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Course Details

Entry year / start

Winter 2019/2020


3 years (Full time) / 6 years (Part time)

Course code





BSc (Honours) Environmental Science

  • This interdisciplinary degree combines aspects of biology, ecology, geography, chemistry, technology and social science to help you understand the whole picture.

    This course will develop the scientific and technical knowledge and skills required to investigate ecosystems; to understand fundamental environmental patterns and processes; and to address local and global environmental issues. You’ll study the problems we face in understanding our natural environment and living sustainably.

    Key features of the course

    • Investigates the complexities of the natural environment and our relationship with it 
    • Explores the problems we face in living sustainably 
    • Develops your scientific, interpretive and creative thinking skills
    • Includes practical fieldwork, which you’ll undertake during two residential schools
    • Accredited by The Institution of Environmental Sciences and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management

    This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

    • You’ll start Stage 1 with two 60-credit introductory modules – one with a focus on environment and one with a focus on science.
    • In Stages 2 and 3, the modules you’ll study or choose from will be determined by the route you choose. You’ll conclude your degree with a 30-credit project module.

    Further information on the stages and modules can be found here.


    We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BSc (Honours) Environmental Science uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

    • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
    • using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
    • using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
    • undertaking practical work (including two compulsory UK residential schools) and using an online laboratory
    • working with specialist reading material such as scientific journals
    • using specialist software
    • working in a group with other students
    • finding external/third party material online.

    For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.

    Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

    This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

    • Knowledge and understanding
    • Cognitive skills
    • Practical and professional skills
    • Key skills

    The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

    Credit transfer

    If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.

    It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

    You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.

    Classification of your degree

    On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the BSc (Honours) Environmental Science degree. You may be awarded the BSc (Honours Environmental Science (Environmental Management) if you’ve followed that route.

    The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

    You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

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