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.
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.
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.