Start date
February
July

Duration
3 year(s) full-time

Mode
On-campus

Program Code
LBVT

Prerequisites
None

Assumed Knowledge
None

Fees
AUD$ 35,300 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL) for students enrolled in 2023

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.0]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements

CRICOS Code
070414J

Degree overview

  • Graduate prepared to pursue a rewarding career in environmental sustainability.
  • No.1 in Australia for work-ready graduates in Environmental Science1.
  • Broad program to develop multidisciplinary graduates who can help address critical global challenges such as climate change and the biodiversity crisis.
  • Learn about ecology, conservation, geography, earth and soil science, water and coasts, pollution monitoring, ecotourism and social sciences.
  • Gain practical experience through field trips and real-world projects.
  • Master the knowledge and technologies behind Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and digital/web-based mapping.
  • Develop skills in science communication and community engagement.
  • Learn first-hand from our leading researchers and industry experts.
  • Learn using virtual and augmented reality experiences created by Project LIVE (Learning through Immersive Virtual Environments).
  • Research rated well above world-class in environmental sciences and management2.

ComparED (QILT) Student Experience Survey 2019-20–Agriculture and Environmental Studies –Skills Development Indicator (Undergraduate). Public universities.
2 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

Snapshot

Snapshot

If you have genuine concern for the environment and a commitment to sustainability, a degree in Environmental Science is the first step toward launching your career.

In this degree you will address today’s scientific issues and explore how humans interact with the environment, how we can manage it sustainably, and how we can better influence positive attitudes to bring about a better future for all.

With a focus on hands-on field work in the natural environment, you will develop a solid foundation across environmental science including biology, ecology, earth and soil science, conservation, environmental chemistry, geographical information systems (GIS) and human dimensions research. Field work ranges from exploring the campus and sites around Adelaide, to Kangaroo Island, the Coorong, the Flinders Ranges or even Fiji.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

Your learning will cover biology, ecology, geography, earth and soil science, water and coasts, pollution monitoring, conservation, ecotourism and social sciences. To develop strong skills in an area that interests you, you can select from a range of environmental electives in second and third year to tailor your degree, whilst still maintaining a broad, comprehensive training in environmental sciences. All students will obtain a minor in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and, depending on elective choices, another minor in Community Engagement and majors in Ecology and Conservation or Environmental Quality and Earth Sciences.

Across our courses we provide you with cutting-edge techniques and technology to help you learn how to monitor and manage environments, along with tools to process and evaluate this data to critically assess its meaning. For example, through Project LIVE (Learning through Integrated Virtual Environments) you might examine aerial imagery of erosion patterns along the South Australian coastline and ancient landforms in central Australia, or infra-red surveys of vegetation health in Barossa Valley vineyards or perhaps satellite monitoring of ice sheet stability in Antarctica. This imagery will give you hands on experience in data creation and manipulation and help you become familiar with the latest digital imaging, mapping and virtual reality techniques. On other courses you’ll learn how to plan for and monitor mine site contamination or pollution in waterways, or survey plant and animal biodiversity on land or in the sea, as well as many other environmental monitoring scenarios.  You’ll learn how to statistically analyse, map and communicate your findings, and to engage and work with communities to bring about necessary change.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
FIRST YEAR
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Biodiversity for the Environment BIOL 1014 4.5
Earth and Climate Systems EART 1010 4.5
Environment, Society and Climate ENVT 1013 4.5
Introduction to Surveying and Spatial Sciences GEOE 1018 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Environmental Analytical Methods ENVT 1016 4.5
Soils in the Australian Landscape EART 1011 4.5
Spatial Data Acquisition and Analysis GEOE 2026 4.5
Sustainable Ecosystems BIOL 1015 4.5
SECOND YEAR
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Ecology BIOL 2023 4.5
Engineering and Environmental Geology EART 3012 4.5
Environmental Interpretation and Community Engagement ENVT 3016 4.5
Environmental Remote Sensing GEOE 2022 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Environmental Chemistry ENVT 1019 4.5
Web Cartography GEOE 3019 4.5
Environmental Elective 1 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 1
Environmental Elective 2 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 1
THIRD YEAR
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Undergraduate Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1
Environmental Elective 3 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 1
Environmental Elective 4 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 1
Environmental Elective 5 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 1
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Environmental and Geospatial Field Project ENVT 3030 9
Ecosystem Monitoring ENVT 3031 4.5
Environmental Elective 6 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 1

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects, as well as to contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12–26 hours of study when at university and 14–28 hours of independent study per week.

Assessment

Assessment

Your studies at UniSA will incorporate both practical, professionally-focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • reports and project documentation
  • research projects and group projects
  • essays and assignments
  • examinations
  • field studies

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Bachelor of Environmental Science

Why this Degree

Bringing about real change in the way society interacts with the environment requires a good understanding of the science behind the environmental challenges we face, but also the ability to encourage community participation and coordinate community activities to help meet those challenges.

Your studies will develop in-depth knowledge of biological, ecological, earth and  soil sciences. You will master the fundamental skills of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and web-based mapping, and develop your problem-solving skills on the many field trips offered throughout the degree. Just as importantly, you will study human dimensions research (how people interact with the environment) and develop skills in science communication and community engagement. We actively encourage our students to do work experience during their studies and in your third year you will complete a 9 unit capstone course working with industry or a government management agency to apply what you have learned across your degree. Throughout your studies you will have opportunities to develop professional connections and participate in field studies interstate and internationally.

This degree has a highly supportive learning environment, with dedicated, internationally experienced staff. Our world-class facilities at Mawson Lakes offer an exciting environment for collaborative learning, innovation, sustainability and excellence – using cutting edge science and technology in both our teaching and research. Our friendly staff are committed to the environment and to helping you become an environmental scientist who can make a difference.

With two more years of full time study (or 1.5 years with accelerated mode), you could use this degree to become a secondary school science teacher. Or you could consider an additional, research-focused (Honours) year to get a head start on your research career.

Real-world connections

UniSA collaborates with over 2,500 companies worldwide – we offer our students plenty of opportunities to get hands-on experience and make industry connections. We host regular university-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA - 2018) rated our research as well above world-class in environmental science and management. You will benefit from links to our Future Industries Institute. which brings together our world-class strengths in advanced manufacturing, nanomedicine, minerals and resource engineering and environmental science. It encourages researchers to blur the boundaries and build new relationships between industry and academia.

Hear from Kiara Sparks, Environmental Science student

Kiara Sparks talks about her experience studying UniSA's Bachelor of Environmental Science which allowed her to explore the world, both on field trips and using immersive on-campus facilities.

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

Employment prospects for environmental scientists are expected to increase by 7.7% percent by November 20251.

Careers to consider:

  • coastal or land management officer: engaging with natural resource managers to continuously improve management of their land and water through a whole of landscape approach; contributing to the operational management of parks and reserves; delivering on-ground works, community events, activities and minor projects
  • environmental adviser (construction or mining): offering environmental support onsite or from the office; ensuring compliance with environmental regulations; helping to achieve environmental targets (e.g. sending zero waste to landfill, minimising impacts on the local environment); liaising with site operations, management, community stakeholders and other environmental groups
  • ranger: managing natural values (making sure the natural environment and cultural sites are protected); managing visitor services (helping visitors to enjoy and understand parks and reserves); extensive planning, researching, strategic thinking and people management to effectively balance conservation and recreational values of parks and reserves
  • sustainability officer: setting sustainability policies, goals and objectives; reducing a company's carbon footprint in compliance with government environmental regulations; developing partnerships (e.g. with government agencies and the community) to deliver environmental sustainability projects; inhouse auditing against environmental quality standards and for external reporting.

1 Australian Government Occupation Projections 2020 

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.

Alternative Pathways

There are a wide variety of pathways into studying Geospatial and Environmental Science at UniSA, including the Diploma in Science and the Environment.
Find an alternative entry pathway.

Scholarships

Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

As a UniSA student, you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also gain access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, business, law and psychology. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and lots more.

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our international student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

  • career advice and mentoring
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • accommodation services 
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA.

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies, and can offer help with the English language too. When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with modern facilities including lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

You will be both indoors and outdoors as you study Environmental Science at UniSA. Indoors, you’ll have laboratory classes, workshops, tutorials and computing sessions in our dedicated facilities on Mawson Lakes campus. Outdoors, the campus itself is a living laboratory with waterways and wetlands, which you’ll learn how to monitor and map. Across your degree you’ll get out into the field in many of your courses - around Adelaide, across the state and further afield.

You will also be exposed to virtual environments through Project LIVE: a purpose built facility that will help you immerse yourself in different environments without leaving the campus. From this facility you’ll have access to 3D drone photogrammetry, gigapixel photography, 360-degree panoramic photos and videos, and virtual reality headsets to analyse imagery and data relevant to your studies in environmental and/or geospatial sciences.

Your study spaces

Your program director

I am a geologist and geochemist. I am particularly interested in how mountains form in the centre of tectonic plates, how fluids control the strength of rocks and trigger earthquakes, and how some of the hottest rocks in the world are distributed through southern Australia. I am proud to have been chosen as one of ABC Radio National and UNSW's "Top 5 Under 40" for 2017. As part of this honour, I will have a short residency at the ABC studios in Sydney where I can share my research and my passion for science via the media.

AsPr Craig Styan

Program Director

Enquire
Portrait image for AsPr Craig Styan
Portrait image for AsPr Craig Styan

AsPr Craig Styan

Program Director

Enquire

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What others are saying

You will be surprised by how much fun you will have studying at UniSA; you meet new people and learn exciting things. You can really tailor your degree to suit your needs and there is plenty of support to help you make the right decision about what area you specialise in.

Angus Droogan

Bachelor of Environmental Science

Angus Droogan

Angus Droogan

Bachelor of Environmental Science

I love the atmosphere at UniSA. The lecturers and staff provide so much support, ensuring that my learning is the best it can possibly be. I have also loved the social side associated with the club, and it has been a privilege to join the UniSA sports team. The practical work and field trips have given me invaluable skills that will help me in the future. These experiences have opened my eyes to the wider environment, given me awareness on a wide range of species and provided me with memories that will stick forever.

Kiara Sparks

Bachelor of Environmental Science
Environmentalist | Laing O’Rourke

Kiara Sparks.jpg

Kiara Sparks

Bachelor of Environmental Science
Environmentalist | Laing O’Rourke