Environmental Science BSc (Hons)

UCAS code F900
UHI information line 0845 272 3600

What is special about this course?

If you are passionate about understanding the processes that shape our natural environment and keen to develop the scientific and analytical skills you need to work in this field, the BSc (Hons) Environmental Science degree is exactly what you are looking for. 

You won’t find a better classroom in which to study than in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.  We have what is undeniably one of the world’s best ‘living laboratories’ in the spectacular natural habitats of the Scottish Highlands.

Here you will develop core scientific and analytical skills through course work in college laboratories and access to specialist analytical equipment across the UHI network. You will also have the opportunity to undertake a residential field module each year at locations throughout the region, which will help develop your field skills while working in some of the most outstanding habitats.

Special features

  • Study in one of the world’s best ‘living laboratories’
  • Undertake a residential field module each year at locations throughout the region
  • You can study full time or part time to suit your personal circumstances 
  • You can also study individual modules for personal or professional development
  • Practical lab work is a key part of the course

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above
  • These must include science at grade C or above
  • You should also have Standard Grade or Intermediate 2 Chemistry at grade C or above or equivalent
  • We also accept candidates without the standard entry requirements, but with considerable professional experience in science-based employment

Access routes

Year 1 - CertHE

  • Principles of Biology
  • Chemistry 1
  • Science Lab Skills
  • Ecological Principles: Biodiversity & ID Skills including a 1 day residential
  • Collecting & Analysing Data
  • Plus 1 option in semester 

Year 2 - DipHE

  • Freshwater Environments
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Marine Environments
  • Into to Geographical Information Systems
  •  Ecological & Statistical Methods including 5 day residential
  • Plus 1 option in semester 1

Year 3 - BSc

  • Environmental Analysis including 5 day residential
  • Management of the Marine Resource
  • Research Skills Project
  • Strategic Environmental Monitoring
  • Microbial Ecology
  • Plus 1 option in semester 1

Year 4 - BSc (Hons)

  • Dissertation (double unit)
  • Engaging with External Agencies including a work placement
  • Science & Society
  • Plus 1 option in semester 1 and semester 2

How will I study my course?

  • Full time
  • Part time (structured)
  • Part Time (unstructured)

You will study through a combination of face-to-face and video conference lectures and tutorials, as well as individual online study through the UHI Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) supported by your tutors and classmates. 

How long will my course last?

  • Full time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week
  • Part time (unstructured): variable @ 10 hours per week

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

Start date

  • September
  • January (part-time study only; not available at Inverness College UHI)

How much will my course cost?

For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

  2016-17
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year
£1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

  Level 2016-17
    Full-time
Year 1 CertHE £9,000 p.a.
Year 2 DipHE £9,000 p.a.
Year 3 Degree £9,000 p.a.
Year 4 Honours free**

**4th year free only for students studying full-time who have paid for the previous 3 years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) -  £1,500 (2016-17).

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living whilst studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

2016-17
Full-time per year (120 credit modules) per year £11,000
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year*** £5,520
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)*** £1,840

***There is no part-time study option for Tier 4 sponsored international. students.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.

What funding can I apply for?

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your BSc (Hons) Environmental Science course, you might like to consider a career with:

  • Scottish Natural Heritage (area officer, research projects, interpretation)
  • Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (ecologists, soil or microbial scientists, hydrologists, marine scientists)
  • Local authorities (biodiversity workers, environmental project work including flood alleviation, coastal zone protection, wildlife protection)
  • Forestry Commission (biodiversity, native woodlands, species, GIS)
  • Ecological consultancy work
  • National (e.g. RSPB) or local (e.g. Scottish Wildlife Trust) NGOs and charities

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the BSc (Hons) Environmental Science degree to the following postgraduate courses:

Is there more information available online?

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

What our students, graduates and staff say:

I did initially look at universities in Aberdeen and Glasgow however studying with the University of the Highlands and Islands meant that I could stay much closer to home. Also, the Highlands provide the best place to study environmental science; you are so close to all the major environmental systems such as freshwater and marine environments...Fieldtrips are by far my favourite part of the course as they allow me to use the knowledge learned in lectures.The trips are always a good laugh, they also make you realise the amount of knowledge the tutors have.

Cornelius Pelka, third year BSc (Hons) Environmental Science student

Apply for Environmental Science BSc (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2016 or Jan/Feb 2017

International applicants should apply using the UHI International application form. Please download and print the form, complete and return using the address indicated. More information is available for international applicants at our international student page

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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