Career Opportunities with an Environmental Science Degree

If you’re looking for a far reaching degree that combines physics, chemistry and biology with politics, culture, and sociology then a degree in Environmental Science could be the right one for you.

During your degree you’ll study the physical, chemical, and biological process on Earth and look closely at how the politics, culture, and social processes of humanity impact on this.

This means that a degree in Environmental Sciences is very much “interdisciplinary” and you should expect to touch on other subjects such as geography, marine science, and social science.

You’ll also find that Environmental Science isn’t just a classroom based subject and that you’ll spend a large part of your degree on fieldwork trips. This gives students a chance to experience different environments, habitats, land formations, societies, and cultures.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities for fieldtrips in the UK and many universities also offer students the chance to spend some time on fieldtrips or study abroad for longer periods.

However, the number of subjects you’ll cover shouldn’t put you off applying for Environmental Science. In fact, when it comes to finding a job after university, your diverse range of skills, knowledge, and experience will make you an attractive prospect to potential employers.

Where can I study Environmental Science?

There are universities all over the UK that offer Environmental Science degrees, including:

  • University of Greenwich
  • Bangor University
  • Plymouth University
  • University of Brighton
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • University of Derby
  • University of Southampton

What skills will I gain during my Environmental Science degree?

Of course, you’ll graduate with some very specific skills that relate directly to your Environmental Sciences degree, but you’ll also have a number of transferrable skills.

This broader skill set includes:

  • Research skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Observational skills
  • Ability to develop strong arguments from scientific, ethical and philosophical perspectives
  • Ability to plan and manage projects independently
  • Ability to gather, analyse and communicate complex technical data
  • Flexible approach to working in different environments
  • Numerical and IT skills
  • A broad understanding of local, national and global environmental issues

Who are the typical employers of Environmental Science graduates?

Your diverse skill set means that there are any number of employers that would be interested in employing you as an Environmental Science graduate. Graduates typically go into careers involving protecting the environment or advising organisations on how to do this.

Typical employers include:

  • Local authorities
  • The Environment Agency (EA)
  • The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
  • Environment consultancies
  • Environmental monitoring agencies
  • Charities or not-for-profit organisations with environmental objectives

Career opportunities with an Environmental Science degree

There are a variety of sectors open to Environmental Science graduates ranging in everything from the outdoor recreation industry to public policy development.

Some typical roles for an Environmental Science graduate include:

Environmental consultancy

This role would involve providing advice to various companies and agencies, both government and private, about issues connecting to the environment.

For example, you could be advising on reducing a company’s “carbon footprint” or the relevant legislation and laws with regard to the environmental impact of a proposed building project.

Environmental education

If you’d like to pass on your knowledge of the environment to the wider public or younger generations then a career in environmental education may be an option.

If you’re considering some form of teaching then you may need to complete a period of further study – a teaching or Master’s degree for example.

Nature conservation

If you’re keen to protect and promote the natural environment then a career in nature conservation could be right for you. Roles commonly involve ensuring the sustainable management of a particular natural area, fundraising and campaigning to increase public awareness of an environmental issue, and supervising projects to increase biodiversity.

Environmental management

Similar to environmental consultancy, but you’re likely to have a more hands on role; environmental management involves being responsible for developing and implementing environmental strategies. This role will involve problem solving, analysing data, and could also require you to train staff.

Recycling and waste management

A large part of humanity’s impact on the environment is how we dispose of our waste and recycle items and materials we no longer need. There are a variety of roles managing recycling and waste, promoting responsible waste disposal initiatives, and working with/for local authorities, charities, and environmental agencies.