Environment and Sustainability BSc (Hons) – 2023 entry
Start date: September 2023
- BSc (Hons)
- UCAS: L8N1
- 3 years
- BSc (Hons)
- 4 years with professional training
Why choose this course
Can multinational businesses combine long-term sustainability with profitability? Will the transition to clean energy be defeated by a lack of suitable infrastructure and the policy to implement it?
Addressing the challenges facing sustainable development from an interdisciplinary perspective is a key focus of this BSc. You’ll be studying at our acclaimed Centre for Environment and Sustainability (CES). First established in 1992, it boasts an international reputation as a hub for interdisciplinary research in sustainability.
You’ll be taught by CES academics, who have experience in academia, industry and the public sector. Their research interests and industry experience includes:
- Clean energy and clean technology
- Consumption and production
- Corporate environmental behaviour
- Life cycle assessment
- Policy development
- Sociology of the environment
- Sustainable prosperity
- Vertical farming
- Water and sanitation.
In addition, you’ll be taught by tutors from other departments in the University who work at the interface between their core discipline and sustainability. Participating departments include:
- Biosciences and Medicine
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Surrey Business School.
You’ll also have the chance to take part in our award-winning Professional Training Placements scheme, which prepares students for roles in various sectors.
What you will study
In Year 1, you’ll be taught by CES academics. Modules include:
- Earth systems sciences
- Environmental and ecological economics
- Sustainability and the media
- Sustainable development goals and indicators
- Understanding human society: research methods 1
- Understanding human society: research methods 2
There will also be a field trip to explore how we can regenerate environments and communities in a sustainable way.
In Years 2 and 3, you’ll also be taught by tutors from other University departments. Modules include:
- Animal and plant ecology
- Engineering sustainable transport
- Environmental assessment
- Environmental law in action
- Everyday consumption and its consequences
- Exploring environmental crime
- Food security
- Global climate change
- International organisations
- International trade.
In Year 3, you’ll research and write a dissertation on a subject you agree with your supervisor.
Undergraduates also have the option to extend their study period to four years and take a Professional Training Placement in industry or with an allied organisation in the UK or abroad.
Additional learning opportunities
We’re a research-active Centre and this feeds directly into our teaching. Alongside lectures, tutorials and field trips, your learning will be enhanced by:
- The Roland Clift Lecture Series: Named after the founder of CES, this annual event features a key figure from academia, industry or the public sector discussing sustainability.
- Guest lectures: Respected names from academia, industry or the public sector give regular talks to CES students. Recent participants include Professor Tim Jackson, author of Prosperity without Growth. Corporate leaders from Marks & Spencer, Aviva Investors, Costain Group, LC Energy and the NHS have also participated as guest lecturers at the MSc level in the past couple of years.
- Lunchtime seminars: We hold a regular series of seminars where external speakers discuss sustainability issues with our students.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Over the last decade, our employment figures have been among the best in the UK.
We have strong links with research, industry and the public sector. Recent masters graduates from CES have accepted roles as:
- Sustainability Consultant at Worldrise Onlus
- Environmental and Sustainability Coordinator at Michael J Lonsdale
- Sustainability Coordinator at Coats
- Ecology and Environment Consultant, Biosphere Conservation Consulting Services
- Certification Analyst at Climate Bonds Initiative
- Consulting Analyst at TrueCue
- Senior Environmental and Sustainability Engineer at Frazer-Nash
- Environmental Projects Assistant at ThamesWey group
- Climate Change Officer at Bassetlaw District Council
- Associate, Sustainability and Climate Change at PwC
- Recycled Materials Broker at Newport Recycling
- Manager, Programme Development and Compliance at the Green Building Initiative.
Graduates also have the option to continue their education and engage in masters-level study on one of our MSc courses:
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules usually can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follow clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.
Please note: The full module listing for the optional Professional Training placement part of your course can be viewed on the relevant programme specification.
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday – Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).
Your teaching will be delivered through a combination of:
- Field trips
- Group work
- Online learning
- Role plays
Outside of these, you’ll be expected to carry out independent study, including coursework, essays and reading.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by graduate teaching assistants. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
We use a variety of methods to assess you, including:
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
As a student at Surrey, you can also sign up to our free courses in the following areas:
Living in student accommodation is a great way to meet new people and spark friendships.
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
International entry requirements by country
Other international qualifications
If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
We normally make offers in terms of grades.
If you are a suitable candidate you will be invited to an offer holder event. During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please contact Admissions on +44 (0)1483 682222 with any queries.
The annual tuition fees for courses starting in September 2023
BSc (Hons) (with professional training year)
- Professional training
- Fees for UK students: The University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms.
- Fees for EU students: The UK is now no longer part of the EU, we are awaiting further instruction from the UK government and we will publish this as soon as it is provided. Find out more information about Studying in the UK and the Scholarships for EU students.
- Fees for international students: Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
- Fees for international students with an integrated foundation year: The programme fee for Year 0 will match the lowest Year 1 overseas fee rate from across the substantive programmes for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Year 1 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Year 1 for the same programme in that year. Annual fees after Year 1 will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.
- Students in receipt of a Tuition Fee Loan: will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule.
- International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a Tuition Fee Loan: are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
- 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
- 50% in January of the same academic year.
The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.
If you are sponsored: you will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.
Professional Training placement fees
If you are studying on a programme which contains a Professional Training placement year there will be a reduced fee for the academic year in which you undertake your placement. This is normally confirmed 12 to 18 months in advance, or once Government policy is determined.
See the information about 2023/24 academic year Professional Training placement fees.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
The Newtons' Scholarship
The Antonio Carluccio Foundation PTY Bursary
You have the option to complete a Professional Training placement as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, helping to prepare you for your future career.
A significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
We offer award-winning Professional Training Placements. Organisation that have participated in CES courses and accepted our masters students on placements include:
- Aviva Investors
- Diocese of London
- Forum for the Future
- John Lewis Partnership
- LC Energy
- Minimise Solutions
- Portsmouth City Council
- The Radisson
- Solar Aid
- World Wildlife Fund.
Applying for placements
You can apply for numerous opportunities via an open and free-to-all process. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however we offer support and guidance throughout the process alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. We also provide support if you wish to source your own placement.
Find out more about the application process.
Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and procedures, the student regulations , and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions for the 2023/24 academic year and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2022/23 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us and before you accept an offer. Read our full disclaimer.