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Environmental Sciences BSc

Subject area: Environmental Sciences Campus tours: Book your place Apply Full Time via UCAS
Mode of study

3 year full-time; 3 year full-time compressed sandwich; 4 year full-time thick sandwich


F850, F854, F852 with Professional Experience

Start date


Environmental Sciences BSc

Placement Offered This course has a Professional Experience option


This is a new course and we are accepting applications for 2017/18 entry.


We regularly host online webinars to give you the chance to find out more about our courses and what studying at Brunel is like.

For a playback of our recent Environmental Sciences webinar, click here

About the course

The Environmental Sciences BSc has been designed to be flexible and to focus on cross-disciplinary skills that the environmental scientists of the future will need. We have a vast and well-respected research background to draw upon to ensure you receive a world-class education. The Environmental Sciences team at Brunel are previous winners of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize and we were ranked in the top 5 in the UK for research impact in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. The course is also based on the 15 “Most Wanted” skills identified from a national employer’s survey by the Natural Environment Research Council.


Our BSc programme aims to give you:

• A cross-disciplinary and holistic approach to Environmental Sciences

• A practical and research-informed experience in the field, the lab and with computer based techniques

• An appreciation of the relevance of Environmental Sciences in the wider world and the confidence and leadership skills to be pro-active on matters of sustainability

• The specific skills that major Environmental Science employers demand, as well as the general skills that have significant value in other sectors.


Dr Andrew Russell

Department of Life Sciences
College of Health and Life Sciences
Brunel University London
Uxbridge, Middlesex

Tel: +44 (0)1895 265599
Email: course-enquiries@brunel.ac.uk
Web: Environmental Sciences subject pages

Course Content

Level 1 – Dynamics of Natural Environments
You will learn about the interdisciplinary principles and processes that govern the environment. This will include the physical, chemical and biological knowledge required to develop a holistic Earth system perspective and will cover theoretical, practical and field-based approaches.

Level 1 - Compulsory
Earth System Science
Environmental Chemistry
Natural Hazards
Pre-Industrial Earth History
Research Skills, GIS and Fieldwork I
Natural Environments Case Studies
Leadership for Sustainability I

Level 2 – Environmental Change and the Anthropocene
Students will then examine how Earth systems have changed over time, with a particular focus on human influences. The “grand challenges” of environmental science will be introduced here, which include climate change, pollution, biodiversity loss, land-use change and sustainability. In turn, the effect of these changes on environmental and human health will be investigated.

Level 2- Compulsory
Ecosystem Stressors
Climate Change
Environmental Pollution
Post-Industrial Earth History
Research Skills, GIS and Fieldwork II
Anthropocene Case Studies
Leadership for Sustainability II

Level 2 options (choose one)
Environmental Health
Biochemistry: Structure and Function
Introduction to Programming
Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics
Construction and Sustainability
Fundamentals of Geotechnical Engineering and Surveying

Level 3 – Environmental Solutions
The final stage of this programme will be to analyse and evaluate potential solutions to environmental problems. This will often involve the synthesis of ideas from different fields, such as sustainable development, systems thinking, technology, resource management, psychology, monitoring, modelling, policy/law or public health. Indeed, students select a number of optional topics to focus their studies on particular streams that have clear routes to employability.

Level 3 Compulsory
Sustainable Development
Environmental Governance
Planetary Health Case Studies
Individual Project (Dissertation)
Leadership for Sustainability III

Level 3 options (choose two)
Pollution Solutions
Clean Technology
Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
Ecology and Conservation
Public Health
Genetics, Evolution and Biodiversity
Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology
Algorithms and their Applications
Software Development and Management
Civil Engineering Hydraulics
Water Engineering
Sustainable Construction
Sustainable Infrastructure Development
Geotechnical Engineering

Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.

Typical Dissertations

Students will be given a selection of dissertation projects to choose from or they can develop their own idea. These projects could come from a wide range of disciplines, such as: environmental change, pollution, water, resources, ecosystems, clean technology, public health, data analysis techniques and field techniques.

Special Features

  • You can undertake a work placement in the summer vacations between years on the three year course or as a dedicated additional year to the programme on the four year course.
  • You’ll be taught by an award-winning research group that have brought this experience to every aspect of the degree, from the lecture content to the logical progression of the programme.
  • We have extensive state-of-the-art teaching facilities and research laboratories.
  • You’ll undertake our unique Professional Development module, which involves various activities designed to develop leadership and influence skills e.g. attending seminars and workshops, volunteering with community groups, engaging with local businesses, working with professional societies or organising public engagement events.


This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). Students benefit from free IES membership during the course, which is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Scientist. It also offers opportunities for networking and professional development at IES events.


Teaching and Assessment


The course is based around four key teaching and learning practices:

Knowledge: We use lectures and online materials on our Virtual Learning Environment to give students a broad and logically-structured knowledge of environmental systems and the ways in which humans interact with them.

Synthesis and creativity: Guided seminars and Problem Based Learning sessions will be used throughout the course to encourage students to bring ideas together from different topics and to begin to develop creative and evidence-based solutions to complicated problems.

Application: All our key modules include practical sessions in the field, laboratories or computer labs – your knowledge becomes crystallised and useful when it is applied directly. You also have the option of applying and developing your knowledge and skills in a work placement.

Real world: There are field courses in Levels 1 and 2 that will require students to travel to specifically chosen locations for residential field courses to apply techniques and knowledge in the field.



We have similar assessment types across Levels so that you can feel well prepared. Formative assessments (i.e. assignments that do not count towards your final mark) will be used to familiarise you with assessment types and to help cement learning. We also ensure that assessment criteria are clear and that students understand the purpose of different assessments. In short, we want assessments to be an opportunity to learn and not for students to feel examined. In practice, this will involve written coursework, presentations, written exams, online exams and lab- and field-based assignments.


The course ensures you are readily employable in a wide variety of graduate-entry career paths. Many of our graduates find fulfilling work in areas such as: environmental protection; environmental management and consultancy; environmental compliance and sustainability; or environmental research. Our Leadership for Sustainability module ensures that students are addressing their employability and professional development as well as engaging with the skills they require.

Brunel’s Professional Development Centre also provides many opportunities for students to attend workshops focussed on employability and securing a career, such as: networking; psychometric and aptitude testing; interview skills; role play interviews; teamwork exercises; and producing a CV and covering letter.


On completing the programme, our graduates will be able to take up many different environment focussed roles, such as environmental practitioners, environmental analysts and environmental managers. This need within the public, private and charitable sectors is increasing. The specialist “streams” also open up different avenues for our students to go down (e.g. toxicologist, public health analyst, environmental engineering firms).

Postgraduate research or study is another major option: there is a vibrant research environment within Environmental Sciences at Brunel and we are a member of the Natural Environment Research Council’s London Doctoral Training Partnership.

Work Placements

Placements are available as a full academic year within the programme or, in some cases, can be completed over two summer vacations without the need to add an extra year to the programme duration. Students are free to work with Brunel’s Professional Development Centre to secure a placement with an organisation that we have an existing relationship with or to arrange an appropriate placement destination themselves.

Students at Level 1 and 2 are given the chance to meet and network with Level 3 students who have returned from their placement, to appreciate their experiences and the advantages.

Placement opportunities include:

  • Environmental protection
  • Environmental management and consultancy
  • Environmental compliance and sustainability
  • Environmental research

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2017/18 entry

This is a new course and we are accepting applications for 2017/18 entry.

UK/EU students: £9,250 full-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £15,750 full-time

Additional course related costs

The Government has proposed changes to allow tuition fees for UK and EU students to rise by inflation. These changes are currently subject to approval. If approved, they would take effect from 2017/18 and would result in tuition fees of £9,250 per year.

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Criteria 2017/18

This is a new course and we are accepting applications for 2017/18 entry.

GCE A-level BBC, to include Grade B in a Science, Environmental or Maths subject.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in in a related subject.

BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject with an A-level at grade B in a Science, Environmental or Maths subject.

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject with A-levels grade BB to include a Science, Environmental or Maths subject.

International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points, including 5 in Higher Level Higher Level Science, Engineering or Maths subject.

Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related Access to Higher Education Diploma course with 45 credits at Level 3 with Merit or above in all units.

 GCSE Mathematics grade C and GCSE English grade C are also required.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English. Find out more information about English course and test options.