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Environmental Science

F850 BSc (Hons) 3 years

Overview

BSc Environmental Science student Sara Aweis travelled to Croatia to explore biodiversity

Would you like to investigate the interactions between physical and ecological systems, and how these relate to human activity? This interdisciplinary degree draws upon the expertise of the School of Geography and the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences to offer a distinctive degree programme. You will have the chance to explore a wide range of themes including ecology, diversity and evolution, conservation, environmental pollution, river science and environmental engineering. You will undertake core training in environmental science research skills and techniques both in the field and the laboratory. There is a substantial fieldwork programme, with destinations including the UK, Florida (USA), New Zealand, Croatia and South Africa.*

Study abroad

You can choose to apply for a four-year version of this degree with a full year abroad. We have links with universities around the world, including Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia (specific partnerships for each programme may vary). Studying abroad is an excellent way to grow in confidence and broaden your outlook on life by experiencing another culture, while making friends and having fun. When you return to QMUL, you will have a new perspective on life for your final year and will be awarded the 'With a Year Abroad' variant in your degree title, which will help you stand out to employers. During your year abroad you only pay 15% of your tuition fees to QMUL and while you don't pay extra tuition fees at the partner institution abroad, you will need to cover the cost of your transport to your destination and your living expenses, including accommodation. Find out more about study abroad opportunities at QMUL.

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 School 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 2017).

* 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 £1,400 approximately, some with additional flight costs (based on costs in the year 2016/17). Destinations can vary year-on-year, are subject to availability and are dependent on the module combinations chosen. Overseas field class modules run in alternate years. Places on some field class modules are limited. If field trip modules are oversubscribed, places will be allocated by ballot. Students participating in overseas field trips are responsible for securing their own visas, if required.

QMUL will aim to deliver your programme so that it closely matches the way in which it has been described to you by QMUL in print, online, and/or in person. However, it is important to realise that in some circumstances, we may change aspects of your programme. See our full terms and conditions at www.qmul.ac.uk/prospective/termsandconditions.

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Structure

For full details on our modules please go to the online module directory

Year 1

Compulsory modules:

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

From 2017 we are introducing the QMUL Model to all our degrees. For further information on this initiative, please contact Professor Dave Horne (Director of Taught Programmes) at d.j.horne@qmul.ac.uk.

Year 2

Compulsory modules:

  • Advanced Environmental Research Skills
  • Ecological Interactions*
  • Ecosystem Science
  • Environmental Research Methods
  • Evolutionary Genetics 
  • Research Design

Optional modules include:

  • Alpine Environments: Physical Processes in the NZ Southern Alps*
  • Animal and Plant Diversity
  • Economic Geographies 
  • Geomorphology
  • Geospatial Science
  • Ice Age Britain
  • Society and Space
  • Spaces of Uneven Development
  • The Anthropocene 

Year 3

Compulsory module:

  • Project in Environmental Science

Optional modules include:

  • Alpine Environments: Physical Processes in the NZ Southern Alps*
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Cold Environments
  • Environmental Engineering 
  • Environmental Hazards
  • Geo-ecology and Geo-ecosystems
  • Global Change Biology 
  • Integrated Catchment Management
  • Progress in Physical Geography and Environmental Science 
  • Quaternary Palaeoenvironments
  • Science and Politics of Climate Change
  • Species and Their Relationships: Dinosaurs to DNA* 
  • Terrestrial Vegetation Modelling
  • Tropical Ecology and Conservation* 

*Field class module

* 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 £1,400 approximately, some with additional flight costs (based on costs in the year 2016/17). Destinations can vary year-on-year, are subject to availability and are dependent on the module combinations chosen. Overseas field class modules run in alternate years. Places on some field class modules are limited. If field trip modules are oversubscribed, places will be allocated by ballot. Students participating in overseas field trips are responsible for securing their own visas, if required.

QMUL will aim to deliver your programme so that it closely matches the way in which it has been described to you by QMUL in print, online, and/or in person. However, it is important to realise that in some circumstances, we may change aspects of your programme. See our full terms and conditions at www.qmul.ac.uk/prospective/termsandconditions.

Ask us a question

Entry requirements

General Admission Entry Requirements can be found below.

2018 Entry requirements

A-LevelGrades ABB - BBB at A-Level. We will typically ask for grades ABB. This must include at least one science subject. Acceptable science subjects include any one of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Geology or Psychology. Excludes General Studies.
IBInternational Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 32 - 30 points overall, including 6,5,5 - 5,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects. We will typically ask for 32 points overall, including 6,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include a science subject at Higher Level.
BTEC See our detailed subject and grade requirements
Access HEWe consider applications from students with the Access to Higher Education Diploma. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve 60 credits overall, with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 15 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. Applications are considered on a case by case basis. Due to the high volume of applications, we do not make offers of study purely on the basis of meeting grade requirements.
GCSEMinimum five GCSE passes including English and Maths at grade C or 4.
EPQAlternative offers may be made to applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification.
Contextualised admissions We consider every application on its individual merits and will take into consideration your individual educational experiences and context. More information on how academic schools and programmes use this information as part of the admissions process, can be found on our contextualised admissions pages.

General Admissions Entry Requirements

English Language Proficiency

All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. See our guidance on English Language requirements for all degree programmes.

Vocational and Other Qualifications

The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (admissions@qmul.ac.uk) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.

Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.

Combined Qualifications

If you are taking a combination of qualifications at Level 3, we will consider your academic profile and may make offers on a case-by-case basis. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (admissions@qmul.ac.uk) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.

Advanced Entry

Subject to the policy of the programme, it may be possible for students to join undergraduate degree programmes at the beginning of the second year of a three or four year degree programme or, sometimes, the beginning of the third year of a four year programme. Please note, not all schools will consider advanced entry. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (admissions@qmul.ac.uk) before making an application for individual advice.

If you are applying for advanced entry on the basis of a post A-Level qualification, such as the BTEC HND, you should apply via UCAS in the usual way. If you wish to transfer your degree studies from another UK higher education institution, you will be considered on the basis of your original A-Level or equivalent qualifications, current syllabus, academic references and results.

We typically expect you to have achieved a 2.1 standard on your current programme and have already met the standard equivalent first year entry requirements. Applications must be submitted via UCAS.

Non-UK students

European and International Applicants

Our students come from over 162 countries and we accept a wide range of European and International Qualifications for entry, in addition to A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please see our International Admissions webpages for further details of our academic requirements, and information regarding how we assess the equivalence of your qualification.

Applicants will typically be expected to be taking academic subjects relevant to the programme of study. You are advised to review the A-Level and IB requirements for an indication of these subjects. If you are at all unclear, the Admissions team (admissions@qmul.ac.uk) is happy to advise you further.

Further Information

For any other enquiries directly relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5511
Email: admissions@qmul.ac.uk

See our information and guidance on how to apply.

Learning and teaching

Our modules are delivered through a range of different teaching and learning methods. On average, you can expect to spend between 8-12 hours per week in a combination of lectures, seminars/workshops and practical classes. Class sizes range from large introductory lectures in the first year (50-200 students) to smaller lectures (20-80 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 of up to 10 students 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. These take place weekly in the first year and fortnightly in the second year. 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 can spend time in the field with members of staff, putting your research skills into practice and real world experience. 

Independent Study

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 4-6 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.

Assessment

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. Most students must complete a final-year Independent Geographical Study or Project in Environmental Science of 10,000 words based upon an original study of their choice.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees

Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.

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
email: fees@qmul.ac.uk

Funding

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

In an increasingly globalised world, the skills and knowledge of environmental scientists and geographers make our graduates more employable than ever. In fact, 93 per cent of full-time, UK-domiciled QMUL geography and environmental science graduates were in work or further study six months after graduation (DLHE 2015).

How we support you

The QMUL Careers and Enterprise team is on hand to support you throughout your degree. There’s lots of opportunities to build your CV while you’re at Queen Mary, including:

  • taking part in workshops and events such as career tutorials, careers assignments, networking events, and one-to-one careers consultant CV help
  • attending some of the 120+ employer-led events each year from seminars to large fairs
  • getting advice if you’re interested in running your own commercial or social enterprise
  • building your experience by taking a placement from our award-winning QProjects work experience scheme, from internships to part-time work, full-time jobs to volunteering.

For more information visit: careers.qmul.ac.uk

What our graduates do

Whether taking transferable skills into diverse careers from business to health or using subject knowledge to inform environmental policy or scientific analysis, our graduates have gone on to a range of careers. 

Organisations employing our recent graduates include: 

  • ARUP Hong Kong
  • Edmunds Nuttall (now BAM Nuttall)
  • Jacobs
  • UK Power Networks
  • Reading Agricultural Consultants
  • Transport for London
  • UK Cabinet Office
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Rochester Grammar School
  • Goldman Sachs
  • CRISIS
  • Citizens UK

A sample of our recent graduates' roles include: Engineering Geologist, Graduate Geomorphologist, Project Manager, Environmental Engineer, Graduate Transport Planner, Policy Adviser, Head of Strategy, Business Analyst. 

 

Profiles

Jason Lynch, class of 2018, President of the Geography Society

Jason Lynch

"QMUL prides itself as being the only residential campus based London university, something that connected with me. It is also one of the most diverse places to study in the UK, again something that I’m attracted to simply as it’s an opportunity to make friends and networks with people from all over the world. The School of Geography is recognised as one of the best in the country and we are taught by first class lecturers, I enjoy being at the forefront of global research in my future field.

"I love the variety of geography and biology related subjects. We get involved in fieldwork literally from the first week, which for me is brilliant! Fieldwork is only going to become more enjoyable with trips to Croatia, South Africa, New Zealand, India and USA. My peers and I have shared some amazing experiences so far - the bonds you make with your course mates are irreplaceable and will be treasured forever.

"My degree has given me the confidence and understanding to talk about relevant current local and global issues we face as a species. This acquired knowledge will hopefully propel me towards a PhD and further research, something of which I didn’t think I’d be capable of before coming to QMUL.

"If you want to experience something out of the ordinary then I recommend QMUL. There’s such a buzz about the place making the social scene second to none! The Academic aspects are equally as impressive and you’ll be taught by some really inspiring, down-to-earth individuals who actually care about you as a person in addition to opening your academic spectrum. Let’s not forget the graduate prospects, because of our location, we have a variety of opportunities available such as internships and volunteering. If I could choose all over again then QMUL would definitely still be first on my list!"

William Flynn, class of 2018, Vice-President of the Geography Society

William Flynn

"I chose QMUL as I wanted to be at the forefront of research in the environmental field, and studying environmental science in the capital city has proved to be invaluable.

"I enjoy being part of two Schools: this has allowed me to get to know a wide range of students and staff, as well as feeling like I am getting the best teaching in specific areas. The field trips carried out in first year have been great for making friends on the course and learning real world industry practices.

"Studying at QMUL has helped me to decide which career path I may choose. The diversity of the learning has helped me to understand what I really enjoy and I have discussed possible career paths with my tutor and how best to achieve these. I am currently volunteering at the Natural History Museum, which has given me a great opportunity to carry on my work outside university."

Mishma Abraham, class of 2017

Mishma Abraham, BSc Environmental Science, class of 2017, Queen Mary University of London

"One of the main reasons I chose to study at QMUL was the fact that it was part of the Russell Group. I felt it would be a great place for me as an international student as it has a very diverse student population with students from more than 150 countries.

"If I were to choose the most enjoyable part of my first year, it has to be the field trip to Scotland. I had an amazing time walking through the pine forests, climbing through the snow and wading through streams. The field trip was also a good opportunity to get to know the staff and students better.

"It feels great to be a part of this university and being able to make friends of various nationalities (Welsh, Afghan, Somali, Polish, Colombian and Italian, just to name a few). QMUL also provides free in-sessional courses that help improve reading and writing skills which I found quite useful. There are also a number of societies you can join so you never get bored or miss home.​"

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