School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

BSc (Hons) Environmental Management and Sustainability

This degree is strongly interdisciplinary and practical, providing you with the knowledge and skills to help build and manage solutions to environmental challenges on land and in our oceans. It draws on a wide range of modules from environmental science, geography and marine disciplines. Our teaching team are leaders in their research fields and offer excellent links with environmental consultancies, industry, national and local government.

Scholarships for outstanding applicants

The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences’ scholarship scheme recognises and rewards students joining our degree courses who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement.

Scholarships of £1,000 will be awarded to the two applicants in environmental science who achieve the highest grades in their A level or equivalent exams. The scholarship will be awarded during their first year of study at the University of Plymouth.

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021*

The University of Plymouth has been ranked 23rd among institutions globally for its contribution to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals*. In the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Studies, sustainability is at the heart of our research and teaching. From sustainable cities, affordable and clean energy, to climate policy, biodiversity, and natural hazards, our academic staff work with partners locally and overseas to help understand, communicate and solve fundamental and pressing sustainability challenges.

Find out more in our press release

Register in advance for Clearing

We'll give you a call on A level results day to discuss your place at Plymouth, meaning there's one less thing to worry about.

Find out more about Clearing

Careers with this subject

With the range of skills acquired, graduates have excellent career prospects in industry, consultancy, management, environmental protection, local and central government, the media, international organisations, teaching, research and academia.

Key features

  • Access to a wide choice of modules taught by a core of environmental science staff and sustainability champions from across the University.
  • Work with scientists, business, educators and engineers to help build a more sustainable future by exploring environmental challenges and proposing management solutions.
  • Learn about the latest actions and renewable energy developments in the struggle against climate change.
  • Take part in overseas expeditions to Malaysia or Malta to experience challenges and solutions to sustainable development.
  • The opportunity to develop your employability via a placement year, leading to the University’s Certificate of Professional Practice, and opportunities to study abroad, through exchange programmes.
  • Teaching and learning that focuses on fun interactive, experiential and participatory learning and authentic tasks that mimic professional practice.
  • Be a part of a University with an international reputation for sustainability education, recognition as outstanding in the People and Planet Green League and Green Gown Awards.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • The first year will establish solid foundations across a range of scientific, legal, social and economic areas in order to explore environmental
    challenges and propose solutions. Field and laboratory work are key, and our residential field course promotes team building and allows you to gain practical experience.

    Core modules

    • Environment and Society (ENVM1001)

      This module examines the role of human society, organisations and individuals in environmental management and sustainability, through case studies in the local area. We will examine the concepts of environmental narratives, environmental consumption and behaviours, agency and change leadership and show that environmental management can be addressed on scales from the global to the local and from the present to the future.

    • The Physical Environment (ENVS1002)

      Introduction to the earth's lithosphere and hydrosphere and investigation of geochemical cycles.

    • The Biosphere (ENVS1003)

      This module will describe, illustrate and explain principles, processes and concepts relevant to understanding life on Earth and human impacts upon it.

    • Environmental Management and Protection (ENVS1008)

      Introductory aspects of environmental sustainability. Critical evaluation of social, environmental and economic aspects of the environmental issues faced by our planet and how they may be solved by using regulation, the law, corporate social responsibility, specific European Union directives, impact assessments and environmental management systems.

    • Sustainability Science (ENVS1009)

      Students are introduced to environmental systems and sustainability at a variety of scales. Training in the skills of environmental investigations is delivered through field and laboratory work. Personal and professional development are supported through tutorials and workshops focusing on transferable skills and professionalism.

    • Global Environmental Challenges (ENVS1010)

      Students will consider contemporary global sustainability challenges in the context of social, economic and environmental systems. Within this inter-disciplinary framework, students explore and formulate solutions to a range of complex problems and consider the role of environmental sector professional operating across a variety of scales.

  • Year 2

  • Year 2 covers the themes of economics and resources, global sustainable development and environmental law and policy. Your research skills will be developed through a residential field course in Malaysia, Malta or Cornwall.
    You'll also have the opportunity to study options from Geography, Environmental Science, Business and Education.

    In Year 2 you have the option of studying overseas on one of our many university exchange programmes.

    Core modules

    • Placement Preparation for Environmental Science (APIE215)

      This module is designed to assist students in their search and preparation for a work placement and careers. It is aimed at students who would like to undertake the work placement to enhance both programme specific and employment-related skills during Stage 3 and preparation for future careers.

    • Environmental Data Management (ENVM2001)

      This module develops students understanding of the research process as well as competence in research skills at all stages of investigation, from formulating a research questions to deriving insights from results. The module also introduces professional tools of environmental management, such as life-cycle assessment. Skills are practised in application to a range of environmental management issues.

    • Environmental Management and Sustainability in Practice (ENVM2002)

      Students engage in the full cycle of a project in environmental management - literature research, hypothesis development, experiment planning and risk assessment, field/laboratory work, data analysis and communication. Personal development planning and professional skills are advanced in preparation for and during field work through contact with professionals in the environmental sector.

    • Environmental Management and Sustainability (ENVS2003)

      The module covers areas of knowledge essential for all environmental science graduates: ecological economics, life supporting resources and environmental law.

    • Environmental Issues and Communication (ENVS2004)

      Through immersion in contemporary environmental issues, this module develops the knowledge and skills necessary to locate, analyse, evaluate and communicate scientific information in a range of contexts and to a range of audiences. Students develop their professional skills, as well as the skills to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and decision makers, from scientific experts to the general public.

    Optional modules

    • Natural Ecosystems and Their Conservation (ENVS2006)

      This module introduces students to natural ecosystems, including (but not limited to) biological adaptation, diversity, conservation, restoration and management.

    • Nature, Country and Society (GGH2206)

      This module explores the relationship of human societies to nature and the country. You will examine different understandings of nature and rurality, and how these affect the ways in which different cultures approach environmental problems.  We will consider how the countryside is changing and the implications for people and nature. The module will also ask you to think about your own lives in relation to these ideas.

    • Geographical Information Systems (GGX2203A)

      Module provides grounding in theory and practical techniques of GIS. Lectures are on theory, methods and spatial literacy. Practical work covers stages of handling geospatial data, construction of GIS models and automation, provides exposure to a range of techniques in spatial analysis and visualisation, and gives context and experience to spatial literacy concepts. Knowledge and skills are developed in project work.

    • Managing Human Impacts in the Marine Environment (OS205)

      This module will introduce how human activities (such as fisheries, energy supply and mineral extraction) can impact the marine environment, including through pollution and biodiversity loss. The concepts of marine management and conservation will be introduced and methods of preventing and managing anthropogenic impacts will be introduced and evaluated and their role in marine conservation discussed.

  • Year 3

  • Placement year (optional)

    An optional placement year is available, providing an opportunity to gain work experience through our extensive network contacts with our alumni employers and research links with institutes, companies and government organisations.

    Optional modules

    • Work Placement in Environmental Science (APIE317)

      This module provides an opportunity for professional training of at least six months duration with an approved company or host organisation between stage 2 and 4. While on placement, students will gain experience of how environmental science is used in the workplace, be able to apply their environmental knowledge and expertise, and learn further skills and relevant techniques.

  • Final year

  • You will apply system thinking to sustainability and environmental management, and learn the principles and practice of environmental management and its role in promoting sustainability. You will examine the complex issues behind a single UN Sustainable Development Goal and select an environmental issue as an individual research project; where possible projects are carried out with partner organisations and research groups. 

    Core modules

    • Systems Thinking and Change Leadership in Sustainability (ENVM3001)

      This module develops and applies holistic or systems thinking to environmental management and sustainability, showing how this approach can help individuals and groups engage with global challenges and identify change leadership opportunities. Students will develop concepts and methods of systems thinking and apply these in complex and uncertain contexts, so that more sustainable solutions can be envisioned and developed.

    • Systems Thinking in Sustainability: Independent Investigation (ENVM3002)

      This module provides an opportunity for students to experience professional practice in environmental management and sustainability. Students will undertake a minimum of 100 hours service with a professional organisation (private, public or third sector). You will investigate the organisations practice in environmental management and sustainability and further develop professional attitudes and behaviours.

    • The Environmental Professional (ENVS3012)

      A series of real-world scenarios, which typical professionals in the environmental sector are exposed to, will be considered in an objective, scientific and interdisciplinary manner, taking into account a range of stakeholders. The material and professional development will be supported with guest speakers, seminar and workshops.

    • Global Environmental Solutions (ENVS3013)

      In this module students will take an interdisciplinary solution-based approach to contemporary global environmental issues employing both ecological economics principles and environmental law.

    Optional modules

    • Professional Practice in Sustainability (ENVM3003)

      This module provides an opportunity for students to experience professional practice in environmental management and sustainability. Students will undertake a minimum of 100 hours service with a professional organisation (private, public or third sector). You will investigate the organisations practice in environmental management and sustainability and further develop professional attitudes and behaviours.

    • Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation (ENVS3011)

      The module introduces climate change adaptation and mitigation. Biotic and technological mitigation will be explored and evaluated in the context of different geographical settings.

    • Environmental Politics and Governance (GGH3210)

      This module explores the main concepts and forces shaping environmental politics and governance. It examines how science, ethics, interests and power influence environmental debate and decision-making, using case studies of climate change, energy, deforestation, air pollution, marine protection and Antarctica to interrogate how governments and other actors have strived to address global to local environmental challenges.

    • Biological Conservation (GGP3204)

      This module examinee the pursuit of biological conservation. Drawing on a wide range of case study material, in temperate and tropical, terrestrial and aqueous environments, the module examines the drivers and rationales for biological conservation, and the role of stakeholders, policies, legislation and practices in achieving it.

    • Big Data & Spatial Analytics (GGX3204)

      This module provides an overview of advanced spatial analysis concepts and facilitates practice of data processing and management skills. Data manipulation through programming is introduced and the concept of big data is presented. Themes and practice around the acquisition, processing, analysis, visualisation and application of big data are explored, drawing on examples from across the natural and social sciences.

    • Marine Conservation Policy and Planning (OS307)

      This module explores issues surrounding the maintenance of a healthy marine environment. It will develop an understanding of marine governance, including policy frameworks and agencies responsible for implementing marine conservation strategy. Topics include the range of measures and approaches for successful marine conservation and the importance of taking holistic approaches to management, including policy and planning

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Environmental Management and Sustainability programme specification 5845

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 112

A level: 104-112 points, to include a minimum of 2 A levels and preferably from one of the following subjects: Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Psychology, Geography, Geology, Applied Science, Use of Maths, Applied Science, Biology or Human Biology, Statistics, Science in the Environment, Design Technology. General Studies not accepted.

IB: 26-27 points overall from an International Baccalaureate, to include science/technology related subjects. English and mathematics must be included.

BTEC: 18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DMM preferably from a science/technology related subject.

BTEC National Diploma modules:
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

GCSE: mathematics grade C required. English language grade C or above.

Access: pass an Access to HE Diploma (science based) with at least 33 credits at merit, and to include at least 12 credits in a relevant science units at merit. Including GCSE English and Maths grade C or above or equivalent.

Applications from international students and those with no recent formal qualifications are welcome and will be assessed on an individual basis.
 
Direct entry to year two or the final year is possible.

Accepted subject include: applied science, animal management, countryside management, forensic science.

The BSc (Hons) Environmental Science course is also available for intercalating students.

English language requirements.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International £14,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) £770 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Additional fieldwork and equipment costs.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Assessment breakdown: Coursework 71% Exam 7% Practical 22%

Environmental science fieldwork*

Take part in regular UK and overseas fieldwork in destinations such as Dartmoor National Park, Malaysia and Malta, where you will explore and study terrestrial and marine environmental systems.

*We’re not undertaking residential fieldwork during the Covid-19 pandemic, but once the pandemic has passed our residential fieldwork will resume.

People

Steph Rooke – BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and MSc Environmental Consultancy graduate

During Steph's time at Plymouth she chose the Environmental Management pathway, which has since been replaced by our BSc (Hons) Environmental Management and Sustainability programme.

Steph Rooke talks to us about the importance of attending career fairs, networking, and gaining practical experience on placements.

Steph Rooke's profile

*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni is updated annually in September.