This course is the same as the 3-year BSc Environmental Science degree (F900), but with a fourth year to achieve the MSci qualification.
Environmental science is the integrated, quantitative and interdisciplinary study of the environment - one of the most important and exciting areas for scientific enquiry today.
Our course offers a flexible applied science degree to enable you to understand the mechanisms and processes underlying our interactions with the natural environment. By studying a wide range of subjects encompassing the environmental aspects of geography, biology, chemistry and physics you will develop your scientific understanding of the ways in which living organisms interact with their environment, and how air, soil and water pollution can be monitored, modelled and remediated. Such knowledge is fundamental to an enormous range of environmental issues on a global scale.
The Masters degree is designed for students who would like to gain advanced skills and/or wish to pursue a research career in industry, a research institute or in academia.
Particular strengths at Nottingham include soil science; environmental modelling; atmospheric science; remediation of contaminated land; ecology and geochemistry.
Fieldwork is an essential part of the training and we provide many opportunities within individual modules and as specific residential field courses including Derbyshire, Devon, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
In year one you will develop your understanding of key scientific principles within traditional scientific disciplines and how these are integrated and interrelated.
The science behind climate change and influences on water chemistry are key topics in year two. A wide range of optional modules allows you to study specific topics of interest to you.
Your research project is a major module this year. You can also select from a wide range of available modules.
This masters year covers a theoretical and practical understanding of advanced research methods relevant to environmental science.We teach skills including project design and management, communication to scientific audiences, and advanced research methods. Students undertake a substantial research project under the supervision of an academic member of staff.
Industry Placement year
You can take advantage of an optional industry placement between years two and three of your degree. This year-long placement as a paid employee (in, for example, an Environmental Consultancy or Local Authority) allows you to develop a range of skills and enhance your employment prospects. Read more
International Study Options
• Malaysia option: Students on this degree may have the opportunity to study for one semester or one year at the University's Malaysia Campus. Read more
• Combining Environmental Science with a Certificate in European Studies (F751) offers the opportunity to follow your degree in another European country.
• Students can apply for a Universitas 21 placement at one of our partner universities enabling study periods at a variety of overses locations including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and China.
A levels: ABB-BBB, including at least two science subjects at A level (can include maths and/or geography but psychology and economics are not accepted), and an additional A level or equivalent.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 79 (minimum 17 in listening and writing, 18 in reading and 20 in speaking)
For details please see the alternative qualifications page
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
Notes for applicants
Our modular courses are flexible and offer the opportunity to combine your main studies with modules in other subject ares (please note that all modules are subject to change).
Scholarships - for details of scholarships, please see www.nottingham.ac.uk/biosciences
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. Modules followed for years one, two and three are the same as for the BSc degree.
More detailed information on course structure and modules
Typical year-one modules
Principles of Ecology
Global Environmental Processes
Environmental Science and Society
Data Transfer, Analysis and Presentation
Typical year-two modules
Climate Change Science
Research Techniques for Environmental Science
Communicating Environmental Science
Typical year-three modules
Research Project in Environmental Science
Research Project More info here
Working closely with an academic supervisor, you develop and undertake a research project in your third year. You will present your results orally to your peers and in the form of a concise scientific paper.
The project encourages critical thinking and involves a detailed literature survey, data collection, analysis and interpretation.
Recent projects include:
Phytoremediation of contaminated soil
The effect of phosphogypsum on soil development
Reduction of atmospheric pollutant concentrations by hedgerows
Hazard assessment of heavy metal uptake to plants
Ecological impacts of veterinary drugs
Forest carbon storage and its role in mitigating CO² emission
Read BURN the Biosciences Undergraduate Research at Nottingham web pages to find out more about undergraduate research projects. BURN is a freely accessible e-journal which showcases final-year research projects undertaken by biosciences students.
Typical optional modules
Intro to Fuels and Waste Utilisation
Hydrogeochemistry Field Course (Derbyshire)
Patterns of Life
Rural Environmental Geography
Plant Responses to Environmental Stress
Computing and Mathematical Techniques
Environmental Pollution Field Course (Czech Republic)
Arctic Ecology Field Course (Sweden)
Soil and Water Pollution and Reclamation
Ecosystem Processes in the Terrestrial Biosphere
Applied Environmental Physiology
Typical year four modules
Statistics and Experimental Design for Bioscientists
MSci Research Project
Scientific Research Methods
Writing and Reviewing Research Proposals
(There are no optional modules during this year)
You will have developed understanding of the environment through taught modules, private study, laboratory classes and a range of field courses both in the UK and abroad. You will also have an awareness of the challenges to be overcome in ensuring a sustainable future and knowledge of possible solutions to environmental problems.
In addition to providing a solid academic and practical grounding, our emphasis is on teaching realistic and transferable skills. For example, you gain experience in writing research papers, reports, and public speaking.
Our graduates are widely regarded as being well-trained and of high quality, and are in an excellent position to obtain rewarding and well paid jobs. They are ideally suited for employment in environmental consultancies, local authorities, government agencies and industry.
Here are some of the jobs achieved by our Environmental Science students who graduated in 2011:
Arcadis Environmental Consultants
Agricultural and Rural Loss Adjuster - with Cunningham Lindsay
CH2MHill – Engineering consultants
Alternergy – Solar Energy Firm, London
Internship in USA – Beaver reintroduction programme
Junior Hydrologist - with Hydrosolution in Perth, Australia
Waste Recycling Group (two students)
Hydrologist, Severn Trent, Coventry
Technical Analyst with Pager Power (wind farm assessment)
Law conversion course
Sandhurst, Officer Training
Several undertaking further study
Average starting salary
The average starting salary for 2010/11 full-time graduates of the School of Biosciences was £18,111.*
*Average starting salary from known destinations of first-degree leavers who studied full-time, 2010/11.
Careers Support and Advice
Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.
Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.
Key Information Sets (KIS)
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