Environmental Science Topics For Assignment Satisfaction

Environmental Sciences (Environmental Geochemistry) MEnvSci Honours

UCAS Code: F8F6 (full time: 4 Years)

Course Overview

In this degree you study a core curriculum in the environmental sciences before taking a fourth year of advanced study at Master's level, specialising in environmental geochemistry.

At a Glance

UCAS Code
F8F6

UCAS Institution Name and Code
NEWC, N21

Degree Awarded Icon

Degree Awarded
MEnvSci Honours

Course Duration Icon

Course Duration
4 Years

Entry Requirements Icon

Entry Requirements
A Level: ABB
IB: 34 points

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Opportunities

The first three years of this degree follow the same programme as our Environmental Sciences BSc Honours degree.

In the final year you apply your knowledge to important societal problems such as: petroleum exploration and production; unconventional geoenergy; carbon and nutrient cycling; and the Earth’s changing climate.

Specialist topics include:

  • groundwater contamination and remediation
  • microbiology and microbial transformation of pollutants
  • sources and control of pollutants

Highlights of this degree

Quality and ranking

Quality and ranking
  • top 10 in the UK – The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 (Geography and Environmental Science category)
  • top 20 in the UK – The Complete University Guide 2018 (Geography and Environmental Science category)
  • 92% overall student satisfaction score – National Student Survey 2017 (Physical Geography and Environmental Science category)
  • top 150 – Environmental Sciences category – QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018

Study abroad

Study abroad

You can integrate six or 12 months of study abroad as part of your degree, usually at Stage 3. Recent students have studied in Canada.

Find out more about study abroad.

Flexible degree structure

Flexible degree structure

We offer several Environmental Science degrees including a three-year BSc degree and a suite of four-year MEnvSci degrees.

We understand that you might not be sure which area of environmental science you want to specialise in, or whether you want to study to BSc or MEnvSci level.

All our students, regardless of which degree they are registered on, study the same modules for the first three years. This means you can transfer between degree programmes up until the end of Stage 2 if you want to.

Transfer from our BSc to an MEnvSci degree, and progress to Stage 4 of an MEnvSci degree, is subject to you meeting the appropriate academic standard.

What you will study

What you will study

In the first three Stages you build a firm foundation of knowledge in the environmental sciences. You learn about the processes within ecosystems and how we can manage our natural resources more effectively.

You will develop key knowledge in:

  • biology
  • geography
  • geology
  • policy making
  • law

In order to promote conservation and sustainability in everyday life, you will also learn about the role of social and economic factors, ethics and public perception in environmental management.

On an MEnvSci degree, in Stage 4, you also take specialist modules at Master's level, preparing you for a professional career in the environmental sector. 

A substantial research project accounts for a quarter of your time this year. It equips you with experience of working in a research environment and may involve scientific research or a consultancy-based investigation.

Fieldwork and practical skills

Fieldwork and practical skills

Throughout your degree you will have opportunities to develop practical skills and enhance your employability.

In Stage 1, we introduce you to basic field skills through a variety of field visits to the surrounding countryside, including the Northumberland coast and the Cheviot Hills.

In Stage 2, a field-based module trains you in field techniques, providing you with practice in designing and planning an investigation and testing of hypotheses, as well as skills in environmental monitoring.

In Stage 3, you take part in a week-long residential field course, which develops your ecological research skills and professional skills in writing and presenting reports.

Research and project work

Research and project work

Our MEnv degrees include an additional year of advanced level study, including a high level of research work, to prepare you for a professional career in the environmental sector.

Throughout the degree you will learn and develop the skills needed to conduct your own research both as an individual and as part of a group. This may involve scientific research or consultancy-based investigations.

Project work gives you the chance to develop essential skills in planning and carrying out research, as well as being an opportunity to explore a topic of interest in more detail.

In your final year you will study modules at postgraduate level and undertake a major research project. This can be carried out as a piece of consultancy work for a company or might contribute to on-going research work in our research institutes.

Recent projects have explored:

  • the changing role of the country pub
  • the future for market towns
  • renewable energy generation in rural communities
  • women in rural enterprise

Facilities and support

Facilities and support

This degree is run by the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.

Facilities

You'll have access to: 

  • an experimental station providing field laboratories for evaluation and testing of ecologically friendly pesticides and biocontrol agents
  • well-equipped modern laboratories
  • two University farms, used for research, teaching and demonstration: The Farms and NU-Farms Research
Support

You'll have an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree, who can help with academic and personal issues.

The student-staff committee gives you a say in how your degree works.

You'll have access to a peer mentor in your first year – a fellow student who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have.

Social activities

You will join a friendly cohort of students and can take part in regular social events organised by the student-led Agric Society.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with others for topics such as student satisfaction, fees and costs and prospects after graduation using the Unistats Key Information Set.

Modules for 2017 entry

Please note

The module and/or programme information below is for 2017 entry. Our teaching is informed by research and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, student feedback, or insufficient numbers of students interested (in an optional module). To find out more read our terms and conditions.

Module/programme information for 2018 entry will be published here as soon as it is available (end of May 2018).

Our degrees are divided into Stages. Each Stage lasts for an academic year and you need to complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each Stage. Further information, including the credit value of the module, is available in each of the module descriptions below.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules

Stage 2

Compulsory modules

Optional modules

You select 40 credits from the following list:

To progress to Stage 3 of this degree programme, you are required to obtain an average over all modules taken at Stage 2 of at least 55, with no more than 20 credits lower than 50.

Work Placement (optional)

You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months on an optional work placement between Stages 2 and 3. You can apply to spend your placement year with any organisation and will receive University support to do so. It will extend your degree by a year and is subject to availability. Find out more on about Work Placements.

If you choose a Careers Placement year, you complete the following compulsory module:

Stage 3

Compulsory modules

Optional modules

You select 50 credits from the following list:

To progress to Stage 4 of this degree programme, you are required to obtain an average over all modules taken at Stage 3 of at least 55, with no more than 20 credits lower than 50.

Stage 4

Compulsory modules

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment
Study at the cutting edge

Research-informed teaching shapes the content of our undergraduate degrees, meaning you study the most up-to-date theories and discoveries in your subject. Our key areas of research are:

The work of our research centres also feed directly into your study programme including:

Teaching methods

In Stages 1 and 2 just over half of your teaching time will be spent in classroom-based lectures or seminars. The remainder will be made up of field classes, computer classes, and practical lab work. 

In Stage 3 greater emphasis is placed on project work, culminating in a final-year project based on a topic of your choice.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods include: 

  • field assignments
  • group projects
  • oral presentations
  • essays
  • problem-based assignments
  • traditional examinations
Find out more

Visit our Teaching & Learning pages to read about the outstanding learning experience available to all students at Newcastle University.

Modules for 2017 entry

Please note

The module and/or programme information below is for 2017 entry. Our teaching is informed by research and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, student feedback, or insufficient numbers of students interested (in an optional module). To find out more read our terms and conditions.

Module/programme information for 2018 entry will be published here as soon as it is available (end of May 2018).

Our degrees are divided into Stages. Each Stage lasts for an academic year and you need to complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each Stage. Further information, including the credit value of the module, is available in each of the module descriptions below.

A Levels

A Levels

ABB preferably including two science subjects from: Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Environmental Science, Psychology and Physics. For Biology, Chemistry and Physics A levels, we require a pass in the practical element. GCSE Mathematics (minimum grade C or 4) required if not offered at a higher level.

Scottish Qualifications

Scottish Qualifications

AABBB including at least two sciences from: Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Environmental Science, Psychology and Physics. Mathematics required at National 5, minimum grade C (or Standard Grade or Intermediate 2 equivalent) if not offered at Higher Grade. Combinations of Highers and Advanced Highers accepted.

Scottish qualifications can be taken in more than one sitting.

International Baccalaureate

International Baccalaureate

A minimum of 34 points with at least one science subject at Higher Level grade 5 or above from: Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Environmental Science, Psychology and Physics. Mathematics or Mathematical Studies at Standard Level grade 4 or above if not offered at Higher Level.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Irish Leaving Certificate

H1H1H2H2H3 at Higher Level, to include two science subjects from: Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Environmental Science, Psychology and Physics.

Access Qualifications

Access Qualifications

30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit. To include at least 30 level 3 credits in a science subject.

Cambridge Pre-U

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M2, M2 in Principal Subjects preferably including two science subjects from: Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Environmental Science, Psychology and Physics. GCSE Mathematics (minimum grade C or 4) required if not offered at a higher level.

Extended Project Qualification

Extended Project Qualification

We welcome applications from students offering an Extended Project and value the skills of research and independent learning that it is designed to develop.  If you offer an Extended Project, it will be taken into account as part of your application profile, but we will not usually include it in offer conditions for this degree programme.

PARTNERS - A Levels

PARTNERS - A Levels

BBC preferably including two science subjects from: Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Environmental Science, Psychology and Physics. For Biology, Chemistry and Physics A levels, we require a pass in the practical element. GCSE Mathematics (minimum grade C or 4) required if not offered at a higher level.

The PARTNERS Programme is Newcastle University’s supported entry route for students from schools and colleges in England and Northern Ireland. Find out more about the PARTNERS Programme.

PARTNERS - Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma

PARTNERS - Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma

In a science-related subject at overall MMP, to include Physical or Biological Sciences and Mathematics units.

The PARTNERS Programme is Newcastle University’s supported entry route for students from schools and colleges in England and Northern Ireland. Find out more about the PARTNERS Programme.

English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English require a minimum score of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

If you need help to meet our English Language requirements, we can provide support with extra tuition.

Read more about UK visas and immigration requirements.

Other International Qualifications

Other International Qualifications

ABB at A level is typically the minimum required for entry to an undergraduate course. You can check the equivalent grades for qualifications offered in your country. 

International Foundation Programmes

International Foundation Programmes

If you are an international student and you do not meet the academic and English language requirements specified above, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Newcastle University, which will help to prepare you for study on this degree course. INTO Newcastle University is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Physical Sciences and Engineering.

Careers

Environmental Science careers

The environmental sector has grown rapidly over the last decade. Increasing environmental legislation means there are many new employment areas in industry and the public sector.

Our graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of organisations including the European Parliament, Meteorological Office and Oxfam.

Our Countryside Management and Rural Studies graduates most commonly end up in land-based and environmental careers, such as:

  • chartered surveying
  • as a rights of way officer
  • as part of a local conservation team working for local authorities, charities and pressure groups

Additionally, government organisations and private firms provide openings for agricultural or environmental advisers.

Our environmental science graduates undertake roles such as environmental consultancy and environmental engineering, and find employment with:

  • conservation bodies such as Natural England
  • the Environment Agency
  • water companies
  • local government environmental health departments
  • other environmental protection agencies

Our graduates have also successfully pursued careers in teaching, and non-environmental careers such as accountancy, banking, retail and personnel management, the armed forces, the police force, the Inland Revenue and other Civil Service departments, journalism and publishing.

The scope and flexibility of our degrees means there are also opportunities for postgraduate training at Newcastle University and other research institutes.

Find out more about the career options for Environmental and Rural Studies from Prospects: The UK's Official Careers Website.

What our graduates go on to do: employment and further study choices

See what our recent graduates went on to do and view graduate destinations statistics. These statistics are based on what graduates were doing on a specific date, approximately six months after graduation. Take a look at the most recent data available for our graduates.

The destination data is available in varying levels, beginning with the University and moving through Faculty and School down to individual course reports. This final level may give you some useful ideas about possible options after your course or a course you are considering.

Careers and employability at Newcastle

Newcastle University consistently has one of the best records for graduate employment in the UK.

95% of our 2016 UK-domiciled graduates progressed to employment or further study within six months of graduating.

Of our graduates who entered employment more than three quarters (78%) achieved a professional or managerial position.

We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through an initiative called ncl+. This enables you to develop personal, employability and enterprise skills and to give you the edge in the employment market after you graduate.

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers.

Tuition Fees (UK students)

Tuition Fees (UK students)

2019 entry:

Tuition fees for 2019-20 have not yet been confirmed.

2018 entry*:

£9,250

For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year.

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.

*Please note:

  • The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.
  • As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
  • See more information on all aspects of student finance relating to Newcastle University.

Tuition Fees (EU students)

Tuition Fees (EU students)

2019 entry:

Tuition fees for 2019-20 have not yet been confirmed.

2018 entry*:

£9,250 in 2018-19 

For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year.

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.

*Please note:

  • As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
  • See more information on all aspects of student finance relating to Newcastle University.

Tuition Fees (International students)

Tuition Fees (International students)

2019 entry:

Tuition fees for 2019-20 have not yet been confirmed.

2018 entry*:

£21,000 per year

*Please note:

  • You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
  • If you spend a year on placement or studying abroad as part of your degree you may pay a reduced fee for that year.
  • The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
  • See more information on all aspects of student finance relating to Newcastle University.

Scholarships and Financial Support (UK students)

Scholarships and Financial Support (UK students)

You may be eligible for one of a range of Newcastle University Scholarships in addition to government financial support.

Scholarships and Financial Support (EU students)

Scholarships and Financial Support (EU students)

You may be eligible for one of a range of Newcastle University Scholarships in addition to government financial support.

Scholarships and Financial Support (International students)

Scholarships and Financial Support (International students)

Applying to Newcastle University through UCAS

To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

UCAS codes for Newcastle University

  • institution name - NEWC
  • institution code - N21

UCAS buzzword

Ask your teacher or adviser from your school or college for the UCAS buzzword. You need the buzzword when you register on the Apply system. This makes it clear which school or college you are applying from.

All UK schools and colleges and a small number of EU and international establishments are registered with UCAS.

If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.

Making your application

On the UCAS website you can also find out more about:

Application decisions and enquiries

Find out more about our admissions process and who to contact if you need help with your application.

The gold standard for assignments would engage the student in learning while also contributing to the social good.

Years of teaching in professional programs in the continuing studies unit of a university, and within professional associations and businesses, have taught me the value of designing assignments that have recognizable value and immediate relevance to the learner. And yet, typically, an assignment in traditional undergraduate and graduate programs has just one use, and that is to have the student demonstrate his or her competence in researching and developing an idea, supported by scholarly evidence, for the purpose of submitting it to their instructor for evaluation. This is what I call a single use, throw-away assignment. It may have a clear and purposeful pedagogical aim and direct relevance to the aspirations of the student, just as a throw-away coffee cup has such a use. But I think we can do better, in fact, we have to do better for a number of reasons.

The gold standard for assignments would engage the student in learning activities that develop their capacity for research, analysis and writing while also contributing to the social good – perhaps beyond the walls of the academy, but definitely beyond the walls of the classroom – or at the very least, intervene in a meaningful and useful way into “real world” practices, wherever we might find them.

My educational practice is located in the field of environmental and social sustainability where some interesting examples of academic teaching is moving in that direction. A colleague teaching in the faculty of environment’s Master’s in resource and environmental planning gives students an assignment that has them assist a local municipal government by researching a sustainability planning issue. The assignment involves the professor setting up agreements with various sustainability planners in local municipal governments in advance to ensure the scope and framing of the project is doable within the timeframe of a semester.

According to Professor Sean Markey who teaches in the master’s program, the students enjoy “wrestling with the complexity and uncertainty of real world issues.” They also experience the satisfaction of producing a piece of work that serves the city in a practical way. As one student remarked, “the assignment was to create a sustainability check list; one we developed from our evaluation of what other cities were doing. This assignment made the course more meaningful because the City could use our work.”  

Another colleague in the business school, who also directs the development and sustainability minor, designed an innovative teaching arrangement bringing two undergraduate courses together across disciplines. Students are undergraduates from the faculty of environment and business school, and bring both an international-development as well as a business perspective to the course. They were formed into teams and then each team was assigned to a firm, and the owner shared the business model with them in detail. The firms included Share Shed, an outdoor equipment sharing business, Urban Streams, a recycling business, and Ayo Smart Home, a small homes builder. The assignment was to analyze the business, create a marketing plan that both internationalizes the businesses operations, while also advancing at least one of the United Nations 17 sustainable development goals.

With these intertwined objectives, the students were required to understand the business model thoroughly, understand the sustainable development goals and actions that would advance goals related to infrastructure, housing, maternal health and more. And they had to research potential new opportunities for the firm that would expand the business while advancing change in one or more of these goals. Then came the compelling presentation for the business owners outlining the student teams’ recommendations. The response from the firm owners was supportive. The presentations opened up a conversation among and between the student teams and the owners about what was feasible and what proposals held both social and economic impact.

In a recent directed studies course in the sustainable community development academic certificate, my student, a major in the school for the contemporary arts, wanted to explore the literature intersecting performance art and climate change communications. I made it a course requirement that two of the written assignments would be published online (a third assignment was an annotated biography). I wanted her to submit her paper to me for critique and feedback and for us to begin this conversation, but not have it end with just the two of us. I asked her to be bold with her ideas, to support them with good evidence and her own experience as a young artist and then, when the piece was ready, to involve other readers. I wanted her to engage with other students and with her followers on social media about her ideas, to get a conversation going about the role of art in educating the public on the impacts of climate change, and to explore what it means that the polar ice caps are melting and what art may have to contribute to finding solutions to climate change. For this think piece she found an audience with the university’s student sustainability organization, Embark. The second written assignment, an interview with a sustainability leader, and the founder of local arts and sustainability festival called Vines, was published on the organization’s website.

Another opportunity for no more throw-way assignments comes from a new Canadian-led initiative called Participedia – a global research project that aims to mobilize knowledge of methods and cases of democratic participation using an online platform. I am the lead researcher for Participedia at my university. Most of the budget for this five-year, $2.5-million grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council is for graduate research assistants. My research assistant is doing a Master’s in resource and environmental management and our focus is on elaborating a set of case studies on participatory environmental resources planning and governance in British Columbia, particularly with watersheds regions. As we have come to realize, publishing these cases online is only one part of the engagement equation. The other is to promote the use of these cases as teaching and learning resources.

Since publishing online does not guarantee readership, these cases need to be promoted once they are uploaded to the online platform and we need to develop teaching guides for the use of open resources that encourage faculty to consider using the cases to teach about civic engagement, collaborative resource management and other topics that relate to democratic participation.

As the teaching fellow in my faculty, I am starting a conversation with colleagues about their views and experiences with, and shifts away from, single-use learning assignments. This inquiry begins with questions about their definitions of what an engaged, non-disposable assignment is within their various disciplines of geography, ecological restoration, environmental sciences, sustainable development, archaeology, and resource and environmental planning. What are they already doing that is beyond single-use that others can learn from? What do they see as the limitations and barriers to such engaged assignments? What are the benefits?

I am interested, too, in what would happen if it became second nature to develop assignments that are generative rather than disposable after one read and then “thrown away.” Would our teaching practices line up more closely with the ecological principles that guide our disciplines, and with the priorities and concerns of the world in which we live and teach? And would our students then learn that their ideas, propositions and arguments, when shared more widely, have the capacity to make a difference in the world, even while they are students?

Dr. Ashworth is a teaching fellow and director of professional programs and partnerships in the faculty of environment at Simon Fraser University.

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