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Environmental Science

F750 MSci (Hons) 4 years


This four-year programme includes fieldwork at our academics’ research site at the Tagliamento River in Italy

Are you interested in the natural environment, ecosystems and their interaction with humans and want to extend your study to masters level? Taught by the School of Geography and the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, the first three years explores topics from evolution to climate change and environmental pollution to geo-ecology. The fourth year specialises in the science, policy and management of freshwater environments including flood risk management, river assessment and restoration, biogeosciences and ecosystem services. Students develop key research skills and techniques, and there are exciting field trips to Scotland, Florida USA, and New Zealand. An exclusive field trip runs to the Tagliamento River (Italy) in the fourth year.*

Why study environmental science at Queen Mary?

  • Join one of the UK’s leading research universities (member of the Russell Group) and receive a globally-recognised degree
  • Explore the world with us on fieldwork in places such as Florida (USA), the Southern Alps (New Zealand) as well as UK-based fieldwork, including opportunities right here in London*
  • Analyse samples from the field and simulate environmental processes in our state-of-the-art laboratories right here on campus
  • Extend your skills and develop your CV by taking up some of our volunteering, work experience or study abroad opportunities and be supported throughout your degree with advice from dedicated geography careers staff
  • Work with leading environmental organisations such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Thames 21, and the South East Rivers Trust with guidance from our staff to develop your own research project
  • Learn from leaders in the discipline – our staff’s research publications were ranked 5th in the UK while the department was ranked 11th overall for its excellence (REF2014). They have acted as advisers too for international organisations including UNESCO, Department of Health, Environment Agency, Natural England and more
  • Design your own project alongside our experts and develop the skills to become a researcher in your own right
  • Live in the no.1 city in the UK to be a student; no. 3 in the world based on desirability, academic standards, job prospects and affordability (QS Best Student Cities 2015).

* Compulsory fieldwork in the School of Geography is undertaken at no extra cost. Optional overseas fieldwork in the second and third year ranges from £400 to £1,200 approximately, some with additional flight costs (based on costs in the year 2015/16). Destinations can vary year-on-year, are subject to availability and are dependent on the module combinations chosen. International field class modules run in alternate years. If field class modules are oversubscribed, places are allocated by ballot. Students participating in overseas field trips are responsible for securing their own visas, if required. 


Year 1

Compulsory modules:

  • Ideas and Practice in Geography and Environmental Science
  • Research Methods for Geographers and Environmental Scientists
  • People and the Environment
  • Fieldwork in Physical Geography and Environmental Science
  • Earth Surface Science
  • Evolution
  • Ecology

Year 2

Compulsory modules:

  • Earth System Cycles
  • Research Strategies in Physical Environments
  • Ecological Interactions
  • Evolutionary Genetics

Options include:

  • Animal and Plant Diversity
  • Alpine Environments: Physical Processes in the NZ Southern Alps
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Environmental Management Applications
  • Digital Cartography
  • GIS: Remote Sensing and Modelling
  • Health, Biomedicine and Society
  • Spaces of Uneven Development
  • Society, Culture and Space

Year 3

Compulsory modules:

  • Advanced Research and Practice in Environmental Science
  • Progress in Physical Geography and Environmental Science

Options include:

  • Geographies of Nature
  • Geography, Technology and Society
  • Cold Environments
  • Environmental Hazards
  • Science and Politics of Climate Change
  • Environmental Management Applications
  • Integrated Catchment Management
  • Alpine Environments: Physical Processes in the NZ Southern Alps
  • Geo-ecology and Geo-ecosystems
  • Terrestrial Vegetation Modelling
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Global Change Biology
  • Tropical Ecology and Conservation

Year 4

Compulsory Modules:

  • Field Methods for Freshwater Environmental Science
  • Data Analysis
  • Independent Research Project

Options include:

  • River Assessment and Restoration
  • Biogeosciences
  • Physical Modelling of Fluvial Processes
  • Flood Risk Management and Modelling

Entry requirements


Typical grades/tariff required: 340 points from the best three A2 levels (excluding General Studies). One science A2 level at grade B is also required.

International Baccalaureate:

Subjects and grades: 30-34 points with a higher level science subject at grade 5

Vocational and other qualifications:

We accept a wide range of qualifications such as; Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates.

Post-offer open days 2017

The School of Geography holds three open days for students who are in receipt of an offer to study at QMUL Geography known as The Festival of Geography. The Festival is a celebration of our subject areas and gives you the opportunity to sample a 'day in the life' here at QMUL Geography. You'll meet with students and staff, tour our facilities, attend lectures and get all the information you'll need to see what becoming a part of one of the top geography departments in the world is all about. The dates for 2017 will be announced shortly. 

Learning and teaching

Our modules are delivered through a range of different teaching and learning methods. On average, you will spend 10 hours per week in a combination of lectures, seminars tutorials and practical classes. Class sizes range from introductory lectures in the first year (50-100 students) to smaller lectures and seminars (around 20-50 students) in the second and third years, with plenty of opportunities for group work and discussion.

You will also take part in regular tutorials (small groups sessions with a member of academic staff) where you will receive further advice and guidance on getting to grips with readings and course material and developing your study skills. In the final year these are replaced with one-to-one meetings with your tutor as you prepare for your independent research project and plan your future career. Many of the modules also include fieldwork components (in the UK and abroad) where you spend a day or up to several weeks in the field with members of staff putting your research skills into practice.

Independent Study:

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


Most of our modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and examination. Coursework takes a variety of forms, including extended essays, short reports, posters, oral presentations and group work. You will also participate in problem-based learning (PBL), where you work in small, collaborative groups with guidance from the lecturer or seminar leader.

Coursework is submitted throughout the academic year. Exams are held in May and June. You will also complete an extended independent research project linked with a partner environmental organisation and a residential field course at our research site on the Tagliamento River, northern Italy.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2017 entry
Full-time £9,250

Tuition fees for International students

2017 entry
Full-time £17,450

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676


Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate Employment

Graduates from Queen Mary's School of Geography go on to work in a wide variety of careers. Some apply their degree knowledge directly, entering careers in the environmental sector or international development, whilst others transfer skills gained during study into sectors such as marketing or finance.

The national 2011 destination survey confirmed that 87% of School of Geography graduates were in employment and/or study six months after graduation with 61.7% already working/studying at graduate level. Queen Mary graduates have a strong earning power, as reported in the Sunday Times University Rankings.

The broad range of skills gained through this programme, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, has enabled graduates to move into a variety of careers.

Jobs that Geography graduates have gone on to do include:

Conservation Project WorkerPlatform 2
Environmental EngineerEdmunds Nuttall
GIS AssistantGrays Local Council
Graduate Transport PlannerTransport for London
Graduate Trainee Housing OfficerTower Hamlets
India Water Resources and Policy InternWWF
Production RunnerBBC Panorama
Remote Sensing TraineeSchlumberger
Tall Buildings ResearcherDavis Langdon
Trainee Quantity SurveyorHiggins Construction

Throughout their time at Queen Mary, students have access to a bespoke careers programme to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes workshops on job hunting and job applications as well as employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options.

Recent careers activities in the School of Geography include a Careers Speed Meet networking students to alumni in a range of roles, from Researcher to Water Technician; an Experience Market Research Workshop led by GfK NOP; an Employer Forum, featuring sixteen organisations including Transport for London and the Civil Service; and career tutorials on career choice, how to present your degree skills to an employer at interview and CV writing.

Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study, through, for example, our QM Projects work experience scheme, QM Temps job agency, Experience Works events and QMSU Provide volunteering services. Over 800 vacancies are available to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.

Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from E-learning Assistant to Gym Instructor and from Society President to Student Mentor.

Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers website.


Name: Karl Arpon

Studying: BSc Environmental Science

"The best thing about my course is the way in which you are introduced to the theory behind different topics and then apply this in a field-work setting. I would say that Queen Mary’s teaching and facilities are second to none. The immediate feedback and support the teachers provide allow you to improve and learn from your mistakes. Facilities such as the newly renovated library provide access to useful books, past exam papers and research papers."

"The most interesting thing I’ve done is my dissertation. It allowed me to understand the benefits and the difficulties of carrying out your own research. It was a very challenging experience and useful since I intend to take a career in the field of research and field study."

"I am a member of the Korean, Badminton and Economics societies. I also volunteer at Cambridge Carbon Footprint where I look at sustainable housing. I recently took up the opportunity to volunteer at Thames21 studying water quality of various rivers."


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