Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science with Ecology

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 310*
  • Course Code SG450
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 4

Course Summary

Learn about the environment and the natural world around us in an applied way and make a difference to the future of the planet.


This four-year degree will equip students to manage our manmade and natural resources. Through a mix of outdoor field work, high tech laboratory practicals, computer mapping, site visits and classroom learning and activities, you gain a range of applied skills to become Environmental Scientists working in natural resource management, in many varied industries managing their environmental issues, as Ecologists, Environmental Protection Officers and in many diverse roles working with urban and rural communities.

Our excellence in teaching is complemented by staff who have experience of the working environment, national and European research and community engagement. Through fieldwork, laboratory analysis, seminars, lectures and online resources we will deliver an insightful and up-to-date course. Assessments are planned so as to develop skills that employers value highly, including scientific report writing, presentations, group working and practical skills.


 Students immediately spend three days on field trips to explore the natural environment, and to build friendships in the class. Students develop core competencies in Maths, Biology, Chemistry, IT and communications.


Techniques in Ecology and Environmental Science; Aquatic Ecology and Water QualitySource to Tap; Climate Science and Environmental Regulation; Terrestrial Ecology; GIS; Soils; Environmental Microbiological monitoring; Wastewater Enquiry Based Learning.


Data Management; Occupational Safety and Health (essential for work-placement the following semester); Ecological monitoring; Environmental Toxicity; Water and Wastewater Treatment Theory; Work placement and a chance to study online modules from Waste Management, Environmental Impact Assessment and Planning to Energy and Sustainability.


A mix of compulsory and elective modules from Advanced GIS, Environmental Legislation and Policy, Environmental systems and Auditing, and Biomolecular Technologies; Natural Resource Management; Cleaner Production; Conservation Issues; The final year project may be practical or desktop research.


Our students can travel and learn internationally for short or long term periods. We have an excellent international network of colleges and universities partners (e.g. Mid Sweden University, Sweden), who ensure our students have the best educational experience.

Travel and learning can be part or whole funded via EU Erasmus programme. You can study abroad for a semester or year-long exchange, depending on what you want to do.


This is an accredited course with the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), the largest professional body for chartered environmental scientists. All students on this course are eligible to become student members of this professional body.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at ATU Sligo are available for download below:

Career Opportunities

Students find careers with many industries, environmental and ecological consultancies, local authorities, state agencies, Inland Fisheries, NPWS, the energy sector, Irish Water and wastewater management, fishing or farming sectors. 

Graduates can apply for graduate programmes or directly pursue a range of careers, from field-based,lab-based, and office-based roles. We have a very wide network of employer contacts, due to our many graduates in the workplace, and there is a high rate of employment for our graduates.

Further Study

Graduates of the Level 8 can progress to a range of Level 9 Postgraduate diplomas and/ or taught Masters in Environmental Health and Safety, Water Services Management or an applied Research masters or PhD in the Centre for Environmental Research Innovation and Sustainability (CERIS) in the Science Faculty.

Did you know?

We offer a level 7 Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with Ecology and a level 6 Higher Certificate in Environmental Science with Ecology 

This is a hands-on programme where 50% of your course work includes fieldwork and labs. 

Students undertake a 12-15 week placement at the end of year 3. This can take place in Environmental Protection Authorities, National Parks and Wildlife services, Environmental Consultancy firms, the Energy sector or the CIRIS the Environmental research center. 

Students have the option to study abroad for one semester with our partner University in Sweden. There is also an option to take part in an International two-week summer school at the end of year 1 or 2 in the Netherlands or Sweden.

This is an accredited course with the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), the largest professional body for chartered environmental scientists. All students on this course are eligible to become student members of this professional body.

The employment rate in Environmental Science is extremely high with most of our students securing jobs before they complete their final exams. 

Course Format

Semester 1

The Environment Around Us05
Cell Biology05
Introductory Chemistry 105
Mathematics for Science 105
Communications in Science05
Information Technology 1 Computer Apps for Ecology & Environment 05

Semester 2

Introduction to Environmental Science05
Diversity of Life05
Introductory Chemistry 205
Mathematics for Science 205
Environmental Physical Science05
Earth Science05

Semester 3

Aquatic Ecology: Theory and Lab05
Water Quality- Source to Tap 10
Environmental Regulation05
Environmental Enquiry Based Learning 1 05
Climate Science05

Semester 4

Terrestrial Ecology05
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems05
Environmental Microbiological Monitoring05
Soils and the Environment05
Wastewater Enquiry Based Learning10
Sustainable Futures [E]05

Semester 5

Occupational Safety and Health 05
Ecological Monitoring05
Environmental Toxicology05
Water and Wastewater Treatment Theory05
Environmental Ethics05
Data Management05

Semester 6

Work Placement Preparation05
Work Placement10
Environmental Instrumental Analysis05
Energy and Sustainability [E]05
Waste Management [E]05
EIA and Planning [E]05

Semester 7

Advanced Geographic Information Systems05
Environmental Legislation and Policy05
Project 110
Advanced Environmental Instrumental Analysis [E]10
Natural Resource Management [E]10

Semester 8

Project 210
Biomolecular Technologies05
Environmental Management Systems and Auditing05
Advanced Eco-monitoring for Conservation [E]10
Cleaner Production [E]10

[E] = Elective Module. Modules subject to availability.