Subject Guide

Environmental Science Degree

Uni Compare  · Oct 5th 2020

Geography is a complicated subject and refers to the study of the Earth, regarding its physical makeup, the people who populate it and the structure.

Rock formation

When it comes to choosing a career, an environmental science degree puts you on solid ground - and can even take you around the world.

From coastal preservation to international aid, and a whole host of careers for environmental science degrees in between, let’s look at some options for jobs with an environmental science degree or a geography and environmental science degree.

What can you do with an environmental science degree?

What to do with a environmental science degree

With climate change a growing concern, climate analysts and conservation officers are increasingly important in identifying changes in the weather and the earth’s environment (such as deforestation).

Other environmental science degree jobs in this area include the role of environmental consultant, who uses their expertise to monitor and analyse issues surrounding pollution, waste management, climate change, flooding, coastal erosion, water contamination, and renewable energy and these jobs environmental science degree are very sought after. They undertake surveys to ‘take the temperature’ of various issues, and give advice to businesses, government and local authorities on how to make improvements.

On a smaller scale, roles in heritage management also involve care and preservation for patches of land and are ideal environmental science degree jobs for graduates who love the outdoors. Coastal preservation officers, nature conservationists and forest rangers are based in at-risk areas, and seek to best maintain or enhance the natural features of the protected spot.

There are also various roles in public services which make good use of an environmental science degree UK, such as in land registry, tourism, sustainability, and transport. And if you’re planning to go global, rather than local, either a traditional environmental science degree or a human environmental science degree would be beneficial for a job in international aid or development work.

If you’re interested in tech, you might consider working with digital maps as a geographical information systems officer, or if you prefer to visit lots of places in the flesh, you could become a surveyor for planning and development. You can do a RICS postgraduate course to become accredited, which will help you with looking for a degree in environmental science jobs.

How about a few left-field options? See where else an environmental science degree can take you in the next section, ‘What can you do with an environmental science degree?’ and learn more about the requirements for an environmental science degree or an online masters degree in environmental science.

What can I do with a environmental science degree?

You don’t have to take the most direct path with an environmental earth science degree, of course. There are dozens more environmental science degree jobs to suit every personality and interest. Did you know that almost a quarter of graduates with a environmental science degree go into business, HR and finance, for example?

Taking a PGCE or similar teacher training qualification can equip you to become a geography teacher in secondary schools or colleges. Or perhaps a conversion course in law is more appealing? Your undergraduate expertise could really help with conveyancing, land disputes and planning appeals.

If you’ve got an eye for design, you might become a landscape architect, one of many outdoor jobs with a environmental science degree. Or you could even become a travel agent, helping other people discover the magic of our wonderful planet.

Environmental science degree jobs come in all shapes and sizes and there are plenty of jobs with environmental science degree available, so think about your main interest or expertise within the subject, and begin to look around to see what’s available.

Candidates who are interested in climate change, natural disasters and why the Earth is changing will be best suited for this type of degree.

What to do with an environmental science degree

So what are the environmental science degree job prospects like?

Careers for graduates with an environmental science degree are plentiful. The rapid and detrimental changes that humans have brought about to the planet in recent decades means that laws and regulations are tightening, and environmental scientists are in great demand to research issues, suggest solutions, consult with businesses to make solutions viable, and enforce and enact systems to prevent more damage.

Environmental science degree UK careers are often based within government and public service, and we will explore the range of specific environmental science degree jobs available in the next section, ‘What can you do with an environmental science degree?’ For now, though, let’s start with some of the less obvious scenarios:

Many environmental science graduates choose to stay on at university after their first environmental science bachelors degree. Knowledge is power, so check out our section on further study down the page to see what kind of master’s and PhD options lie ahead.

If you earn a masters degree in environmental science, you might choose to continue in academia as a career, lecturing at a university to educate the next generation of climate and wildlife warriors, which is touched on in masters degree environmental science.

You could complete a year long law conversion course and become a solicitor or paralegal. With environmental regulations changing all the time, this could be your specialist field, taking action against individuals or companies who flout laws and cause environmental damage or how about a graduate employment programme? Many firms and public bodies offer this training route for people fresh out of university, so remember to explore all your options!

Those are some of the less obvious routes, but when you ask yourself, ‘What can I do with an environmental science degree?’ you are probably thinking of environmental science degree jobs directly related to your qualification. So, read on…

What can you do with an environmental science degree?

One popular and vital role is to become an environmental consultant. This means that you, as the expert, offer private consultancy to a variety of clients who need guidance managing their environmental impact and compliance with laws.

Your expertise would be similarly helpful as an environmental engineer or manager, a nature conservation officer, wildlife biologist or marine biologist. Many of these pathways require fieldwork, which can be rewarding and varied, but can also involve long days outdoors in all conditions.

Not many environmental science jobs are desk-based, but some office roles are available: you could make a difference by working in local government environmental science degree jobs as a recycling officer, sustainability consultant, or waste management officer.

Another great way to use your degree in environmental science is as an environmental education officer, inspiring and educating young people to increase their awareness of problems and solutions in protecting the Earth. You might visit schools to give presentations, plan informative walking trails in botanical gardens, or create a learning zone in a coastal wildlife museum. It’s a varied and rewarding role, ideal for anyone with good communication skills.

Geography can be divided into two branches: physical geography, which is the science of the earth and incorporates the study of the Environment and Geology, and Human Geography, which involves people and their movements, from population trends and migration.

Geography also overlaps other areas of science, such as ecology and meteorology, human geography intersects with sociology and politics. Due to geography’s interdisciplinary nature, the subject relates to a variety of other fields ranging from earth science to anthropology and biology.

Is environmental science a good degree?

What A Levels do I need?

Most universities do not require all geography students to have this subject at A-Level grade, and the university entry requirements for environmental science degrees tend to reflect the nature of the course, as does an online degree in environmental science. Therefore a physical geography related course may ask for students to have a science subject, or a human-based environmental science degree (and a bachelor's degree in environmental science) will prefer students with social sciences.

Students are advised to check with their university and desired environmental science degree courses to understand what is needed to gain admission; this is why it is essential for students to research and compare universities, so they choose the right university that interests them best as an individual.

Universities are looking for candidates who have an interest in the environment and the world, an open mind to both human and physical geography, and an understanding of scientific logic, methods, principle and research for their environmental science undergraduate degree.

What are my study options?

Students can study geography on its own, a branch of geography or students can complete a joint degree programme that has two subjects together. Degrees are also available as a Bachelor’s of Arts and a Bachelor’s of Science degree, such as BA geography (social science), BSc geography (natural science), BA human and social geography and BA physical geography.

Students, depending on the nature of their course will probably gain an insight into both branches of geography, to grasp a basic understanding before studying further into the subject in other years of study.

Students may likely study why human and physical environments appear as they are, how they operate and how they were formed. Secondly, how and why patterns of physical features differ from place to place around the globe. Lastly, individuals may learn how to observe, analyse, represent, interpret, describe and report information about the world and open up plenty of environmental science degree career options and maybe even study further at a postgraduate level and look at a master degree in environmental science.

What should I expect from studying Environmental Science?

Geography encompasses many different aspects of the world, and students who want to pursue an education in all things about the world and why it is the way it is should consider this degree subject.

Some universities encourage students to seek work placements or even include them within the course. These placements will help individuals gaining a wealth of experience, and will stand in good stead for future employment opportunities.

Furthermore, field trips are part of the learning process when students carry out actual research, meaning students will gain a healthy balance of practical and theoretical learning throughout the degree.

When it comes to choosing a career, an environmental science degree puts you on solid ground - and can even take you around the world.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment differs depending on the course; however, students looking to study a degree in environmental science should expect a combination of examinations, coursework and practical work evaluation from fieldwork and workshops.

What skills will I learn from studying Environmental Science?

Individuals will gain skills in research, data collection, analysis, fieldwork, teamwork, problem-solving, communication skills (including presentation, writing and debating) as well as intellectual skills such as evaluating theories and judging evidence (and you can search UK Geography courses here).

Students who attend university will gain skills that are transferable later in life and through employment, such as time-management, organisation and social skills through presentations and group work.

Why study Environmental Science?

Candidates who are interested in climate change, natural disasters and why the Earth is changing will be best suited for this type of degree. A Human environmental science degree is ranked extremely high across the world in institutions – it is an important subject that is valued and respected worldwide.

The world is changing; from natural disasters to global warming, and Geography Studies is the answer to getting to the bottom of these problems.

What happens after I graduate?

A degree in geography will equip individuals with a strong set of analytical and research skills, which will be highly sought after by employers across the board.

Geography graduates can choose to join the career ladder in a number of career sectors, from conservation, town planning to tourism and marketing.

Will it help me get a job?

Studying this degree can aid candidates in seeking employment in an array of areas including; local government, the Environment Agency, and many areas of research consultancies and business.

What types of jobs can I get from studying Environmental Science?

Particular jobs available through gaining a degree in Geography include; Planning and Development, Cartographer, Surveyor, Teacher, International Aid and Development, Town Planner, Market Research and Landscape Architect.

What can I study after Environmental Science?

Individuals who wish to continue with their studies after they graduate can gain a Master’s programme in the following: geography, ecology, life and environment sciences, meteorology and climatology, climate change and sustainability, aquatic science and land management.

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