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Environmental Science BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time F900 2019
4 years full time including sandwich year F901 2019
4 years full time including foundation year F908 2019
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2019

Why choose this course?

If you are interested in the challenges associated with climate change, development pressures, water resources and environmental pollution, this course is ideal. You will learn to understand, monitor and evaluate the Earth's environmental systems, and predict, manage and respond to environmental challenges on global, regional and local scales.

Foundation year

If you would like to study one of our science degrees at Kingston University but are not yet ready to join the first year of a BSc(Hons) course, you can include an extra foundation year within your chosen degree. Please see the science foundation year course page for details of modules.

What you will study

Year 1 introduces key concepts in environmental science, including methods of scientific investigation. You will study the processes that operate within environmental systems and cause change. You will gain an understanding of the ways people interact with the environment, and examine sustainability challenges for the future. You will learn to make accurate observations of environmental phenomena in the field and the laboratory, and evaluate your findings.

Year 2 builds knowledge of environmental systems and analytical science. You will expand your portfolio of skills through the analysis of environmental data, and develop a practical understanding of techniques for investigating our environment. You will also learn to design and manage an environmental research project, and put theory into practice in an overseas fieldwork setting.

The optional sandwich year between Years 2 and 3 includes a work placement or international exchange. The work placement gives an opportunity for paid work and valuable experience in an environmental field. We will keep in touch with you throughout your placement, ensuring the skills and training you receive translate effectively into your studies and career aspirations.

Year 3's modules build on those delivered in Year 2, enabling you to apply your knowledge to investigate contemporary environmental challenges. You will study climate change. Your independent research project will reflect your own environmental science interests and help you build towards your career.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • 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 (eg. 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 throught 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.

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  • 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 (eg. 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.

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Year 2

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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Optional sandwich year

Year 3/4

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9931*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9931*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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