability to research solutions and apply them in new ways, as well as being able to communicate findings to a variety of audiences, are vital skills for environmental scientists.

    You will examine research design and methodology in relation to field and laboratory work including data collection and quantitative analysis techniques. Statistical tools will be used and developed throughout the course to ensure that you are confident and are able to apply appropriate procedures for different sets of data.

    We use field and lab based activities to ensure that you develop a range of scientific concepts and theories that are transferable and sought after in a variety of employment areas.


    A wide range of assessment is used including field surveys, reports, oral presentations, field reports and time constrained tests as well as end of year examinations.

    Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 23/24. The modules relating to the academic year 24/25 will be available from June 2024.

      • Module code: ENV1002
        Status: Compulsory
        This module provides an introduction to the science of ecology. It considers fundamental ecological concepts and principles and focuses on individuals, populations, interactions (between species), communities and ecosystems.
      • Module code: ENV1126
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the diversity of life on earth and to the concept of geologic time. Students will explore the major events in earth?s history, and how scientific facts are determined such as the age of the earth and the relationship between organisms.
      • Module code: ENV1127
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to enable students to explore a range of contemporary and emerging issues and impacts related to pollution. Students will develop an awareness through global perpectives in line with sustainable development goals.
      • Module code: ENV1128
        Status: Compulsory
        This module provides students with specialist training in environmental and ecological practical techniques. Students will acquire the skills necessary to plan, conduct and report on environmental science investigations in both laboratory and field environments. Students will apply these skills on a residential field trip.
      • Module code: GEO1107
        Status: Compulsory
        The Physical Environment provides an introduction tothe physical environment of Planet Earth. Students will examine processes which operate in the atmosphere, like the development of clouds and tainfall, those that occur at the Earth's surface, such as weathering and erosion and how, combined with geology and tectonics how these processes interact to produce environments and landscapes.
      • Module code: GEO1108
        Status: Compulsory
        This module provides an overview of the main causes of and responses to a broad range of natural hazards, introduces the key principles, concepts and terminology associated with the analysis of hazard and risk from geophysical events and explains the nature of a range of geohazards using recent case studies.
      • Module code: ENV2103
        Status: Designate
        Biogeography combines ecology and geography to help us understand global patterns of biodiversity. `It is the study of distributions of organisms, habitats and biomes, both past and present, and of related patterns of variation over the earth in the numbers and kinds of living things' (Brown & Lomolino, 1998).
      • Module code: ENV2124
        Status: Compulsory
        This module provides opportunities for a range of ecological and environmental field-based investigations. Students will be involved in more in-depth fieldwork activities than a standard module would allow. Data analysis, scientific reporting skills and specialist practical skills are developed, as are collaborative working skills as students work in teams to collect data in the field and to report on research. This module includes a residential field trip (e.g. Slapton Ley, Devon).
      • Module code: ENV2138
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this ecology-oriented module is to enable students to explore behavioural, physiological and molecular mechanisms of adaptation to environmental stress. They will also examine the mechanisms that organisms can utilise to respond to changes occurring on varying timescales and over a wide range of geographic areas.
      • Module code: ENV2140
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to explore the fundamentals of a range of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Students will develop an understanding of the distinct characteristics that define these environments, evaluate factors that threaten them and explore principles of conservation.
      • Module code: ENV2142
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to enable students to investigate a range of impacts related to soil, water and air pollution to enhance deeper knowledge and understanding into their effects on the environment both locally and globally.
      • Module code: GEO2111
        Status: Designate
        Weather and Climate explores the fundamental processes occurin in the atmospher. We examine the flow of energy, principles of cloud formation and rainfall, the importance of air movement and the development of weather systems such as storms. The module explains why weather and climate varies in time and in space at a number of geographical scales.
      • Module code: GEO2131
        Status: Compulsory
        This module will introduce students to the theory and use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for storing, maniplating, analysing and visualisating data. Students will gain experience: (i) using GIS for real world problem solving; (ii) applying GIS processes; and (iii) communicating geographic information to target groups.
      • Module code: LAW2044
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to enable students to develop an understanding of the rules and processes that govern the conduct of criminal litigation in England and Wales. The module will equip students with the necessary knowledge that can be applied to situations encountered in criminal practice. The module will benefit students who are working towards the SQE.
      • Module code: ENV3013
        Status: Designate
        This module explores social, economic and environmental issues associated with land use. Ethical consumerism will be linked to contemporary land use. Techniques for the evaluation of landscapes (including GIS) will be introduced and the effectiveness of policies and legislation that aim to facilitate sustainable development will be critically evaluated and discussed.
      • Module code: ENV3014
        Status: Designate
        This module addresses high-level ecological concepts and principles relating to the role of spatial and temporal aspects of landscapes and their fauna, flora and cultural components (including workshops using GIS). The ways in which ecosystems are damaged by human activity and the potential for restoration are also considered.
      • Module code: ENV3021
        Status: Designate
        This module deals with theoretical aspects of measuring biodiversity and understanding patterns of its distribution. It also considers more practical elements in terms of the practice of wildlife conservation including the evaluation and assessment of biodiversity for conservation.
      • Module code: ENV3131
        Status: Compulsory
        The module involves a work placement (to take place before starting the final year) to help familiarisation with workplace practices and to help to reflect upon skills needed. The module helps students to refine career aspirations and engage in career action planning via developing skills of analysis, synthesis and reflection.
      • Module code: ENV3134
        Status: Designate
        This module is intended to provide an introduction to how sustainability and sustainable development affect the way in which engineering must in future be practised. It will address the need to live within constraints and to ensure more fairness in access to limited resources, which lies at the heart of the concepts of sustainability and sustainable development. It will provide tools, knowledge and case studies to enable students to assess and devise mathods to improve the environmental performance of products.
      • Module code: ENV3143
        Status: Designate
        This module equips students with the skills, knowledge and tools to enable the critical evaluation of the role of Circular Economy and issues related to sustainable development goals and resource management across a range of products, services, activities and behaviour.
      • Module code: ENV4101
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to carry out an independent student-led, supervisor-supported investigation in a specific area related to their main field of study within their programme, and to communicate their findings in the form of a written dissertation.
      • Module code: GEO3108
        Status: Designate
        Climate change is regarded as the greatest environmental problem. It is a complex scientific topic that can affect all aspects of environmental and human systems. It is essential that debate and policy is driven by informed specialists and not by the media or political agenda. In this module we explore all aspects of the climate change issue.
      • Module code: GEO3124
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to enhance students? employability through the development of key employability skills. Students participate in career planning activities and reflect on their experiences.
      • Module code: GEO3140
        Status: Designate
        The module explores techniques used to document and understand changes occurring at the Earth?s surface with a focus on the role of geospatial technology. In this practical module students learn to use industry-standard survey instruments and software to generate and analyse geographical data.
  • Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer would be:

    • BCC at A-Level or,
    • DMM at BTEC or,
    • Pass (C and above) at T Level

    We welcome international applicants and applications from students with a range of non-traditional educational or professional qualifications.

    For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to Apply page.

    Integrated Foundation Year Entry Requirements

    The standard entry requirements for the Integrated Foundation Year are:

    • DEE at A level or,
    • MPP at BTEC or,
    • Pass (D or E) at T Level

    However, we would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the programme you wish to study.

    For more information on how to make an application, please see our How to Apply page.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands for study at undergraduate level

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 2024/25 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 24/25 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,540 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250
    • International – Full Time: £15,200
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £15,200
    Additional Costs

    You will have various opportunities for visits and for fieldwork and there is an opportunity in the second year to undertake an optional residential field trip overseas. Previous field trips have included Mallorca and Tenerife, but please note there is an additional charge to cover flights, accommodation and transport which in 2019 was £550.

    2023/24 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 23/24 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,540 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250
    • International – Full Time: £14,750
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year: £14,750
    Additional Costs

    You will have various opportunities for visits and for fieldwork and there is an opportunity in the second year to undertake an optional residential field trip overseas. Previous field trips have included Mallorca and Tenerife, but please note there is an additional charge to cover flights, accommodation and transport which in 2019 was £550.

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

    For more information about possible funding options, please visit our Fees and Funding pages.

  • At the University of Northampton, everything we do, from funded trips to paid internships, is to give you everything you need to make a difference when you leave.

    If you join this full time Environmental Science degree at Northampton, you will receive a laptop when your course begins*. The laptops are built to a bespoke custom specification ideal for use in the seminar room, collaborative group work or studying at home.

    Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.

    To check out the full list of perks, visit our Student Perks page or dedicated International Perks page.

    *UK fee payers only (see Terms and Conditions for further details).

  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for an environmental science degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year programme which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

  • There are various opportunities for visits and for fieldwork throughout our Environmental Science course. There are two compulsory UK based field trips, one in the first year and one in the second year. There is a further opportunity in the second year to undertake an optional residential field trip overseas, currently Tenerife, but please note there is an additional charge for overseas field courses to cover flights, accommodation and transport (in 2019, the cost was £550).

    Examples of previous UK day field trips include Oxford Botanic Garden, Kew Gardens, the Natural History Museum, as well as field sites in and around Northamptonshire.

  • How will I be taught?

    Face-to-face sessions are organised as interactive classes with discussion and activities. For some modules on BSc Environmental Science, there are computer based workshops (GIS and statistics) and field and laboratory based activities.  Classes are supported by online and technology-enhanced learning to ensure you have the best possible study experience to achieve your potential.

    How many hours per week of teaching/personal tutoring?

    Students typically have 12 hours contact time per week, in addition to 20-25 hours per week of independent study. Students are encouraged to meet with staff on a one-to-one basis to get additional study support, and also receive timetabled personal tutor meetings each term.

    How will I be assessed?

    Each module generally has two items of assessment. Assignments are designed to develop your skills, as well as test your knowledge and understanding. There is a range of written assignments, including reports and essays. You may also be asked to analyse data or reflect on your learning. In some written assignments you will be tasked with writing in a style appropriate to a particular audience. Presentations, debates and discussions are used to assess your verbal communication skills. There are no formal examinations, but there are a small number of class-based tests. A detailed set of instructions is provided for every assignment. Students are encouraged to meet with academic staff to get one-to-one support.

    What careers can I go into from studying this course?

    The BSc Environmental Science degree equips students with a broad knowledge base and a wide range of skills that are attractive for many careers requiring graduate skills. Our graduates gain employment in range of sectors such as planning, consultancy, biodiversity and ecology related careers, waste and resource management, contaminated land, sustainability, environmental consultancy, education, energy, charities, and local government. Opportunities to network with graduates are incorporated into the programme.

    Are there any study trips?

    Fieldwork is a key and an integral part of the environmental sciences degree. It not only provides you the opportunity to work with specific equipment but also helps you develop transferable skills. Many of our modules include part- or full-day field trips. In addition, we often conduct fieldwork on and around campus. There are 2 compulsory UK residential trips, one in Year 1 (3 day) and one in year 2 (5-day). Recent field courses have taken place at FSC field centres in Slapton, Devon and Preston Montford. Students have covered a wide variety of techniques such as bat surveys, biological monitoring, water quality, coring techniques, rocky shore ecology and studying past environments and geology. Other optional field trips may be available to you throughout your degree. We fund travel and accommodation costs on compulsory study trips. There are additional fees for optional trips.


Toby Tonkin, Lecturer in Environmental Science
Toby Tonkin

Lecturer in Environmental Science

Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology