< Environmental Mathematics : BSc Hons (Full Time)

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Environmental Mathematics

BSc Hons (Full Time)

UCAS Code:GF19
Minimum Length:3 Year(s)
Credit Points:360
Part II Weight:8
Part II Year 2 Weight:3
Part II Year 3 Weight:5
Part II Year 4 Weight:0
Director of Studies:Not known

Educational Aims: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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We run this innovative joint degree to equip students to meet the challenge of understanding, predicting and protecting the environment. It is designed to give students a combination of knowledge and skills in the more quantitative areas of environmental science and relevant branches of mathematics and statistics. The degree builds upon the strong research links developed between the environmental statistics group and the hydrologists in environmental science.

Many of the problems encountered in Environmental Science require advanced mathematical and statistical methods for an analysis which accounts for the evolution of environmental systems and the uncertainties that are inherent in environmental systems. Mathematical techniques are needed in the description and analysis of complex environmental systems. Sophisticated statistical methods are needed in the design of experiments and in the interpretation of measurements which are used to monitor the environment. Further, the applications in environmental science of the statistical techniques adds a strong motivational aspect to the statistics courses.

Environmental Science

The Environmental Science degree at Lancaster University aims to train students in those areas of natural science (including chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, earth science, physical geography) that are used to understand natural and anthropogenic processes on the surface of the earth, rivers, lakes, oceans, and the atmosphere. In view of the level, and amount, of science in our courses we are unable to cover the entire spectrum of material contained in the Environment Sciences QAA Benchmarking Document. Students who wish to study a combination of natural and social sciences are encouraged to take for a joint Geography - Environmental Science degree in Environmental Management.

During their training, Environmental Science students will:

  • Gain an appropriate understanding of those aspects of natural science and mathematics that will allow them to understand and, where appropriate, to model environmental processes;
  • Acquire scientific, intellectual and personal skills that will allow them to undertake effective research on environmental problems;
  • Undergo training in what we perceive to be the core elements of environmental science during the first half of their degree (Part 1 and Part IIA)[1] and concentrate on more specialist areas of environmental science in greater depth during the final half (Part IIB);
  • Benefit from studying in a research-led department;
  • Acquire and improve skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning;
  • Learn to work effectively both individually and as members of a group;
  • Appreciate the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving.


The Department's educational aims are:

  • To create a teaching and learning environment which supports all students in reaching their full potential in their study of mathematics at BSc/BA level;
  • To offer a high-quality teaching and learning programme, informed by staff research, designed to train students in preparation for a wide range of postgraduate education and employment.

The aims of the BSc/BA Mathematics programme are:

  • To provide students with analytical techniques and problem-solving skills that can be applied in many types of employment, especially those involving logical skills, decision-making in complex circumstances, or advanced skills of numeracy;
  • To offer modules of study which, individually and collectively, enable students to appreciate both the theoretical and problem-solving aspects of mathematics;
  • To provide students with enough core material, of sufficient depth and variety, in the first two levels of study that they are adequately prepared and informed for subsequent study in either or both of pure mathematics and statistics;
  • To provide a programme of study that allows students to specialize in either pure mathematics or statistics, or to take a coherent blend of each at the third level of study of a BSc/BA;
  • To maintain a programme of study that introduces the background of current research in pure mathematics and statistics;
  • To produce alumni recognised for the distinctive value of their education on this programme.

[1] Courses taught in the first year of a Lancaster degree programme are referred to as Part 1 courses and those taught during the first two terms of Year 2 are Part IIA courses. More specialist courses which are taught in the final year of summer term of second year and the first two terms of the third and final year are called IIB courses.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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The programme specifications and outcomes for the BSc Mathematics and BSc Environmental Science degree apply equally to this joint degree. The two benchmarking statements and programme specifications define the distinctive outcomes from this degree. It gives students a unique combination of knowledge and skills in the more quantitative areas of Environmental Science and the relevant branches of Mathematics and Statistics.

The students on this degree should develop all the general knowledge, understanding and skills of the Mathematics and Environmental Science degree schemes, and many of the subject-specific ones too, though in both subjects over a narrower range of material given the fewer modules they take in each department.

Environmental Science

  • The outcome from the Environmental Science degree scheme will be graduates who:
  • Have a wide knowledge of environmental science;
  • Can use their scientific training to solve problems in natural environmental science;
  • Have shown that they can master a broad and progressively more demanding course;
  • Have developed important skills, which they can use once they graduate
  • Can work effectively both individually and as a member of a group
  • Can undertake independent research at a level which, in some cases, is potentially publishable.

Knowledge and Understanding

  • A broad knowledge of environmental science especially with respect to the physical and chemical behaviour of natural and man-made environments;
  • An ability to plan, execute and report on field and laboratory research into environmental problems, and an ability to use the technical skills needed for this;
  • An ability to collect and analyse data.


Intellectual Skills include the following abilities:

  • Assessing the merits of contrasting theories, explanations and strategies in environmental science;
  • Analysing, problem solving and decision making;
  • Abstracting, synthesising and critically evaluating evidence;
  • Developing a reasoned argument;
  • Intellectual integrity.

Key skills from this degree scheme include the following:

  • An ability to learn new, diverse and complex material;
  • An ability to write different types of reports, essays and projects with deadlines ranging from tens of minutes to weeks;
  • Verbal and other presentation skills, including the use of relevant ICT;
  • Numeracy, information technology and information handling;
  • Working independently and in groups, and recognising the viewpoints of others;
  • Taking responsibility for one's learning at university and later in life.


Subject-specific Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

On completing the programme students should have acquired:

  • An understanding of and competence in the key ideas and techniques, and knowledge of the statement and proof of key results, both within the core areas of real and complex analysis, linear and abstract algebra, and probability and statistics, and in the more advanced topics chosen in the third level of study;
  • An appreciation of the hierarchical structure of mathematical knowledge;
  • An understanding of mathematical notation, and an ability to use it correctly and coherently;
  • An appreciation of the importance of proof, generalization and abstraction in the logical development of formal theories;
  • An ability both to follow and correctly to construct mathematical proofs of appropriate degrees of complexity;
  • An understanding of the mathematical and contextual basis of statistics as a science, and an appreciation of the statistical paradigm, linking design and conduct of experiments and observations with data analysis, modelling and inference;
  • Experience of implementing the statistical paradigm in a range of general applications;
  • An ability to read and comprehend mathematical literature at an appropriate level;
  • An ability to use computers and specialist software to investigate and solve practical mathematical problems.

General Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

On completing the programme students should have acquired:

  • An ability to learn from various styles of presentation of material;
  • An ability to apply previously acquired knowledge to new situations, both to gain understanding and to solve problems;
  • An ability to use information skills to gain access to library and IT resources effectively in researching topics;
  • An ability to produce documents which accurately and effectively communicate scientific material to the reader;
  • An ability to make presentations based on prepared material;
  • An ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a small group;
  • An ability to work to deadlines, and experience in time management when working to a range of deadlines.
Lancaster University
LancasterLA1 4YW United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1524 65201