BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science


Program Description

The B.Sc. Honours Degree in Environmental Science at IT Sligo is the longest running environmental science degree in the island of Ireland. We have nearly 30 years of graduates working in the area of environmental science all over the world.

Our four-year honours degree course blends the practical with the theory. Our students gain knowledge, skills and experience in a wide range of environmental disciplines using some of the most advanced instruments and facilities in Ireland. Our students study ecology, soil and earth science, oceans, air and weather, hazardous chemicals and toxicology, microbiology, molecular biology, water and wastewater pollution and environmental management. As part of the course, all students receive work placement, applying their environmental skills in a leading national or multinational organisation, regulatory agency or local authority.

Our graduates understand the interrelationship of human impacts on the natural environment. They have the theoretical knowledge and the practical skills to apply it in the workplace. They are work ready in an ever-changing world.


Year 1

An introduction to the world of environmental protection and the earth energy & environmental systems. Students will study and gain practical experience in the core topics of biology, chemistry, maths, geology and earth science, computers, communications and basic environmental systems. At the end of the year, students will have a good fundamental knowledge base in the disciplines of environmental science.

Year 2

Students will receive more in-depth practical experience in climate science, water quality, ecology, microbiology, computer mapping and modelling systems, environmental instruments and analysis of water, air and soil. These core specialised subjects will set the student up for the third year and provide the foundation for advanced laboratory skills.

Year 3

Modules focus on environmental systems and the interaction of humans, industry and development on the environment. Students will become competent in the areas of water and wastewater treatment, waste management, habitat and species management, environmental, agricultural systems, environmental assessment, chemical toxicology, environmental microbiology and molecular biology. All modules have a practical emphasis preparing the student for the workplace and their work placement, which takes place at the end of this year.

Year 4

The fourth year of the honours degree programme is set on management principles so that the graduate has the skill to not only understand science and the environment but apply it practically with leadership and direction. The specialist topics covered include environmental planning, ecological and energy management systems, environmental legislation, science research methods and advanced geographical mapping (GIS). Students will also undertake a major project in a specific area of their choice.

Professional Recognition

This is an accredited course with the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), the largest professional body for chartered environmental scientists. All students on this course are eligible to become student members of this professional body.

Entry Requirements

A science subject at Leaving Certificate is not a requirement for this course.

All lectures, tutorials and practical work are delivered through English. It is vitally important that students who are not native English speakers have the required standard on entry to ensure they gain maximum value from their time at IT Sligo. The required minimum proficiency score in English required for entry to IT Sligo is 5.5 IELTS score for undergraduate degrees.

Career Opportunities

There are many options, here are a few example:

  • Multinational healthcare and IT industries (e.g. Abbott Laboratories, Intel, GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Agricultural and food processing industry (e.g. Connaught Gold, Glanbia, Teagasc)
  • Environmental and engineering consultancies
  • Waste and water management utilities (e.g. Greenstar, Veolia, Irish Water)
  • Waste to energy facilities
  • Local Government (County Councils)
  • Civil Service & Semi-state sector (e.g. EPA, National Parks & Wildlife Service, Inland Fisheries Ireland)
  • Non-Government Organisations (e.g. Birdwatch Ireland, An Taisce, Irish Wildlife Trust, Irish Whale & Dolphin Group)
  • Energy, and renewable energy, sector
  • Research posts and Lecturing in Third Level Institutions

You could also choose to specialise in environmental science with Masters or Doctorate qualifications!

Last updated Jan 2018

About the School

Since it first opened in September 1970, IT Sligo has been one of Ireland’s leading third level institutions. Students are at the heart of what we do. It is home to 6,000 students across the Institute ... Read More

Since it first opened in September 1970, IT Sligo has been one of Ireland’s leading third level institutions. Students are at the heart of what we do. It is home to 6,000 students across the Institute’s full-time, part-time and apprenticeship programmes. Of those, 2,000 are studying online. Read less