Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

BSc Ecological and Environmental Sciences

UCAS code: CF17

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: GeoSciences

College: Science and Engineering

Study abroad

Introducing BSc Ecological and Environmental Sciences

You will study a wide variety of courses, starting with those focused on the origins of life, the basics of ecological theory, and global environmental processes. You will examine topics such as biodiversity, conservation management and land-use, while also gaining a broad understanding of physical, chemical and biological sciences.

Later in the programme you will explore methods used in ecological and environmental analysis and topics such as, water resource management, land use, environmental pollution and environmental modelling. You will be taught by staff involved in high-level research in these subject areas. You will have the opportunity to undertake research projects, including a long independent research project in your final year, and will complete field and laboratory assignments, including at least three week-long field trips in Scotland.

The programme will provide you with the skills and knowledge to tackle environmental issues, design robust strategies for sample collection, make ecological and environmental measurements, evaluate the significance of results and manage conservation and environmental protection projects.

Year 1

You will be introduced to fundamental aspects of ecology through compulsory courses Origin and Diversity of Life and Biology, Ecology and Environment, introducing the organisation of ecological communities and the influence of the environment on living organisms. You will also undertake a mathematical course, such as Quantification in the Life Sciences.

In addition, you will be able to select courses from other academic areas, some directly related, such as geography, chemistry or geology, and some that may help to widen career opportunities, including modern languages, computing, management and business studies.

Year 2

You will start Year 2 with a nine-day field course (Field Ecology) which runs immediately after the end of the second semester of Year 1. During the year you will also study compulsory courses titled: Principles of Ecology; Soil, Water and Atmospheric Processes; and Ecological & Environmental Analysis.

You can choose other courses, as in Year 1, from throughout the options offered at Edinburgh. In the past students have chosen courses such as Animal Biology, The Green Planet, Oceanography and Environmental Chemistry.

Year 3

You will start the year with a week-long summer field course, which is currently held at the University's outdoor centre on Loch Tay in the Scottish Highlands. You will continue with compulsory ecology courses, including Ecological Measurement and Population and Community Ecology.

You will also choose at least one of the courses Natural Resource Management or Environmental Pollution. In addition, you will be able to select two Year 3 courses from other programmes; in the past students have studied courses such as Animal Diversity & Evolution; Behavioural Ecology; Evolution & Ecology of Plants; Geochemistry; and Quaternary Environmental Change.

Alternatively, there are opportunities to spend Year 3 abroad through one of the University's exchange programmes.

Year 4

You will continue to study compulsory ecology courses, including a week-long summer residential field trip currently held in Argyll, and choose from a wide selection of option courses, learning at the cutting edge of various ecological and environmental disciplines. All students study Professional Skills in Ecological and Environmental Sciences, which directly prepares you for work in this subject area, and the tutorial-based course Critical Thinking in Ecological and Environmental Sciences. This comprises 12 sessions in very small groups with an academic, learning to critically analyse and assess scientific papers and experiments.

You will also complete a specialised honours dissertation, with individual supervision from an academic with experience in your chosen subject area. Most students will do outdoor field data collection as part of their project, with many travelling abroad.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2017/18)

Our facilities

Most teaching takes place within the School of GeoSciences, located within the University's King's Buildings campus. You will also have access to the University's laboratories, computer facilities and libraries across all University sites. In addition, the three compulsory field courses will involve at least one week each of field study across Scotland.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for a year abroad through one of the University's exchange programmes.

Guaranteed study abroad funding for students required to complete a year abroad

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of tutorials, lectures, practical classes and fieldwork. You will prepare assignments throughout your programme, working both individually and in groups, producing essays, lab/fieldwork reports, posters and presentations. In your final years you will undertake more private study and will receive individual supervision with your honours dissertation project, as well as tutorials with academic staff in small groups.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by coursework and examinations and additionally, in Year 4, a dissertation.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2017/18)

These programmes are particularly relevant for students interested in working for an environmental consultancy or conservation organisation but also prepare you for careers in the forestry and water industries.

Graduates have also gone on to work for government agencies providing policy advice or have entered teaching, finance and management.

Many students use the University’s research contacts to gain experience in their area of interest before starting work or continuing with their studies.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA.
  • A Levels: AAA.
  • IB: 37 points with 555 at HL.

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6, to include two of Biology*, Chemistry*, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Managing Environmental Resources, Mathematics* and Physics*; with National 5 Mathematics at Grade B (*include at least one).
  • A Levels: ABB in one sitting, to include two from Biology*, Chemistry*, Mathematics*, Physics*, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology; with GCSE Mathematics at Grade B or 6 (*include at least one).
  • IB: 32 points overall and award of IB Diploma with 555 at HL to include two of Biology*, Chemistry*, Mathematics*, Physics*, Geology or Geography (*include at least one). Diploma must include Mathematics SL 5, if not held at HL. If you do not have SL Maths please contact the admissions office.

Find out more about entry requirements

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

For direct entry to second year the minimum requirements must be exceeded, including the following:

  • SQA Advanced Highers: AAB to include Biology, plus one of Chemistry, Environmental Science, Mathematics or Physics, plus one further Higher from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geography or Geology.
  • A Levels: A*AA in one sitting to include Biology, plus one of Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics, plus one further A Level from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geography or Geology. Alternatively, AAA in one sitting, to include Biology, plus two of Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, or Geology.
  • IB: 38 points overall and award of IB Diploma with 666 at HL to include Biology and Chemistry.
Other entry pathways

Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each ""Communicative Skills"" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements

SQA and GCSE

For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BSc Ecological and Environmental Sciences

Additional costs

You will incur costs on compulsory field trips. In 2016, these were in the region of: Year 2 - £25, Year 3 - £155, and Year 4 - £140. Previous destinations include local day trips to Killin and Ormsary Estate.

Find more information about field trip costs on the GeoSciences website.

Field trip costs

Funding

For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding

More information

How to apply

School: GeoSciences

College: Science and Engineering