Environmental Science BSc (Hons) Degree Apprenticeship

Why choose this programme?

Are you considering a career in the environmental sector? Would you like to find sustainable solutions to environmental challenges such as climate change, development pressures, resource use and environmental pollution?

You'll learn to investigate, monitor, evaluate and understand environmental systems and to predict and respond to environmental challenges.

This programme is highly practical; day and residential field trips will help you develop your field-based research skills from Level 4 to Level 6. You'll work on an independent research project based on an industry problem identified by your employer. This will combine your own environmental science interests with those of your employer.

One day a week will be at university rather than your place of employment. There will also be learning activities at your workplace. The programme leads to a BSc (Hons) Environmental Science (Degree Apprenticeship) and Level 6 Environment Practitioner.

Attendance Year of entry
5 years part time 2023
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Kingston University was involved in the Trail Blazer Group and developed the programme in collaboration with leading employers.
  • We are one of the first universities to offer the Level 6 Environment Practitioner Degree Apprenticeship.
  • Our programme is also the first accredited through the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).
Reasons to choose Kingston University

What you will study

Different levels

Prior knowledge, skills and behaviours can exempt individuals from certain elements of the programme, resulting in different entry levels and learner journeys for the apprentices.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Final year

Year 1 introduces key environmental science concepts and methods of scientific investigation.

Core modules

Introduction to Physical Geography and Environmental Hazards

30 credits

This is a Level 4 module for Geography and Environmental Science students. Core lectures introduce key fundamental topics in physical geography, overviewing the various spheres of the Earth, associated processes and interaction.

Themes are presented systematically as a cross-section of the Earth's physical structure: geological underpinning, Earth surface processes (introducing geomorphology, the pedosphere and hydrosphere), the atmosphere, and the biosphere. Interwoven within these topics will be lectures on associated environmental hazards, including geophysical hazards (e.g. volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis), atmospheric hazards (including hurricanes and tornadoes) and environmental and ecological hazards (including oil spills, mine contamination and wildfires). The processes behind these major natural and man-made environmental hazards will be described, with reasons provided for their occurrence and global spatial distribution. Detailed case studies will be provided for each hazard, from a variety of geographical regions, in order to build a portfolio of examples, enhancing your knowledge of the processes, impacts and means of forecasting and mitigating against the hazards becoming disasters.

The module is a pre-requisite for Level 5 environmental and geographical modules: Geomorphology and Geophysical Hazards; Land Water and the Environment; Ecology and Conservation. The module introduces you to the application of geophysical knowledge and skills and potential discipline-related employment opportunities and alerts you to a range of transferable employability skills that will be developed throughout the module. These include discipline-based skills by identifying applications of geophysical knowledge to real world challenges and transferable skills developed in the learning activities and related assessments.

Research and Fieldwork Methods

30 credits

This is a module for all Level 4 Geography and Environmental Science students. The module introduces a range of generic and discipline specific research and fieldwork methods. Students are introduced to their course learning aims and identify their learning targets from Induction to graduation and their alignment to their learning pathway. Students are tutored in a range of learning techniques (e.g. critical thinking and communication skills) and are introduced to assessment for learning and the role of feedback, reflection and feedforward as an integrated part of their learning journey. Students are introduced to a range of research methods that form the basis of successful investigations in their subject areas, including research design, information acquisition, qualitative and quantitative analysis and critical interpretation.

Year 2 you will learn in a variety of environments including the classroom and laboratory and develop fundamental fieldwork skills. You will study environmental systems and the nature and consequences associated with environmental change. You will investigate how people interact with their environment and examine sustainability challenges. You will learn to make accurate observations of environmental phenomena in the field and the laboratory, and evaluate your findings.

Core modules

Digital Earth and Spatial Analysis

30 credits

Digital Earth: Spatial Analysis introduces and develops the fundamental geographical skills of data collection, analysis and presentation and the solving of spatial problems using GIS. It concerns data types, representations of reality and key spatial analysis techniques. GIS-based skills are important employability skills for geography and environment students with many course-relevant employers requiring a working knowledge of GIS and the application of GIS to solve real world geographical and environmental challenges. Digital literacy employability skills will be introduced and developed in this module and the module will provide a baseline for those taking GG5155 Cartography, Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis at Level 5 and GG6140 GIS: Transforming Geography and Environment at Level 6.

Understanding the Environment

30 credits

This is a Level 4 module for Environment Science students. The module will investigate basic environmental principles, introduce environmental systems and identify and understand how physical and human processes can promote change in environmental systems at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Students will investigate the impacts of environmental change, understand their significance and show how this knowledge can be applied to the management of environmental challenges. The importance of a holistic approach to problem solving in the environmental sciences will be introduced along with material on key underpinning scientific disciplines including environmental chemistry and ecology through the investigation of global habitats. Environmental sustainability will be examined and debated within a broader sustainable development setting and students will define and debate anticipated 21st Century environmental challenges and the application of Environmental Science to these challenges. A range of employability skills will be emphasised throughout the module curriculum and students will be challenged to consider and articulate how their environmental knowledge and skills learning development can be applied to real world environmental problems.

Year 3 builds knowledge of environmental systems. You will develop your practical skills such as environmental project management. You will also learn to design and manage an environmental research project in the UK.

Core modules

Land, Water and the Environment

30 credits

First, an understanding of the fundamental principles of soil science is developed whereby the various soil properties and processes, including storage and transport of water in soil, are explained. This provides a good underpinning to developing an understanding of hydrology. Core principles of hydrology are explored both as theoretical physical science of hydrology and practical hydrological skills, which you will gain through hands-on experience and investigations. This knowledge of soil and water sciences forms the essential base for introducing and explaining environmental pollution, including the impact of pollutants on environmental systems (soil, water, plants and air) and human health. It also discusses pollution mitigation and control strategies. Core learning material is provided via Canvas VLE with lectures that are designed to explain fundamental principles and concepts. Employability skills are embedded within the module and specifically include field and laboratory skills that are designed to develop surveying, recording, measuring, sampling, laboratory testing, data analysis, data interpretation and presentational skills.

Design and Management of Environmental Projects

30 credits

This module is core for all Level 5 Environmental Science students and forms a bridge between Level 4 GG4090 Research and Fieldwork Methods and Level 6 GG6400 Research Project.

1)    Students design, manage and execute an environmental science or environmental hazards research project in a 'real-life' field-based setting. Students are tutored in aspects of research design: defining research questions, research philosophy and appropriate methodologies. Students learn practical aspects of research design such as logistical considerations of time and budget limitations as well as data archiving (including digital and mobile technology) and location-based analysis. They will design and manage a field-based research project in a UK and/or overseas setting.

2)    A Personal Tutorial System (PTS) will run in parallel to the taught elements of the module whereby students will integrate and develop their learning from this module to the wider academic and professional/workplace context. The PTS will emphasise key employability skills that will be acquired through the production of the research projects and their relationship to employability skills in other Level 5 modules. This will assist those students wishing to take a sandwich year and prepare those students and provide a development platform for the production of an independent research proposal. On completion of this module, students will have gained first-hand experience of research project design and management as a pre-cursor to their Level 6 Independent Research Project and/or work placement

3)    Students will learn how to collect, manipulate and interpret statistical environmental data and apply this learning to their project-based investigations.

Year 4 develops your analytical science skills portfolio through the collection, analysis and interpretation of environmental data. You will develop your practical skills such as environmental project management, cartography and Geographic Information Science.

Core modules

Cartography, Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis

30 credits

Maps are tools for visualising geospatial data to communicate spatial patterns and processes and the results of geographical analysis. This module explores the principles of map design and production in a GIS environment. It introduces ground, aerial and space based surveying, exploring the underlying physical principles and geographical/technological concepts. It covers remotely sensed data capture, image processing and data modelling. The third element develops skills in spatial data analysis and modelling and to explore the application of techniques with respect to point patterns, spatially continuous data and area based data.

Ecology and conservation

30 credits

This is a core module for the Environmental Science course and builds upon the foundation of Level 4 GG4080 Introduction to Physical Geography and Environmental Hazards. Ecological concepts are explained using a hierarchical approach: population, community and ecosystem levels of ecology are explored, highlighting the interactions between humans and nature. A research-led approach is used to emphasise the models by which ecologists attempt to explain complex biological systems. Current issues in biodiversity and conservation are explored through a lecture and seminar programme. The lectures are supported through fieldwork and field-based investigations. Core knowledge is provided with keynote lectures used to explain concepts. The fieldwork elements are designed to develop observing, recording, data analysis, data interpretation and presentation skills. The module provides a bridge to students wishing to develop their ecological knowledge and skills at Level 6, in particular GG6400 Research Project and GG6140 GIS: Transforming Geography and the Environment.

Final year modules build on your environmental knowledge and skills delivered in previous years, enabling you to apply your knowledge to investigate contemporary environmental science challenges. Your final year independent research project will reflect your personal environmental interests and help you develop your employability skills.

Core modules

GIS Transforming Geography and Environment

30 credits

This module has a twin focus on changes that have impacted on Geography and Environment over recent decades and how these have created opportunities for geographical and spatial investigation to address an expanding range of applications. Information technology, in particular GIS, is one of the major drivers of change and this module explores the application of GIS in a range of domains encompassing socio-demographic, economic, political, environmental, natural and anthropogenic hazard events.

Land and Water Resources Management

30 credits

The module examines the relationship between land and water management, global challenges associated with the management of land and water, and sustainable options to seek their resolution. The module will develop an understanding and critical evaluation of these challenges from several perspectives through the systematic investigation of land-use practices, the applications of soil science and linking practices to processes and patterns of land degradation, the interface between land management and water management, global concerns for water security, land use impacts on the wider environment, including climate, physical and socio-political drivers and an examination of the regional land-water management issues.

The Challenge of Climate Change

30 credits

This is a core Level 6 module for all Environmental Science and Environmental Science, Disasters and Management Students. This module tackles the key issues relating to climate change in the three main subject areas of science, policy and society. It aims to provide you with an understanding of the key concepts and processes of climate change and the various ways in which societies can respond. Core factual material is provided via Canvas with keynote lectures, seminars and workshops used to explain concepts. Fieldwork sessions are designed to complement the lecture series and give further practical demonstration of policy and practice complexities.

Research Project

30 credits

The module is core to those on the geographical and environmental courses. It provides experience in the design, execution and preparation of an independent but approved programme of research. Furthermore, through the Personal Tutorial System (PTS) it encourages you to employ reflective learning techniques and to develop a variety of level-appropriate employability skills by engaging with their research project as a piece of academic research with commercial, policy or political value which requires effective dissemination and communication to a range of suitable audiences. Employability skills developments are integral to the Research Project module. The specific nature of the research project chosen allows you to target specific skills you wish to develop in your learning pathway and the PTS will work closely with you to identify and articulate these skills through the associated module assessments.

Please note

Optional modules only run if there is enough demand. If we have an insufficient number of students interested in an optional module, that module will not be offered for this course.

Accreditation

This programme is accredited by Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and has been designed in accordance with IEMA profession standards.

Entry requirements

Typical offer 2022

UCAS tariff points: 96 to 120

 A-level

  • 96 to 120 UCAS tariff points from at least two A-levels. A Level or equivalent 2 A-Levels e.g. Geography, Sciences, Geology or Maths (Grade A*-C) Essential
  • General studies and Native language at both A-Level and AS levels are not accepted in the tariff.

BTEC level

  • BTEC or equivalent Science or Engineering related (Grade DMM) Essential

Access to HE Diploma

  • Pass Access to HE Diploma in relevant subjects e.g. engineering, science, business and maths.

Also required:

  • 5 GCSEs or equivalent including English Language and Maths (Grade 9-4 or A*- C) Essential
  • Working in the industry in a relevant job role.
  • Sponsorship from an approved employer within the industry.
  • Meeting all the requirements of the Education and Skills Funding Agency to undertake an apprenticeship as listed in the Apprenticeship Funding Rules.

Alternative routes

We will consider a range of alternative Level 3 qualifications such as an Access Course which has been passed with 96 to 120 UCAS points. 

Applications from those that have undertaken a relevant foundation year will also be considered.

Direct entry to Year 2+

This mode of entry requires an exemption from previous years of the programme based on the years of experience based on the Initial Needs Assessment (INA). Please note that Education and Skills Funding Agency Apprenticeship Funding Rules state that the minimum duration of an apprenticeship must be 12 months.

International

Higher and Degree Apprenticeship programmes are not suitable for international applicants without the Right to Work in England. Applicants must be employed and individual employers will set the selection criteria for their apprenticeships. International applicants need to look at the details of each apprenticeship vacancy and contact the employer to check their eligibility criteria. Academically, students registering to the programme will need to meet the relevant entry criteria.

Additional requirements

Entry on to this programme does not require an interview, entrance test, audition or portfolio.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for final assignments. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

ActivityHours
(entry at Level 4)
Hours
(entry at Level 5)
Hours
(entry at Level 6)
Lectures / flipped lectures /
tutorials / practicals / laboratories
321 299 226
Fieldwork / site visits 56 135 26
Integrative project work /
group work / supervised group meetings
40 10 0
Summative assessments 115 130 160
Work-based learning (credits' bearing) (approx.) 0 100
Workplace mentor meetings 60 60 30
Workshops 20  20 20
Research development 160  80 0

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (e.g. test or exam), practical (e.g. presentations, performance) and coursework (e.g. essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this programme is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose.

Assessment

Assessment
  • Coursework: 65%
  • Exams: 35%

 

Based on the Education and Skills Funding Agency funding rules your on-the-job training will also be assessed to ensure that it meets the requirements of the apprenticeship standard. You will also need to successfully complete an End-Point Assessment.

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to learners within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally attracts 10 learners and lecture sizes are normally 10-105. However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this programme?

The programme is taught at the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and the Environment. Faculty staff have a wide range of experience across research and industry and continue to practice and research at the cutting edge of their discipline. This ensures that our programmes are current and industry informed ensuring you get the most relevant and up to date education possible.

Staff will use their experience and professional networks to hone your skills and shape you into the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Programme fees and funding

2022/23 fees for this programme

This degree apprenticeship programme is funded through the Government's Apprenticeship Levy within the approved funding band.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which learners will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.

Where a programme has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials, security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free Wi-Fi is available on each of the campuses.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

You may need to pay additional travel costs for placements. If you are an apprentice, you can apply for an apprenticeship oyster card.

End-Point Assessment (EPA)

Each apprentice on an approved Apprenticeship Standard is required to take an End-Point Assessment (EPA) to complete the programme. The EPA is delivered by an End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) that is registered with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

The EPA is either integrated as part of the apprenticeship or completed after the course element. If an apprentice is completing the EPA after the course element, they must ensure they have successfully completed their learning, achieved the gateway requirements and finished uploading their evidence prior to taking the EPA.

What does an End-Point Assessment (EPA) involve?

There is no common format for an EPA, as they vary between apprenticeships. All EPAs are developed from 'assessment plans', drawn up by the trailblazer group responsible for apprenticeship standard and subsequently approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE).

An apprentice's EPA plan must detail the knowledge, skills and experience that they are expected to achieve as assessed by independent assessors. Employers have an important role in assessing competency and they have a key responsibility at the gateway in signing off the apprentice as ready to undertake EPA.

The EPA can be conducted either be awarding organisations, training providers like Kingston University, in case of integrated assessment, or End-Point Assessment Organisations (EPAOs). Without exception all should;

  • EPA must be conducted by an independent EPAO, which must be on the Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations. EPAOs will employ independent assessors.
  • Ensure independence – the EPA should be an independent assessment of an apprentice's competence. The decision on whether an apprentice has passed their EPA and what their final grade should be, must be taken by someone who has no vested interest in this decision or relationship to the apprentice. This is to ensure that all apprentices are treated fairly and helps to maintain trust in the robustness of the EPA system.
  • Underpin their EPA services with independent quality assurance.
  • Have relevant occupational experience of the apprenticeship standard.
  • Meet at least twice annually, review programme content and delivery, consider feedback from apprentices, employers and academics, and report findings annually to the University – through established committee structure and to employers.

Who provides a non-integrated assessment?

Employers can choose any organisation listed on the Register of End-Point Assessment Organisations (RoEPAO) against the apprenticeship standard being taken by their apprentice. RoEPAO lists organisations that have been assessed by the ESFA as being suitable to conduct independent EPA of apprentices. The employer can then inform Kingston University who will support the EPA process.

How is an integrated assessment different?

For apprenticeship that follow an integrated approach, the University delivering the apprenticeship will also be the EPAO and must be on the RoEPAO. Thus, integrated apprenticeships are where Kingston University provides both the scheduled teaching and the EPA. No independent assessor organisation is required – though the EPA must still deliver an impartial result – with assessors independent of the apprentice and their employer and, where possible, from a third-party organisation such as a professional body or another employer. If this is not possible, they may be sourced from within the same University but must be occupationally competent, meet any other conditions for assessors and not have been involved in the on-programme delivery.

For further details on EPA process for a particular apprenticeship programme please contact the relevant Apprenticeship Course Leader or Faculty Student/Degree Apprenticeship Officer. You can also get in touch with the Kingston University apprenticeships team via degreeapprenticeships@kingston.ac.uk or 020 8417 5492.

Local Employer Group (LEG)

The LEG was established to monitor, support and enhance the delivery and operation of the programme. This includes management and periodically reviewing of work-based learning by this established local employer group with the aim of delivering an apprenticeship programme that is a high-quality satisfactory experience for all. Representatives of apprentices are invited to serve on the group. Terms of reference include:

In advance of each group meeting, the course administrator asks the apprentice representative to gather feedback from their fellow apprentices to be channelled through them at the meeting.

Facilities

There is a wide range of facilities for practical work at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • laboratories dedicated to environmental science learning and research
  • computing laboratories and a team of IT technicians to offer assistance
  • a fully integrated virtual learning environment (Canvas) so you can learn and interact with others on your course 24/7.
Next steps

Next steps

Employees

If you are currently employed full-time and would like to find out more about apprenticeships, please ask your employer to contact the Kingston University apprenticeship team.

Employers

If you are an employer interested in how apprenticeships can support your organisation and employees, please contact the apprenticeship team for further details.

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.