Undergraduate study - 2024 entry
Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

Subject area: Ecological and Environmental Sciences

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

  • We are 15th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2023.

    We are 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 2023).

  • 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 practical skills prized by employers.

    While your field experiences will challenge you at times, they are 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 10th in the world in the QS Best Student Cities 2023. 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 the interactions between humans and the natural world?

Are you concerned about our impact on the planet?

Then 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 with their physical, chemical and biological environments.

  • 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?

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 challenging and fun. Often they will provide some of your most memorable moments. 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

The locations and experiences of each trip will vary. We want to enrich you with a broad understanding of how the world works. Our goal is to minimise our carbon footprint while providing you with the best training opportunities.

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 where necessary.

Want to know more?

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

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

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.

We will 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.

We also host several collaborative centres of research excellence. For example, our Centre for Sustainable Forests and Landscapes is linked to our degrees.

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