BA (Honours) Environmental Studies
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Environmental change affects us all, and the challenge of how human society can – and should – respond to environmental problems is likely to be one of the most pressing issues of the twenty-first century. The BA (Hons) Environmental Studies is an original and topical qualification that provides a lively and engaging treatment of a broad range of environmental issues. It integrates the social sciences, technology and sciences to help you develop a comprehensive understanding of the environment. While studying towards this degree course you’ll learn about the political, economic, social and scientific conflicts that are at the heart of important contemporary environmental problems and debates. You’ll explore subjects such as climate change; air pollution; waste management; genetically modified food; over-fishing; renewable fuels; sustainability; and global trade. Throughout your studies, you’ll have specialist, subject-based academic support and the chance to join in online communities of other social sciences students for teaching, learning and peer support.
Fees and facts
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Flexible, part-time study through
Undergraduate or bachelors degrees are nationally recognised qualifications consisting of academic study designed to help you gain a thorough understanding of a subject.
For a degree in a named subject, such as business studies or humanities, you'll study mainly in your chosen subject, although you may be able to include some modules from other subjects.
With The Open University you could also study an Open degree where you can combine a range of modules from similar or different subjects to suit either your particular career or personal interests.
You can use a degree to:
change careers or progress your current career gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in gain professional recognition go onto postgraduate study, such as a diploma or masters degree.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this degree.
Career relevance and employability
Through studying this degree course you’ll gain a portfolio of 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.
These skills will provide you with exciting, interesting and satisfying career options, in public, voluntary and private sector occupations. Today many businesses and employers contribute in some way to environmental change – making the BA (Honours) Environmental Studies relevant to a wide range of professions including environmental management; environmental health; environmental policy; teaching; journalism; and information systems.
There’s more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the
OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication and look at our OU study and your career subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
Register your interest
For academic year 2014/15, registration opens on 30/04/2014. If you would like to be kept updated, you can register your interest now.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
If you have already completed some successful study at higher education level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible, and before you register for this qualification.
If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete this qualification. This may also mean that the next start date and the maximum time limit for this qualification are different to those shown above.
Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Practical and professional skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
Classification of your degree
On successful completion of the required number and type of modules you will be awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Environmental Studies degree. Your honours degree will be classified either as first-class honours, upper second-class honours, lower second-class honours or third-class honours. The class of degree is determined by the best grades you achieve in 240 credits from the modules above Level 1. At least 120 of those credits must come from modules at Level 3. You will have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
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.
If you have a disability
Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:
the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
any work-based competency requirements.
Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007),
Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you
will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you
register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities
we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move.
As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed
feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online
tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read
Distance learning explained.