Environmental Biology

BSc single honours Environmental Biology 2016/17

Towards the end of the 20th century, it became evident that the resources of the wonderful planet that we live on are not infinite. In any endeavour, the environment cannot be ignored because we now know that the amazing biosphere of our planet may be fundamentally influenced by human activities.

At the dawn of the 21st century, we published the data from the Human Genome Project and this fuelled an already expanding ‘Biological Revolution’. Now we are engaged in the process of examining the fascinating nature of the molecular biology that underpins all life processes and has led us into the realms of genetic modification. Fantastic new discoveries are made every day and, as our knowledge of molecular biology expands, it now falls on biologists to interpret such discoveries in the context of living systems.

Environmental Biology is the next logical step in taking a holistic approach to organisms and their environments. If someone wants to be a confident, productive worker in this field, this degree is for them.

This programme concentrates on a study of the interaction between biology, ecology and the planetary environment. It strongly emphasises biosciences but also provides a background in the physical sciences necessary to monitor and understand the whole subject.

The first year consists of a set of compulsory modules covering Introductory Biology (at both Whole Organism and Molecular level), Environmental Science and Physical Sciences to a level needed to underpin sound biological knowledge. The ethos of the programme is to integrate the sciences together, rather than treating them as separate subjects. There is also an emphasis on experimental science, so students learn a wide range of practical techniques, including microbiology and cell culture.

In Years 2 and 3, a group of core modules adopt an environmental approach to biology with the emphasis on key aspects of employability (Laboratory, Computational Biology and Communications Skills). Further options allow students to specialise in areas that interest them, for instance, Practical Ecology, Plant Sciences or Biogeography. Students also carry out a practical research project as part of a final year Individual Study.

This programme equips students for careers in environmental microbiology, wildlife conservation and research, reserve management and agricultural, biological and environmental sciences. The broad, multi-disciplinary nature of the programme is well suited to anyone seeking opportunities in the sciences, in either a technical, managerial or public relations role. The level of scientific literacy developed by this programme is valuable in other non-scientific areas of industry, commerce and the media.

It is also an ideal degree structure for students aiming at a career in teaching sciences at any level from primary to post-compulsory. Time management, statistical and planning skills are developed during this programme and these are prized by many employers. The good communication and presentation skills developed, combined with an ability to think critically and analyse complex data sets, make our graduates highly employable. Our graduates also have an excellent record of progressing to study for higher degrees either by research or a taught programme.

Year 1


  • Core Science
  • Variety of Life
  • Introduction to Environmental Systems
  • The Organism and its Environment

Optional Modules:

  • Microbiology and Cell Culture
  • Starred Module

Year 2


  • Plant Control Systems
  • Comm. and Analysis in Science
  • Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry for the Environmental Sciences
  • Earth as a Planetary System

Optional Modules:

  • Chemistry for the Life Sciences
  • Applied Plant Genetics
  • Evolution
  • Biogeography and Landscape Ecology
  • The Hydrosphere in Europe
  • Starred Modules

Year 3


  • Aspects of Pollution
  • Radiobiology
  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Individual Study

Optional Modules:

  • Pests, Parasites and Pathogens
  • Introduction to Bioinformatics
  • Bioinformatics 2
  • Plant Responses to the Environment
  • Practical Ecology
  • Biological Imaging and Photography
  • Soil Science and Land Management
  • Applied Biological Chemistry
  • Starred Module


The 2015/16 and 2016/17 annual tuition fees for this course are:







Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

UK/EU full-time tuition fees for this course are set in line with the current maximum regulated tuition fee levels permitted by the UK Government.

Overseas full-time tuition fees for this course may be subject to an annual inflationary increase in every year where the course lasts more than one year. 

*Overseas fee scholarships may be available for eligible students. For further information please contact fees@canterbury.ac.uk or the International Office: ipo@canterbury.ac.uk.

**Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2015/16 and 2016/17 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,000 in Year 0.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students on courses are expected to meet. 

Read further information about the general additional costs which apply to courses at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Core knowledge and understanding is acquired through a number of methods and strategies including lecture and discussion; laboratory practical; field course, student-led seminars; tutorials; individual oral presentations; group oral presentations; poster presentations; problem solving exercises, case studies and projects. Intellectual skills are promoted through lectures, practical classes, workshops and seminars.

Learning to apply these thinking skills is achieved by the use of case studies and especially through laboratory and field-based activities. This enables students to apply their classroom learning in more challenging environments and to appreciate general processes and relationships in practical and ‘real-world’ settings. Throughout their degree, students receive academic and personal support from their personal tutor as well as from the Student Support Guidance Service and the Employability and Careers Service.

Knowledge and understanding is assessed via examination and coursework including essay, calculation and problem solving exercises, practical write ups, portfolios, log books, group and/or individual work, group projects, oral presentations, assessed practical, laboratory work, graph drawing exercises, (group) poster presentation, computer based assessment, group presentation, data handling exercises, multiple choice questionnaire, seminar presentation, paper presentation, seminar papers, case study (involving the analysis of biological data) and audio or video presentation.

Intellectual skills are assessed by coursework (including computer based assessment), presentations and examination. Examinations provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to structure a clear, concise and reasoned argument and analyse an issue in a limited time period. The execution of an independent or special study allows them to demonstrate their thinking skills to the highest level.

Fact file

UCAS code

  • C150 Environmental Biology
  • C168 Environmental Biology (4 years with Foundation)


  • 3 years (or 4 years with Foundation year) full-time

Entry requirements



More about

Print or share this page

Last edited: 30/06/2016 21:14:00