About the course

This course offers you an opportunity to study some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time, including biodiversity loss, climate change, invasive species, land-use change, pollution, food security and water scarcity. Most of these issues are fundamentally ecological in nature and hence the course has a very strong focus on ecological theory, application and management. Topics on biological conservation, ecological monitoring, habitat management and restoration, environmental law, ecological economics, ecological impact assessment, as well as assessment of environmental quality, are all included.

First year

You will develop your understanding of biodiversity and how ecosystems function and how we can use resources more sustainably. You’ll also develop your research skills such as data analysis, surveying and map work and using geographic information systems.

A week long residential field course, currently held in the English Lake District, forms a central part of your first year studies. 

Second year

Following your first year exams you will attend a one week ecology field course at our Bayfordbury field station that underpins your compulsory ecology module. On this course you will have national and internationally renowned ecologists providing training in areas such as botanical surveys, amphibian and reptile, small mammal and aquatic ecology surveys.                                                         

You’ll visit the Swiss Alps at the start of your second year, developing your research skills. You will also spend time developing your knowledge of how our environment can be understood as changing, with the topic areas of ecology and environmental quality forming a central part of your studies. Areas of optional study include rural development, geospatial information and earth surface processes.

Final year

Your individual research project will be a key focus in your final year. This is complemented by core modules focused on habitat management and monitoring; biological conservation and solving environmental problems. Areas of optional study include natural hazards, development and tourism, outdoor recreation and education, and geospatial information.

Fact sheets 2019 Course fact sheet 1 BSc (Hons) Environmental Management and Ecology
Programme specifications 2019 Programme specification 1 BSc (Hons) Geography and Environment

Why choose this course?

Our Environmental Management and Ecology degree is designed to develop a wide range of management and ecological skills and to give students practical field experience, with an option of a work placement or a year of study abroad.

Our students have the distinct advantage of our Bayfordbury field station with laboratory facilities and a wide range of habitats (woodlands, grassland, lakes, ponds, rivers, parkland, glasshouses plus an apiary). This provides students with the amenities in which to conduct surveys and carry out research in addition to gaining practical conservation skills with the management of the site.

The course equips you to learn how we can tackle some of the world’s biggest issues including:

  • Habitat degradation and destruction
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Climate change
  • Scarcity of water
  • Environmental pollution

Flexibility and choice

We offer a range of degree titles and other options in our degree programmes. Although you do need to apply for a specific course through UCAS, we have a common first year so you do not need to decide between them until you have had the experience to make an informed choice.

During your second year, you will choose whether to proceed directly into your final year and complete your degree in three years, or whether to undertake an optional extra year between year 2 and the final year.

This can be spent undertaking a sandwich placement year gaining relevant work experience to enhance your CV and improve your chance of a better degree classification. Alternatively, there is the option to spend a year abroad at one of our partner universities throughout the world to gain valuable international experience that is needed to get on in today’s global economy. Recent year abroad choices have been to Canada, USA (California and Kansas), Hawaii, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Other great features of the course include:

  • No additional charges for compulsory residential field courses in Year 1 and Year 2
  • High student satisfaction and a good study community,
  • Regular opportunities for students to assist staff and local conservationists with environmental and ecological training and research. This includes training to carry out surveys that require a license such as amphibian, reptiles and small mammal trapping; bat surveys and bat box monitoring and bird ringing.
  • Opportunities to get involved in ecological activities at Bayfordbury such as beekeeping, bat detecting, badger monitoring and habitat management such as coppicing, etc
  • This degree has accreditation from the Institution of Environmental Sciences, meaning our graduates are eligible to become Associate Members of the Institution.
  • Working with employers in Hertfordshire to address pressing environmental challenges, helping them save energy, reduce waste and put effective techniques in place to manage their environmental impact.
  • Working with voluntary organisations to support community energy initiatives - overcoming the barriers to installing solar panels on school buildings and improving a community energy toolkit.

To see what has been happening at Bayfordbury, visit our website page.

You can find out more about our staff in Geography, Environment and Agriculture here.

Professional Accreditations

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.

Course details


Our graduates are highly employable and have excellent opportunities in a wide range of careers because of our varied curriculum, with strong emphasis on field and practical experience, the industrial placement year and strong ties with professional bodies and employers in business, industry, regulatory bodies and government. We are currently ranked as 9th nationally for the employability of our graduates in department’s offering environmental science degrees and physical geography.

Graduates have found successful careers within the Environment Agency, United Nations Environment Programme, Water companies, Environmental resource management, in private environmental consultancies, local government, town and country planning, recreational and habitat management, teaching and, as well as more general graduate recruitment schemes and postgraduate study.

Typical job titles of recent graduates

Conservation Officer, Environmental Consultant, Environmental Developments Officer, Environmental Management Systems Developer, Environmental Manager, Environmental Officer, Environmental Support Officer, Assistant Surveyor, Estates manager, GIS assistant, Land Charges Assistant, Planning Officer, Production Systems Development Engineer, Senior GIS Technical Officer, Trainee Emergency Ambulance Technician, Trainee Logging Geologist, Transport Coordinator, Transport Planner.

Typical employers of recent graduates 

Environment Agency, Affinity Water, South-East Water, Sustrans, Buildings Research Establishment, Banks Cargil Agriculture Ltd, Beds and Herts Ambulance and Paramedic Service, Channel Tunnel Rail Link, Coors Brewers, Datalog Technology Ltd, , Granada Business Technology, Merck Sharp & Dohme, National Grid, University of Hertfordshire, Vaux.

What job can I get?

Our graduates have found successful careers within local government, town and country planning, recreational and habitat management, environmental resources management, teaching and in private environmental consultancies. Some join more general graduate recruitment schemes while others stay at the University for postgraduate study.

Teaching methods

Throughout your degree you will experience a range of thought-provoking teaching techniques; such as lectures, seminars, workshops and practicals. You will go on numerous field visits to a diverse range of locations. Practicals often take place at the University’s own field station, as well as in our specialist geosciences and geographical information systems laboratories.

Most second and third year modules are assessed by 50% coursework and 50% examination. Five of the first year modules are 100% coursework. The type of coursework is varied, depending on the module and includes essays, reports, practical write-ups, posters and seminar presentations.

Part-time study

If you are studying part-time you will study for 5-6 years to complete your course from registration. You will complete 60 credits per year. The first and second year are made up of compulsory modules thereafter years three to six contain a mixture of core and optional modules depending on the pathway you are studying on. Your timetable will depend on which modules you pick.

Work Placement

Before progressing to your final year you have the opportunity to take a work placement year or to study abroad. These experiences are optional but can benefit you in terms of improving your approach to study, your class of degree and your future employability.

Environmental management placement opportunities are available within a wide range of organisations including small, national and multi-national companies, local government, consultancy companies and environmental organisations.

Students have undertaken placements at a wide range of companies including: Building Research Establishment, Environment Agency, GlaxoSmithKline, BASF, Afinity Water, Earthworks, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (Lancaster University), Stubbington Study Centre, Plandescil Consulting Engineers, and RPS to name but a few.

Successful completion of a placement year may result in licentiateship of the City and Guilds Institute.

Study Abroad

This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad in the Sandwich Year through the University's study abroad programme. Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme. Find out more about Study abroad opportunities 


  • Level 4
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Ecosystems and Environmental Change 15 Credits Compulsory
    Introduction to Field Research 15 Credits Compulsory
    Dynamic Earth 15 Credits Compulsory
    The Earth System 15 Credits Compulsory
    Geographical and Environmental Thought 15 Credits Compulsory
    Cultural and Historical Geography 15 Credits Compulsory
    Space, Place and Future Mobility 15 Credits Compulsory
    Political and Economic Geography 15 Credits Compulsory
    Essential Study Skills 0 Credits Compulsory
  • Level 5
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Environment, Conservation and Food 30 Credits Compulsory
    Enhancing Employability 0 Credits Compulsory
    Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 30 Credits Optional
    Quarternary Environmental Change 30 Credits Optional
    Digital Geography 30 Credits Optional
  • Level 6
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Individual Research Project - GE 30 Credits Compulsory
    Natural Hazards and Disaster Reduction 30 Credits Compulsory
    Habitat Management and Ecological Monitoring 30 Credits Compulsory
    Project 30 Credits Compulsory
    Habitat Management and Conservation 30 Credits Compulsory
    Development, Tourism and the Marginalised World 30 Credits Optional
    Placement - GE 0 Credits Optional
    Biological Conservation 30 Credits Optional
    Solving Environmental Problems 30 Credits Optional
    Year Abroad - GE 0 Credits Optional
    Implementing Geospatial Information 30 Credits Optional
    Glaciology and Hydrogeomorphology 30 Credits Optional
    Outdoor Recreation, Access and Education 30 Credits Optional
    Leisure, Tourism and Identity 30 Credits Optional
    Digital Geography and Location Intelligence 30 Credits Optional
  • Fees & funding

    Fees 2019

    UK/EU Students

    Full time
    • £9250 for the 2019/2020 academic year
    Part time
    • £1155 per 15 credits for the 2019/2020 academic year

    International Students

    Full time
    • £12350 for the 2019/2020 academic year
    Part time
    • £1540 per 15 credits for the 2019/2020 academic year

    Fees 2020

    UK/EU Students

    Full time
    • £9250 for the 2020/2021 academic year
    Part time
    • £1155 per 15 credits for the 2020/2021 academic year

    International Students

    Full time
    • £13000 for the 2020/2021 academic year
    Part time
    • £1625 per 15 credits for the 2020/2021 academic year

    This course offers fantastic opportunities for field work which gives students the chance to study human, environmental and physical interactions in both UK and International settings. All first and second year residential field trip costs are covered by your fees.

    There is one optional choice of a field to Southern Spain in final year that will cost approximately £400 and cover international travel costs, bed and breakfast. This trip is heavily subsidised by the University.

    Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

    *Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

    View detailed information about tuition fees

    Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet

    Other financial support

    Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

    Living costs / accommodation

    The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

    View detailed information about our accommodation

    Entry requirements

    UCAS pointsA LevelBTEC

    How to apply

    Course length
    • Full Time, 3 Years
    • Part Time, 5 Years
    • Sandwich, 4 Years
    • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    24/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time)
    26/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Part Time)
    26/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    25/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    24/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time)
    26/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Part Time)
    26/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    25/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    Optional Sandwich Placement or Study Abroad year
    We welcome applications from international and EU students