The natural environment underpins our lives: the space we live in, the food we eat, the water we drink, the clothes we wear, and even the way we feel. It is increasingly apparent across the government, business and economy that we cannot ignore the fundamental role of the natural environment to our lives and we cannot carry on degrading environmental resources.
Environmental conservation professionals have the knowledge that is required to meet the many challenges our environment faces. Challenges such as reinstating woodlands, habitat conservation, coastal protection and managing waste as a resource. The course will teach you how to effectively manage wildlife and habitats as well as appreciate the role of governance and social benefits in decision making. We give you the opportunity to study the environment from this multi-disciplined perspective so that you can become a true ambassador for environmental conservation in the future.
Awards: BSc | HND | HNC
UCAS Code (BSc): F901
UCAS Code (HND): 3S54
Institution Code: T80
BSc 3 years f/t - up to 6 years p/t;
HND 2 years f/t - up to 4 years p/t;
HNC 1 years f/t - up to 3 years p/t;
School of Architecture, Built and Natural Environments
I loved our tutors, for me they were always available, you could ask questions, they gave good direction. They put me forward for publications twice, so opportunities like that. The class sizes weren’t huge, you weren’t just a number. We spent a lot of time doing practical activities out on Gower. It’s an absolutely wonderful location, the sort of environment you take advantage of.
It's a brilliant programme and you would have an amazing time. It’s something real, everything you learn relates to the world around you and I think that rather than being stuck in an office it’s better to get out there. The small class sizes mean that you have more one-to-one interaction. The teachers are so passionate about what they do. It’s contagious and I think that was the best thing about the course. I am now a Flood Risk Technical Assistant in the Rhondda – we assess the flood risk and manage flood defence. Without my degree I wouldn't have been able to go into that sector.
I was always interested in Environmental Science. I did it at college. I found out about the Environmental course here and I joined. It was fascinating to learn more about life science and also the environment. I learned everything from the chemistry and biology side of things, to the science of the coastal environment. I learned a lot about water and for the coastal geomorphology, we have some of the best coast in the world, so to be able to study that and go out into the local area and see it was fantastic. I am now a business development manager for Hydro Industries. We do everything from waste water treatment, water purification, oil separation and mineral recovery. I get to travel across the globe with my job. I love my job, it’s absolutely fantastic.
The great thing about this Environmental Conservation course is that it gives you a very broad covering of all different topics so you really get to choose which areas you want to go into. In my particular case, we did habitat management which has been invaluable but also at the more practical end. You learn practical skills, monitoring the environment and the environmental effects of activities, and how you survey to find out what your site is actually doing, so you have a base line to work from. We also covered modules on environmental law and governments and how you actually manage something in a more practical kind of sense and that has been really useful. I am now a Conservation Manager, a position I got just before I started my final year because of doing the course. I manage 78 acres of grassland, wetland and an ancient woodland, for RSPCA Llys Nini Animal Centre at SA4 9WB, in the northern part of Swansea. Doing the course, easily one of the best decision I ever made.
I chose Environmental Conservation because I care about the planet and want to make a difference. Climate Change is an issue for our generation and if we don't act now there will be serious repercussions for the environment. I love the whole course, even statistics and know it will equip me for a future career in the environmental sector.
If you are passionate about preserving the environment and want to develop the knowledge and skills to do so, then this course could be for you. The city centre campus is ideally situated between the Gower Peninsula and the Brecon Beacons National Park – providing perfect study sites for coastal science and habitat management.
We have a seventeen-year history in delivering courses on Environmental Conservation and with relatively small class sizes, there are lots of opportunities for shared discussion with your peers and experienced lecturers. This, combined with practical fieldwork, makes it a great course for gaining both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills that employers value. Our staff offer a friendly, accessible learning environment, with expertise in coastal, marine and freshwater ecology, waste management and environmental assessment. All are research active allowing students to engage with, and benefit from, research projects.
Year 1 - HNC/HND/BSc
Environmental Issues & Academic Skills
Governance of the Environment
YEAR 2 - HND/BSc
Environmental Monitoring & Remediation
Environmental Law and Economics
Low Carbon Technologies
Research Methods and GIS
Coastal and Marine Science
YEAR 3 - BSc
GIS and Data Analysis
Benefits of studying Environmental Conservation in the School of Architecture Built and Natural Environment include:
- Small class sizes where you have the chance to ask questions and to learn actively
- Opportunities for practical learning via fieldwork using our great geographic position
- Active engagement with employers, especially via our field courses where you will get to know reserve managers and environmental consultants
We are situated in an urban / maritime environment very close to Britain’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We are close to magnificent natural and physical resources of south, mid and west Wales and the University and its staff play a major role within the conservation and heritage management of these and other similar national assets.
Class sizes are generally less than 20 providing an environment that listens to and supports individual student needs. Our teaching is informed by research in subjects that extend right across our portfolio, suitably supplemented by external experts from around the world.
We engage with employers to develop and deliver courses that enhance our graduate’s employability. Recent graduate success stories include employment in international organisations, entrepreneurship and community engagement. Our commitment is demonstrated by recent investment in facilities, staff and engagement, which means the future for our graduates, is stronger than ever.
We truly look forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve your personal goals and ambitions.
Assessment varies across modules using a variety of methods from field and lab reports to presentations, essays and exams to give you the opportunity to do well and to demonstrate your developing knowledge.
We pride ourselves on giving excellent feedback at all stages of the course to help you to progress.
We use feedback to develop your course knowledge and, importantly, to help you to develop your wider skills in report writing, and communicating science so that you can demonstrate your ability to work effectively in the environment sector at the end of your course.
BSc Environmental Conservation - UCAS CODE: F901
You will need 96 UCAS Tariff points from A levels or their equivalent (240 UCAS tariff points)
HND Environmental Conservation
You will need 48 UCAS Tariff points from A levels or their equivalent (120 UCAS tariff points)
HNC Environmental Conservation
You will need 40 UCAS Tariff points from A levels or their equivalent (100 UCAS tariff points)
We welcome all potential students with an interest in and commitment to the environment to contact us and discuss entry requirements.
An alternative to A levels
Successful completion of an appropriate Access Course
Professional vocational experience
We particularly welcome mature students with relevant vocational or even voluntary experience in the environment sector. The requirements for entry will vary depending on your background. Sometimes we may ask you to take an Access course to prepare you for study, or we may accept you based on your experience alone.
If you have a passion for the environment but a non-standard educational background please do feel free to contact us to discuss your place.
Foundation Year in STEM (environmental stream) - UCAS CODE: HR3U
Our environment degrees combine academic study with the development of professional skills and competencies. You will gain experience in transferable employment skills, including:
- oral and visual presentations
- environmental assessments
- information dissemination
- data analysis
- species identification
- habitat surveying
- identification of environmental stressors
- report writing
Students take part in some volunteering days as part of fieldwork training, and are encouraged to find summer work placements which will provide important work experience.
You will be encouraged to use collaborations with work experience providers to collect data for your dissertation (your own major research project in your final year of study).
Organisations contributing to the Industrial Liaison Committee, e.g. Natural Resources Wales also provide opportunities for work placement and have supported Welsh language speakers from three of the current undergraduate cohorts, providing financial support and work placements. In addition, students are offered summer placements on the School’s research projects.
One of our school research projects, reclamation of mining spoils, provides many opportunities in data collection and soil analysis. Other opportunities have been made available with City and County of Swansea, where students have volunteered in collecting and interpreting waste data from surveys.
Our Environmental Conservation programmes cover a broad range of topics that can lead to a huge number of careers. Here is a list of our recent graduates new job roles:
- Bat Survey Officer
- Business Development Manager at Hydro Industries
- Cetacean Research Officer in Costa Rica
- Community and Nature Conservation Ranger at National Trust
- Conservation Manager at RSPCA Llys Nini Animal Centre
- Data Analyst at PHS Group
- Data Support Technician at Veolia
- Ecologist at Jacobs UK Ltd
- Energy Officer at Neath Port Talbot Council
- Environmental author
- Environmental Officer at Natural England
- Environmental Specialist at EcoVigour
- Environmental Technician at Rockwool
- Environmental Technician, Water Treatment, Oxfordshire
- Evaluation & Monitoring Officer at Down to Earth
- Fisheries Technical Officer at Natural Resources Wales
- Flood and Water Officer at Welsh Local Government Association
- Flood Risk Technical Assistant at Rhondda Cynon Taff Borough Council
- Health, Safety and Environmental Consultant
- IT Infrastructure Analyst at Coastal Housing Group
- PhD Researcher
- Press Officer at the Met Office
- Production team on Springwatch and Learning Assistant at Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
- Project Manager at Hydro Industries Ltd
- Researcher for Nutopia
- Rural Development Manager at Neath Port Talbot
- Senior Ecologist at AECOM
- Senior Ecologist at South Wales Trunk Road Agent, Neath
- Sustainability Officer at UWTSD
- Team Manager of Commercial & Domestic Recycling, City & County of Swansea
- Waste Water Asset Telemetry Technician at Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
- Water Quality Permitting Officer at Cardiff
It is possible to complete this programme of study without any additional costs.
Students may wish to purchase materials for modules, such as major project but this is not a requirement and will have no bearing on the final grade.