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BSc (Honours) Geography and Environmental Science

By combining the study of geography and environmental science, you’ll discover the complexities of our relationship with the natural environment. This qualification will enable you to understand and consider responses to the urgent challenges of climate change, globalisation, development, biodiversity loss, migration and urbanisation. It takes a holistic approach to topics such as deforestation, sustainable water-resource management, pollution control, conservation and governance. 

Key features of the course

  • Develops your understanding of interrelationships between human activity and environmental change
  • Uses geography and environmental science concepts and theories to make sense of key environmental challenges
  • Enhances your employability by learning to work between the social and natural sciences
  • Builds key analytical and reasoning skills necessary for assessing different forms of environmental evidence

Course Summary

Degree

Degree

  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code
R16
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

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.

Optional Access module – visit Entry requirements to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

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. 

Stage 2 (120 credits)

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.
ModulesCredits
You'll study both of the following:
Environmental science (S206)60
Environment and society (DD213)60

Stage 3 (120 credits)

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 20 March 2019.


Accessibility

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 our Disability support website to find more about what we offer. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.


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; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

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. You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third-class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

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.

Regulations

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. 

Entry requirements

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.

Your next step

Call us on +44 300 303 0266 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,012*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £6,024*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £18,072*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2020. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Residential schools

This qualification includes science modules that include or are associated with an optional residential/laboratory school. For each school you choose to attend, you must pay an additional charge to cover costs such as tuition, accommodation and meals (see individual module descriptions for more information). You must also pay for your travel to and from the venue.


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. 

Career relevance

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
  • teaching
  • local and central government 

Other careers

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.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.

 

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
  • teacher
  • civil servant
  • business manager.

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 12/12/2019

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