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THE UK: Subject Guides

Why study Environmental Science?

Whether you want to work in the field, the laboratory or the boardroom, Environmental sciences can enrich your understanding of the world around you.


Whether you want to work in the field, the laboratory or the boardroom, a degree in environmental science can open doors to a vast array of different careers and can enrich your understanding of the world around you. In this article, Nuannat Simmons presents you with a little more information about this subject and its growing importance in the modern world.

Global warming and increasingly frequent extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, are having a profound effect on the world’s environment. In addition, water, air and soil pollution is restricting the ecosystem services provided by both our land-based and aquatic ecosystems.  For example, desertification and land degradation are now viewed as "the greatest environmental challenge of our time" and "a threat to global wellbeing", according to the UN's top drylands official, Luc Gnacadja, executive secretary of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Conflicts and food price crises all stem from the degradation of land, he added. Knowledge of Environment Science will help you to understand, ameliorate, optimise and protect environments at both a local and global scale.

Environmental Science subjects

Environmental Science is a broad subject area that covers a range of topics which integrate physical, chemical and biological sciences and applies these to the understanding of environmental issues. The ultimate aim is to enhance our understanding of the complex environments around us and their interaction with one another in order to resolve problems affecting their sustainability. The environmental scientist is responsible for optimizing natural resource management and alleviating pollution in order to keep the world’s resources as healthy and sustainable as possible. Through improving our understanding of system interactions, we will be able to identify and implement effective solutions to the environmental challenges that we face.

You will study earth sciences and the atmosphere concepts, global water resources, ecosystem structure and diversity, population, forestry, environmental policy, energy concepts, pollution and sustainability etc. Ultimately, your degree is a statement of intent that you wish to do something positive in a world of negativity, destruction and apathy. It is in this way that studying environmental science can be one of the most personally rewarding and constructive things you will ever decide to do.


What can you do when you finish?

As an environmental science graduate, you can get a job in an increasingly expanding market related to your qualification such as water quality control, environmental management, energy resources and supply, waste management, recycling, and nature conservation. Some graduates become landscape planners, environmental engineers and teachers, or will continue their studies and undertake a Master’s or PhD. There are many international organizations offering graduate opportunities, including United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), World Health Organization (WHO), Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) as well as organizations in your home country.  

You can see more information about a wide range of environmental science courses and what students have to say about them here.


More information...

If you are interested in studying Environmental Science, you can find the right courses and institutes on the Hotcourses website.

Read more information about rankings.

You can also find out more about Environmental Science, including informative videos.

Environmental Science can be classified as one of degree programs under science, technology, engineering and mathematics STEM. When you graduate you are eligible for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) visa which may allow you to extent your time in the USA. Find out more information about the OPT visa.

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