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Environmental Science, BSc

Environmental Science, BSc

Course Overview


Do you want to understand and develop the skills to deal with current environmental issues? If yes, then environmental science is for you!

An Environmental Science degree at Northampton will allow you to understand more about the environment from the local to global scale. It will allow you to appreciate the impact humans are having on the environment and how it can be managed. During the Environmental Science degree you will study an interdisciplinary programme which includes Environmental Biology, Geography and Geology, Soil Science, and Chemistry. This degree will enable you to explore the science of all these topics, taught by experts who are actively involved in environmental science research.
LEARNING MODE On Campus Learning
DURATION 48 months

All students take eight courses in year 1. This is a combination of core compulsory courses and an optional course chosen from across the university disciplines.

Compulsory Courses

Professional Skills Part 1 (NT1001)
Frontiers in Biological Sciences (NT1009) – 15 Credit Points
Diversity of Life 1 (NT1012) – 15 Credit Points
The Earth Through Geological Time (NT1005) – 15 Credit Points
Ecology and Environmental Science (NT1511) – 15 Credit Points
Diversity of Life 2 (NT1512) – 15 Credit Points
Global Worlds, Local Challenges (NT1510) – 15 Credit Points
Earth’s Materials (NT1505) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select 15 credit points from first-half session courses of choice.

In year 2 you will study courses in Life Sciences, Ecology, Plant and Soil Biology and Conservation Biology. Further courses can be chosen from a wide range of subjects including Chemistry, Geology, Biology and Geography.

Compulsory Courses

Biological Enhanced Skills Training (BEST) (NT2018) – 15 Credit Points
Ecology (NT2020) – 15 Credit Points
Physical Environments (NT2013) – 15 Credit Points
Conservation Biology (NT2509) – 15 Credit Points
Plants, People, and the Environment (NT25P4) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select a further 45 credit points from courses of choice.

Compulsory courses in year 3 include Soils for Food Security, Global Soil Geography, Ecosystem Processes, Environmental Analysis and Statistics. Optional courses can be selected from a range of animal or plants sciences or applied sciences.

Compulsory Courses

Statistical Analysis of Biological Data (NT3010) – 15 Credit Points
Global Soil Geography (NT3001) – 15 Credit Points
Ecosystem Processes (NT3304) – 15 Credit Points
Society and Environment (NT3507) – 15 Credit Points
Environmental Analysis (NT3802) – 15 Credit Points
Soils for Food Security (NT3309) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Select 30 credit points from second half-session courses of choice.

In year 4, the Honours year, you will carry out a research project as well as writing an extended essay and completing advanced courses of your choosing.

Compulsory Courses

SBS Honours Project (Semester 1) (NT4016) – 45 Credit Points
Environmental Pollution (NT4301) – 15 Credit Points
Environmental Impact Assessment (NT4802) – 15 Credit Points

Optional Courses

Plus 45 credit points from courses of choice, at least 15 of which must be from courses delivered by the School of Biological Science.

NOTE: A graduating curriculum for the Honours programme must include 90 credit points from Level 4 courses.

How You'll Study

Combine practice and theory

Typically, one third of your class time is practical and many courses include full-day practical classes and field visits. Most students take at least one residential field trip during their degree; these trips bring the subjects to life and provide the opportunity to make great friendships and get to know staff members.

Research experience

You are actively involved in scientific research throughout your degree. In Year 4, you conduct independent research which can be pivotal to your career choice whether it be in dolphins, water voles, rare plants, tropical forest ecology, climate change in the Arctic, or any one of a diverse range of other exciting topics!

Engaging and inspiring teaching

Our teaching methods are diverse, innovative and based on research on how students learn. For example, we use problem-based learning approaches, creative presentations, peer and self-assessment, presenting posters in public meetings, writing and editing wikis, writing grant proposals, science writing for publication, and the creation of portfolios using multi-media.

Opportunities for Study Abroad and work-related learning

You can take advantage of an optional year-out on a work placement in any of our degree programmes. Study Abroad is encouraged for students in their second year; we have established partnerships with institutions in the USA, Canada, Australia, China and numerous countries in Europe.

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Environmental Science?
  • Our degree in Environmental Science aims to train you to recognise and understand the threats and conflicts in the environment today and appreciate the steps required to develop solutions.
  • You will develop quantitative skills that will allow you to address current environmental issues.
  • You will benefit from the opportunity to work outdoors and apply your classroom and field work knowledge to real life situations.
  • There is a focus in research-led teaching for this degree. The School of Biological Sciences has an international reputation for excellence in inter-disciplinary research in terrestrial, aquatic and marine environments.
  • During the programme you will have opportunities to interact with stake holders and end-users, such as Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Oil and Gas companies and remediation companies.
  • Our research for terrestrially related environmental sciences is ranked in first place in the UK (REF 2014). 92% of the research considered in the School is considered to be world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2014).
  • You will have the opportunity to get involved in our research through summer research assistantships, project work and a compulsory final year research project.
  • At our regular careers events you will have the opportunity to listen to and meet prospective employers from outside the university, giving you excellent opportunities to get a fulfilling and challenging job in a biological field.


Completing a degree in Environmental Science at the Northampton University  will give you the essential skills required to pursue a career in the environmental science sector and the wider biology graduate job market. You will be equipped with the knowledge, understanding and practical experience to take the necessary action in resolving environmental conflicts. This includes nature conservation, in government or non-government conservation organisations and also in countryside departments of local government.

Generally opportunities are available within environmental organisations such as environmental protection agencies, or within industries such as water companies or waste management. Environmental legislation and regulations increasingly require more rigorous environmental auditing and monitoring. Such changes continue to provide further opportunities for environmental scientists in environmental consultancies, local authorities and environmental protection agencies. There are also many opportunities in environmental education and in the communications sector.

The combination of academic training, transferable skills and skills-based training that students gain during the Environmental Science programme at the Northampton University means that as well as learning theory, they also have the opportunity to gain experience of applying their knowledge to real life and environmental situations.



  • Environmental Adviser
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Protection Officer
  • Nature Conservationist

Entry requirements


SQA Highers

Standard: AABB*

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB*

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB*

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.


Standard: BBB*

Minimum: BBC*

Adjusted: CCC*

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL*.

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB*, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)

* Including good performance in at least two Mathematics/ Science subjects by the end of your senior phase of education.

English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Northampton University it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:


IELTS Academic:

OVERALL – 6.0 with: Listening – 5.5; Reading – 5.5; Speaking – 5.5; Writing – 6.0


OVERALL – 78 with: Listening – 17; Reading – 18; Speaking – 20; Writing – 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL – 54 with: Listening – 51; Reading – 51; Speaking – 51; Writing – 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL – 169 with: Listening – 162; Reading – 162; Speaking – 162; Writing – 169

How to apply


This programm by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. 

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test

Documentation required

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After you apply

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University’s applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University’s guidance for unsuccessful applicants
Terms and conditions of admissions
  • The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

    Northampton University admissions terms and conditions