Environmental Science BSc (Hons)

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.

What you'll experience

On this degree course you’ll:

  • 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

Work experience and career planning

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability Service as you advance in your career.

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.

You can work for a company or organisation here in the UK or overseas, or you could go independent by setting up and running your own business with other students.

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. They'll provide you with a database of placement vacancies, support with your job search – including help with applications and interviews – and support throughout your placement year.

Study Abroad

You’ll also have the chance to study abroad at one of our partner universities, including Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain), Universite du Havre, (Le Havre, France) and Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland). Studying overseas is a fantastic opportunity to explore a new destination and experience the world as an international student.

Many of our students describe their time spent studying abroad as truly life-changing, as well as an excellent way to stand out to future employers.

Module Details

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Programme Assessment

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

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • laboratory work
  • field work
  • workshops

Student Destinations

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.

In the UK, the number of environmental jobs has increased by 91% compared to 2016, and those entering the environmental field can expect to earn at least 12% above the national average annual wage.

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
  • waste management manager

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
BSc (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

112-128 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 32 points from a Science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science/Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics).

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

University of Portsmouth in Pictures

Latest Updates from University of Portsmouth

Location of University of Portsmouth