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Environmental Science

F850 BSc (Hons) 3 years


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

Do you want 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. Students 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 Scotland, Florida USA and New Zealand. Fieldwork options from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences also offer our students the chance to opt in to other destinations, most recently Croatia and South Africa*.

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 in your first year in Somerset (England), Scotland and 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
  • Be confident – the majority of our students said they were satisfied overall with their QMUL Geography degree programmes and we're ranked top in London for physical geography and environmental science on this score (National Student Survey 2015)
  • 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).
•    Field work destinations and availability can vary year-to-year and also depend on the module combinations you choose


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
  • Evolution
  • Ecology
  • Earth Surface Science

Year 2

Compulsory modules:

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

Options include:

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

Year 3

Compulsory modules:

  • Project in Environmental Science
  • Integrated Catchment Management

Options include:

  • Environmental Management Applications
  • Cold Environments
  • Environmental Hazards
  • Quaternary Palaeoenvironments
  • Science and Politics of Climate Change
  • Alpine Environments: Physical Processes in the Southern Alps
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Tropical Ecology and Conservation
  • Global Change Biology
  • Geographies of Nature
  • Progress in Physical Geography and Environmental Science
  • Geo-ecology and Geo-ecosystems
  • Terrestrial Vegetation Modelling

Entry requirements


Typical grades required: AAB-BBB from the best three A-levels (excluding General Studies). Though Geography A-level is preferred, it is not required.

Additional Information:

One science A2 level at grade B is also required for BSc Environmental Science.

Excluded subjects:

General Studies.

International Baccalaureate:

Subjects and grades: 30-32 points overall.

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.

Post-offer open days 2016

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 three dates for 2016 are:
  • Wednesday February 3rd
  • Wednesday February 17th
  • Wednesday March 2nd

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.

Learning and teaching

Learning and Teaching:

Our modules are delivered through a range of different teaching and learning methods. On average, you will spend 12 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. 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


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. Some 100 per cent of QMUL School of Geography physical geography and environmental science graduates were in work or further study six months after graduation1.

What our graduates do next

Whether taking transferable skills into diverse careers from business to health or using subject knowledge to inform environmental policy or scientific analysis, our successful environmental scientists and geographers can be found across the graduate work market.

We’re proud to see our graduates working at local, national and international organisations:

• Engineering Geologist, ARUP Hong Kong
• Environmental Engineer, Edmunds Nuttall (now BAM Nuttall)
• Graduate Geomorphologist, Jacobs
• Project Manager, UK Power Networks
• Consultant, Reading Agricultural Consultants
• Graduate Transport Planner, Transport for London
• Policy Adviser, UK Cabinet Office
• Head of Strategy, Thomson Reuters
• Principal, The Rochester Grammar School
• Business Analyst, Goldman Sachs
• Corporate Partnerships Coordinator, CRISIS
• Assistant Organiser, Citizens UK

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 90+ employer-led events each year from seminars to large fairs.
•    Getting advice from Enterprise Support 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:

1 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2014


Name: Mishma Abraham

Currently: BSc Environmental Science, class of 2017

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

Why did you come to study at QMUL?

"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."

What do you enjoy most about the Environmental Science degree?

"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."

How has it been studying at QMUL as an international student?

"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.​"

Name: James Baughan

Studied: BSc Environmental Science, class of 2014

James Baughan, BSc Environmental Science, class of 2014, Queen Mary University of London

From: Oxfordshire
Currently: Recycling Project Co-ordinator, Oxford City Council

Why did you come to study at QMUL?

"I chose to study at Queen Mary for two main reasons: I wanted to study in London and at a campus-based university and QMUL suited these requirements perfectly."

What did you enjoy most about your Environmental Science degree?

"The part of the course I've enjoyed most is the fieldtrips across the three years. We went to a variety of fantastic locations, including the Cairngorms in Scotland and, recently, the Southern Alps in New Zealand. I'll never forget those trips. My degree from QMUL gave me the platform to start my career in local government, waste and recycling."

What additional facilities and activities did you make the most of while at QMUL?

"It's difficult not to take part in volunteering when there are so many opportunities in the city. I've taken part in various activities, including marshalling at the London Marathon, which have all taught me valuable leadership and communication skills.

"I also used all facilities on offer at the School of Geography which were invaluable. Probably the main two are the labs, in which I conducted my dissertation experiments, and the computer room, when researching for and writing coursework assignments."


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