Biology and geography are an important part of this degree, to help you to understand the processes within ecosystems and how we can manage our natural resources effectively.
You will also study chemistry, physics and geology as applied to the study of the environment. Topics cover a wide range of subjects, from plant biology and ecology, to sustainability and environmental law.
You'll learn about the role of social and economic factors, ethics and public perception in environmental management.
You'll benefit from expertise at our Centre for Rural Economy, recipient of the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education 2014.
Your degree is shaped by the cutting-edge research of our expert staff, so you know your degree is focused on up-to-date and socially important theories and discoveries in the area.
BSc or MEnvSci?
Some of our degrees are offered at two levels:
- three-year Bachelor of Science (BSc)
- four-year Master in Environmental Science (MEnvSci)
Our MEnvSci degrees include an additional year of advanced study at master’s level, where you will gain additional research and practical experience to increase your employability and have the opportunity to work alongside our world-leading experts.
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.
See our terms and conditions for more information
View our Frequently Asked Questions
Flexible degree structure
We offer several Environmental Science degrees including a three-year BSc degree and a suite of four-year MEnvSci degrees.
We understand that you might not be sure which area of environmental science you want to specialise in, or whether you want to study to BSc or MEnvSci level.
All our students, regardless of which degree they are registered on, study the same modules for the first three years. This means you can transfer between degree programmes up until the end of Stage 2 if you want to.
Transfer from our BSc to an MEnvSci degree, and progress to Stage 4 of an MEnvSci degree, is subject to you meeting the appropriate academic standard.
Quality and ranking
- top 150 – Environmental Sciences category – QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020
Modules and learning
The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.
Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage.
Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.
Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.
Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
We introduce you to a number of topics in environmental science, physical geography, plant biology and ecology, which lay the foundations for more specialised study in later stages.
|Environment and Land Resources||10|
|Academic and Professional Skills||20|
|Investigating Rural Landscapes||20|
|Plants, Environment, Agriculture||10|
|Earth System Science||10|
|Earth Surface Materials||20|
|Geographic Information Systems||10|
|Agri-Food Supply Chains||20|
|Natural Science Research Impact||10|
|Ecology and Conservation||20|
|Sedimentology and Stratigraphy||10|
You study compulsory modules that cover the practice of environmental science, terrestrial ecosystems and pollution.
You will develop your professional skills with a focus on career development and research. You also select optional topics from a range that includes: conservation; landscape, culture and heritage; population ecology; and economics.
|Landscape, Culture and Heritage||20|
|Qualitative Research Methods||10|
|Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation||20|
|Global Element Cycling||10|
|Law and Land Use||10|
|Career Development for second year students||20|
You take part in a residential field course that develops your ecological research skills and your professional skills in writing and presenting reports. You study compulsory topics in sustainability, environmental impact assessment and project management, and apply a range of research methods.
A quarter of your study time is made up of optional modules, which allow you to select topics such as: conservation; ecological modelling; policy evaluation; environmental law; and countryside management.
|Environmental Impact Assessment||20|
|Sustainable Development and Environmental Valuation||10|
|BSc Environmental Science Dissertation||30|
Teaching and assessment
In stages 2 and 3, just over half of your teaching time will be spent in classroom-based lectures or seminars. The remainder will be made up of field classes, computer classes, and practical lab work. In Stage 3, greater emphasis is placed on project work, culminating in a final-year project based on a topic of your choice.
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Assignments – written or fieldwork
Dissertation or research project
Examinations – practical or online
Skills and experience
You will develop your hands-on, practical skills with fieldwork opportunities embedded throughout your degree.
You'll have access to our two University-run farms for research, teaching and demonstration, as well as an experimental station providing field laboratories and state-of-the-art lab facilities on campus.
You will undertake field visits throughout your degree, so you can develop skills relevant to your future career. You'll also learn field techniques, knowledge of how to design and plan an investigation and environmental monitoring skills.
In Stage 3 you'll take part in a week-long residential field course to develop your ecological research skills.
You'll also write a dissertation which gives you the opportunity to plan and conduct a thorough investigation into a subject you're interested in, exploring current and future issues in environmental science.
Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.
You can choose to spend up to a year studying at a partner institution overseas.
If you choose to study abroad, it will extend your degree by a year.
Our environmental sciences degree is also available as a four-year programme.
You'll apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place in Stage 3.
You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.
Placements are subject to availability.
Facilities and environment
You will be based on campus at the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. As a student of Earth and Environmental Sciences you'll have access to our world-class facilities and analytical laboratories, including:
- gas chromatography
- gas chromatography mass spectrometry
- high pressure liquid chromatography mass spectrometry
- inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
You will be taught in the new, and unique, teaching space of the Houston Laboratory: part of a £2m redevelopment of Newcastle University’s Drummond Building.
You'll benefit from the Great North Museum on campus. It's home to over 9,000 geological and mineralogical specimens. The Mining Institute, with one of the world’s most comprehensive collections on mining engineering, is just a short walk away.
As a new student, you'll receive a tablet so you can download online learning resources, helping to make our campus more sustainable.
You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.
Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have when starting university.
There's also a staff-student committee, to give you an opportunity to have a say in how your degree works.
The environmental sector has grown rapidly over the last decade. Increasing environmental legislation means there are many new employment areas in industry and the public sector.
Our graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of organisations including the European Parliament, Meteorological Office and Oxfam.
Graduates from our environmental science course have gone on to undertake roles such as environmental consultancy and environmental engineering, and find employment with:
- conservation bodies such as Natural England
- the Environment Agency
- water companies
- local government environmental health departments
- other environmental protection agencies
Employability at Newcastle
96% of Newcastle University graduates progressed to employment or further study within six months of graduating, with 85.5% in graduate-level employment or further study.
Take a look at the most recent data available for our graduates. See what they have gone on to achieve and be inspired to follow in their footsteps.
Statistics are based on what graduates were doing on a specific date, approximately six months after graduation (Destinations of (undergraduate and postgraduate UK domiciled) Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17).
Our Enterprise Challenge gives students the opportunity to work with industry on a project that tackles real-world issues. Watch the above video to find out more.
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.
Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria.
Entrance courses (INTO)
International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO.
This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Tuition fees for 2020 entry (per year)
The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.
As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
Year abroad and additional costs
For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year.
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
Find out more about:
Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold Open Days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
We will be holding a virtual event on:
• Saturday 19 September
From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
• explore our beautiful campus
• find out about our vibrant city
• discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the subjects you're interested in.
How to apply
Apply through UCAS
To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:
- the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
- the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
- the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college
If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.Apply through UCAS
Apply through an agent
International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.