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Environmental Sustainability Science

Cardiff University
3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
September 2022

About this program

Environmental Sustainability Science

Environmental sustainability is one of the biggest challenges and most important targets of the present. We need to take urgent action for our planet and develop strategies to work towards a more sustainable future.

On our Environmental Sustainability Science course, you will explore three key areas: clean water, land degradation and climate action. We integrate fieldwork, skills and theory using problem-based learning based on real-world scenarios to help you develop sought-after transferable skills. Working across multiple disciplines, you will learn to critically analyse, discuss and debate environmental sustainability issues and offer practical solutions to complex global problems.

We make the most of our location and take regular UK and overseas fieldtrips, the cost is included in the price of the course. You will have the opportunity to conduct your own research project, which will provide valuable skills and knowledge in an area that is interesting and important to you. To support the next steps in your career, you will produce a portfolio demonstrating your progress and achievements.

This distinctively focused course explores topical environmental areas based around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This ensures our graduates develop highly sought-after skills and knowledge in major attention areas for researchers, governments and non-government organisations.

Admission requirements

Typical A level offer

ABB-BBB. Must include Environmental Science or Geography.

Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

English language requirements


Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.


At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall with a minimum of 59 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

  • II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
  • III: at least a Pass in all components.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2022/23 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

Year one

  • GIS, Maps and Analytical Skills
  • Grand Challenge 1: Enough clean water for people and ecosystems

Year two

  • Geographical Perspectives on Environment and Society
  • Grand Challenge 2: Combat land degradation and it's impacts

Year three

  • Global Climate Change
  • Grand Challenge 3: Climate Action

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the university website.


  • Tuition fees for UK and Ireland Students: £9,000 per year.
  • Tuition fees for International Students: £23,450 per year.

For more information about tuition fee, please visit the university website.


What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge Understanding:

On successful completion of the entire Programme you will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • A systematic understanding of the United Nations environment-related Sustainable Development Goals and specifically the underpinning targets on Clean Water, Life on Land and Climate Action. Also, the supporting understanding of spatial and temporal environmental processes and their inter-relationships between environmental, chemical and physical systems across scales;
  • A broad understanding and knowledge of environmental resource management and specifically the global challenges of Clean Water, Life on Land and Climate Action, including approaches to their governance;
  • A systematic knowledge of the multi-disciplinary nature of environmental sustainability science, methods of scientific investigation and philosophical approaches, and a practical understanding of the need for integration of knowledge from cognate sciences, including those related to Earth System, ocean, atmospheric, physical and Geography;
  • Ability to work across environmental sustainability science to link knowledge and experience from allied sciences to understand a range of environments including their relationship with society.

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the entire Programme you will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • The ability to debate, interpret and explain the causes, scales and impacts of environmental sustainability science issues and specifically the Grand Challenges of Clean Water, Life on Land and Climate Action whilst critically applying relevant ideas, concepts and methods;
  • The ability to collect, collate, synthesise and evaluate critically environmental sustainability science data and information, drawing from relevant approaches in cognate areas of Geography.

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the entire Programme you will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Critical analysis and interpretation of different types of environmental data as part of research to investigate topical issues and theoretical concepts including Grand Challenges of Clean Water, Life on Land and Climate Action.
  • Planning, designing and executing research related to environmental sustainability science, critically using a range of qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis. This may be based on fieldwork, offshore or laboratory investigations or desk-based studies
  • The use and evaluation of methods to acquire geospatial data and represent such data in appropriate cartographic and graphic formats. The use of appropriate platforms, including GIS
  • The ability to conduct environmental sustainability research involving the integration and analysis of diverse and often incomplete and uncertain data using appropriate qualitative and quantitative methodologies and approaches
  • The use and evaluation of practical skills in information technology, geographical information systems, cartographic, statistical and other data analytical techniques
  • That you can conduct environmental sustainability science research safely by planning the organisation and logistics of data gathering and evaluating the risks, limitations and ethical issues of data gathering in various environments.

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the entire Programme you will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Effective communication of knowledge, ideas and arguments in a variety of formats using oral, written, and visual media to both specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Working with others to achieve common tasks, taking responsibility for group and individual roles, managing resources and assess behaviours.
  • Problem definition, solution and tackling of complex often intractable Grand Challenges within a range of environmental sustainability research and specifically Clean Water, Life on Land and Climate Action
  • That you can undertake effective project management and organisational skills through independent working and teamwork
  • The ability to conduct independent study and personal scholarship, fostered through enhanced personal responsibility, initiative and self-learning experiences
  • The ability to set goals for academic work and the development of skills and competencies needed to secure employment and / or support ongoing professional development
  • Responsibility for own learning and development using reflection and feedback to analyse your own capabilities, appraise alternatives and plans and implement actions. Set criteria for and be effective in professional and interpersonal communication in a wide range of situations.

Career paths

Careers and placements

Career prospects

Typical jobs for graduates includeenvironmental and sustainability consultancy and regulation, conservation, science writing, national government policy, environmental charities, teaching, transport planning, environmental education and environmental health. This course also provides excellent training for postgraduate study and research.

Potential employers could include local governmentandcompanies and organisations such as the Environment Agency, BAM Construct UK, Airbus and Wales and West Utilities.

Based on responses from the latest Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey 90% of our School's graduates were in employment or engaged in further study within six months of graduation, with others taking time out to travel.

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About this institute

Cardiff University

Founded in 1883, Cardiff University combines a prestigious heritage with impressive modern facilities, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. As part of the Russell Group, our students benefit from our outstanding research quality and reputation, while...

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Contact info

Cardiff University

CF10 3AT Cardiff

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