BSc in Environmental Science (Honours)

The Open University

Program Description

BSc in Environmental Science (Honours)

The Open University

Our environment is under threat from climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and resource depletion. This course combines aspects of biology, ecology, geography, chemistry, technology and social science to help you understand the whole picture.

You’ll develop the scientific knowledge and techniques needed to understand environmental patterns and processes, investigate ecosystems, and to address local and global environmental issues. You’ll also investigate how environmental science relates to society.

Key features of the course

  • Investigates the complexities of the natural environment and our relationship with it
  • Explores the problems we face in understanding our natural environment and in living sustainably
  • Accredited by The Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES)
  • Develops your scientific, interpretive and creative thinking skills
  • Includes compulsory fieldwork, which you’ll undertake during two separate UK-based residential schools

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • You’ll start Stage 1 with two 60-credit introductory modules – one with a focus on environment and one with a focus on science.
  • Next, in Stage 2, you’ll study a compulsory 60-credit environmental science module and follow this with 60-credits of study selected from a list of options.
  • And finally, in Stage 3, you’ll study a 30-credit module with a focus on ecosystems followed by a further 60 credits chosen from a list of options. You’ll conclude your degree with a 30-credit project module.


We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BSc (Honours) Environmental Science uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
  • using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
  • undertaking practical work (including two compulsory UK residential schools) and using an online laboratory
  • working with the specialist reading material such as scientific journals
  • using specialist software
  • working in a group with other students
  • finding external/third party material online.

All qualifications require you to complete learning and assessment activities within a required timescale and according to pre-determined deadlines.

You will, therefore, need to manage your time effectively during your studies and the University will help you to develop this skill throughout your degree. Information on assessment will be available to you at the start of each module.

Learning outcomes, teaching, and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increase as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media, and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.

At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realize their ambitions and fulfill their potential.

Even though there are no entry requirements, there are some skills that you'll need to succeed. If you're not quite ready for OU study we can guide you to resources that prepare you, many of which are free.

Skills for career development

As a graduate of the BSc (Honours) Environmental Science (Q52), you will have gained breadth and depth of understanding in scientific, technical and environmental issues. You’ll be able to think creatively; tackle multifaceted issues; and collect, analyze and interpret complex quantitative and qualitative data. You’ll also develop research, planning and fieldwork techniques as you take part in practical and project work.

You will also gain important transferable skills which will demonstrate your all-around ability and make you more employable. These include:

  • problem-solving
  • digital literacy
  • communication
  • self-motivation
  • team-work.

Career relevance

The broad and specialist skills you will develop during this degree course will equip you to work in a variety of jobs. Environmental science skills are in demand from government and regulatory bodies, the private sector, consultancies and conservation organizations. Careers directly related to the degree include:

  • pollution control
  • recycling
  • water quality
  • resources
  • energy management
  • sustainability
  • environmental consultancy
  • ecology and nature conservation
  • environmental education.


This degree is accredited by The Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) which means students can gain free student membership of the institute.
This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University

Last updated February 3, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
3 - 16 years
Part time
Full time