Earth and Environmental Science (Placement Year) BSc Hons - 2020 Entry

UCAS Code
FF78

Entry Year
2020

A Level Requirements
ABB see all requirements

Duration
Full time 4 Year(s)

Course Overview

Gain hands-on experience in a range of exciting modules and field trips. Discover geological mapping, atmospheric processes and study volcanology at Mount Etna in Sicily. Benefit from support to secure a paid placement enabling you to experience twelve months working in the type of organisation that you might aspire to join when you graduate.

This flexible programme draws from a wide range of scientific disciplines to build a degree that matches your interests and career aspirations.

Covering both natural and man-made environments, core modules will explore the main factors and processes that control today’s environment; how the environment has evolved to its current state; and how environmental conditions may change in the future.

In addition, the degree draws upon the expertise of a number of our staff who specialise in Earth science such as volcanologists, geophysicists and hydrogeologists, who will deliver an exciting range of specialist topics to choose from. You will also gain access to our state-of-the-art laboratories, which offer excellent facilities for practical work.

Your first year will address many of the fundamental themes of the Earth and environmental sciences, from understanding geology to learning about the atmosphere, weather and climate. In addition, you will take a Placement Preparation module which provides guidance on writing your CV, finding a placement and interview techniques.

Modules in subsequent years build on themes introduced in Year 1. As part of this degree, you will have an opportunity to take our popular Volcanic Processes field module at Mount Etna in Sicily. There, you will study volcanic processes and learn how the local population can manage the impacts of volcanic phenomena.

You will also apply your knowledge in a residential fieldwork module at Carrock Fell in the scenic Lake District. This week-long module allows you to engage with the environment first-hand in an informal and practical setting. We offer a range of additional field trips as part of your degree. Perhaps you’d like to examine glaciers and landscapes in Iceland; undertake geomorphology work in northern Spain; or study water and environmental management in Croatia. We also provide geology field modules in the UK’s Yorkshire Dales and the Isle of Mull.

Specialisation begins in the second year with the aim to introduce Earth science-focused topics and prepare you for your final year dissertation. In your second year, you will be given flexibility to shape your own path and focus on a specific topic area, be it geological hazards, soil science, environmental radioactivity or glacial systems. You will also take part in a ‘work-based learning’ module designed to provide guidance and support as you apply for nationally advertised placements and help you gain the most from your placement year.

You will spend your third year on placement, which may be in a science or non-science position. The placement offers you the opportunity to work as a full-time employee of the organisation whilst still receiving both academic and pastoral support from Lancaster University. 

The University will use all reasonable effort to support you to find a suitable placement for your studies. While a placement role may not be available in a field or organisation that is directly related to your academic studies or career aspirations, all placement roles offer valuable experience of working at a graduate level and gaining a range of professional skills.

If you are unsuccessful in securing a suitable placement for your third year, you will be able to transfer to the equivalent non-placement degree scheme and would continue with your studies at Lancaster, finishing your degree after your third year. The University offers a range of shorter placement and internship opportunities for which you would be welcome to apply.

The final year dissertation gives you an opportunity to work on a subject that really interests you. Many students choose projects with a substantial fieldwork component, benefitting from our strong links with external organisations in the UK and abroad. Alternatively, you can conduct your research in our own state-of-the-art laboratories, or gain access to resources from other departments to enable computer-based modelling, for example. Your Earth science modules will continue to run alongside your environmental science studies.

In addition to your subject knowledge, you will gain communication and information technology skills and will become familiar with data handling and environmental sampling and analysis. Considerable weight is placed upon these transferable skills by potential employers.

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 module. 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.

Our community

We offer support in a variety of ways to ensure that you achieve your full academic potential. You’ll be assigned a student mentor to help you settle in, and you can receive help with any aspect of your degree from your academic tutor, Director of Studies, teaching coordinators and student learning advisor. We strive to inspire and encourage our future Earth and environmental scientists. 

Entry Requirements

A Level ABB

Required Subjects A level grade B in one science from the following; Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Human Biology, Mathematics, Physics or Psychology.

Please note, for students who do not have A-level Chemistry or an equivalent qualification, we require you to take our Introduction to Environmental Chemistry module in the first year. For students who do not have a minimum of AS-level Mathematics or an equivalent qualification, we require you to take our Numerical Skills I and Numerical Skills II modules in the first year. These chemistry and mathematics modules are not replacements for A-levels, but are skills modules taught on a need-to-know basis to support you in the rest of your degree. Further details regarding these modules can be found under ‘Course Structure’.

GCSE Mathematics grade B or 5, English Language grade C or 4

IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.

Other Qualifications

International Baccalaureate 32 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects including one science subject at HL grade 6

BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Merit to include sufficient science. We require Distinctions in majority of relevant science units. Please contact the Admissions Team for further advice.

We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.

Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via ugadmissions@lancaster.ac.uk

Course Structure

Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme to complement your main specialism. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster please visit our Teaching and Learning section.

The following courses do not offer modules outside of the subject area due to the structured nature of the programmes: Architecture, Law, Physics, Engineering, Medicine, Sports and Exercise Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedicine and Biomedical Science.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, and the University will make every reasonable effort to offer modules as advertised. In some cases changes may be necessary and may result in some combinations being unavailable, for example as a result of student feedback, timetabling, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes and new research.

Year 1

    Core

    Optional

Year 2

    Core

    Optional

Year 3

    Core

Year 4

    Core

    Optional

Careers

Careers

Our programmes maintain an excellent record for graduate prospects spanning a wide range of roles including Environmental Consultant, Weather Forecaster at the Met Office, and Specialist Environmental Advisor. Alternatively, many of our graduates continue their studies to postgraduate level. Our goal is to empower all our graduates with the skills, confidence and experience they need to achieve a successful career. You will be offered a wide range of support, helping you realise your career ambitions and providing you with the skills to reach your full potential.

We offer a variety of extra-curricular activities and volunteering opportunities that enable you to explore your interests and enhance your CV. Our weekly careers bulletin and careers blogs are written by student volunteers, and inform you of all careers events.  The Students’ Union-run Green Lancaster programme offers placements with external organisations, allowing students to gain volunteering experience at weekends by working in the local community, taking part in a wide range of activities and developing their practical skills.

Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, you also graduate with the relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.

Fees and Funding

Fees

Our annual tuition fee is set for a 12-month session, starting in the October of your year of study.

Our Undergraduate Tuition Fees for 2020/21 are:

UK/EU Overseas
£9,250 £22,550

Undergraduate tuition fees

For students starting at the University for the 2020 session, subsequent year’s fees may be subject to increases. UK fees are set by the UK Government annually. For international applicants, any annual increase will be capped at 4% of the previous year’s fee. For more information about tuition fees, including fees for Study Abroad and Work Placements, please visit our undergraduate tuition fees page.

Applicants from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

Some science and medicine courses have higher fees for students from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. You can find more information about this on our Island Fees page.

Funding

For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page

Students will be required to pay for travel to field sites and will have to purchase wet weather clothing, boots and waterproof notebooks for fieldtrips for which the estimated cost is approximately £110. The course offers optional field trips and students will have to pay for any travel and accommodation costs. If students undertake placements then they may incur additional travel costs. Students on certain modules may wish to purchase a hand lens and compass clinometer but these may be borrowed from the Department.

Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews. 

Download the latest Earth and Environmental Science brochure, featuring all of the information you could need. The includes detailed course information about each of our courses.

Rachael Cooper, BSc Environmental Science

A place for Rachael

Lancaster has a wide range of qualities beyond having amazing degree subjects; the sense of community and belonging is really strong. I have connections with people in my halls, my course, my college and societies - I feel as though I'm part of something special, which is definitely unique to Lancaster. When walking around the campus to my next lecture, everyone is so friendly, there's just a really positive vibe and a good sense of community.

Putting our learning into practice in the field gives me a well-rounded understanding, and fieldwork is great for this! I've been to Carrock Fell in the Lake District, where I explored a disused tungsten mine and observed its impacts on stream water quality. I have plenty of fond memories of that field trip, developing my skills and having a great time with my mates. Modules like this really enhance my learning, so instead of being given data to analyse and work on, I am able to gather my own data out in the field, analyse the results and report on my own research.

There are lots of modules which feedback to industry, one of which is on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), allowing me to map out a range of things such as planning applications, chemical data, and much more. Having skills like these set me apart, as I am equipped with specialist understanding.

Rachael Cooper, BSc Environmental Science

Learning on location

We take full advantage of our natural surroundings to create amazing fieldwork experiences, in addition to the opportunities to travel the world with optional overseas field trips. Fieldwork is a fascinating way to develop your practical skills. You’ll gain hands-on experience of a wide range of environmental, ecological and geological situations that will place your studies in the context of real-world issues.

Italy

Visit Mount Etna and study the complex processes that take place both on the surface and beneath volcanoes. You will explore many physical volcanic processes, including lava flow emplacement, explosive events and the evolution of a basaltic volcano. You will also evaluate methods of managing volcanic hazards on densely populated active volcanoes.

Iceland

Experience glacial processes first-hand and their impacts on the dynamic tectonic landscape of Iceland. You will learn how glaciers interact with the surrounding volcanic landscape. As well as developing your practical field skills, you will also observe the stunning Icelandic scenery and understand how glaciers fit into the broader study of the physical environment.

Switzerland

You will select from one of six interconnected study themes to explore in-depth, spanning: alpine climate and hydrology; glacial processes; alpine rivers; streams; soils; and ecosystems. Through the collection of significant amounts of field data on your chosen theme you will gain an in-depth understanding of a particular thematic focus of alpine environments.

Isle of Mull

Study geologic and geomorphological processes and develop your field skills. You will collect field data to make a geologic map, visit some of the oldest rock formations in the UK and study a wide range of geologic terrains. You will gain excellent practical skills, including mapping techniques and learn about aspects of British geological history.

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 feature cutting-edge laboratory and teaching equipment, giving you the best environment to begin your degree.

Research Glasshouses

Our 15 purpose-built glasshouse modules provide flexible growth facilities dedicated to our full range of plant science and ecological research.

Hazelrigg Weather Station

Daily weather observations have been made at Lancaster University since 1966 providing a continuous, very high-quality record.

Environmental Chemistry Laboratories

Our chemistry laboratories have amongst the best analytical facilities in the world for environmental organic chemistry research.

International Field Sites

We work across the tropical forests of South America and Malaysia where researchers and students have been operating since 2003.

Lectures

Lectures provide an introduction to the key issues and findings in each topic. An expert in each particular field will deliver the modules. Lectures usually last either one or two hours and should be complemented by reading the 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 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 critical biological principles underpinning your study, while also developing your skills which you will be able to put to use throughout your degree and future career.

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. We can 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.

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Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2020/21 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication. The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses.

In the event of a course being withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date information before you submit your application. Further legal information.

The amount of time you spend in lectures, seminars and similar will differ from year to year. Taken as an average over all years of the course, you will spend an average of 8.4 hours per week in lectures, seminars and similar during term time.

A broad range of assessments methods will be used throughout the degree. As a guide, 71% of assessment is by coursework over the duration of the course.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.