Studying at Lancaster

Teaching and Learning

We use a mix of lectures, seminars and practicals to enhance your learning and to develop essential skills throughout your degree.

Lectures

Lectures provide an introduction to the key issues and findings in each topic and are delivered by an expert in that particular field. Lectures usually last either one or two hours, and should be complemented by further independent study by reading relevant literature on the topic. We provide online reading lists, suggesting suitable books and journals which will be available either digitally or in print from our library.

Tutorials

Tutorials are usually one-hour sessions where you will be encouraged to discuss your learning with a small group of fellow students, under the guidance of a tutor. We encourage you to make the most of these groups by becoming used to speaking out, listening to others and learning to increasingly present yourself with confidence.  You'll become experienced in being part of a team and explore the topics under study together.

Practical Classes

Many of our modules include practical sessions alongside lectures and tutorials. These are designed to help you discover the key environmental or biological principles underpinning the topic of study, whilst also developing your skills which you will be able to put to use throughout your degree and future career. Practical classes could range from computer-modelling sessions to the opportunity to conduct experiments and analyse samples in our new Environmental and Life Sciences laboratories.

Fieldwork

Our surroundings allow us to give you regular hands-on experience of a wide range of environmental, ecological, geological and social situations in the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, and Morecambe Bay as well as nearby cities such as Manchester. Additionally, each of our degrees offer many field courses further afield, including elsewhere in the UK and overseas, giving you the opportunity to apply your knowledge to different contexts around the world whilst also getting to know your fellow students and lecturers at the same time!

Assessment

The assessment process varies across modules, but includes laboratory reports, essays, independent project reports, group presentations, multiple-choice tests and exams. Assessment is an on-going process, rather than being left solely until the end of the degree. This means we are able to offer feedback to you throughout your degree and, equally as importantly, it relieves pressure on you when modules are examined at the end of each year.

"The assistance and engagement of staff was second only to the opportunities to practice what I was learning in my studies out in the field"
Matt Barker, BSc Environmental Science

Facilities

Lancaster University believes in our students. This why we invest in the best facilities for you.

Teaching Labs

Our new £4.4 million teaching laboratories have bench space for 216 students and are shared between the Lancaster Environment Centre and the Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences. The flexible design means that up to four classes can be taught at one time in the two laboratories, with up to 12 students clustered around double benches, having access to monitor screens and speakers which are controlled from four teaching stations.

Research Glasshouses

Our 15 purpose-build glasshouse modules provide flexible growth facilities dedicated to our wide range of plant science and ecological research. The glasshouses provide control of temperature (all are heated and three are three fully air-conditioned), LED-lighting to supplement daylight and extend day length, defined irrigation, and a range of containment options.

Hazelrigg Weather Station

Daily weather observations have been made at Lancaster University since 1966 providing a continuous, very high-quality record. This record is included in world climate reports and in the analysis of long terms trends by the World Meteorological Organisation.

Environmental Chemistry Laboratories

Our chemistry laboratories have amongst the best analytical facilities in the world for environmental organic chemistry research. The primary research focus is the quantification of trace levels of persistent organic chemicals in environmental samples.

Centre for Biophotonics

This is a cutting-edge inter-disciplinary facility combining cell biology laboratories next to imaging technologies. The latter range from more conventional electron (scanning and transmission) and confocal microscopy systems to two ATR-FTIR microscopes, an FTIR microscope and a Raman microscope.

Soils and Ecosystem Ecology Research Laboratory

The Soils and Ecosystem Ecology Research Laboratory is equipped with all the necessary equipment and machines for studying plant-soil interactions and soil biogeochemistry.

Controlled Environment Plant Growth Rooms

Our suite of ten walk-in growth rooms and six high-specification growth chambers (Snijder Scientific Microclima 1750) provide a range of controlled environments.

International Field Sites

We have access to a variety of field sites across the tropical forests of South America and Malaysia. Our most long-term involvement is with an ecological research project in Jari in the Brazilian Amazon where researchers and students have been working since 2003.

Careers and Personal Development

Our degrees offer excellent employment prospects, with 97% of students going onto employment of further study within 6 months of graduating from Lancaster. We offer a wide range of support, helping you realise your careers ambitions and providing you with the skills to reach your full potential.

LEC Soc

Led by current Lancaster Environment Centre students, LECSoc aims to bring together anyone and everyone studying or interested in Biology, Ecology and Conservation, Environmental and Earth Sciences, and Geography. Joining LECSoc is a great way to get to know others from your department in a more relaxed and social setting. The society organises a diverse range of academic and non-academic activities throughout the year, giving you the chance to relax, have fun and enjoy yourself.

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Accommodation

We have been rated the UK's Best University Halls six times since 2010 in the annual National Student Housing Survey. We offer a wide range of undergraduate accommodation to suit different preferences and budgets.

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Life at Lancaster

Lancaster University is diverse, varied, international, exciting and vibrant. You couldn’t ask for a better student experience!

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Academic Support

We ensure that our students receive the support that they need to achieve their full potential. We are a friendly department and foster a supportive learning environment.

Academic Advisors

We assign each student their own Advisor for the duration of their studies, meeting once per term. Your Advisor is available for on-demand, one-to-one consultation, and to discuss personal development. This can include feedback on coursework and discussion of academic issues. You may also discuss extra-curricular activities and any other issues you may be having.

Open Door Policy

Our friendly and approachable academic staff offer an open door to any students wanting support with their learning. Staff in the Teaching Office are also always available to help.

Student Representatives

Elected student representatives collect feedback from our students. We hold regular meetings with these representatives and the academic staff. We want to make sure we hear your opinions so that we can improve the student experience.

Student Learning Advisor

The Faculty of Science and Technology provide support with Student Learning Advisors. They offer workshops and free consultations to help you improve your scientific writing. We want your coursework to achieve its full potential.