School of Earth and Environment

For 2018 entry course see Environmental Science BSc 2018

Environmental Science BSc

(Full time) 2019 start


Key facts

  • UCAS code: F851
  • Start date: September 2019
  • Duration/Mode: 3 years full time
  • Typical A level offer: ABB
    (specific subjects required)
  • UK/EU fees: To be confirmed
  • International fees: To be confirmed
  • Study abroad option: Yes
  • Work placement option: Yes
  • Course terms and conditions

Environmental Science BSc offers a thorough understanding of the Earth's physical and chemical processes, and the interaction between the many aspects of our environment. You can also tailor the degree to your interests.

Our wide range of expertise allows us to offer interdisciplinary insights into real-world environmental problems. You’ll have contact with practising experts – staff and visiting speakers.

You’ll encounter the issues confronting environmental managers or aid workers. You’ll learn the skills you need to understand scientific issues and apply scientific techniques to environmental problems.

You’ll be trained in data collection and analysis and will refine your research skills in a major project. You’ll also have hands-on field training.

Our graduates are well placed to enter employment or postgraduate education, with deep knowledge and valuable transferable and environmental skills.

Extending this degree

You can convert your 3-year degree into a 4-year degree by spending an additional year on an industrial placement or overseas, before returning to Leeds to complete your final year of study. Read "Study abroad and work placements".

We also offer an Integrated Masters (combining bachelor and Masters level study), where you spend a year studying abroad at a partner university and return to Leeds to study Masters-level modules in your final year. Read Environmental Science (International) MGeol, BSc.

Enhancing your experience

We want to help you make the most of your time at Leeds. The School has an officer dedicated to Student experience.

School of Earth and Environment

If you study in our School of Earth and Environment you’ll join one of the largest and most vibrant schools in the country.


This programme is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) so you can be assured that it meets high standards, contains a strong component of practical, field and theoretical activities, and has excellent opportunities for training, work experience and links to the professional environmental sector.

Enrolling on this programme means you can apply for free Student Membership of the IES and for a fast-track route to membership once you graduate, starting you on a route towards becoming a Chartered Environmentalist or Chartered Scientist.

IES logo
Accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences

Alumni profile

The solid, broad-based environmental knowledge and professional skills I developed help me work confidently alongside environmental regulators, academics and industry.James Bone, BSc Environmental ScienceRead more


Course terms and conditions

Course content

The programme is designed around a combination of compulsory core modules, as well as opportunities to choose optional modules that allow you to follow areas of personal interest through our specialist pathways.

Five specialist pathways run throughout the programme and you’ll be introduced to all of them in your first year, choosing those that interest you most in subsequent years:

The Earth pathway explores the Earth’s lithosphere, geological and sedimentary processes, and interactions with the climate system and natural resources

The Atmosphere pathway focuses on meteorology, climate and air pollution

The Water pathway studies global- and regional-scale processes in oceans, rivers and ice sheets

The Bio (Biogeoscience and Ecology) pathway covers both global and local ecosystems and their interactions

The Environmental Management pathway examines human influences on the environment and related issues such as energy and food security

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Natural Hazards 10 credits
  • Sustainable Development: Concepts and Case Studies 20 credits
  • Environment and Ecology 10 credits
  • The Atmosphere of Planet Earth 10 credits
  • Introduction to Meteorology and Weather Forecasting 10 credits
  • Water in the Environment 10 credits
  • Environmental Science / Meteorology and Climate Science Tutorials 10 credits
  • Introductory Earth Sciences 10 credits

Optional modules

  • Ice Age Environments and the Quaternary Evolution of the British Isles 10 credits
  • Introductory Chemistry for Earth and Environmental Scientists 10 credits
  • Intermediate Mathematics for Environmental and Geophysical Scientists 10 credits
  • Environmental Politics and Policy 10 credits
  • Mathematics for Earth and Environmental Scientists 10 credits
  • Mathematics for Earth, Environmental and Geographical Scientists 10 credits
  • Physics for Environmental Science 10 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Climate Change: Science and Impacts 10 credits
  • Environmental Research and Career Skills 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Intermediate Mathematics for Environmental and Geophysical Scientists 10 credits
  • Chemistry of the Earth 10 credits
  • Meteorology 10 credits
  • Introductory Oceanography 10 credits
  • Palaeoecology, Palaeobiology and Evolution 10 credits
  • Climate Change: Society and Human Dimensions 10 credits
  • Water Quality 10 credits
  • Energy Transitions: Technologies, Markets and Policy 10 credits
  • Advanced Mathematics for Scientists 10 credits
  • Contaminated Land Studies: Integrating Business Skills and Science in Consultancy 10 credits
  • Atmospheric Pollution from Local to Global Scales 10 credits
  • GIS for Geoscientists 10 credits
  • Managing Biodiversity 10 credits
  • Data Analysis and Visualisation for Environmental Applications 10 credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Environmental Research Project 40 credits
  • Frontiers in Environmental Research 10 credits

Optional modules

  • Advanced Topics in Conservation Science 20 credits
  • Management of Wilderness Environments 10 credits
  • Earth System Science: Biogeochemical Cycles 10 credits
  • Environmental Risk: Science, Policy and Management 10 credits
  • Engineering Geology 10 credits
  • Earth Observations from Space 10 credits
  • Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology 10 credits
  • Catchment Processes and Management 10 credits
  • Atmospheric Science Field Skills 10 credits
  • Atmosphere and Ocean Climate Change Processes 10 credits
  • Atmospheric Pollution: Causes, Impact and Regulation 10 credits
  • Ice in the Earth System 10 credits
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences into Schools 10 credits
  • Oceanography in the Earth System 10 credits
  • Strategic Energy Issues 10 credits
  • Advanced Fieldwork: Principles of Environmental Ecology 10 credits
  • Practical Weather Forecasting 10 credits
  • Terrestrial Biosphere in the Earth System 10 credits
  • Sustainable Futures 10 credits
  • Sustainable Development in Practice 10 credits
For more information on typical modules, read Environmental Science BSc in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Most modules combine lectures with practicals, workshops or seminars, depending on the subject. These are enhanced with skills classes, fieldtrips and small group academic tutorials. You can expect to study in a variety of settings, from large lecture theatres to computer clusters, seminar rooms, tutorials, laboratories, visualisation suites and out in the field. Our state-of-the-art building is in the centre of the campus and provides an ideal working environment, and offers quiet study and coffee areas when you are not in class.

Read more about learning and teaching methods.

We offer research-led teaching across the breadth of our environment and business disciplines, from specialists in their field. As Leeds is a research-intensive Russell Group University, you’ll be studying amongst staff who are at the cutting edge of research world-wide, and who will incorporate this expertise into their teaching.


Our school boasts excellent facilities for both teaching and research; read more about our laboratories, microscopes and more.


You'll be assessed through a variety of methods, specifically designed to help students learn, whatever their preferred learning style. We use both coursework and exams, but with a general progression from an emphasis on exams in year 1 towards an emphasis on coursework in your final year.

Read more in learning and teaching methods.

Alumni profile

The interdisciplinary nature of the course offered me a better chance to study both scientific and social science modules than courses elsewhere.Read moreJames Bone, BSc Environmental Science

Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB including two from biology, chemistry, geology, geography, environmental studies, mathematics, physics, one of which must be in mathematics or a science subject.

GCSE:English and Mathematics at grade C (4) or above, or an equivalent English language or Mathematics qualification.

Alternative qualifications

  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, 30 credits with Distinction and the remaining 15 credits with Merit or above.
  • BTEC: DDM in Extended Diploma/3 Subsidiary Diplomas in two relevant subjects. We will accept a combination of BTECs and A-Levels. Please contact the School's Undergraduate Admissions Team for more information.
  • International Baccalaureate: 34 points overall, with 16 points at higher level to include 5 points in two relevant subjects, one of which must be in mathematics or a science subject.
  • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate): AAABBB/H2H2H2H3H3H3 in two relevant subjects, must be in mathematics or a science subject.
  • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers: AABBB overall with BB in 2 Advanced Highers (AH). For non-AH applicants AABBBB. To include 2 relevant subjects one of which must be in a mathematics or a science subject.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Access to Leeds Entry Requirements for this course: BBC

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year.

We offer:
• a specialised BSc Earth and Environmental Sciences with Foundation Year
• a BSc Studies in Science for students without a science background at A-level
• an Interdisciplinary Science Foundation Year for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Earth and Environment Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Foundation year

If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:

- University of Leeds International Foundation Year (IFY)
- Northern Consortium of UK Universities (NCUK)
- Study Group Leeds International Study Centre (LISC)

If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Environment Undergraduate Admissions Policy 2019


UK/EU: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in the 2019/20 academic year will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

While the School heavily subsidises or covers the cost of all compulsory taught fieldcourses, you may have to supplement these trips depending on the destination you choose. There will however always be a free option for you to select. You may incur some costs for some optional fieldtrip modules. Full details are available on request.

Scholarships and financial support

The School of Earth and Environment offer a range of scholarships for Home, EU and International students.

Scholarships for 2019 entry are to be confirmed.

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Career opportunities

Studying Environmental Science at Leeds opens the door to a wide range of careers. The solid science basis of the programme and the fieldwork associated with it add value to your degree in areas including environmental monitoring, consultancy, land remediation and environmental protection. The transferable skills you gain will also help you to succeed in the wider graduate employment market.

Your employment prospects can be further enhanced by an MSc degree, and we offer a number of vocational Earth and Environment Masters degrees in Leeds, with industry-sponsored scholarships and other funds available, as well as funding only available to Leeds graduates.

Read more about our Alumni Success Stories.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

The School of Earth and Environment is committed to enhancing employability and offers a range of initiatives to ensure our students receive the highest level of support throughout their studies. Read about careers and employability on the School website.

Alumni profile

Environmental awareness had been always been instilled in me. A career in environmental science is a job with tangible benefits.Read moreLiz Metcalfe, BSc Environmental Science

Placement opportunities

Study abroad

You can convert your 3-year degree into a 4-year study abroad degree by spending an additional year overseas, before returning to Leeds to complete your final year of study. You don’t apply directly to this course, instead you can register your interest with us once you’ve enrolled on the 3-year degree.

To be eligible for Study Abroad you’ll need to maintain a good average in your assessments in years 1 and 2 and, for some destinations, you may have to show you have the necessary language skills. Read more about eligibility on the Study Abroad website.

The Study Abroad Office and the School provide guidance to help you set up a study place at one of the University's partner institutions from around the world. Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

You may also be interested in our integrated Masters, which includes a year studying in Australia, Canada or the USA. Read Environmental Science (International) MGeol, BSc.

Year in industry

You can convert your 3-year degree into a 4-year industrial degree by spending an additional year on an industrial placement, before returning to Leeds to complete your final year of study. This allows you to gain valuable hands-on experience, and earn a salary, before you complete the final year of your degree.

The School has strong connections with industry and will help you through the search, application and interview process. You may end up working in or near Leeds, near your home, or perhaps overseas. The School will provide guidance and assistance throughout the process and will support you during your placement, liaising with your employer to ensure that your work is of value to your academic development.

Students who choose the Year in Industry option frequently receive attractive offers of employment when they graduate. The employability benefits include opportunities to:

  • apply your academic learning in the workplace
  • gain valuable work experience, as part of your degree, that will enhance your CV and job opportunities
  • enhance your personal development and life skills
  • develop your transferable skills, providing important evidence for job application forms
  • return to your final year of studies with enthusiasm and a better appreciation of the opportunities available to you as a student at the University of Leeds.

Read more about Year in Industry on the Year in industry on the School website.


Fieldwork will be an essential element of your degree, and is one of the most enjoyable and sociable parts of the course for students and staff alike. The Environmental Science programme at Leeds includes a variety of field course destinations in the UK during Years 1 and 2 that are an important part of the programme and are very closely integrated with lectures and module coursework. Optional field trips and a research project in Year 3 offer you the chance to undertake specialist field research in a topic area of your choice.

Because we recognise the value of field experience the school covers the transport and accommodation costs for all compulsory taught fieldcourses and many optional field trips.

Alumni profile

On our field trip to the Lake District I was able to put my theoretical knowledge into practice, investigating acid mine drainage, which later inspired my MSc course and PhD.Read moreJames Bone, BSc Environmental Science

Alumni profile

My dissertation fieldwork in the Kalahari region of Botswana and Namibia, looking at soil crusts as indicators of land degradation, was a life-changing experience for me.Read moreLiz Metcalfe, BSc Environmental Science
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