Why you should choose us
How can we effectively address sustainability issues? What are the best options for a low carbon world? How is climate change affecting our natural world and how can we manage the effects? How can I contribute to a better future as a successful graduate? By taking your Foundation Year with us, you’ll gain the knowledge, understanding and skills that will prepare you well for our degree courses that address these sorts of questions and more. You’ll have the opportunity to tailor your Foundation Year to your interests then transfer to ANY degree* in the School of Environmental Sciences, and enjoy learning from lecturers passionate about their subjects and supportive of students.
We would welcome you as a mature student looking for a new career, or a student wishing to strengthen your qualifications, or change because you wish to change your direction of study. Whatever your background, the foundation year provides the perfect route.
*Environmental Science, Geography, Marine Science, Geology with Geography, Geophysics, BA Geography and the four-year variants (Year out and MSci), with pre-requisite foundation year modules and grades.
In your Foundation Year, you may choose to study the physical, chemical, and biological surroundings, or opt for more human geography modules. You’ll retain this flexibility to shape your interests through your degree studies too. In this foundation year, you’ll discover how natural systems of the environment are interlinked, and the effects of human influence on them as you learn and debate issues such as:
What happens in the wide range of natural systems that occur on Earth?
What are the greatest challenges for achieving a sustainable environment?
What is the latest research into understanding the changes in our environment and how to manage these?
In addition to exploring these questions, you’ll gain essential academic skills needed throughout your degree.
Once you have successfully completed your foundation year, you are guaranteed to transfer to the BSc Environmental Science. But we believe our students should have flexibility to shape their studies to their evolving skills and interests, thus our foundation year students have the option to transfer onto any degree in the school (Geography BA or BSc, Marine Science, Geology with Geography, Geophysics), depending on the optional modules selected and grades achieved.
The choice of degree courses includes the four-year variants with the third year on Placement with an organization, or a Year Abroad at another university. We advise a student to inform their funding body of the additional year of study prior to the Year Abroad or on a Placement. Progression is subject to year-to-year grade thresholds.
This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). Students enrolled on IES accredited programmes can apply for free Student Membership of the Institution. Look for the CHES accreditation logo which provides a mark of quality and indicates that an educational institute is planning the career paths of its students.
After graduating you may choose to progress to a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) or Chartered Scientist (CSci) status. This will demonstrate to employers your commitment to continuing to develop the knowledge and skills gained in your degree.
Study and Modules
During your Foundation Year, you’ll choose modules alongside the compulsory ones. In addition, each semester, you’ll also take a module to develop your data science skills at a level that fits your ability and confidence. The balance of your foundation year study is from optional modules with a choice of biology, chemistry, physics, or you may opt for human geography modules on global challenges.
Over the year, you’ll explore various aspects of our natural environment where you’ll discover where your passions lie. This will help you decide which BSc, BA or MSci degree course to transfer to at the end of your Foundation Year.
Your personal academic adviser and the Foundation Year course director will be on hand to support and advise you, ensuring that you make the most of the options and opportunities in this important first year.
For the years of study beyond the Foundation Year, please see the full range of degrees in the School of Environmental Science.
Optional A Modules(Credits: 40)
Optional B Modules(Credits: 60)
Teaching and Learning
Depending on your chosen optional modules, you are likely to have about 15 hours per week, experiencing a range of learning environments including lectures, seminars, laboratory practicals, field work and IT practicals. Together, these develop your subject knowledge and key skills whilst also developing your ability to think and communicate as an undergraduate.
Most lectures are recorded and accessible throughout the rest of your degree.
During your Foundation Year, you’ll read around content delivered in taught sessions to broaden your understanding and develop as an independent learner. This will help you gain important study skills as you take part in group sessions, independent study and enjoy extra-curricular activities – skills that are essential for the rest of your course and beyond into graduate jobs.
Optional support sessions run on several modules alongside provided resources available on Blackboard (an online learning support platform).
During your Foundation Year, you’ll be assessed based on your understanding of modules taken. The type of assessment depends on the modules you take, but may be in the form of written reports, problem sheets, tests, presentations, and exams. Some modules have two or more assessments which may be a combination of the above.
For each module, you’ll have the chance to prepare for assessment with “formative” assignments that are similar to the summative (marked) assignments. Feedback on the formative assignments will help you improve the graded summative assessments.
- A Levels
- T Levels
- Obtain an overall Pass including a C in the core of the T Level and a Pass in the Occupational Specialism. Any subject is acceptable.
- Contextual Offer
A Level - CDD
BTEC L3 Extended Diploma - MMP
UEA are committed to ensuring that Higher Education is accessible to all, regardless of their background or experiences. One of the ways we do this is through our contextual admissions schemes.
- Scottish Highers
- Scottish Advanced Highers
- Irish Leaving Certificate
- 6 subjects at H4
- Access to HE Diploma
- Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 45 credits at Level 3
- International Baccalaureate
- 28 points
- You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4 or above at GCSE.
- English Foreign Language
Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):
- IELTS: 6.5 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components)
We also accept a number of other English language tests. Review our English Language Equivalencies for a list of example qualifications that we may accept to meet this requirement.
Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.
- Most applicants will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some applicants an interview will be requested. Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a time.
- Deferred Entry
- We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year. We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry on your UCAS application.
- This course is open to UK applicants. The annual intake is in September each year.
Additional Information or Requirements
We welcome and value a wide range of alternative qualifications. If you have a qualification which is not listed here, please contact us via Admissions Enquiries.
A-Level General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.
We welcome applications from students with non-traditional academic backgrounds. If you have been out of study for the last three years and you do not have the entry grades for our three year degree, we will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference to gain a holistic view of your suitability for the course. You will still need to meet our GCSE English Language and Mathematics requirements.
Once enrolled onto your course at UEA, your progression and continuation (which may include your eligibility for study abroad, overseas experience, placement or year in industry opportunities) is contingent on meeting the assessment requirements which are relevant to the course on which you are enrolled.
We accept many international qualifications for entry to this course. View our International Students pages for specific information about your country.
Fees and Funding
View our information for Tuition Fees.
Scholarships and Bursaries
We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. View our range of Scholarships for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.
Course Related Costs
In your Foundation Year, much of the guided reading is available from the UEA library as textbooks or digital resources.
Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.
How to Apply
Apply for this course through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS), using UCAS Hub.
UCAS Hub is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom.
Your application does not have to be completed all at once. Register or sign in to UCAS to get started.
Once you submit your completed application, UCAS will process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.
The Institution code for the University of East Anglia is E14.
View our guide to applying through UCAS for useful tips, key dates and further information:
After the Course
Once you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you’ll transfer onto your choice of *degree within the School of Environmental Science. Throughout your studies, you are encouraged to take advantage of the career development support embedded in your course. We work closely with UEA’s Careers Service to help you meet employers (including alumni), explore career options, speak to industry mentors, and apply for internships, volunteering, and graduate jobs.
Our degrees lead to a wide range of careers, many of which involve making a difference to the environment, as a graduate employee or perhaps perusing a career as a researcher.
(*pre-requisite foundation year modules and grades)
A degree at UEA will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. We've been ranked 1st for Job Prospects by StudentCrowd in 2022.
Examples of careers that you could enter include:
Renewable energy adviser
Graduate sustainability consultant
Graduate carbon management consultant