BSc Environmental Science
Study the environment from a scientific perspective, and discover how to solve some of the most-critical challenges facing planet Earth, with our accredited BSc Environmental Science.
You’ll explore Earth’s natural systems – its physical, chemical and biological interactions – and use this knowledge to develop strategies for tackling major environmental issues such as climate change and pollution.
This three-year degree has a strong scientific focus. Your learning will span from the single cells and atoms that form the building blocks of our world, to the cycling of matter and flows of energy into, between, and within the:
- solid Earth and its surface
Gain essential skills needed by today’s professional environmental scientists. Our balance of practical and theoretical learning enables you to gain experience in the field and enhance your specialist subject knowledge with real-life experience – preparing you for a career, or further research, in the environmental sector.
Choose BSc Environmental Science at the University of Reading
- Accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES).
- The University is in the top 100 in the world for Environmental Sciences (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023).
- The University of Reading is ranked 3rd in the UK for research power in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (Times Higher Education, Institutions Ranked by Subject, based on its analysis of the latest REF 2021).
- 99% of students in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science said our that teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (National Student Survey, 2023).
The flexibility of this degree allows you to make an informed decision about where to focus your study, providing the opportunity to adapt your degree to your chosen interests as they develop.
Alternatively, you can choose from a variety of specialist pathways, including:
- water resources and quality
- conservation and sustainability
- climate and palaeoclimate change
- pollution and remediation.
Your learning environment
Learn from internationally recognised academics from the Department of Geography and Environmental Science. We research and teach global topics, including:
- climate change and governance
- landscapes and ecology
- dryland environment
This expertise will expose you to changing trends and emerging technologies in the sector.
Field classes and skill development
One of the most popular components of our BSc Environmental Science are its field classes.
You’ll have the opportunity to travel throughout the UK and abroad, putting theory into practice and gaining valuable research and practical experience.
All of our compulsory field classes are heavily subsidised by the Department, and the cost of the first-year Southern England class and second-year Scotland class are included in your fees.
We currently offer research field classes to:Year one
- Southern England - study a range of social, cultural, economic and environmental issues.
- Stirling, Scotland - expand your knowledge of geomorphology, environmental change and nature restoration.
- Berlin, Germany - explore neighbourhood spaces and social history.
- Iceland - study volcanic processes and glaciology, energy resources, and the history of the landscape.
- Nanjing, China - improve your understanding of approaches used to address a range of environmental issues.
- Southern England and Wales - explore the inter-relationships between a range of social, economic and environmental problems.
As a student at Reading, you will also have access to our campuses and grounds to develop your fieldwork skills and conduct research. Home to more than a thousand different animal species, they offer multiple habitats to study – from lakes, hay meadows and woodlands on our award-winning Whiteknights campus, to hedgerow, marshland and the Thames on our University farms.
- Professor Nicholas Branch, who studies climate resilience and food production in South America, feeds his research into environmental science modules and has taken students with him to conduct research in the Peruvian Andes.
Placements with BSc Environmental Science
Gain valuable experience in the professional workplace through our placement opportunities.
Working with a local company or organisation, you will:
- deepen your knowledge and put your learning into practice
- develop your research, survey, data analysis and presentation skills
- build your professional network
- gain insight into the sector and potential career options.
Some of our students choose to complete their dissertation in conjunction with an outside agency, engaging in research for major organisations such as Natural England and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
We also offer a four-year version of this degree, BSc Environmental Science with Professional Experience, which offers an integrated placement in industry in the third year.
- Professor Hilary Geoghegan leads on the £1.3m national ‘Community for Engaging Environments’ project, giving students an opportunity to get involved with professional environmental research.
As part of your degree, you can apply to study abroad for a semester during your final year at one of our partner universities in North America, Europe, Asia or Africa. For example, recent destinations have included Svalbard, Norway and Rhode Island, USA.
All classes are conducted in English and bursaries are available to help with travel and accommodation costs.
Visit our Study Abroad website for more information.