You are viewing information for England.  Change country.
Recycling at urban home photo

BA (Honours) Environmental Studies

What are the pros and cons of sustainable tourism? How can we manage conflicts between industrialisation and carbon emissions? How can we ensure that everyone gets enough to eat – now and in the future? This interdisciplinary degree explores the social, political, economic, scientific and technological issues at the heart of contemporary environmental debates such as climate change, air pollution, waste management, genetically modified food, over-fishing, renewable fuels, sustainability, and global trade.

Key features of the course

  • Understand the complex and contested debates behind today’s pressing environmental problems
  • Gain a portfolio of critical, analytical and practical skills applicable to a wide range of employment sectors
  • Flexible options depending on your interests and career aspirations
time is running out to register

Save to My Study Plan

Degree

Course code
Q19
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 4 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning
Course cost
See Fees & funding
Entry requirements
None

Are you ready for study?
Find out here

Register for this course

Start dates

Credit transfer: apply by 13/08/2015
Credit transfer: apply by 03/12/2015

Request your prospectus

Explore our subjects and courses.

Request your copy today

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits (equivalent to one year's full-time university study). Stage 1 provides the underpinning knowledge and skills needed for more advanced study at Stages 2 and 3.

If you have little or no knowledge or experience of studying, you may prefer to start your studies with an Access module as an additional preparatory stage.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

This stage draws together subjects from the social sciences, science and technology to explore environmental issues affecting the Arctic, the Nile, the Amazon, China and some of the world’s great cities. You’ll develop the language, ideas and concepts needed to make sense of environmental change, and focus on areas of social science that most interest you.


Compulsory modules (120 credits)

Stages 2 and 3 (240 credits)

You’ll examine how environmental change has varied during the Earth’s history – exploring the role of natural factors and human activity; scientific and political uncertainties; and why such issues are often the source of social and political conflict. Later options include international environmental policy (exploring issues such as climate change, water management and biodiversity conservation); modules in economics, science or technology; and researching and presenting a topic of your choice.

To read more about the Stage 1, 2 and 3 modules that make up the BA (Honours) Environmental Studies (Q19), you can download and print a prospectus extract. For more information on all the qualifications available in Environment and Development, request a prospectus.



The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study. It’s not just study completed at a university that can be considered, you can transfer study from a wide range of professional qualifications as well. A full list of the qualifications and institutions we can consider for credit transfer can be found on our credit transfer website.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide original evidence of your previous study. We will compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen qualification and inform you of any award.

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the BA (Honours) Environmental Studies degree. You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

The class of degree (first, second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.


Compare this course

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.

General study skills

Anyone can study with The Open University, but if it's a while since you did any academic work it's worth checking that your time management, computing and English skills are up to speed. Visit Can I do it? to find out more.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will normally mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Read about how some of our students have fitted OU study into their lives, then find out if you have enough time to study by completing our time planner.

Help! I'm not sure I'm ready!

Study for free

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don't worry! You can get started with an Access module – fascinating courses designed to introduce subject areas, build your confidence and prepare you for further study.

For this qualification, we recommend:

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This is a multidisciplinary module that allows you to develop your subject knowledge and your general study skills. It provides an excellent introduction to a wide range of subject areas, including children and young people, health, law, management, psychology and social sciences.

View full details of People, work and society Access module

Science, technology and maths Access module

What you will study

This fascinating, multidisciplinary module is an ideal starting point if you have little or no previous knowledge of the sciences, technology and mathematics, and would like to develop both your subject knowledge and your study skills. The subjects included are science, engineering and design, environment, mathematics, and computing and IT.

View full details of Science, technology and maths Access module

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or request a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you. Or come and meet us at an event near you.

How much will it cost?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If (like most OU students) you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree. Our current fee for 60 credits is £2,700*.
  • Our current fee is £5,400* – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification starts from £16,200* based on our current fees.
  • This qualification includes modules with a higher than typical cost. This will increase the overall cost of the qualification quoted. Please call us for further information.
  • This qualification includes modules with a higher than typical cost. If you choose to study one of these modules the overall cost of the qualification may increase. Please call us for further information.

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2016. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you register.

Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how you can pay. That’s why we offer a wide range of flexible payment and funding options to help make study more affordable. Options include Part-Time Tuition Fee Loans (also known as student loans), monthly payment plans and employer sponsorship. 

We’re confident we can help you find an option that’s right for you.

Just answer these simple questions to find out more about the options available to you for courses starting before 31 July 2016.




How many credits are you planning to study per year? You will need [xxx] credits to complete this qualification

Part time study

Full time study


Do you already hold a degree?

Are you employed?

British Forces

  • If you have a BFPO address, you are only eligible for UK course fees if you are a currently serving member of the British armed forces, and you're temporarily and unavoidably working abroad. Other students using BFPO addresses should contact us on +44 (0)300 303 5303 for UK fee eligibility to be assessed.
* The fee and funding information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2016. Fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University’s strategic approach to fees.

An OU qualification will always help you stand out from the crowd, now and in the future – whether you’re just starting out, developing your career, or changing direction entirely.

Skills for career development

Studying this course will give you a portfolio of valuable specific and transferable skills, including the ability to:

  • analyse the natural and social causes and consequences of environmental change
  • critically examine potential, sometimes competing, responses to environmental problems
  • analyse and evaluate evidence and arguments from a range of sources
  • debate the moral and ethical dimensions associated with environmental issues
  • collect, record and analyse data using a range of techniques.

Career relevance

A degree in environmental studies can lead to employment across the public, private and voluntary sectors. Businesses and employers increasingly have to deal with environment-related issues – making this course relevant to a wide range of professions including:

  • environmental management
  • environmental health
  • environmental policy
  • teaching
  • environmental consultancy
  • environmental education
  • local, national and international governmental agencies
  • nature conservation
  • information systems
  • civil or diplomatic service
  • overseas development
  • journalism
  • research.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills. 

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that most careers will require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • environmental scientist
  • recycling officer
  • environmental coordinator
  • lab technician
  • restoration ecologist
  • teacher
  • parks manager
  • eco designer
  • environmental consultant
  • business resources manager
  • sustainability manager
  • acoustic consultant
  • tree health surveyor
  • researcher
  • environmental journalist.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.

career_explorer

When you register on an Open University course, you’ll get all sorts of ideas and materials to help you prepare for study.

But if you can’t wait until then, here are some tantalising and fascinating videos to give you an idea of the quality of our learning programmes and a flavour of the OU’s unique style of teaching.

Watch

Terminal Cities

Everyone wants to be able to go everywhere, but no-one wants the Terminal City near them. Simon Bell discusses the paradox of modern air travel.

x