Undergraduate Course

BSc Global Sustainability

(including Foundation Year)

Now In Clearing
BSc Global Sustainability

Overview

The details
Global Sustainability (including Foundation Year)
C511
October 2022
Full-time
4 years
Colchester Campus
Essex Pathways

Our BSc Global Sustainability (including foundation year) course will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entry requirements for the three-year version of this course and you want a programme that improves your skills to support your academic performance.

This four-year course includes a foundation year (known as Year Zero) which is delivered by our Essex Pathways Department, followed by a further three years of study in our School of Life Sciences. During Year Zero, you study three academic subjects relevant to your chosen course as well as a compulsory academic skills module, with additional English language for non-English speakers. After successful completion of Year Zero, you progress to complete your course with our School of Life Sciences.

Your three years with our School of Life Sciences focuses on solving real-world problems and you will develop solutions to sustainability challenges. This is an innovative, highly relevant and interdisciplinary degree for the future.

You will study the interaction of humans and nature at the local, regional and global level, whilst acquiring the data handling skills needed for a future career in sustainability. You will be trained with the knowledge and skills to tackle the most complex problems we face for the future of our planet.

After Year Zero you will be based in our School of Life Sciences, but this course cuts across disciplines. There will be contributions and optional modules from other subject areas including economics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and politics. We harness the diverse and world-leading expertise across the University of Essex to provide you with the tools to really make a difference in our future society.

The grand challenges we will tackle include the interacting climate, biodiversity and nature crises, as well as pollution, inequality and social justice.

Together, we will understand appropriate responses to, and management of, these challenges. You will study the relationship between the environment, human cultures and values, while working with stakeholders in the analysis, resolution and communication of complex issues.

This diverse expertise offers a huge range of opportunities for study and work, and at Essex we give you the flexibility to shape your degree to suit your interests.

Sustainability at Essex

To learn about the initiatives and actions the University of Essex is taking to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises, visit our sustainability page.

Why we're great.
  • You’ll receive a unique combination of research expertise from across the University for a truly novel, timely and society relevant degree
  • Take part in residential field courses in Indonesia, the Mediterranean and the UK, as well as field work in our local Marine Conservation Zone
  • You’ll problem-solve sustainability issues alongside world leading academics in from several academic departments, making this a truly interdisciplinary degree

Our expert staff

Our Essex Pathways Department is a gateway to the University of Essex, helping students without standard entry requirements to grow in confidence, unlock their potential, and nurture their ambitions so they can progress in academic study.

As one of the largest schools at Essex, our School of Life Sciences offers a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching, where you will learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Your course will be taught across all three academic faculties at the University. In our School of Life Sciences, our research covers a wide spectrum from the cell through to communities and ecosystems. Key academic staff for this course include:

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students, and our School of Life Sciences was awarded the Athena Swan Silver Award in October 2020, which reflects the work carried out by staff in our School to continue to improve equality.

Specialist facilities

During Year Zero, you will have access to all of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer, as well as those provided by our Essex Pathways Department to support you, such as:

  • We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials
  • Our new Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
  • Our social space is stocked with magazines and newspaper, and provides an informal setting to meet your lecturers, tutors and friends

Our School of Life Sciences has leading research facilities for aquatic and molecular ecology and genomics. Depending on your choice of modules and research project, you have the opportunity to work in a range of different habitats and use a wide range of facilities and equipment, which include:

  • Local field sites and collaborators including CEFAS, Lowestoft
  • Overseas field sites with our collaborators in Indonesia, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean
  • A fleet of remote-sensing drones for carrying out remote field surveys
  • Research and education vessel (10.5m)
  • Aquariums, mesocosms and other facilities for ecology and behaviour studies
  • Oxford Nanopore MinION portable genome sequencer
  • An advanced bioimaging suite to visualise and process images of biological processes in real time
  • Laboratories with robotic liquid handling systems and equipment for cell culture, molecular biology and gene editing

Your future

Government bodies, charities, and companies need to build environmental sustainability into all of their work and there are many career opportunities.

Demand for scientists who can work across disciplines is growing, and specifically within the sustainability sector. Sustainability is becoming a requirement embedded within all sectors. Employment opportunities are within the diverse fields of education, research, business, government, charity, NGO, industry, eg Circular Economy Lead, Sustainability Consultant/Manager, Senior Policy Advisor, Net Zero Coordinator, and Regeneration Manager.

Many graduates chose to develop their career opportunities by studying for further degree, such as an MSc, MSD (Masters of Research) or PhD.

We also work with our University's Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Entry requirements

Clearing entry requirements

Specific entry requirements for this course in Clearing are not published here but for most of our degree courses you will need to hold a Level 3 qualification. If you are interested in applying and have already received your results, use our Clearing application form to apply for 2022 entry and find out if you are eligible. You will be asked to provide details of your qualifications and grades.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College.

Structure

Course structure

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Introduction to Biology
(30 CREDITS)

The module aims to provide you with a general understanding and curiosity about biology with a balance of plant biology, animal biology and microbiology. This involves an understanding of the diversity, lifecycles and evolution of life on Earth, together with the biological processes that enable organisms to live, sense and adapt to the ecosystems that they inhabit. It will develop an appreciation of the relevance of sustainability to all aspects of scientific developments relating to biological sciences.

View Introduction to Biology on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Chemistry for Biology
(30 CREDITS)

The module aims to provide you with the knowledge and understanding of chemistry needed to underpin advanced study in biology. This involves an understanding of the basic facts, concepts and terminology of chemistry relevant to modern biology.

View Chemistry for Biology on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Maths and Statistics for Biological Sciences
(30 CREDITS)

The module covers the mathematical skills needed to proceed to any degree course within the School of Life Sciences. The syllabus covers the mathematics of basic arithmetic and algebra, graphs and rates of change as well as statistical distributions and hypothesis testing. The associated work in classes and lab sessions develops the skills used to solve problems applicable to the study of biological sciences, with classwork and online assignments being set and full solutions provided as part of the feedback process.

View Maths and Statistics for Biological Sciences on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: CORE

Research and Academic Development Skills
(30 CREDITS)

This blended-learning module is designed to support students in their academic subject disciplines and to strengthen their confidence in key skills areas such as: academic writing, research, academic integrity, collaborative and reflective practices. The students are supported through the use of subject-specific materials tailored to their chosen degrees with alignment of assessments between academic subject modules and the skills module.

View Research and Academic Development Skills on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Introduction to Global Sustainability Challenges
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Genetics and Evolution
(15 CREDITS)

Why do we all look different? Are some illnesses hereditary? Are animals born ready-suited to their environment? From the early theories of Mendel to modern studies in molecular genetics, you explore how scientists have answered these questions over the last 150 years. Examine how the structure and function of DNA allows genetic material to be expressed, replicated and inherited, and consider how genetic variation leads to adaptive evolution. From developing new technologies in gene cloning to the applications for modern medicine, you explore how geneticists are building on the earlier achievements in this fundamentally important field to enhance our understanding of life on earth.

View Genetics and Evolution on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Quantitative methods for Life Sciences
(15 CREDITS)

Develop your skillset and boost your CV. This module prepares you for the coursework, laboratory practicals and research projects that you will encounter during undergraduate study. Get to know referencing systems and learn how to effectively communicate scientific information. Use scientific units and simple algebra and demonstrate understanding of logarithms, exponentials, geometry and elementary calculus. Learn how to design experiments, handle data and display, interpret and analyse basic statistics. Teaching and learning will be through a mixture of lectures, classes, practicals and tutorials, with an emphasis on developing the key transferable skills needed for a career in biosciences.

View Quantitative methods for Life Sciences on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Transferable Skills in Life Sciences
(15 CREDITS)

You will develop your transferable skills in scientific writing (including referencing and avoiding plagiarism), teamwork and communication through oral presentations, study and research skills (including essay writing, lecture note taking, use of library and databases). Teaching and learning will be through a mixture of lectures, classes, and tutorials. The emphasis will be on small group, tutorial-style teaching and interaction with other students on this module, with assessments tailored to your degree subject area.

View Transferable Skills in Life Sciences on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: CORE WITH OPTIONS

Option(s) from list
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 06: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Addressing Global Sustainability Challenges
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Professional skills for Ecological and Marine Scientists
(15 CREDITS)

In this career-focused module you develop skills specific to your discipline, such as information retrieval, data-analysis and interpretation techniques, as well as a broader range of transferable skills, such as communication, team-work, numeracy and attention to detail. Learn how to best approach job applications, including CV and cover letter writing, aptitude testing and the interview process.

View Professional skills for Ecological and Marine Scientists on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list
(45 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list
(45 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Research Project in Global Sustainability
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Climate Change and Pollution
(15 CREDITS)

Earth`s climate has fluctuated throughout history, but the speed of change in recent decades has been unprecedented. Warming, acidification, drought, flooding, and fire are increasingly prevalent features of our modern world. In addition, humans are responsible for widespread environmental pollution, which is any input of material or energy into air, land, or water that causes harmful environment change. The sources and ecological consequences of climate change and pollution will be explored and discussed, concentrating on biodiversity, species distributions and extinctions, and the provision of ecosystem services of benefit to humans. Examples of climate change and pollution will be presented from both terrestrial and aquatic domains, and from polar to tropical biomes, together with a review of the avenues to be followed for remediation of biosphere processes and the conservation of biological diversity. The module will be delivered through lectures and a practical session incorporating data analysis and interpretation.

View Climate Change and Pollution on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list
(60 CREDITS)

Teaching

  • Learn through a combination of lectures, laboratory and field sessions, as well as workshops
  • Gain experience collating and interpreting data, using mixed methods
  • Participate in specialist field trips

Assessment

Degrees are awarded on the results of your written examinations together with continual assessments of your practical work and coursework.

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,250

International fee

£17,700

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home/UK fees and funding information

International fees and funding information

What's next

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

2022 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 17, 2022
  • Saturday, October 22, 2022

How to apply during Clearing

Once you’ve checked that we have the right course for you, applying couldn’t be simpler. Fill in our quick and easy Clearing application form with as much detail as you can. We’ll then take a look and get back to you with a decision.

Interviews

We don’t interview all applicants during Clearing, however, we will only make offers for the following courses after a successful interview:

  • BA Multimedia Journalism
  • BSc Nursing (Adult)
  • BSc Nursing (Mental Health)
  • BA Social Work

The interview allows our academics to find out more about you, and in turn you’ll be able to ask us any questions you might have. Further details will be emailed to you if you are shortlisted for interview.


Apply now
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Whether you are planning to visit us at one of our Open Days, or coming to an Applicant day. Our campus conveniently located and easy to reach by car, train or bus.

View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

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The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

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