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Going Green In College? Here Are The Top 5 UK Schools For Environmental Studies

Climate change is real. What are you doing about it?

There are a lot of pressing issues in the world today. Just watch the evening news, and the headlines give it away in ten seconds or less! Even so, dealing with climate change has become more and more urgent by the day that we need to rally more people to join the fight against it. Starting in the classrooms!

If you’re up for the challenge, studying environmental studies is a good place to start. In this course, you’ll learn the relationships between mankind and the environment so you can make lasting, impactful work about it. Sounds like real superhero duties!

To help you get started, we shortlisted schools in the United Kingdom (UK). Aside from its reputation for world-class teaching and having a multicultural society, the UK also produced 3 of the top 10 schools in the world for environmental studies. What better place to start your school hunt than with the world’s finest, right? Let’s get started! 


Top 1: University of Oxford

Considered as one of the most prestigious universities in the world, this university is best known for its 900-year history and influence in the academe, especially in research. In fact, it has 3 research centers under the School of Geography and the Environment (SoGE) dedicated to environmental studies alone. How’s that for learning resources?

Though studying at the University of Oxford is highly independent (read: it’s famous for small group tutorials), the university provides plenty of opportunities for collaborative learning. Think in-depth discussions and university-wide initiatives you can be a part of!

For example, the Oxford Networks for the Environment (ONE) “link up over 1,000 individuals within the University on the themes of Biodiversity, Climate, Energy, Food and Water.” This allows you to team up with your peers to apply what you learn in class to solve real-world challenges. Awesome!


Top 2: University of Cambridge

Like the University of Oxford, this university traces a looong record of academic excellence. 810 years to be exact! Needless to say, the University of Cambridge boasts of world-class education and excellent facilities that have produced more than a hundred Nobel Laureates, Field Medalists, and even British Prime Ministers. Are you the next notable alumni? *wink wink*

Studying environmental studies at the University of Cambridge is both enriching and fun. You’ll learn groundbreaking research on climate change, geodynamics, and environment-related topics and, at the same time, see changes happen right on campus. (Hint: you’re involved!)

Through the Cambridge Green Challenge, students are given opportunities to improve environmental sustainability on campus—whether it’s by educating students towards an eco-friendly lifestyle or challenging them to come up with their own projects through Cambridge’s ‘The Living Lab’ initiative. Sounds like a great way to learn about the environment!


Top 3: Imperial College London (ICL)

If you’re looking for a UK school focused on science, engineering, medicine, and business, then ICL is the school for you! Thanks to its top-notch research expertise, this university has attracted students from over 140 countries. Talk about world-class education! Now, you won’t feel as homesick should you take an environmental studies course here. 

Aside from a multicultural school community, ICL’s Grantham Institute for Climate Change also assures you that the University means business when it comes to helping the environment. The institute aims to improve climate change research for better policy-making and data-driven solutions. And the best part? You can be right in the middle of the action! Are you ready for it?

Nature-lovers will also love studying at ICL because of its green spaces which include two Royal Parks such as the Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Just a 10-minute walk from campus!


Top 4: The University of Edinburgh

Formerly known as the “Tounis College,” this public university has been around since 1582—making it one of Scotland’s finest and most ancient universities. It’s also one of the UK’s most popular universities because of a massive number of applicants every year. Approximately 60,000 students!

Currently, it has five campuses across Edinburg city. If you’re interested to take up environmental studies, the School of Geosciences in the King’s Buildings and Central campuses will be your new home. Take your pick from its various undergraduate and postgraduate courses here.

Despite a relatively high cost of living, we’re pretty sure you’re going to have a fun university life at Edinburgh, thanks to the city’s cultural spots and festivals. Think afternoon picnics at Arthur’s Seat, an inactive volcano in the city center, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival!


Top 5: The University of Exeter

Last but not least, we have the University of Exeter! This public university is known for its highly intensive research expertise (read: they love studying exoplanets!) and picturesque campus

Choose an environmental studies course from Exeter’s College of Life and Environmental Sciences programs. Plus, get hands-on training by working collaboratively with industry leaders such as AstraZeneca, Met Office, Shell, and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) which are all in it for a better climate. As students at Exeter say, #BleedGreen!


Overview of the UK’s Top 5 Schools for Environment Studies Based on the QS University Rankings 2017-2019*








University of Oxford




University of Cambridge




Imperial College London




The University of Edinburgh




The University of Exeter




*World rankings


Climate change is a global crisis. But it takes a personal, deliberate decision to do your part. Search about practical ways you can do to #savetheplanet, or better yet, if you want to make it your life’s mission, take an environmental science course in one of these schools. Either way, you have a role to play. What are you waiting for?

Time to take up Environmental Studies! Check out more schools in the UK or head to our Study Abroad blog section at Edukasyon.ph for more tips and advice!

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