New course for the 21/22 academic year

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: 6 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2021/22)

International/EU fee

£14,045 per year (2021/22)

UCAS points

120 (September 2021 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

Pressure is increasing on industry and governments around the world to respond to the harmful outcomes of human activity, and rapidly develop innovative approaches to ensure the sustainable future of the environment. This course is designed to meet the growing demand for graduates skilled in shaping innovative solutions that have a positive impact on environmental and sustainability issues.

Environmental Sustainability - your questions answered

In the below video, Programme Leader, Dr Deb Raha, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Environmental Sustainability at the University of Derby. You can also watch exclusive subject content by signing up to Derby on Demand.

Deb Raha, Programme Leader in Environmental Sustainability.

View Environmental Sustainability - your questions answered! video transcript

Environmental Sustainability at Derby

The impact of climate change and loss of biodiversity is disrupting our ecosystems, with experts predicting that we have just a few decades remaining before we pass the 1.5°C limit that could accelerate lasting harm to biodiversity, the economy and people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable communities. We know that change has to happen - this course prepares you to step up to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. 

On this course, you will explore major environmental threats including:

Whilst there are core study components, this is a flexible course that gives you the opportunity to focus on a specialist route, or combine topics for a broader view of environmental sustainability. In addition, the ‘Student Initiated Module’ in your final year allows you to take the lead and build a module based on your interests, strengths, and career ambitions. In your final year, you will have the option of completing an Independent Study (dissertation) or an Industrial Project, where you can work in industry on a live brief to help solve a real problem – this could lead to employment upon graduation.

The course provides the opportunity to study with a placement year to help you translate theory into practice and enhance your employability. 

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View Spark Change - Study Environmental Sustainability at Derby video transcript

Who is this course for?

This course is for those who are passionate about securing the long-term sustainability of life on Earth. Whether you are interested in the development of clean energy, the sustainable management of businesses, the protection of the natural world, the impacts of climate change or the management of ecosystem services, this degree has the breadth to allow you to develop your career in the development of a sustainable future for the planet.  

Inter-disciplinary learning

The challenges facing today’s world are complex and won’t be solved through the efforts of a single subject, so the content of this course is inter-disciplinary, connecting you with expertise from a range of subjects to give you a balanced understanding of the factors involved and the scale of today’s environmental fragility. Studying this way means that upon graduating, you will have a vast set of skills to impress future employers and contribute to global sustainability. These include strong investigative and innovative thinking, problem-solving and a solution-focused approach, commercial and sustainable business awareness, data collection and analysis, critical thinking, and project management, to name but a few.

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Expert teaching

This is a research-led degree, which means you'll be taught by expert staff who are conducting influential studies across a breadth of topics - examples of their current research includes sustainable cities, urban green spaces, wildlife and ecosystem conservation, and coastal change in Ghana. You'll also benefit from guest lectures by world-class researchers. As part of the course, you’ll conduct your own research and have the opportunity to contribute to the cutting-edge research projects underway at the University. Their wide-ranging work includes:

You’ll benefit from this research as your lecturers bring the latest thinking to your studies, and in some cases, you will have opportunities to get involved in research projects yourself. 

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Our vision 

Our vision is to address local, national and global goals for sustainable development, environmental understanding and clean growth, through an applied and inter-disciplinary approach. We’re making progress on our ambitions through our Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC), where our teaching teams carry out important research to inspire and inform change. There are three themes within the Centre:

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Demand for new thinking

As the harsh reality of the impacts of climate change and the loss of biodiversity begin to resonate, the need for innovation, bold ideas, and fresh thinking is growing in demand from countries all over the world. Greater scrutiny is also being placed on thousands of companies worldwide to reduce their environmental impacts and adopt new sustainable strategies.

To meet this rising demand and ensure you graduate with skills that can be applied in the UK and globally, the content of the course is designed to support a range of key initiatives from all over the world. These include international agreements such as the ‘United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’, the ‘United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’, and the ‘Convention on Biological Diversity’. On a national level, the content of the course addresses the goals set by the ‘25-year Environment Plan’, ‘Industrial Strategy’, the ‘Bioenergy Strategy’, the ‘Life Sciences Industrial Strategy’ report and the ‘Landscapes Review’.

an iceberg

Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC)

Specialising in securing clean environments, nature recovery, and resilience to natural hazards, we work collaboratively to safeguard our planet for future generations.

Learn more about our research Learn more about our research

Facilities and Fieldwork

Today’s problems can only be solved through the application of cutting-edge technology and software. You’ll have access to industry-standard specialist equipment and software including drone technology, field spectrometers, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). You’ll also work in modern laboratories.

You’ll also have access to Cuckoos Tor, a site on the edge of the Peak District National Park and owned by the University of Derby that is dedicated to long-term research and ecological experiments. Current projects include restoration ecology, natural flood risk management, community engagement with biodiversity, and sustainable land management - and you’ll be able to get involved.

Our fieldwork programme will include local and residential trips where you will be able to explore a range of environments, natural systems, and witness sustainability in action.

Omar Soomro

Make it Real
at Derby

We want you to realise your vision for your future. The University of Derby is a place where you can take your passion and talent and use them to create a better world.

Find out how we can make it real for youFind out how we can make it real for you

What you will study

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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Campus Tours

Campus Tours are a great way for you to explore our campuses, facilities and halls of residence and to get a feel for what it is really like to be a student at the University of Derby.

Book your Campus TourBook your Campus Tour

How you will learn

We use a diverse range of assessment methods, including essays, reports, field and laboratory notebooks, portfolios, posters, infographics oral presentations, vivas, and written exams (seen and unseen). You may be assessed individually or as part of a group. We’ve mapped our assessments against key graduate skillsets that employers require.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

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Dr Debadayita Raha
Programme leader

Dr Debadayita (Deb) Raha is a lecturer in Human and Developmental Geography at the University of Derby. Her research interests lie in the multidisciplinary field of social science and environmental impact on people's lives. She has previously worked at the University of Nottingham looking at whole systems analysis of small scale renewable energy for rural communities in UK and India.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

2021 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2021 entry.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120
A-levelsBBB (At least a grade C in Science or Geography at A-level (or equivalent qualification))
GCSEAt least five GCSEs (or equivalent) including Maths and English at grade 4/C or above
Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6. Must include passes in compulsory Level 3 subjects

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

2022 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2022 entry.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112-120
A-levelsBBB-BBC (At least a grade C in Science or Geography (or equivalent qualification))
GCSEAt least five GCSEs (or equivalent) including Maths and English at grade 4/C or above
Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6. Must include passes in compulsory Level 3 subjects

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

Fees and funding

2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)


£9,250 per year

£1,155 per 20 credit module


£14,045 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

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There's still time to apply

If you're interested in finding out more about how to apply for university, we're here to help. We have advice and tips to help guide you as you complete your university application.

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How to apply

Apply for September 2021

Need help applying? Find out how we can help you with your UCAS application

UK students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University


As part of the consultative process when creating the course, we engaged with leaders from across the industry to ensure that the content we deliver is aligned to the skills and experience that employers need from graduates now and in the future. These included representatives from industry, the United Nations Environment and Development UK Committee, local authorities, and environmental consultancies.

Your experience will be valued by organisations where sustainable growth is a priority. This could include helping them to achieve targets such as moving to 100% renewable energy, increasing their energy production or switching to electric vehicles. You could also lead on developing strategies for conserving wildlife, better waste management, reducing greenhouse gases, managing environmental and sustainability plans, designing sustainable environments, and much more. Companies are investing in experts who can strategically advise the business and educate their workforce. As the importance of sustainability continues to grow, the diversity of career options is increasing too. Sectors you could go into include:

The EU Economy Report in 2019 showed that between 2000 and 2016 there was a 38% increase in environmental employment and a 68% increase in gross value added. EU employment in renewable energy also increased from 600,000 in 2000 to 1.7million in 2016.

Your skills will be in high demand in the green sector of the economy, and will be closely aligned to the goals outlined in international agreements, such as The United Nations Sustainability Development Goals, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

There has also been an unveiling of a ten-point plan with which the Government are proposing to aid the green industrial revolution. The plan will cover clean energy, transport, nature and innovative technologies, and will gain £12bn of Government investment to create and support up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs in the UK.

Through our Professional Development Package, you'll gain valuable skills, including:

Careers and Employment Service

To boost your employment skills, you can access the University's Careers and Employment Service. The team can connect you with employers to help find opportunities for work placements, part-time jobs, and volunteering. Our careers consultants are also on hand to guide you through the career options for your degree, CV writing, or starting your own business - and we commit to helping you for three years after you graduate to find a job.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

Discover Uni

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