“There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it.” – David Attenborough
It’s often said that today’s youth are tomorrow’s future, and this has never been truer than it is for our current environment. Decades of damage mean the planet is heading towards environmental disarray, but through passion and knowledge this can still be changed.
The world could be a very different place by 2050. Ocean levels are likely to sink entire nations, half of the world’s animal species could be wiped out, and air pollution is set to become the leading cause of premature death thanks to the impact of human activity.
Even if we never burned a fossil fuel again, over 70 percent of the earth’s surface would remain irreversibly warmer, more acidic and more hostile for its inhabitants due to the environment’s effect on the oceans.
And, as the world becomes ever more crowded and connected, the stakes for sustainability increase. It’s estimated that the world population will increase to almost 10 billion by 2050, meaning more mouths to feed, more heads to shelter and even more material desires to be fulfilled.
These new challenges present unique conundrums for young people today as the pressure for a solution heats up as quickly as our seas. We’re already beginning to see the loss of coral reefs, severe overcrowding across entire regions and drastic climate change effects because of our past and current actions.
The damage created by generations before us now lies in the hand of young minds to mitigate and prevent. By studying environmental sciences at university, you can be at the forefront of this crucial change, to protect the world going forward.
You will discover the theory behind geological, biological and chemical processes impacting the world, uncover the socio-economic factors influencing climate change and understand the political theory so central to a sustainable future.
If you take a look at societal attitudes, it’s evident that outlooks towards environmental awareness are already beginning to shift. Consumers are starting to take more responsibility for their role in protecting the environment, and even changing their spending habits based on this.
In fact, 18 percent of consumers surveyed in the UK said they are willing, able and motivated to take action on environmental issues, according to a World Business Council for Sustainable Development report.
A degree in environmental science will empower you to propel this societal momentum forward to create research-led changes.
Passion to protect the earth in its natural state, combined with knowledge on the inner workings of our world will compel you to be the driving force behind the world’s green future.
If you want to be part of the environmental movement that will enable society to progress and develop alongside the challenges we face, consider studying environmental science at these five schools…
Located on the southwest English coastline, the University of Plymouth provides the perfect backdrop for your studies in environmental science. Combining the quaint English town feel with expert education, here you’ll experience a unique blend of culture and academic quality.
The School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science caters to both undergraduate and postgraduate students through innovative degrees.
These include the BSc (Hons) Environmental Management and Sustainability, which explores environmental science and law to make you a leader in your field, the BSc (Hons) Environmental Science, which will give you the skills to understand human impact on the environment in order to develop solutions and BSc (Hons) Environmental Science with Foundation Year, which will equip you with industry experience to tackle environmental challenges.
To take your studies to the next level, the MSc Environmental Consultancy teaches you how to measure and manage environmental impact of governments and businesses, while the MSc Sustainable Environmental Management focuses on long-term sustainable leadership. Both these courses can be adapted to fit your commitments either a full-time for one year, or part-time over two years.
The University of Birmingham is held in prestige for its academic quality, highlighted by its ranking in the top 100 universities worldwide in the QS World University Rankings 2019. With its academic excellence and location in one of the UK’s most exciting cities, students really do get the best of both world while studying here.
Learners at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences benefit from being part of a research-led university that puts the student experience first. Undergraduate students can study the BSc Environmental Science which provides an in-depth overview to physical, chemical and biological processes in the environment and how they can be used to sustain it. Options to study abroad or take a placement overseas help students boost employability and make a difference in the field.
If you’re looking for postgraduate study you can follow a range programmes including MSc Air Pollution Management and Control and MSc Environmental Health, among many more, helping you propel your future career.
Founded in 1881, the University of Liverpool has been educating the best young minds throughout generations of environmental change. The university provides a degree steeped in history and expertise, with a modern and cutting-edge focus.
The School of Environmental Sciences focuses on natural and human induced environmental challenges, including food shortages, climate change and pollution. Each student at their school gets their own academic advisor to help them succeed, alongside state-of-the-art facilities including the £25 million Central Teaching Laboratories.
Undergraduate students can study the three year BSc Environmental Sciences, combining teaching excellence with industry-relevant fieldwork to help you fulfil your potential. Postgraduate students have a choice of MSc Conservation and Resource Management, MSc Environment and Climate Change or MSc Environmental Sciences.
All programmes in the School of Environmental Sciences are focussed on developing your applicable environmental skills and knowledge to allow you to make an impact in the field during your studies and beyond.
Located on the coast of Northern Ireland, Ulster University allows students to experience a more relaxed side to academia through informal yet professionally relevant education with strong industry links.
Undergraduate students can choose to study BSc Environmental Science on its own, or an applied degree such as BSc Environmental Science with Education or BSc Environmental Science with Psychology to prepare students for a specialised career.
Postgraduate students can further their impact in the environmental sphere through the Master’s of Science in Coastal Zone Management, Environmental Management and Geographic Information Systems or Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Monitoring, among many more.
If graduate prospects are top of your academic agenda, Ulster School of Geography and Environmental Sciences is a great place to begin your career, says alumni member Lynda Byrne.
“During my time at the University I successfully applied for a place on the Marine Institute’s summer bursary program and completed the work experience year…. The support I gained throughout my studies from the University of Ulster has given me a good base on which to develop a career which both interests and challenges me,” she said.
Found in the UK’s City of Culture 2017, the University of Hull allows you to experience some of the best of what Britain has to offer while gaining an innovative education.
The School of Environmental Sciences brings together geology, geography and biological science to provide a thorough scope of the world’s environmental systems and how to impact them.
The BSc in Environmental Sciences prepares students to enter conservation and environmental impact upon graduation, mainly through field-work and research-based projects. This will prepare you to make a difference in the field and hit the ground running when you reach the industry.
If you’re looking to study at postgraduate level, you can choose to follow the MSc in Environmental Change, Management and Monitoring which will give you the knowledge and tools to assess and influence environmental systems, or study the MSc in Marine Environmental Management to have industry-relevant experience for one of the most pressing environmental needs.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International