On our BSc Environmental Science with Professional Experience course you will broaden your scientific knowledge of the environment through a strongly practical course, and gain valuable work experience through a year-long placement.
This course studies the environment from a scientific perspective. It will enable you to explore the Earth’s natural systems and their physical, chemical and biological interactions. This knowledge can then be used to create strategies for solving the biggest issues facing the world today, including pollution and climate change. Taught by the Department of Geography and Environmental Science, the course has a strong practical basis and you will learn the essential skills needed by today’s professional environmental scientists. You will also have the chance to experience life in another country by spending a term abroad during your final year.
Our staff are actively engaged in research and will tailor their teaching to reflect changing trends and emerging technologies within the sector. You will also benefit from small class sizes, enabling staff to support you better through your studies.
Fieldwork is a major part of this degree, and you will benefit from regular local trips and lo
nger residential visits. The University of Reading’s award-winning campus is home to over a thousand different animal species and is extremely useful for learning fieldwork skills. It offers multiple habitats for study, including lakes, hay meadows and woodlands, and allows you to step straight from the classroom to the field. Meanwhile, the University's large farms provide access to hedgerow, marshland and the Thames.
During the first year you will visit Somerset to study topics such as flooding, geology and soil formation. In your second year you will be able to visit Almeria in Spain, which is the driest area in mainland Europe. Here you will visit a solar research station and examples of greenhouse horticulture, and investigate issues such as pollution and water supply. In the final year, there is an optional field trip to Iceland.
The structure of the course enables you to pursue your own interests and even allows you to study modules from other subjects, such as biological sciences or meteorology. You can decide to pick and choose options for yourself or can stick to specialist pathways in water resources and quality, conservation and sustainability, climate and palaeoclimate change, and pollution and remediation. Furthermore, you will have the option to work as an environmental consultant for a real client. You will be assigned a stretch of the River Loddon and will carry out assessments, liaise with key stakeholders, and report your findings to the Environment Agency.
During your final year you will complete a dissertation on a topic of your choice, such as water quality, carbon budgets or soil. You may have the chance to run it in conjunction with an outside society and gain experience of completing research for a major organisation. In the past, students have worked alongside Natural England and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. There is also the option to spend a term studying abroad in areas such as Svalbard in Norway and Rhode Island in the USA.
This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES).
This four-year degree course includes an industry placement or a year's study at a university abroad. The placement will involve working on a project for a local company or organisations, providing you with valuable experience of professional work, as well as enabling you to develop your research, survey, data analysis and presentation skills. Our department has a dedicated member of staff in charge of placements, who can provide you with advice and support. We have numerous links with universities in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa, and you may have the opportunity to study at one of them, depending on your course. Additionally, field trips will enable you to travel to a variety of locations to carry out research.
For more information about securing and completing a placement for your placement year, please visit our Important Information page.
I've enjoyed keeping as broad a spectrum as possible which has helped me get my placements as a farmland ecology research student. As an environmental scientist, you have the opportunity to take modules of other disciplines such as agriculture, geography and biology. It's surprising how much new subject areas can spark a new passion.