Undergraduate 

Environmental Science & Sustainability (Dumfries Campus) BSc

Wind turbines

The Environmental Science & Sustainability programme utilises the surrounding countryside in its courses to demonstrate environmental work in practice. This is through fieldwork, field classes and visits to environmental sites and organisations.

Environmental Science & Sustainability

Our Dumfries Campus is located close to a range of natural resources, unique fieldwork environments and placement providers: a diverse outdoor laboratory only minutes from the classroom.

  • September start
  • Session dates
  • Environmental Science & Sustainability BSc (Hons): D447 4 year degree

Register your interest for more information

Dumfries campus

Set in 85 acres of historic parkland, The University of Glasgow Dumfries Campus is situated in South-West Scotland. Combining idyllic surroundings with world class teaching and outstanding placement opportunities, this is the perfect setting to give you an incredible student experience.

A welcoming learning environment

This close-knit community is typically made up of students and staff from over 25 countries. Friendly residences and small class sizes will help you to get to know students and staff from all disciplines. You will be taught by academics who are among the top researchers in their fields, and who have a progressive vision for interdisciplinary teaching and research.

An idyllic location

Creative and picturesque, Dumfries has a lively arts and festival scene, strong cultural heritage and a wealth of outdoor activities including hiking and cycling trails, rivers and lochs. Enjoy stunning views of the Solway estuary and hills, proximity to hiking and cycling trails, rivers and lochs, and a walk or short bus ride to the historic town centre. With excellent transport links, the rest of the UK is within easy reach; Glasgow and Edinburgh are just under two hours away, while Carlisle is under an hour.

Student life

Discover the many ways to get involved with the wider student community and Dumfries and Galloway; find out more about life at the University of Glasgow, read our Student Stories, chat with current students, and find out all you need to know with blogs from those who know best, our students.

Programme structure

Field work and practical experience are at the core of this programme. The School of Interdisciplinary Studies is uniquely located with easy access to estuarine, maritime and terrestrial environments such as the Southern Uplands, peat bogs and moorland. These features, together with the extensive agricultural and forested environment of the region, present a vibrant and diverse “laboratory” in which to study. This programme also offers students exceptional placement opportunities which is fundamental to developing the skills for graduate employment.

Year 1

Year 1 provides a broad-based education representing a mixture of three core environmental courses and three electives from non-environmental programmes. This gives you the opportunity to add breadth to your degree. Core courses: 

  • Introduction to environmental science
    This course looks at components of the biosphere and how we use this knowledge to manage or remediate environmental problems.
  • Earth system science
    This course introduces you to the Earth’s major systems, both now and in the past, and examines the Earth’s history and environment by considering the fundamental processes which determine the general functioning of the Earth as a system.
  • Introduction to global environmental issues
    In this course you will explore the most significant and topical global environmental issues affecting societies, ecosystems and the physical milieu.

Year 2

You will take the core courses:

  • Research methods for environmental scientists
  • Human impacts on the environment
  • Biodiversity, ecology and ecosystems
  • Energy: options for sustainability.

At each level you can also choose from a range of elective courses across other disciplines.

Year 3

You will study:

  • Applied ecology and conservation
  • Aquatic environment: processes, monitoring and management
  • Rural tourism and stewardship.

You will also undertake either a dissertation or placement where you will gain experience in the environmental sector.

Year 4

The Honours year consists of an environmental stewardship project on a research topic of your choice, and courses on Environmental policy and management, Perspectives on the environment, and a residential Environmental field course.

Fieldwork and practical experience

The School of Interdisciplinary Studies is uniquely located for the study of Environmental Science & Sustainability with easy access to estuarine, maritime and terrestrial environments such as the Southern Uplands, peat bogs and moorland. These features, together with the extensive agricultural and forested environment of the region, present a vibrant and diverse “laboratory” in which to study.

Examples of past and current field classes include:

  • Freshwater macroinvertebrate sampling.
  • Water quality sampling and chemical analysis.
  • Sampling for plastic pollution on the Solway coast.
  • Field class to Grey Mare’s Tail to investigate glacial landforms.
  • Field classes to a number of energy generation sites within Dumfries & Galloway: for example, Galloway Hydro, Torness Nuclear Power Plant, Steven’s Croft Biomass Power Plant.
  • Weekly fieldwork on the Research methods for environmental scientists course, which includes skills such as phase 1 habitat surveys; laboratory skills; soil sampling with chemical and physical analysis; mapping and GIS.
  • Field class to Edinburgh Zoo to examine the role of the modern zoo and see the pandas.

Course details

Year 1

Your core courses will cover environmental science, Earth system science and global environmental issues.

Level 1 (SCQF Level 7)

Year 2

Level 2 (SCQF Level 8)

Core courses:

Year 3

Level 3 (SCQF Level 9)

Core courses:

You will also undertake either a dissertation or placement where you will gain experience in the environmental sector.

Year 4

The Honours year consists of an environmental stewardship project on a research interest of your choice, and courses on environmental policy and management, perspectives on the environment, and the environmental field course.

Level 4 (SCQF Level 10)


Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Special Glasgow feature

This programme offers you an exceptional placement opportunity as part of your degree. Students have undertaken placements with the following organisations:

  • Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation, Greece
  • Edinburgh Zoo
  • Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Caerlaverock
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Dumfries & Galloway Council
  • Scottish Wildlife Trust
  • Natural Power
  • Australian Koala Foundation
  • Jersey Zoo
  • Forestry Commission Scotland
  • Transport Scotland
  • Raja Ampat Diving Project
  • Five Oceans Environmental Services LLC
  • The Wildlife Information Centre.

Our international links

You will have the opportunity to apply to study abroad: see Study abroad.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2023

Summary of entry requirements for Environmental Science & Sustainability

SQA Higher Entry Requirements (by end of S6)

  • BBBB
  • Additional requirements: Higher Science subject (two Higher Sciences are recommended).

SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements

  • No Adjusted Higher Requirements

A-level Standard Entry Requirements

  • BBB – CCC
  • Additional requirements: A-level Science subject.

IB Standard Entry Requirements

  • 30 (6,5,5 HL) – 28 (5,5,5 HL)
  • Additional requirements: HL Science subject.

Glasgow International College

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of foundation certificates.

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 6.5 with no sub-test under 6.0.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission to this programme:

TOEFL (ib, my best or athome)

  • 90 with minimum R 20, L 19, S 19, W 23.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

PTE (Academic)

  • 60 with minimum 59 in all sub-tests.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Glasgow International College English Language (and other foundation providers)

  • 65%.
  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

Cambridge English Qualifications

  • Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): 176 overall, no subtest less than 169
  • Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE): 176 overall, no subtest less than 169

School Qualifications

  • iGCSE English or ESOL 0522/0500, grade C
  • International Baccalaureate English A SL5 or HL5
  • International Baccalaureate English B SL6 or HL5
  • SQA National 5 English or ESOL, grade B
  • SQA Higher English or ESOL, grade C
  • Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education, English Language grade 4
  • West African Examination Council, Senior Secondary School Certificate, English grade C6

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Undergraduate degree from English speaking country (including Canada if taught in English)
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from English speaking country
  • Undergraduate 2+2 TNE degree taught in English in non-English speaking country
  • Masters degree from English speaking country
  • Masters degree (equivalent on NARIC to UK masters degree) taught in English in non-English speaking country.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-sessional courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact External Relations

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:


Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.


Career prospects

You will develop a range of skills in environmental management techniques, preparing you to enter the graduate job market in a wide variety of roles. The combination of a broad-based education with specialist input, supplemented with real work experience, will equip you with essential skills and qualities. Students enrolled on CHES-accredited programmes can apply for free student membership of the IES and for a fast-track to membership once they graduate, starting you on a route towards becoming a Chartered Environmentalist or Chartered Scientist. 

Previous graduate career paths include:

  • Graduate ecologist with Natural Power
  • PhD research
  • Environmental consultant for an international consultancy firm
  • Teacher (primary/secondary) upon completion of a teacher training programme
  • Black grouse officer with the RSPB.

Accreditation

CHES Accredited logo

This programme is accredited by the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences (CHES), the education committee of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). CHES is the collective voice of the environmental sciences academic community and serves to enhance the quality of environmental education worldwide. 

A programme accredited by CHES is assured to meet high standards and contain a strong component of practical, field and theoretical activities, and has excellent opportunities for training, work experience and links to the professional environmental sector.

Degrees and UCAS codes

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

BSc (Hons)

Environmental Science & Sustainability: D447 (4 years)
KIS

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.

Scholarships

The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

College of Social Sciences Deans' Award

The College of Social Sciences is offering two scholarships worth £10,000 each towards tuition fees for academically excellent students wishing to study an Undergraduate programme within the College’s programme portfolio.

The scholarships will be awarded to applicants from Malaysia, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Italy.  

EU Welcome Award

The University of Glasgow continues to be committed to ensuring a strong relationship with our existing and future EU students, and supporting EU talent to make their home at the University of Glasgow. 

We appreciate the challenging financial implications that have arisen as a result of Brexit, and are therefore delighted to offer the EU Welcome Award to new incoming EU students starting an undergraduate programme for Academic Session 2022-23. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 for every year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study. This discount cannot be combined with another University scholarship.

Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a number of Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new International and EU students for 2022 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £7,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study. This scholarship cannot be combined with another University scholarship.

RUK Excellence Scholarship

The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

RUK Access Bursary

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2022/23, as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

James McCune Smith Undergraduate Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has up to 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students of African/African-Caribbean backgrounds. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the university. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for year one of undergraduate study. The scholarship is open to new applicants to the university. Current students who have previously been in receipt of the award may reapply, however, preference will be given to applicants entering their first year of study.

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

Undergraduate Talent Scholarships

The University of Glasgow awards c.50 undergraduate Talent Scholarships each academic year to support students who could face financial difficulties in taking up their place to study at the University. The value of each scholarship is typically £1,500 p.a. for each year of the degree programme, subject to satisfactory progress. Talent Scholarships are available to students entering any of the University's Colleges.

Dental School students are eligible for a Talent Scholarship in their first year of study only. They are eligible for the NHS Dental Student Support Grant in the following years.

 

Republic of Ireland (RoI) Access Bursary

Glasgow has a long and proud tradition of providing financial support to talented students who, for reasons of financial hardship, might not be able to take a place at university. Our RoI Access Bursary is part of our commitment to continue to attract and support students from a diverse range of backgrounds. The RoI bursary will be up to £2,000 for your first year of study and £1,000 for continuing years.

Payments of the RoI Access Bursary will be detailed in your Award Letter.

  • The RoI Access Bursary will be awarded as a cash payment.
  • The RoI Access Bursary will be paid in 10 instalments from October until July; this award is based on household income
  • The RoI Access Bursary will only be awarded in years where tuition fees of £9,250 apply (i.e. Normally Years 1,2 and 3. Bursary is not paid in Year 4 where no tuition fees are due).

Republic of Ireland (RoI) Excellence Scholarship

The RoI Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained at Irish Higher grades A1, A1, A1, A1 from the Irish Leaving Certificate.  Dentistry, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine applicants are not eligible for this award.

Payments

  • The RoI Excellence Scholarship will be processed as a cash payment.
  • The RoI Excellence Scholarship will be paid in 2 instalments.
  • The first payment will be in October and the second payment will be in February.

These payments will be credited to the UK bank account held on your MyCampus profile; therefore, it is vital that this is up to date at the start of the session. By submitting your bank details on the MyCampus system, you are confirming that you agree with the terms and conditions of the award.

Sanctuary Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering up to 20 Sanctuary Scholarships for applicants to the University who are in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students at the University of Glasgow applying for entry in September 2022/23.

The scholarship will meet the cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme, for those applicants who are unable to cover full tuition fees through access to public funds by applying to SAAS or Student Finance. The Sanctuary Scholarship also provides a £5,000 per year stipend, to assist with study costs. In addition, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met, this will also be provided for the duration of your degree, if required. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Accommodation Services section on the website.

The Clan Gregor Society Prize

The Clan Gregor Society is offering an award to new entrants to the University of Glasgow who descend from Clan Gregor. Prospective students will be asked to submit an application highlighting areas of consideration such as academic excellence and financial need. The award is open to both Undergraduate and Postgraduate applicants.

Flywire Charitable Foundation Academic Scholarships

The Flywire Charitable Foundation is offering 8 scholarships to students for the coming academic year. The scholarships are across the following themes: global health, global citizenship, social justice and environmental sustainability.

Please see Flywire Charitable Foundation Scholarships for more details.

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply

Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

SQA applicants who are eligible for our Widening Participation programmes are encouraged to participate in one or more of these programmes, including Summer School, to support your application and the transition to higher education.

International students to Arts, Engineering, Law, Nursing, Science, and Social Sciences can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS. Applications to Dentistry, Education, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine must be made through UCAS.

Application deadlines

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 26 January: all other UK applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international students.

We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.

It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

Apply via UCAS

More information about this programme

Times Good university guide

UK top 10

Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide [Geography & Environmental Science]