Environmental Science BSc/MSci | Middlesex University London
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Environmental Science BSc/MSci

Learn about the course below
Code
BSc: F900
MSci: F902
Start
October 2019
Duration
BSc: 3 years full-time, 4 years with sandwich year, 5 years part-time
MSci: 4 years full-time, 5 years with sandwich year, 6 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,500 (INT) *
Course leader
Professor Diane Purchase

Join our subject-specific campus tour on Tuesday 11 December from 1.30pm. You will explore our facilities and find out how we can help turn your potential into success.

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” – Native American proverb

Environmental science incorporates the study of the physical, chemical and biological processes that take place on the Earth, as well as the social, political and cultural processes which impact the planet. In this course, we will equip you to tackle some key environmental challenges and provide valuable experience to prepare you for future environmental science careers.

Why study BSc/MSci Environmental Science at Middlesex University?

There are two honours degree programmes available for each area of study – a three-year Bachelor of Science (BSc) and a four-year Master of Science (MSci).

Unique to this course is the emphasis placed on work experience. You will have the option to go on a year-long industrial placement, developing excellent employment prospects and transferable skills to meet your future aspirations. You can also undertake field experience/training, currently in Mauritius, working with some of the foremost conservation organisations in the world.

This degree is largely aimed at school leavers interested in global environmental issues and equips them to work in the environmental sector.

If you choose to study the integrated Master’s track, you will have the opportunity to participate in a field trip, currently Almeria Spain, to understand and study integrated water management.

Course highlights

What will you study on the BSc/MSci Environmental Science?

This programme will provide you with thorough and in-depth specialist knowledge and technical skills to become a proficient environmental science professional that responds to academic, professional and employment needs. The interdisciplinary nature of the subject areas means you will be introduced to fundamental environmental sciences as well as aspects of environmental studies. You will gain key knowledge in environmental management, sustainability and pollution control as well as essential skills in environmental monitoring and assessment.

What will you gain?

Throughout your degree, you will gain the environmental and transferable skills necessary for an environmental science professional. By the end of the course, you will have the ability to define complex environmental problems and challenges, devise possible solutions and critique complex decision making. You will be able to plan and conduct field and laboratory investigations, and implement sustainable measures to bring about change and practical solutions.

In your final year, you will be equipped to carry out your individual research project, supervised by one of our research-active academics. Such research will develop your analytical and evaluative skills whilst honing organisational and project management skills. These projects can also result in your contribution to published scientific papers.

What is the difference between the BSc and MSci course?

There are two honours degree programmes available for each area of study – a three-year Bachelor of Science (BSc) and a four-year Master of Science (MSci).

Both degrees share a common first three years but due to the advanced nature of the MSci programme, students must demonstrate they have the high level knowledge and skills required at the end of year 2 and 3 to progress onto the MSci. Sustainability is a fundamental part of this integrated master programme and is built into the curriculum in Year 4, with particular emphasis on the environmental context of sustainability.

You must apply direct to either the BSc or MSci, but you can also choose to change from the BSc to MSci (providing you satisfy the academic requirements) or MSci to the BSc. You must apply for the MSci in Year 1 if you want to guarantee your student loan will cover the fourth year of fees.

Work experience

There are two opportunities to gain relevant work experience, the one-year placement or a work experience module. Both the placement and the work experience module provide excellent opportunities to gain employability skills, transferable skills and experience of working in science. This may be in an industrial environment, research laboratory or environmental organisation for example.

BSc Environmental Science modules

  • Year 1

    • Integrated Scientific Skills (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module, you will explore fundamental scientific concepts and laboratory/research techniques that underpin the study of Environmental Science. You will learn how to analyse findings generated from your laboratory and fieldwork while gaining the tools that enable effective scientific communication.

    • Cell Biology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module you will study eukaryote and prokaryote cells and develop an understanding of key concepts within fundamental cell biology. You will gain practical and theoretical knowledge through laboratory experimentation and observational microscopy.

    • Fundamentals of Chemistry (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module, you will gain the underpinning knowledge of chemistry to support important concepts relating to pollution and remediation, environmental cycles and metabolic pathways and enzyme kinetics.

    • Principles of Environmental Science (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will take an interdisciplinary approach to consider the challenges relating to climate change, biodiversity, water resources, natural hazards, and technological risks.

    • Social Perspectives of Environmental Science (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will provide you with the concepts and approaches required for understanding social sciences in order to focus on the contextual factors influencing environmental problems and their potential solutions over the course of the programme.

  • Year 2

    • Pollution Prevention and Control (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module examines the harmful substances potentially present in the air, water and soil environments, and the technological options and legislative processes that assess and/or control pollution.

    • Sustainable Decision Making (15 credits) - Compulsory

      To facilitate complex sustainable decision-making processes, this module introduces a wide range of principles to environmental decision-making including participation process models, governance and institutional settings, psycho-social considerations, multi-dimensional outcomes and their valuation, uncertainty, and communication.

    • Research Methods and Project Planning (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is designed to give you the necessary skills for planning, implementation, analysis and reporting in preparation for your final year dissertation. You will also develop core research skills that are fundamental to scientific research design, irrespective of discipline.

    • Techniques for Environmental Assessment (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module is designed to enhance your understanding and application of a range of analytical tools used in environmental measurement. Using a range of demonstrations, computer workshops and hands-on instrument operation, the module will provide a practical basis for the selection and use of modern techniques for environmental analysis.

    • Environmental Impact Assessment (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module will introduce the concept of environmental management and the consideration of anticipating the environmental consequences of a planned intervention/action/construction. Specifically, the module will consider the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) processes and their use within environmental management.

    • Applied Microbiology (15 credits) - Optional

      This module will develop your understanding of key concepts in the application of microbiology. You will look at the classification of micro-organisms and examine the interactions between micro-organisms, animals and the environment. You will also learn to interpret data in relation to microbial population dynamics.

    • Health and Society (15 credits) - Optional

      This module introduces the relationships between health and society and the factors that affect individual, community and population health. You will learn about health determinants and health inequalities, the socio-economic causes of health and illness arising from poverty and deprivation across the life-course as well as the policies seeking to address these issues.

    • Biodiversity and Ecosystems (15 credits) - Optional

      This module introduces concepts of biodiversity, its origins and maintenance in the face of climatic uncertainty. You will experience a range of field techniques either in Mauritius or the UK.

    • Environmental Monitoring (15 credits) - Optional

      In this module, you will develop an appreciation for field biology which will allow you to assess a range of variables that are associated with environmental and ecological monitoring. You will critically evaluate these techniques for assessing biodiversity and will develop the tools to investigate and predict responses to changing internal and external conditions.

    • Sustainable Built Environmental Assessment (15 credits) - Optional

      This module introduces fundamental concepts of sustainable built environment code and certification. You will gain knowledge on the building design and construction process, and will analyse their environmental performance, such as sustainability analysis tools and software to carry out sustainability analysis studies.

  • Sandwich year

    • Placement Year

      This year-long placement is an opportunity for you to work in an industrial, field or laboratory based setting, gaining important and relevant skills related to your programme. The module aims to enhance your employability skills, embed transferable and graduate skills, and you’ll be encouraged to reflect on how the knowledge gained is relevant to your degree programme and the field of biology. Through the work placement you will gain experience of working in a team, facilitate your understanding of the workplace and enhance your skills of self-reliance and communication, communication, self-expression and co-operation.

  • Year 3

    • Sustainable Biotechnology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module you will recognise how biotechnology can be used to achieve a more sustainable future. You will explore the role of biotechnology in plants and animals, waste remediation, clean and dirty management and the production of renewable sources. You will analyse the importance of these processes for society and subsequent health.

    • Evolution (15 credits) - Optional

      In this module you will gain detailed knowledge of the influence of micro- and macro-evolutionary processes upon life on Earth. You will be able to demonstrate the roles of selection and its influence at different levels and temporal scales. You will critically evaluate the roles of determinism and contingency in affecting evolutionary events and outcomes.

    • Biodiversity and Planets (15 credits) - Optional

      In this module you will be introduced to the function and interaction of planetary processes upon Earth’s biota. You will explore the effects of both biotic and abiotic processes on the evolution of extant and fossil organisms which you will examine in the context of specific case studies investigating events since the origin of Earth.

    • Urban Environment (15 credits) - Optional

      In this module you will develop an understanding of the urban environment both in context of its origins as anthropogenic and anthropocentric landscape, but also one that has specific, expanding and adapting biological components. You will examine the utilisation of  biological components of urban environments and how such utilisation can provide significant benefits for individuals and society.

    • Ecosystems Management (15 credits) - Optional

      In this module, you will examine the critical inter-relationship between humans and the environment. You will explore different types of ecosystems and the various services and strategies to manage finite environmental resources.

    • Environmental Management Tool and Modelling (15 credits) - Optional

      This module will explore how environmental scientists can support society by developing and applying environmental management models and toolkits to undertake environmental research and consultancy activities to inform policy-makers, regulators and/or the public.

    • Introduction to Global Health (15 credits) - Optional

      This module focuses on the drivers of the global burden of diseases and issues of inequity surrounding these. It explores societal, political, economic, behavioural and environmental barriers required to succeed in reducing health inequalities and empower stakeholders, communities and individuals. Both the global and local context will be considered.

    • Work Experience (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will enable you to gain credits for work experience related to your programme. It aims to link academic learning to a placement organisation. The experience provides opportunities for you to work in a relevant organisation and enhance your skills of self-expression, communication, co-operation and self-reliance.

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Your final year dissertation is an in-depth study that develops research, analytical and critical thinking skills. With the support of an academic supervisor you will research a topical personal interest and build upon skills acquired through previous modules in the programme.

MSci Environmental Science modules

  • Year 1

    • Integrated Scientific Skills (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module, you will explore fundamental scientific concepts and laboratory/research techniques that underpin the study of Environmental Science. You will learn how to analyse findings generated from your laboratory and fieldwork while gaining the tools that enable effective scientific communication.

    • Cell Biology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module you will study eukaryote and prokaryote cells and develop an understanding of key concepts within fundamental cell biology. You will gain practical and theoretical knowledge through laboratory experimentation and observational microscopy.

    • Fundamentals of Chemistry (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module, you will gain the underpinning knowledge of chemistry to support important concepts relating to pollution and remediation, environmental cycles and metabolic pathways and enzyme kinetics.

    • Principles of Environmental Science (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will take an interdisciplinary approach to consider the challenges relating to climate change, biodiversity, water resources, natural hazards, and technological risks.

    • Social Perspectives of Environmental Science (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will provide you with the concepts and approaches required for understanding social sciences in order to focus on the contextual factors influencing environmental problems and their potential solutions over the course of the programme.

  • Year 2

    • Pollution Prevention and Control (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module examines the harmful substances potentially present in the air, water and soil environments, and the technological options and legislative processes that assess and/or control pollution.

    • Sustainable Decision Making (15 credits) - Compulsory

      To facilitate complex sustainable decision-making processes, this module introduces a wide range of principles to environmental decision-making including participation process models, governance and institutional settings, psycho-social considerations, multi-dimensional outcomes and their valuation, uncertainty, and communication.

    • Research Methods and Project Planning (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is designed to give you the necessary skills for planning, implementation, analysis and reporting in preparation for your final year dissertation. You will also develop core research skills that are fundamental to scientific research design, irrespective of discipline.

    • Techniques in Environmental Assessment (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module is designed to enhance your understanding and application of a range of analytical tools used in environmental measurement. Using a range of demonstrations, computer workshops and hands-on instrument operation, the module will provide a practical basis for the selection and use of modern techniques for environmental analysis.

    • Environmental Impact Assessment (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module will introduce the concept of environmental management and the consideration of anticipating the environmental consequences of a planned intervention/action/construction. Specifically, you will consider the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) processes and their use within environmental management.

    • Applied Microbiology (15 credits) - Optional

      This module will develop your understanding of key concepts in the application of microbiology. You will look at the classification of micro-organisms and examine the interactions between micro-organisms, animals and the environment. You will also learn to interpret data in relation to microbial population dynamics.

    • Health and Society (15 credits) - Optional

      This module introduces the relationships between health and society and the factors that affect individual, community and population health. You will learn about health determinants and health inequalities, the socio-economic causes of health and illness arising from poverty and deprivation across the life-course as well as the policies seeking to address these issues.

    • Biodiversity and Ecosystems (15 credits) - Optional

      This module introduces concepts of biodiversity, its origins and maintenance in the face of climatic uncertainty. You will experience a range of field techniques either in Mauritius or the UK.

    • Environmental Monitoring (15 credits) - Optional

      In this module, you will develop an appreciation for field biology which will allow you to assess a range of variables that are associated with environmental and ecological monitoring. You will critically evaluate these techniques for assessing biodiversity and will develop the tools to investigate and predict responses to changing internal and external conditions.

    • Sustainable Built Environmental Assessment (15 credits) - Optional

      This module introduces fundamental concepts of sustainable built environment code and certification. You will gain knowledge on the building design and construction process, and will analyse their environmental performance, such as sustainability analysis tools and software to carry out sustainability analysis studies.

  • Sandwich year

    • Placement Year

      This year-long placement is an opportunity for you to work in an industrial, field or laboratory based setting, gaining important and relevant skills related to your programme. The module aims to enhance your employability skills, embed transferable and graduate skills, and you’ll be encouraged to reflect on how the knowledge gained is relevant to your degree programme and the field of biology. Through the work placement you will gain experience of working in a team, facilitate your understanding of the workplace and enhance your skills of self-reliance and communication, communication, self-expression and co-operation.

  • Year 3

    • Sustainable Biotechnology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module you will recognise how biotechnology can be used to achieve a more sustainable future. You will explore the role of biotechnology in plants and animals, waste remediation, clean and dirty management and the production of renewable sources. You will analyse the importance of these processes for society and subsequent health.

    • Evolution (15 credits) - Optional

      In this module you will gain detailed knowledge of the influence of micro- and macro-evolutionary processes upon life on Earth. You will be able to demonstrate the roles of selection and its influence at different levels and temporal scales. You will critically evaluate the roles of determinism and contingency in affecting evolutionary events and outcomes.

    • Biodiversity and Planets (15 credits) - Optional

      In this module you will be introduced to the function and interaction of planetary processes upon Earth’s biota. You will explore the effects of both biotic and abiotic processes on the evolution of extant and fossil organisms which you will examine in the context of specific case studies investigating events since the origin of Earth.

    • Urban Environment (15 credits) - Optional

      In this module you will develop an understanding of the urban environment both in context of its origins as anthropogenic and anthropocentric landscape, but also one that has specific, expanding and adapting biological components. You will examine the utilisation of  biological components of urban environments and how such utilisation can provide significant benefits for individuals and society.

    • Ecosystems Management (15 credits) - Optional

      In this module, you will examine the critical inter-relationship between humans and the environment. You will explore different types of ecosystems and the various services and strategies to manage finite environmental resources.

    • Environmental Management Tool and Modelling (15 credits) - Optional

      This module will explore how environmental scientists can support society by developing and applying environmental management models and toolkits to undertake environmental research and consultancy activities to inform policy-makers, regulators and/or the public.

    • Introduction to Global Health (15 credits) - Optional

      This module focuses on the drivers of the global burden of diseases and issues of inequity surrounding these. It explores societal, political, economic, behavioural and environmental barriers required to succeed in reducing health inequalities and empower stakeholders, communities and individuals. Both the global and local context will be considered.

    • Work Experience (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will enable you to gain credits for work experience related to your programme. It aims to link academic learning to a placement organisation. The experience provides opportunities for you to work in a relevant organisation and enhance your skills of self-expression, communication, co-operation and self-reliance.

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Your final year dissertation is an in-depth study that develops research, analytical and critical thinking skills. With the support of an academic supervisor you will research a topical personal interest and build upon skills acquired through previous modules in the programme.

  • Year 4

    • Pollution and Health Protection (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides the necessary knowledge and skills to enable you to assess, judge and determine the effects of pollution and disease-causing agents, the likely or recognised impact on humans and how this impact can be minimised through control strategies and methodologies.

    • Social Research Method (15 credits) - Compulsory

      Building on the social research methods in Year 2, this module will refresh and broaden your understanding of the quantitative and qualitative social research approaches via a mix of taught and applied workshops. You will enhance your understanding of the conceptual approaches by further clarifying distinctions in implementation and outputs.

    • Fundamentals of Strategic Risk Management (15 credits) - Optional

      This module provides an overview of the theory and application of risk management as it is applied at a strategic level from a multi-disciplinary, science-led perspective. You will explore frameworks that can be used to relate the functions of risk management to  better understand the process of decision making and the factors which influence it.

    • Flood Risk Management (15 credits) - Optional

      This module will introduce the complex issue of flood risk and examine how it is understood in different contexts by different cultures and communities. Both positive and negative impacts will be considered. You will be introduced to practical ways of managing flood risk and case studies will be used to demonstrate differing management approaches and options applied in different settings.

    • Global Sustainable Issues and Study (15 credits) - Optional

      This module examines both climate change and population growth as drivers of contemporary changes to global environments, within the contested concept of sustainable environmental management. This will include developing a basic understanding of the central environmental processes affecting global environments in order to understand why reduced environmental functionality results from increased in levels of both anthropogenic and climatic stress in a range of climatic and cultural settings.

    • Applied Sustainability Case Study (15 credits) - Optional

      This module seeks to explore the current nature and history of the environmental, social and economic sustainability challenges in a case study environment subject to sustainability challenges. You will have field exposure to a practical case study environment which has challenged stakeholders and the practice of sustainability. Through meeting local stakeholders, experts and relevant academics relating to the case study, and with the supply of published literature and material in relation to the field area, you will experience the various tensions and conflicts relating to sustainability.

    • Environmental Law and Governance (15 credits) - Optional

      This module introduces the idea of the governance spectrum ranging from a coercive mode and legal instruments to approaches that rely on the agency and knowledge of environmental resource users themselves. Various environmental policy instruments will be explores in depth and lecture content will be supported by case studies drawing from research on green criminology and European environmental policy.

    • MSc Project (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This research project module provides an opportunity for you to develop original and independent research investigations aimed at integrating theoretical knowledge and technical expertise at an advanced level to solve a practical problem using appropriate research techniques.

    • Environmental Assessment and Management (15 credits) - Optional

      This module provides knowledge and critical insight into environmental practices of pollution prevention. You will focuses on common commercial pollutants and the systems that govern their control and management in the workplace, while also considering the policy and legal basis. Practitioner management techniques and methods are provided with the objective of developing competence in assessing and managing workplace environmental aspects to improve legal compliance and environmental performance.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BSc/MSci Environmental Science support your career?

As a graduate, you will be well-qualified and may progress to postgraduate study in a related discipline, graduate training programmes or to a research degree.

You could also be employed in the public and private sectors such as environmental and sustainability consultancies, environmental industries, non-government organisations (NGOs). You would also be qualified for a role in the growing field of communicating and popularising science.

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, 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. Students enrolled on CHES accredited programmes can apply for free Student Membership of the IES and for a fast-track route to membership once they graduate, starting you on a route towards becoming a Chartered Environmentalist or Chartered Scientist.

Professor Diane Purchase
Programme leader

Professor Purchase has a keen interest in the field of environmental remediation. She has published widely and supervised a number of PhD students on environmental biotechnology.

Professor Lian Lundy
Professor of Environmental Science

Professor Lundy’s primary research interests are in the field of urban environmental pollution and its mitigation using sustainable drainage systems.

Dr Huw Jones
Associate Professor of Environmental Chemistry

Dr Jones has extensive expertise in environmental chemistry, research methods and statistical analysis.

Dr Sally Priest
Associate Professor

Dr Priest is the Head of the Flood Hazard Research Centre. Sally’s research interests focus on the application of social science across a range of areas in flood risk management.

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