Courses: university

There are thousands of university courses with ‘environmental’ in their title, and about sixty relating in some way to sustainability. Some are specialist such as Anglia Ruskin University’s course on Sustainable Tourism Development, or courses on sustainable design, many relate to environmental management, and some address environmental sustainability specifically. A lot of university courses are now modular and most environmental science and environmental management courses will include modules on sustainability. Most are three-year full-time degree courses but some are sandwich courses or available on a part-time basis. Postgraduate courses are also available. Universities also offer many other courses with relevance to environmental issues including agriculture, biodiversity, biology and biological sciences, botany, horticulture, forestry and geography.

  • UCAS enables you to search for courses by subject or university or geographical region and has links to each university or college’s website where more details of courses, entrance requirements and the institution generally can be found.
  • The Open University offers degrees taught by distance learning. Environmental courses include Working with our Environment: Technology for a Sustainable Future, and other modules leading to an Environmental Studies degree.

The following universities run degree and/or postgraduate courses on sustainability or environmental sustainability and management. The list is not exhaustive, particularly at the postgraduate level.

  • University of Wales, Bangor Sustainable Development degree (either BA or BSc, 3 years full-time) provides students with an appreciation of the need for sustainable development, and of the principles and practices of the disciplines which underlie it.
  • University of Birmingham‘s Energy Institute offers courses that blend theory with practice equipping graduates to transform the energy landscape and create real impact on future societies.
  • The Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) is a joint institute of the University of Gloucestershire and the University of the West of England. Provides the opportunity for postgraduate students to pursue research for PhD and MPhil degrees, full-time or part-time in agriculture, food and land use, community and society and the rural environment.
  • University of South Wales offers a range of under and post-graduate courses
  • Centre for Human Ecology, Edinburgh offers courses on ecological, scientific and qualitative thinking; relations with the land, with ourselves and our community.
  • University of Edinburgh Centre for the study of Environmental Change and Sustainability MSc in Environmental Sustainability offers a flexible, interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental sustainability and sustainable development.
  • UHI Millennium Institute of courses in Sustainable rural development.
  • University of Portsmouth offers a number of environmental courses.
  • Schumacher College MSc in Holistic Science provides an integrated framework of study and research that recognises the changes occurring in science as it goes beyond interdisciplinarity to the understanding of complex wholes and their emergent properties at the levels of organisms, communities, ecosystems and the biosphere. These changes are also responses to the limitations of conventional science in dealing with crises in the state of the environment, in food production, health, community structure, and quality of life. It has become evident that basic assumptions need to be re-examined so that values and ethics become integral to scientific practice, instead of add-ons. Holistic science includes qualities as well as quantities in our understanding of nature, our relationship to it and to each other.
  • University of Stirling MSc in Environmental Management is a long running, well respected course.

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