Environmental & Earth Sciences

Tackle some of the major challenges facing the world, develop your knowledge of how the Earth system works, enhance your laboratory and research skills and join us on exciting field trips.


Environmental Science

Environmental Science is key to tackling the challenges facing the world today. Our degrees will help you to understand how the environment has evolved to its current state and how it might change in the future.

Earth and Environmental Science

Covering topics as diverse as geological mapping, atmospheric processes and tectonics and sedimentation, you will explore the factors and processes that control the Earth system, not only in the UK but around the world.


for career prospects after 6 months in the UK
The Guardian University League Tables 2020


in the UK for Geography & Environmental Science
The Times Good University Guide 2020


in the UK for Geography & Environmental Science
The Guardian University League Tables 2020


At Lancaster, we take advantage of our natural surroundings to create amazing fieldwork experiences for students.

Choice and flexibility

You can choose between our 3-year BSc or 4-year MSci degree programmes. The first year of our degrees focuses on the core understanding of the Earth’s systems, but you will also take modules that deal with a number of globally significant environmental challenges, including producing sufficient food for a growing population, meeting future demands for energy, adapting to floods and droughts and preventing or mitigating soil and water pollution. You can switch between programmes up until the end of your first year, ensuring you are studying the subject that most interests you. 

In subsequent years, you have a greater choice of modules meaning that you can design your degree to match your interests and career aspirations.

Hands-on experience

As part of your degree, you will gain hands-on experience to complement your academic studies and also develop your practical skills. Many of our modules offer exciting opportunities for practical work in either the laboratory or the field, enabling you to put the academic theory learnt in lectures into practice.

You can also enhance your studies, boost your self-confidence and immerse yourself in the culture of another country as part of our exciting opportunities to study overseas in either North America or Australasia with our Study Abroad option, or in Europe through the Erasmus+ scheme.

Residential field courses

A highlight of our degrees are the residential field courses. Whether it’s examining volcanic hazards on Mount Etna, water and environmental management in Croatia, or the interaction between glaciers and the landscape in Iceland, these field courses are an excellent way to apply your academic knowledge in the field.

You will also undertake a research project under the guidance of an active researcher. This is an excellent opportunity to put the skills learnt throughout your degree into practice, and you could have the opportunity to use state of the art equipment in our laboratories or take your research out into the field.

Open Plus

We offer a flexible route into our Environmental and Earth Sciences programmes in partnership with the Open University. This option is ideal if you don't hold traditional qualifications such as A-levels.

How it works

The scheme involves initial study with the Open University, on successful completion of which you transfer directly to the second year of either our BSc Environmental Science (F750) or BSc Earth and Environmental Science (FF68) degree programmes.

Through the distance-learning component with the Open University, you will develop an understanding of the environment and the major environmental issues affecting human society. The required modules are:

  • S111 Questions in Science
  • S112 Science: Concepts and Practice
  • SS001 Laboratory Skills for Science (short residential school)
  • SXF206 Environmental Science

These modules integrate the studies of biology, chemistry, physics and earth science, and will equip you to become a full-time, second-year student on one of our degree programmes at Lancaster University. For further details on the content of your second and third years, please see:

How to apply

Applications to OpenPlus are not made through UCAS but directly through Lancaster University and the Open University. For more details about this entry pathway and how to apply, please contact us at lec.ug@lancaster.ac.uk

Please note that Open University modules are subject to curriculum changes and that the residential component of SXF206 is compulsory.

Two students in an ice cave in Iceland