Ecology and environmental science? Which program should I go into, what is the difference?

Hi. Where abouts are you looking to study?

I second the answer given above for Ecology, but would definitely add more to their description of Environmental Science. I’m studying an EnvSci degree in the UK, which covers far more than just air and water pollution effects on human health. Personally done three ecology based modules w/in my degree program so far (Ecology of Natural and Managed Eosystems in year 1, Ecology in year 2, Arctic Ecology in year 3), and plenty of people will do ecology based Research Projects (dissertations) in their final year, so that’s something to consider. Other modules taken as part of my degree:

  • Soil Science

  • Computer modelling (using Python to create predictive models for pollution pathways, cell behaviour etc)

  • Climate change science

  • Applied Bioethics (essentially a philosophy module, but directed to students w/in the biosciences school)

  • Grassland management

  • Contemporary agricultural systems

  • Ecosystem processes (biomes, food webs and chains etc)

  • Global Environmental processes (nitrogen cycle, carbon cycle, hydrological cycle etc)

As you can probably tell that’s quite a wide range of subject areas, and there are plenty more one could enrol in. The other thing you may wish to consider is the lack of continuity between the modules I mentioned above. Obviously this range makes for a really interesting degree program, but the lack of continuity means the there’s a lot I’ve studied for a semester or two, and then forgotten most of it because the same knowledge wasn’t required in the same detail going forward. If you were to do a strictly Ecology program then you’d surely come out the end of it with a very firm grasp of the subject.

Hope this long and convoluted answer helps in some way 🙂

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