Discover the global challenges facing our environment through a series of fascinating topics that are brought to life out in the field and in dedicated state-of-the-art laboratories. 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, we 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.
Throughout your degree, you will be taught by internationally-renowned academics, and will have access to our state-of-the-art laboratories, which offer excellent facilities for practical work.
We offer a range of exciting fieldwork opportunities during your degree: you can choose 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 which include work in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales.
To prepare students for their work placement year, our Careers and Placements Team will provide advice and guidance on: the skills required to create effective CVs, cover letters and applications; tips and techniques on how to make an impact at interviews and assessment centres; how to create a relevant digital profile; and how to research employers and career sectors of interest. In addition, there is great emphasis placed upon developing self-awareness and on how to present yourself in a professional manner to employers. This optional provision will be delivered via a blend of traditional and digital methods including face-to-face workshops, online webinars, e-courses and 1:1 appointments.
Your first year will address many of the fundamental themes of environmental science, from understanding hydrology and flood risk 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.
Second year modules build on themes introduced in Year 1, whilst allowing you to 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. 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.
Specialisation begins in the second year with the aim to 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, be it geological hazards, soil science, environmental radioactivity or glacial systems.
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.
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 environmental scientists.