This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- You’ll start Stage 1 with two 60-credit introductory modules – one with a focus on wide issues relating to the environment and one with a focus on science.
- Next, in Stage 2, you’ll study two 60-credit modules – an environmental science module and a geography-led module.
- And finally, in Stage 3, you’ll study two 60-credit modules – one with a focus on environmental policy from a social science perspective and one with a focus on environmental change from an environmental science perspective.
You’ll start with an exploration of environmental challenges in the Arctic, Africa, the Amazon and China – developing the key skills and concepts needed to understand our changing world. Next, you’ll study a science module, focusing on some of the key ideas in science.
At Stage 2, your study of environmental science includes gaining practical experience at two optional UK-based field schools. You'll also explore how social science perspectives change the way we understand and respond to the major environmental challenges of our time.
At Stage 3, you’ll investigate climate change from scientific and social perspectives; explore issues of food security and biodiversity; and consider the debates and dilemmas involved in developing policy on important environmental issues.
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 17 March 2020.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BSc (Honours) Geography and Environmental Science uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
- using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
- using and/or producing diagrams and screenshots
- working with specialist reading material such as scientific journals
- using specialist software
- working in a group with other students
- finding external/third party material online
For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
If you’ve already completed some study at another university, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. Just tell us what you studied, where and when, and we’ll compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen course.
For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
Classification of your degree
On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the BSc (Honours) Geography and Environmental Science degree. The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third-class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.
You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
Recognition in your country
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.
There are no formal entry requirements for this qualification.
At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.
How much time do I need?
- Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
- This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Skills for career development
This degree will help you develop a broad set of skills that are of high value to employers, including the ability to:
- put together reasoned arguments and question assumptions
- draw together, analyse and critically evaluate information
- communicate effectively, clearly and accurately with others
- use ICT to research, identify and present information
- apply scientific knowledge and understanding to problem solving
- manage time and take responsibility for your own personal development.
The skills and knowledge you’ll develop by studying this degree will equip you to follow a number of career paths, and are recognised by employers as having great value for work in:
- environmental consultancy
- energy efficiency industries
- transport and logistics
- local and central government
Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.
Exploring your options
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.
In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):
- environmental consultant
- recycling officer
- logistics manager
- civil servant
- business manager.