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Engineering and the EnvironmentUndergraduate study

F902 MEnvSci (Hons) Environmental Science (4 yrs)

The four-year course in environmental science allows you to choose your own area of specialisation and includes a work placement. The course achieved 100% student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2015.

Introducing your degree

This four-year integrated masters degree provides a route for advanced specialisation in either sustainable environmental management, environmental change, biodiversity and conservation, or aquatic environments and resources.
This a highly interdisciplinary course that integrates diverse and wide-ranging subjects to provide the skills needed to tackle complex environmental problems.

Programme Overview

What is this?(More Information)This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

Our challenging integrated Masters of Environmental Science degree provides interdisciplinary knowledge, covering subject areas such as geography, biology, geology, oceanography, politics, demography and law within the discipline of environmental science.

Our students can choose to study one of the following four pathways that focus on the major environmental challenges of the 21st century:  

The pathways allow you to choose your specialism, giving you control over your degree and desired career route. You choose your pathway at the start of your degree course, but there is flexibility to change pathways at the end of the first year. You will study compulsory core modules each year and choose specialised modules from your pathway.

The first two years of this integrated masters share the same compulsory modules as the BSc Environmental Science, developing your core knowledge of environmental science.

In your third and fourth years, you will specialise with more optional modules. In year three, you will carry out a research project and a further advanced research project in year four, both relating to your chosen pathway. Past projects include sustainable waste management for small businesses and catchment management and flood control in Gloucestershire.

You will also complete an invaluable work placement of at least four weeks.  Recent placements have been with NGOs such as WWF, businesses such as the international consultancy, Ramboll, and government.

View the specification document for this course

To Apply

All undergraduate applications for the MEnvSci Environmental Science degree should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Find out how to apply and get further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details. Specific application deadlines are available on the UCAS website.


This course has been accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES).

Key Facts

  • 100% student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2015
  • 100% of students agree that staff are good at explaining things and are enthusiastic about what they are teaching (NSS, 2015)
  • Nationally recognised sustainability action programme
National Student Survey 2015
National Student Survey 2015
National Student Survey 2015
National Student Survey 2015
Salt marsh field work
First year students studying salt marsh vegetation zonation
Rocky shore field work
Students studying rocky shore ecology in Devon

Using drones for remote sensing

First year students get hands-on experience of a wide range of field work techniques

Watch the video

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

A levels: AAB with a minimum of two science subjects (from geography, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, psychology, geology and environmental studies), excluding general studies, critical thinking, use of maths and thinking skills. If A Level psychology is studied then the second science must not be mathematics.

International Baccalaureate34 points overall, 17 at higher level, minimum of 6 in two higher level science subjects
English Language requirements

All UK student applicants should hold either GCSE English Language at grade C or above (or equivalent qualifications).

If your first language is not English, we need to ensure that your listening, written and spoken English skills would enable you to enjoy the full benefit of your studies. For entry onto our courses, you will need an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or an equivalent qualification.

Equivalent qualifications

Qualification Entry criteria
Scottish Advanced Highers ABB including two science subjects
Welsh Baccalaureate (2014) + A Levels Pass in Core, AA in two science subjects
Cambridge Pre-U D3M3M2 including two science subjects
BTEC Applicants with BTEC qualifications in science- or environment-related subjects are encouraged to apply. Applications are considered on individual merit
Access to HE Diploma Not eligible refer to BSc
European Baccalaureate 80% overall, minimum of 80% in two science subjects
Irish Leaving Certificate AAABB (including 2 science subjects)
French Baccalaureate 14/20 overall, Minimum of 15/20 in two science subjects

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the course entry requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the course. Full details can be found in the University’s Policy on the Recognition of Prior Learning. If you think this may apply to you, please contact the Faculty Admissions Manager:

Contextual offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who are recognised in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme.

A typical contextual offer is ABB from three A levels or the equivalent from alternative qualifications.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

Selection process:
40 - 55 in total for both Environmental Science BSc and MEnvSci courses
Average applications per place:

The selection process involves consideration of all aspects of your application. We also look for a range of personal attributes in our students, such as enthusiasm, commitment and an interest in the environment. You should have an active willingness to develop your knowledge beyond what you have learned at school or college, and to acquire analytical and practical skills.

All individuals are selected and treated on their relative merits and abilities in line with the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy. In accordance with the University’s commitment to inclusivity, we welcome applications onto this course of study from students with disabilities. Disabled applicants will be treated according to the same procedures as any other applicant with the added involvement of the Disability Office to assess their needs. The course may require adaptation for students with disabilities (e.g. hearing impairment, visual impairment, mobility difficulties, dyslexia), particularly any practical laboratory sessions, and we will attempt to accommodate students wherever possible.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

This is a four-year full-time course. All students complete compulsory and core modules throughout the degree course and select additional modules from their chosen pathway. Some modules may have pre-requisites (i.e. modules taken in previous years, or specific A- levels), so you can become more specialised as you progress. In addition to this, our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers our students the chance to take optional modules outside their core disciplines, and includes interdisciplinary modules relevant to the environment and sustainability. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future.

In the third and fourth years, there is more scope for specialisation, including two research modules in year 3 and a major research project that accounts for half of the final year. This course therefore includes a much larger proportion of research than the three-year BSc course. All students ocarry out a work placement of at least four weeks, which contributes to a final year module. Recent work placements have been with NGOs (e.g. PlantLife International, WWF, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust), government (House of Commons, Southampton City Council), and businesses or consultancies (Ramboll, URS).

The following modules are core throughout the course, please refer to the individual pathway pages to view the relevant additional modules.

Year 3

In addition to the taught modules you will also undertake a research project in an area related to your chosen pathway.

Semester Two
Environmental Law and Management

Year 4

Semester One
Advanced Research Project
Work-Based Learning
Semester Two
Advanced Research Project

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Career Opportunities

Josh McLaren, Atkins

Hear about Josh's time at University and role as an Air Quality Consultant at Atkins

Watch the video


We provide you with a dedicated Employment Officer who will help build your skills profile and point you in the right direction. We also have connections with local, national and international employers as well as the University Careers and Employability Service.

Our graduates now work in a variety of areas – environmental consultancy, sustainability strategy and policy, nature conservation, environment regulation and waste management, to name a few. Some of the companies they work for include BP, Environment Agency, Hampshire Wildlife Trust, Sellafield Ltd and WWF.

Find out what jobs some of our graduates are now doing.

Learning & Assessment

Teaching and learning

At Southampton, our students form knowledge and understanding through a combination of lectures, tutorials, classes, field and laboratory work, coursework and projects. We will also work with you to develop transferable skills in areas such as professional reports and effective oral presentations. You can broaden your learning by joining our Environmental Sciences Student Society and by attending guest lectures. You can also become a student member of the Institution of Environmental Sciences. Employability is embedded across all areas of taught classes and assessment, to maximise your opportunity for employment on graduation.

A practical approach

Field and laboratory classes provide opportunities for students working in small groups to gather data or conduct experiments that demonstrate and support the theory taught in lectures. You will attend field trips, complete research projects and learn how to handle and analyse data using statistical methods and spatial tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Individual feedback is provided on all work submitted.

Ground-breaking research

Your education will be timely and relevant while you are taught by our world-leading academics who are at the forefront of their field. We also have a global network of partner organisations, shared facilities and expertise to draw on to advance your learning curve.

Assessment and examinations

Assessment is conducted through a combination of unseen written examinations and coursework, such as essays and project reports. You will also complete assessed tasks such as writing impact reports and an environmental policy for a small business. Our students regularly have work from their dissertations published in international research journals.

Student support

You will be assigned a personal tutor from the start of your degree, which will involve regular group tutorials and individual meetings to support you through the course of your studies here.

Course Director

Dr Malcolm Hudson



Biodiversity and conservation

This pathway on the integrated undergraduate and masters in Environmental Science degree examines the diversity of living organisms on earth and their interrelationships with the environment. Key themes include plant and animal diversity and evolution, behaviour, physiology, ecological theory and applications, population ecology, applied biology, pest control, and conservation biology.

Many of these subjects are covered in biological modules but can be supplemented with geographical and marine modules. Modules on this pathway explore the principles of ecology and their application in environmental management for wildlife conservation and sustainable development.

Environmental change

This pathway on the integrated masters in Environmental Science degree examines past and present environmental change from the local level through to the global scale. It helps students to develop scientific understanding with an emphasis on the drivers and impacts of environmental change. Thus, this pathway considers modern human-induced developments such as climate change, rising sea levels and ozone depletion in conjunction with natural climatic changes. Analysing these issues helps students to gain a deeper understanding of the magnitude of contemporary and predicted changes. Techniques used to monitor environmental changes, such as field and satellite image analysis, are often explored.

This pathway also encompasses the physical aspects of changing environments such as geomorphology, the sedimentary environment, hydrology, ocean circulation and environmental geology. The broad range of options available provides a balance between geology, geography and oceanography.

Sustainable environmental management

This pathway on the integrated masters in Environmental Science degree provides an insight into the human use of the environment and looks at how scientific principles, theories and methods can be applied to resolve environmental problems in sustainable ways.

The pathway focuses, in particular, on the applications of environmental science theory and its translation into different management approaches. This pathway has a strong vocational element that draws on the biological sciences, geography, geology, oceanography, engineering and law. Students develop specialist skills in a whole range of areas such as sustainability, resource management, conservation, land use and planning, environmental management and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Aquatic environments and resources

This pathway on the integrated masters in Environmental Science degree focuses on the biological, chemical, physical and management aspects of water in the environment. It also explores the interaction between humans, water and aquatic environments.

Aspects of aquatic environments and water-related resources, and our relationship with them, are covered through a diverse range of modules encompassing hydrology, geomorphology, oceanography, aquatic ecology and river management.

Students can develop their knowledge of both freshwater and marine environments, combined with the study of water as an essential resource.


Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculator: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentDesign equipment and materials: Standard construction/modelling materials will be provided where appropriate, unless otherwise specified in a module profile. For customisation of designs/models calling for material other than standard construction/ modelling materials, students will bear the costs of such alternatives.
ClothingFieldcourse clothing: You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending fieldcourses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
Printing and copyingIn some cases, coursework and/or projects may be submitted electronically. Where it is not possible to submit electronically students will be liable for printing costs, which are detailed in the individual module profile.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Study Locations

National Oceanography Centre

Marine biology modules are taught by specialists in Ocean and Earth Sc...Find out more

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