Undergraduate study - 2023 entry
Open to the world

Subject area: Ecological and Environmental Sciences

Why choose Ecological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We are 16th in the world in the current QS World University Rankings.

    We are also in the world's top 50 and the UK's top 10 universities for natural sciences, environmental sciences, earth and marine sciences (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022).

  • Field trips are at the heart of our degrees.

    Our hands-on approach to learning takes you beyond the classroom to develop real-world experience and skills prized by employers.

    Your field experiences will be hard work, rewarding and loads of fun. Oh – and they're free.

  • Learn from one of the UK's largest and most successful groupings of geographers, Earth and environmental scientists. Many of them are world experts in their field. We keep your degree up-to-date, diverse, and exciting by sharing our discoveries with you.

    With our research and industry networks, we open up a world of opportunities and empower your degree with real-world relevance.

  • Edinburgh is ranked 2nd in the UK and 12th in the world in the QS Best Student Cities 2022. A fantastic place to live, it’s also the perfect location to see first-hand the subjects you are studying. Diverse ecological and environmental locations surround the city and beyond including rugged coastlines, misty mountains and forest glens.

Study abroad

Since I was a child, I have always cared deeply about the natural environment. And I wanted to learn more about how our ecosystems function.

This degree gave me a broad perspective on the interconnection between an ecosystem's components - and the processes that link them. It has also opened doors to a wide range of career pathways from policy making to consultancy and business innovations. Most of all, after studying here, I feel empowered and inspired to make a change.

Giada Barzaghi BSc (Hons) Ecological and Environmental Sciences with Management
Giada Barzaghi BSc (Hons)  Ecological and Environmental Sciences with Management

Introducing Ecological and Environmental Sciences

Are you passionate about interactions between humans and the natural world?

Are you concerned about our impact on the planet?

Ecological and environmental sciences may be for you.

Our world is suffering from:

  • rapid climate change
  • the over-exploitation of natural resources
  • the degradation of natural habitats

Our degrees help you address some of the greatest environmental challenges facing our planet.

  • Ecological sciences study how organisms interact with each other. And also with their physical, chemical and biological environment.

  • Environmental science is an integrated science. We apply biological, chemical and physical sciences to understand the natural environment and how it is changing.

Understanding both is vital for managing changing environments for a more sustainable future.

Making a difference starts here. Are you ready?

Our degrees

We offer two programmes for you to study with us.

Bachelor of Science (BSc) Ecological and Environmental Sciences

This BSc is our core programme. You will develop in-depth knowledge and skills to find solutions to three major problems:

  • climate change
  • habitat loss and overexploitation
  • how unequal distribution of global growth and population growth affects climate and habitat

Bachelor of Science (BSc) Ecological and Environmental Sciences with Management

This BSc offers very similar content to our core programme but with a more applied focus.

You can combine your interest in the environment with business and management skills.

Life changing field trips

Field trips are at the heart of our degrees.

We know that getting out in the world is essential for understanding how it works.

Our field courses and day excursions are hard work and fun. Often they will provide some of your most memorable moments. So you will have many opportunities to get your hands dirty!

You could be:

  • splashing through rivers counting insects
  • trekking through the forest, measuring trees and taking leaf samples
  • applying your skills to field conservation in wild and remote areas
  • learning how people manage land for conservation, forestry and agriculture

We will take you beyond the classroom to apply your learning to real-life situations.

Our hands-on approach to learning helps build your confidence and practical experience. It also gives you valuable field skills prized by employers.

The locations and experiences of each trip will vary. We want to enrich you with a broad understanding of how the world works.

Our compulsory field trips or field courses are free, including travel and accommodation.

To ensure our degrees are accessible and inclusive, we offer alternative learning experiences.

Want to know more?

You can access our blog posts and videos about fieldwork experiences on the School of GeoSciences website.

How will I learn?

We embrace a hands-on approach to learning, so you will have plenty of access to our:

  • specialist research facilities
  • laboratories
  • supercomputers
  • field equipment

We also host several collaborative centres of research excellence.

Our Centre for Sustainable Forests and Landscapes is linked to our degrees.

You will learn from our wide range of experienced academics across a diverse range of ecological and environmental science disciplines. Many of them are leaders in their fields.

Our research-led, industry-informed teaching incorporates the latest developments in your field. We keep your degree up-to-date, diverse, and exciting by sharing our discoveries with you.

We also have an extensive network of experts contributing to our degrees. They help ensure your degree has real-world relevance and make you highly sought after by employers.

Through our links, you will also be able to network and explore work and project opportunities.

What is it really like to study with us?

No one knows what it's like to study here more than the students themselves.

Our students are sharing their experiences - from studying to living in Edinburgh and everything in between.

Get social with us:

Edinburgh is your ideal base

Edinburgh is ranked 2nd in the UK and 12th in the world in the QS Best Student Cities 2022. Our vibrant capital is an irresistible blend of history and modern city life.

Edinburgh is not only a fantastic city to live in; it is also the perfect location to see the subjects you study first-hand. We have rich ecological and environmental locations to explore right on our doorstep.

Immerse yourself among rugged coastlines, misty mountains, forest glens and sparkling freshwater lochs.

We will also take you on day trips throughout your studies to help you make the most of our local surroundings.

It is no surprise we are regularly voted one of the most desirable places to live in the world!

Take a virtual tour

You can take a closer look at the School of GeoSciences and explore our facilities and campus on the University's Virtual Visit site.

Discover our city's landmarks, our campuses, accommodation and get video tours - all in one place.

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