Environmental Science SCQF6 (online) Higher

What is special about this course?

Higher Environmental Science encourages the development of skills and resourcefulness, which lead to becoming a confident individual. Successful learners in environmental science think creatively, analyse and solve problems. Environmental science aims to produce responsible citizens, through studying relevant areas such as the living environment, the Earth’s resources and sustainability. Learners will be able to develop their communication and collaborative working skills.

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary subject, which draws from the sciences and social sciences. The course is practical and experiential and develops scientific awareness of environmental issues.

Environmental scientists are involved in tackling issues such as global climate change, pollution, use of land and water resources and changes in wildlife habitats. It involves an understanding of scientific principles, economic influences and political action.

Entry requirements

Learners would normally be expected to have attained the skills, knowledge and understanding required by the following or equivalent qualifications and/or experience:

♦ National 5 Environmental Science Course or relevant component units

♦ National 5 Biology Course or relevant component units

♦ National 5 Geography Course or relevant component units

There are a variety of prior learning experiences which are relevant to candidates wishing to undertake this course which may be taken into consideration.

All applicants will need to satisfactorily complete an interview.

Living environment

The topics covered are:

  • investigating ecosystems and biodiversity
  • interdependence
  • human influences on biodiversity

Earth’s resources

The topics covered are:

  • the geosphere
  • the hydrosphere
  • the biosphere
  • the atmosphere


The topics covered are:

  • global challenges
  • food
  • water
  • energy
  • waste management
  • anthropogenic climate change

How will I study my course?

  • Online

Each week will comprise of scheduled, connected learning time and flexible learning time. You need to commit to both, but you can choose when to complete flexible learning to fit around work, caring and personal commitments.  Some flexible learning must be done on a weekly basis.  

Connected learning is when you learn together with lecturers, students and others. Connected learning happens at a scheduled time in a practical workshop, an online-classroom, a studio, a specialist classroom, the workplace or in the outdoors.

Flexible learning covers lecturer directed learning and self-directed learning

Lecturer-directed learning is weekly learning activity, for example:

  • posting your idea in a discussion forum,
  • completing a quiz, 
  • practising a task, activity or idea
  • watching a video or reading,
  • discussing and working on a solution with another student,
  • researching and gathering information,
  • completing an assignment or project-based task. 

Self-directed learning is your decision about further study and focus.  We encourage you to take ownership of your learning and areas of interest. You can ask us to help you to determine areas for further development.

Your connected learning will take place in an online-classroom.  This will include a combination of video conferencing, interactive chat and sharing of presentation slides and other visuals. Online-classrooms provide you with real time interaction, contact and discussion with your lecturer and fellow students. We have ten college centres and there may be an option to study some of the time from your local centre. This will depend on social distancing limitations.

How long will my course last?

The course runs for 4 hours a week over a 34 week period.  The course will be video conferenced from Portree in semester 1 and Fort William in semester 2. The course will also require 4 practical days which will usually take place at agreed times during the year.

Where can I study my course?

    Start date



    Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.

    What can I do on completion of my course?

    Higher Environmental Science provides suitable preparation for further study in subjects such as sciences or accountancy at HNC or degree level. The varied skills, knowledge and discipline offer students preparation for careers in research, environmental project work, waste management and environmental protection, biodiversity or other employment.

    Is there more information available online?

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    Apply for Environmental Science SCQF6 (online) Higher

    I want to start in 2024/25

    We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI North, West and Hebrides. UHI North, West and Hebrides operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.