BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science and Outdoor Education


Program Description


If you want a sound science degree that also takes you teaching and guiding outdoor activities, this unique degree has been designed for you.

The University of Stirling is a superb place to study Environmental Science, with our history of innovation in environmental research and study. This course blends the academic elements of our Environmental Science degree with practical training in navigation and outdoor safety. You’ll learn how to design, lead and deliver outdoor programmes with environmental and ecological learning outcomes.

You’ll explore the core issues in geography, landscape evolution, human impact on the environment and environmental history. Our field teaching will fascinate and inspire you as it exploits the diverse natural and human landscapes near Stirling, and includes visits to southern Spain or Iceland.

Our leading mountaineering instructors and outdoor specialists will teach you outdoor leadership, mountain skills and environmental education. In addition, you’ll gain the Mountain Leader Award, endorsed by the Mountain Training Association. This is a physically demanding course requiring a certain level of health, fitness and mobility.

This is a unique degree that offers a solid grounding in environmental science complemented with outdoor experience and leadership –balancing scientific training with broad career opportunities.

Daniel Souto, BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Outdoor Education

Top reasons to study with us

#1 Our specially designed degree blends modules across Outdoor Education, Geography and Environmental Science

#2 We’ve strong links with conservation and environmental management employers

#3 You’ll learn from some of the UK’s top mountaineering instructors and outdoor educators

Professional accreditation

The Mountain Leader Award is recognised by the Mountain Training Association and the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA).

Course details

We blend lecture-based teaching, substantial field-based learning about the environment and practical training in navigation, mountain hazards and outdoor safety. We’ll also train you to design and deliver outdoor courses with environmental and ecological learning outcomes.

We’ve strong links with conservation and environmental management employers, giving you the opportunity to get hands-on experience working with industrial partners during your degree.

In the outdoor education components, you’ll learn from some of the UK’s top mountaineering instructors and outdoor educators. The optional but included Summer Mountain Leader Award requires you to complete a minimum of 40 quality mountain days.

This degree requires a high level of health, fitness and mobility and a commitment to outdoor pursuits (in particular, mountain walking).

We have a proud history of innovation in Environmental Science. The University of Stirling was one of the first universities to establish a degree course in Environmental Science in 1980 and we are still committed to training graduates with the skills valued by employers today. We offer the only Environmental Science MSci course in Scotland, which is accredited by the Institution for Environmental Sciences (IES).


We've been awarded five star excellence for our teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2020.

You'll be taught through a mix of lectures, field and laboratory practical exercises and tutorials. You'll have the opportunity to gain work-based experience as part of your degree, which will count towards your degree progression.


You’ll spend a considerable amount of time out in our exceptional Scottish landscapes, both on field trips and gain experience for your Mountain Leader Award.

The course includes an optional five-day field trip in the UK in Year 2 and the option for field classes in Spain or Iceland in Year 3. Costs for these are subsidised, but a financial contribution is required.

The Outdoor Education modules are taught primarily via residential field classes, which take place in some of Scotland’s most stunning locations.


Coursework assessments include outdoor education lesson planning, landscape interpretation and preparing environmental consultancy reports. This’ll give you highly relevant training for employment as you study for your degree.

Study abroad

In addition to the exchange opportunities available to all Stirling students, Environmental Geography has a well-established exchange programme with universities including the University of Guelph in Canada and the University of Fairbanks, Alaska.

There are also options for an Erasmus exchange to universities in Sweden and Germany. During Year 3 you can spend one or two semesters abroad where you study courses equivalent to those taken at Stirling and have the opportunity to broaden your environmental and cultural experience.

Find out more about studying abroad.


Dr Alan Law, Programme Director for Outdoor Education Degrees

 +44 (0) 1786 467770

Fees - 2021/22

  • Overseas students (non-EU): £17,900
  • Scottish students: £ 1,820
  • Students from the rest of the UK: £9,250
  • EU Students: £17,900*

*For EU students starting studies in academic year 2021/22, we will award an automatic scholarship of up to £30k over the duration of your course. This is subject to eligibility criteria

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society.

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society. Read less