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MEnvSci Environmental Science

Year of entry: 2019


Degree awarded
Master of Environmental Sci
4 years
Typical A-level offer
AAA including 1 science.
Typical contextual A-level offer (what is this?)
AAB including 1 science.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer
36 points in total (6,6,6 at HL including 1 science)

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply through UCAS .
Apply through UCAS
UCAS course code
UCAS institution code

Course overview

Choose your Pathway at the end of Year 1
Choose your Pathway at the end of Year 1

The integrated masters in Environmental Sciences (MEnvSci) is a 4 year degree which offers you the flexibility to tailor your interest in Environmental Sciences in one of three areas of specialisation: Pollution and Environmental Processes; Atmospheric Science; and Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology.  The degree includes extensive field, practical and research training, with UK and overseas field courses in every year of study.

Open days

Undergraduate Open Days - 28 September and 12 October 2019

During the  Undergraduate Open Day  the department will provide a subject specific overview of Earth and Planetary Science and Environmental Science at Manchester. Talks will take place in The Williamson Building which is located at number 52 on the campus map and will last approximately 1 hour (including a Q & A session at the end).

In addition to the subject specific talks there will also be a range of activities taking place in the department between 10 am and 3pm. During this time prospective applicants will have an opportunity to meet current staff and students to discuss the courses offered in more detail.

Applicants to Earth and Planetary Sciences and Environmental Sciences degrees will have a further opportunity to visit the department on a  Visit Day  .


Tuition fees for home/EU students commencing their studies in September 2019 will be £9,250 per annum. Tuition fees for international students will be £23,000 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate finance pages.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Contact details

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Contact name
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
+44(0)161 275 0776
School/Faculty overview

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements


Grades AAA which should include at least one science subject. If any of your science A levels include a separate practical component, you must also achieve a Pass in this component


English Language and Mathematics at grade C minimum or grade 4 in the newly reformed GCSE qualification.

International Baccalaureate

36 points in total (6,6,6 at HL including 1 science)

Scottish requirements

Grades AA in Advanced Highers (including one science), plus at least Grades AA in 2 Higher Level subjects.

English Language and Mathematics not taken at Higher/Advanced Higher must have been achieved at SCQF level 5 (minimum National 5 grade C / Intermediate 2 grade C / Standard Grade Credit level grade 3).

Welsh Baccalaureate

A in Welsh Baccalaureate in combination with two A-levels. Actual required grade will be determined by the overall entry requirements for the course applied for

European Baccalaureate

Applications from students studying this qualification are welcome and all such applicants will be considered on an individual basis

Foundation year

The University recognises a number of foundation programmes as suitable for entry to this undergraduate programme:

Applicants completing the INTO Manchester in partnership with The University of Manchester international foundation programme are required to achieve AAA including one science   and an EAP score of B .  INTO Manchester in partnership with The University of Manchester students are required to attend an interview.

Applicants completing the NCUK International Foundation year are required to achieve AAA including one science and an EAP requirements score of B .

Applicants studying other Foundation programmes should contact the academic School to check if their qualification is recognised for entry to this programme and for specific entry requirements.

Pearson BTEC qualifications

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma:

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Applied Science National Extended Diploma with grades D*DD which must include distinctions in all 7 mandatory science units

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma:

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Diploma with grades D*D plus any science A level at grade A

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma:

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Foundation Diploma with grade D plus two A levels (AA) with one science at grade A

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate:

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Extended Certificate with grade D* plus an additional two A levels (AA) one of which must be science

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Academic School(s) you plan to apply to.

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Diploma (CTEC):

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Diploma with grades D*DD plus an additional science A level at grade A

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Diploma (CTEC):

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Diploma with grades D*D plus an additional science A level at grade A 

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Foundation Diploma (CTEC):

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Foundation Diploma with grades DM plus an additional two A levels (AA) one of which must be science

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Certificate (CTEC):

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Extended Certificate with grade D* plus an additional two A levels (AA) one of which must be science

Access to HE Diploma

45 credits at level 3 with a minimum of 39 credits at distinction (15 of which must be in science) and remaining 6 at merit 

Cambridge Pre-U

Candidates taking Pre-U principal subjects in conjunction with A levels are expected to achieve a combination of D3 in the Pre-U certificates and grade A at A level in three distinct subjects which must include one science subject.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. Although the Extended Project will not be included in the conditions of your offer, we strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement and at interview. A number of our academic Schools may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Home-schooled applicants

If you have followed a non-standard educational route and have been, for example, educated at home, your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course to which you applied. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the academic entry requirements as specified for the course. We will also require a reference which should be written by somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. Please refer to UCAS for further information: UCAS reference guidelines

English language

IELTS 6.5 with not less than 6 in any component

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through UCAS .

Course details

Course description

In the lab
In the lab

Our MEnvSci Environmental Science course is a 4 year degree programme that will give you significant research experience that will make you more attractive to future employers in both academia and industry and will be invaluable if you wish to go on and study for a PhD.

We are a School of environmental scientists, geologists, chemists, mathematicians, biologists, physicists and computer scientists, who work together to study the Earth's environment. Our degree covers the full breadth of environmental science, reflecting the main research themes that are fundamental to the work we do in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Our course will equip you with an armory of skills to take into the world of work, including the ability to analyze problems, to work collaboratively as part of a team, and to develop field, laboratory, numeracy and communication skills.

The reputation of Environmental Science at The University of Manchester's School of Earth and Environmental Science rests on our world-leading inter- disciplinary research into processes operating on, within and beyond the Earth. This research incorporates biological, chemical, physical and environmental aspects of the world and solar system we live in. The close alignment between our teaching and research ensures that units are delivered by scholars who are at the forefront of their disciplines.

Our state-of-the-art teaching facilities include a dedicated undergraduate community space within the School, computing facilities with industry-standard software and undergraduate research laboratories. You'll experience a strong and cohesive student network with a vibrant student society and student chapters of professional organizations.

Special features

We take good care of our students and you will have a dedicated academic advisor to guide you through your degree.

Fees include all compulsory field courses. UK and overseas field courses run in every year of study.

Integrated natural science first year, tailored to the Earth, planets and their environments, allowing you to discover where your interests lie

Flexible course allowing you to specialise and customise your studies to your interests, following one of three pathways after the first year, providing an ideal gateway to your career.

The option to transfer to a related degree during your second year to incorporate a year in industry or year abroad.

Undertake a research project of your choice working alongside world- leading scientists using state-of-the-art research facilities.

Develop your transferrable skills through team work, problem solving and field work.

Teaching and learning

You will benefit from a wide range of teaching and learning methods that suit the content and aims of each course unit. You'll learn through formal lectures, laboratory classes, field classes and small-group tutorials.

Two-thirds of the contact time is focused on the development of practical skills. Teamwork, problem-solving and fieldwork play a key role in integrating all the elements of the subject, and will also develop transferable skills for geological and non-geological careers.

You'll also undertake an independent project in years 3 and 4 (depending on your degree) that is tailored to you chosen pathway.

Coursework and assessment

This course is assessed by a variety of methods, including:


essays and written assignments


oral and written presentations

field assessment

We place a strong emphasis on practical skills and project work. Around one-third of your assessment in year 3 and half in year 4 will be based on independent research projects.

Course unit details

Our Environmental Science course covers all major aspects of the earth system. The course has a common first year, allowing you to choose your degree pathway based on your experience during year 1.

In years 2 and 3 you'll follow your choice of pathway. Each pathway is defined to ensure you develop core knowledge alongside a choice of optional units. Eligibility for continuation onto the fourth year of this MEnvSci programme is based on your marks at the second and/or third years. If you are not eligible you will be transferred to the BSc programme.

Course content for year 1

Our first year will introduce you to the modern way we study the Earth. The emphasis in the first year is on building foundational knowledge in the natural sciences, tailored to the Earth, planets and their environments, and on developing practical and transferrable skills.

During this year you will study the principles that underlie all our pathways and will receive one-on-one advice to help you choose your preferred pathway at the end of the first year.  Every first year student will be supported by our peer mentoring schemes and small group work with an academic tutor

The first year units will develop your theoretical knowledge, your numerical, field and laboratory skills, and aid your professional development.

Course units for year 1

The first year is composed of three units which run across the academic year.  Two thirds of your time will be spent in practical and field-based activities.  Each unit is worth 40 out of a total of 120 credits.

Unit 1: Understanding the Earth

This unit will provide you with an understanding of evolution of the Earth within our solar system, the establishment of Earth cycles including the development of plate tectonics, the atmosphere and the oceans.  You will study the history of life on Earth from first life through to the rise of humans, how we utilise energy and resources, and how Earth systems will evolve in the future.

Unit 2: The Natural Scientists Toolkit

In this unit you will study the chemistry, physics and biology of the Earth and planets as integrated systems.  You will develop skills in numeracy and scientific problem solving, learn programming, and apply numerical models to analyse the chemistry and physics of the Earth and its environment.

Unit 3: Practical Skills

Practical classes fieldwork and professional skill development make up a large part of the course. This unit is composed of three parts.

Field Work

You will take part in regular field days throughout semester 1 covering the breadth of the course, for example, explore planetary science at Jodrell bank and geology in the Derbyshire Peak District that is on our door step. You will attend a residential field course in semester 2 that is focused on your preferred degree pathway

Laboratory Skill Development

You'll be introduced to the key observational, laboratory and field skills that you'll need as an Earth scientist.

The Professional Scientist and Society

Our course will equip you with an armory of skills to take into the world of work, including the ability to analyse problems, to work collaboratively as part of a team, and to communicate effectively to different audiences.

Course content for year 2

In year 2 you will tailor your studies to your own academic interests by focusing on a particular aspect of the Earth's environmental system.  Each pathway consists of the series of core units and extends topics from your first year, introducing new areas in your area of specialisation.

Available Pathways are:

Pollution and Environmental Processes - On this pathway you'll study climate change, biodiversity and environmental management, pollution and control, population dynamics, ecosystems and urbanisation, tackling some of the global grand and pressing problems that will ensure human needs are met in a sustainable way.

Atmospheric Science - Understanding the atmosphere allows us to address a wide range of societal and environmental issues, including weather forecasting, urban air quality, pollutant transport and climate change. On this pathway you'll focus on the atmosphere and its relationship to the Earth system, as well as to society.

Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology - The Earth is the only known planet supporting life. The history of the Earth is intertwined with the history of life, and the world is both shaped by, and shapes, the organisms alive today. This pathway focuses on understanding those relationships.

Course content for year 3

In your final year, you can choose from a wide range of course units made up of core units from within your own pathway specialization  units from other pathways offered within the Environmental Sciences degree, as well as units from our other degree in Earth and Planetary Science. A range of units are offered which have an applied focus to help you prepare for your future career.

Alternatively, you may choose to study a course from the University's College for Interdisciplinary Learning , including our innovative Leadership in Action course, which combines study with volunteering and personal development.

You'll undertake a research project that is tailored to your degree pathway specialisation. You will collect data in the field and laboratory to answer a scientific question of your choice.

Course content for year 4

You'll carry out an extended individual research project working alongside world- leading scientists using state-of-the-art research facilities, study subject-related units, and attend specialist lectures.

Scholarships and bursaries

Students who achieve AAA at A-level (or equivalent) will be awarded our prestigious William Boyd Dawkins Scholarship.  To be eligible, offer holders will need to have attended a School UCAS visit day and put Manchester as their firm choice. Successful recipients will receive a one-off payment of £1000 during their first year of study.  


We teach our practical sessions in custom-designed, well-equipped laboratories with enough space for you to have your own microscope and work comfortably on your own or in a group.

All our courses are driven and inspired by the latest research in the School, so we also give you access to our most advanced and sophisticated research facilities.

Students benefit from a dedicated resource room with charge-points for laptops and plenty of desktop PCs with specialist software packages for GIS, statistical analysis and e-learning. Photocopying and printing is free.

The room also has copies of textbooks, journals and maps, our large mineral collection and sets of rock specimens for private study - and even a complete, disarticulated dinosaur skeleton for student project work. Our learning adviser is based in the resource room and can advise and help with enquiries.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email:


Career opportunities

Our graduates are in strong demand across a diverse range of careers due to their grounding in the fundamental sciences.

Our Environmental Science degrees lead to employment opportunities in commercial, industrial, government and educational sectors, as well as providing the foundation required for postgraduate study in environmental science and related science disciplines. Employment roles range from consultants and managers to scientists working in the field or laboratories.

A degree from The University of Manchester can lead to a number of new and exciting opportunities. Find out about graduates and their advice for you.