“Studying at the University of Plymouth definitely gave me the confidence to go on and develop a career within the environmental sector. 

I was absolutely blown away with the whole place on the open and offer holder days, despite the torrential rain. After attending three or four other university open days before Plymouth’s it was just a massive step up in quality than anywhere else.

The well-rounded nature of the course allowed me to access all areas of the sector, which I found essential as I wasn’t entirely sure where I wanted to go following my degree.

The help the University gave me was available as needed, and all you had to do was ask proactively.”

Plymouth – geographic perfection

“Being a country lad I didn’t want to move to a massive city where I would feel completely lost, so Plymouth was the perfect fit of city, ocean and outdoors.”
Plymouth Hoe and tinside
Plymouth Hoe foreshore

Jack's journey

“My course gave me so many practical, hands-on-skills which I use daily in my place of work which not many people can claim in their current roles, so that side of it is great. 

For me a placement was a great selling point of the course, the opportunity to go out for a year and gain valuable skills within the industry. 

I believe that without this placement I genuinely wouldn’t be where I am today! 

I wouldn’t have got my first temporary role with the Environment Agency (EA) as a summer assistant and as a result of this I joined the EA on a permanent basis after I graduated.

Working with the EA I was responsible for collection of water samples from the sea and inland waters across Cornwall and West Devon. 

I got to wade out into the sea and take the sample before doing some analysis in the back of my van. It was also a great chance to get out an explore all of the most beautiful parts of Cornwall.

I also took part in electric fishing surveys and a range of pollution incident management. 

In March 2018 I moved roles to become an Environment Officer, I am now part of team which responds to and manages environmental incidents across West Cornwall.”

Field experience

“I wanted to gain experience within the environmental work place and the work placement year was a great way to do this. I spent my year working at the Slapton Ley Field Centre in South Devon.”

Looking down over the village of Torcross and the beach at Slapton Sands on the south coast of Devon.

Big trouble in little China

“The bit that stands out the most was the second year field trip to China. The extent of environmental pollution is shocking and this was one of the main catalysts for my career in water quality sampling.”

Marine litter, microplastics on the beach.


“In a non-academic sense, playing in four varsity cricket events was a personal highlight. To be watched by so many people was great and the atmosphere was always incredibly loud! 

I was awarded Full Colours by UPSU for dedication and development to University of Plymouth Cricket Club. 

I was a committee member for three years with my biggest successes setting up a new women’s club and captaining a winning team through an undefeated BUCS season.”

Knowing no boundaries

“After completing my studies I travelled to Australia for six months to play cricket.

Upon my return to the UK I started back with the Environment Agency as an Environment Monitoring Assistant, after having previously worked for the EA in 2015.

Taking six months out helped me to focus on a future career path and it was great to see part of the world I may not get chance to visit again.”

Help at every stage

Use your PALS

I used the University of Plymouth's Peer assisted learning scheme (PALS) as a student and as a mentor, and it helped no end with getting used to university life, my course, meeting new people and overcoming new problems. 

Discover more about PALS

Careers and Employability

The careers and employability service recommended I look on YouTube to see if I could find out more about the role. I picked up loads of information from someone who was already carrying out the role, including demos of the key aspects of the job!
Find out more on the Careers and Employability page.

Careers and employability


“LABplus was one of my favourite working areas, mainly because it was far more relaxed than the library and I felt I could be more productive working there.”

Find out how LABplus can enhance your field and laboratory skills.

LABplus facility
Environmental Science field trip