A student collects samples on a beach

Open Plus Scheme

If you have a passion for environmental or Earth sciences but have not had the opportunity to obtain formal qualifications then this route that has been specifically designed for applicants who do not meet our standard entry requirements may be suitable for you.

The Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) is strongly committed to developing an inclusive and diverse community, our involvement in OpenPlus is an integral part of this commitment, we welcome students of all ages and backgrounds through our OpenPlus scheme. We accept applications at any time of the year.

How does it work?

Initially, you will study part-time with the Open University (OU), allowing you to combine study with other responsibilities or full-time employment. Successful completion of the required OU modules allows direct transfer into the second year of our Environmental Science or Earth and Environmental Science degree. You will then study for a further two years as a full-time student at Lancaster to graduate with a Lancaster University BSc degree in either Environmental Science or Earth and Environmental Science.

What will I study?

During your time studying part-time with the Open University, you will typically be asked to successfully complete the following OU modules:

  • S111 Questions in Science
  • S112 Science: Concepts and Practise
  • SS001 Laboratory Skills for Science
  • SXF206 Environmental Science

This experience will give you a thorough grounding in the environmental and the Earth sciences, and the major environmental issues facing our society. Experimental work is also included to give you the experience and background knowledge necessary to undertake laboratory work at degree level at Lancaster.

On successful completion of all the OU modules, you will be equipped to transfer to Lancaster University as a full-time student to complete your degree. At Lancaster, you will study both core modules in the environmental and Earth sciences, and have the flexibility to choose optional modules according to your interests. A more comprehensive list is available on our main Environmental Science or Earth and Environmental Science pages. You will also do a dissertation, an individually supervised extensive project, in a subject that interests you with the support of one of our academic staff members.

How do I apply?

Students apply for entry to the OpenPlus scheme directly to the Lancaster Environment Centre admissions office, not to UCAS.

If your application is successful, we will confirm in writing and pass your details to the Open University, and you will receive information about registering directly from them.

To apply, please email lec.ug@lancaster.ac.uk.