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About the course

The way we treat our world is changing. On this challenging and interdisciplinary course you’ll learn to drive that change, developing the technology and research required to bring about a more sustainable future. You’ll study a curriculum that aligns with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), putting you in an excellent position to be a part of the public and private sector’s efforts to make these goals a reality.

The field of sustainability science is defined by the problems it addresses rather than the disciplines it employs. As a sustainability scientist you’ll seek to understand the interactions between natural and social systems, and how those interactions affect the global challenge of sustainability. Areas of study include poverty, hunger, biodiversity, conservation, pollution, global environmental policy and clean energy.

The course introduces students to sustainability in the context of real-world problems. Learning is technically focused - you’ll gain practical experience alongside a rigorous study of relevant academic theory. The first year provides the core knowledge and skill from which the rest of the degree will progress, building your understanding of environmental and social science, engineering, and management. In the second year you will learn to apply these principles more widely, using them to approach some of the world’s most urgent sustainability issues.

From the second year onwards, optional units give you the chance to tailor the course to your own specific career ambitions. You’ll work with the teaching team to find and develop your own niche before launching an independent research project in the third year. 

If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years.
Foundation year available
This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies

Learn essential sustainability concepts within the context of real-world problems. Explore the interactions between environmental, economic and social systems.

What does this course lead to?

As a graduate of sustainability science, you'll possess practical skills and academic knowledge combined with a problem solving approach, and teamwork and communication skills - all highly desirable by employers. Completion of this course will enable you to either enter the workplace or continue your studies at postgraduate (master's) level with a standalone taught or research programme.

Who is this course for?

As a candidate for this course, you should have a background in science or other STEM related subjects. As well as meeting the entry requirements, it will be beneficial if you have an interest in global sustainability issues and a desire to develop your own original research.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year are:
UK and EU full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £12,875 per year 

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2019/20 other costs are not yet available. For guidance the 2018/19 costs were:

Optional costs

You will undertake fieldwork during this course - walking boots, good waterproof clothing and a rucksack are highly recommended. Dress deemed inappropriate to safe operation in the field will lead to exclusion from the work. Specific safety equipment will be provided as required.

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Graduation costs

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2018, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

96 - 112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • From two or more A-levels (including one STEM subject), BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM or BTEC Diploma at D*D* in a STEM based subject or equivalent, which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
  • A BTEC Subsidiary Diploma will be considered in conjunction with other qualifications.
  • Alternative entry is available through the Science and Engineering Foundation Year.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by 15 January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until the end of June. The UCAS code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Full-time 3 years Apply

Science and Engineering Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Full-time 4 years Apply
How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core units
  • Planet Earth
  • Environment and Society
  • The Living World
  • Sustainable Development
  • Quantitative methods
  • Sustainability Science: Concepts and Communication

Year two

Core units
  • Systems Thinking
  • Ecological Economics
  • Environmental Pollution
  • Technology and Nature
  • Research Methods for Sustainability Scientists


  • Transport Logistics
  • Modelling Complex and Dynamic Systems

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.

Year three

Core units
  • Project
  • Industrial Ecology
  • Policy, Law, and Governance


  • The Anthropocene
  • Extended Project
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Strategic Management and Marketing
  • Procurement and Strategic Planning
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Marine Pollution Management
  • Supply Chain Management

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support


Solent has a number of analytical and laboratory equipment for the physical analysis of environmental samples. This includes equipment for the colorimetric and x-ray florescence analysis of water/sediment samples, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones), terrestrial laser scanners, and a range of mobile technologies for water quality assessment.

You'll also have full access to our general facilities. These include a 24-hour library, computer resource centres, bookable study spaces, and comprehensive sport/exercise facilities. You'll also be able to benefit from our academic support and career development services.

Learning is technically focused. You will gain hands-on experience of field research and will develop into a solutions-oriented sustainability scientist. 

Your future

Graduates can take advantage of the multidisciplinary nature of this course to succeed in a range of exciting roles. You'll be well-positioned for a variety of technical roles, for example in consultancy, government, charitable organisations, renewable energy, and transport. Your wider skills will also suit a wide range of careers , such as teaching, research analyst, risk analyst, and a range of wider graduate training schemes. You'll also be well-prepared to continue your studies as a postgraduate.


Industry links

The course provides plenty of opportunities to build links and network with industry. Guest lectures from industry and academic leaders will help give you an understanding of real-world applications and experiences.

The course is taught by staff with a wide range of experience in engineering, science, research, and industry. They have strong links with various organisations and internationally-recognised industry bodies, and can help you find potential experience and project opportunities.


You will be encouraged to complete work experience during summer holidays and other breaks from scheduled teaching. You must arrange your own work experience placements, but the course team will support you with contacts and advice wherever possible.

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