Environmental Science

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

Aberystwyth University’s Environmental Science degree is an engaging course that explores the most important environmental issues of our time. Aberystwyth University offers you a unique opportunity to study Environmental Science in one of the most picturesque locations in Europe.

Set on the coast of Cardigan Bay and surrounded by a great diversity of beautiful environments, including marine, moorland, mountain and grassland, the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences is uniquely placed to make the most of the stunning landscapes that surround it, providing you with a fabulous variety of fieldwork and recreational opportunities. This degree will equip you with the skills, abilities and expertise to face and engage with the environmental challenges facing society today. 

Course Overview

Why study Environmental Science at Aberystwyth University?

  • Become a student in a University where the student experience is exceptional and memorable
  • Immerse yourself in a department that informs all students of the innovating research that has impact locally, nationally and internationally
  • Gain a detailed insight into key themes in geography, biology and environmental studies
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the most significant environmental challenges of our time, including climate change and biodiversity loss
  • Gain insight into mass extinctions and what they can tell us about human environment relations today
  • Explore a diverse range of modules which include sustainable development policy, geohazards, wildlife management, and marine biology
  • course offers flexibility in the modules you choose and the themes that you specialise in
  • Enjoy a diverse range of fieldwork opportunities
  • Benefit from facilities that are recognised by NERC (Natural Environment Research Council)

Want to study in Welsh?

The Department offers a number of modules taught through the medium of Welsh. Check out the module tab for more information.

Our Staff

Department of Geography and Earth Science: lecturers are all qualified to PhD level or working towards a PhD.

Modules September start - 2024

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Earth Surface Environments GS10520 20
Fieldwork Skills GS11320 20
Genetics, Evolution and Diversity BR17120 20
How to Build a Planet * GS11520 20
Microbial and Plant Diversity * BR19920 20
Researching the World: data collection and analysis * GS13020 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Employability is embedded within all courses provided by us. Our degrees provide a solid foundation for a vast array of careers across a range of sectors. In a rapidly shifting global economy, our graduates are adaptable and able to draw on a range of transferable skills, ensuring that they are always in demand.

The skill sets include: 

  • utilise problem-solving skills in a variety of situations
  • design and carry out theoretically and methodologically-sound and clearly-defined research assignments and projects
  • manage time effectively and to operate within deadlines
  • develop transferable skills of reading, analysing and critical evaluation of sources
  • respond positively to constructive feedback and criticism and to be sensitive in offering feedback and criticism to others
  • utilise information technology skills
  • utilise bibliographic and research skills, including the use of libraries and archives
  • use field skills to collect environmental data
  • use laboratory skills in analysing environmental data

What can I do with a degree in Environmental Sciences?

Our graduates have, for example, found employment as environmental consultants, planners, civil servants, surveyors, in education to name a few.

Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer.

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department.

Bursaries are also available to support shorter student placements during the holiday period. Each year we host a competition which invites students to share their work experiences via a report and oral presentation, with the winners receiving a prize and feedback from members of the business community who sit on a judging panel.

International Opportunities:

Alongside employment experience, independent travel is also acknowledged as a key ingredient in student development. To support this, we offer bursaries to support undergraduate travel. Recent destinations have included Uganda, Madagascar, Peru, Mount Etna, and the United States.

DGES has also established Erasmus Exchange Programmes with the University of Bergen, the University of Oulu, Finland, and the University Centre in Svalbard, giving students the unique experience of studying in one of the world’s most extreme environments. We also have strong links with a number of universities in North America, where students can complete their second year of study. In recent years, our Exchange Co-ordinator has overseen placements at Purdue University (Indiana), the University of Alabama, the University of Georgia, the University of Montana and the University of Ottawa in Canada.

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three-year degree scheme.

In your first year you will explore:

  • physical, chemical and biological nature of the Earth
  • global ecology
  • soil systems
  • Earth surface environments
  • microbial diversity
  • the atmosphere and the water cycle
  • vegetation and ecosystems

In your second year you will discover:

  • monitoring the environment and environmental management
  • ecological surveying
  • freshwater biology
  • hydrochemistry
  • catchment systems
  • marine biology
  • geohazards
  • climate change and sustainability

You will also take part in a week long residential field course to develop your practical Environmental skills.

In your third year you will undertake:

  • a research project or dissertation involving the collection, analysis and interpretation of primary data
  • environmental law
  • communicating research and threats to natural ecosystems
  • ecology
  • conservations
  • environmental geochemistry
  • environmental change
  • palaeoglaciology
  • dynamic biogeography

How will I be taught?

Our courses are taught through lectures, seminars and laboratory or computer practical, small group tutorials, field courses and individual supervision of project work.

How will I be assessed?

We assess our students through a different range of methods. Some modules are assessed in part through traditional exams, but some have elements of coursework. We also have some modules that may require the student to produce practical reports, oral presentations, the design of web pages, production of short films, or contribution to online discussion forums. Some modules, notably the tutorials and field courses are assessed entirely through coursework. 

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 96

A Levels BBB - CCC to include a science subject

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh and Mathematics

BTEC National Diploma:
DDM-MMM with a specified subject

International Baccalaureate:
30-26 with 5 points in a science subject at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall with 7 in a science subject

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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