Environmental Science National 5

What is special about this course?

This course is for anyone interested in our environment and climate change.  It will help you to understand why environmental climate change is happening and why the way we use the earth resources is so important.

Studying the programme can lead to further study in climate change and / or better inform the way we live for a sustainable future.

The course is practical and experiential and develops scientific awareness of environmental issues. It involves an understanding of scientific principles, economic influences and political action.

The course will help you to understand and investigate the world in an engaging and enjoyable way. It will develop your ability to think analytically, creatively and independently, and to make reasoned evaluations. Through studying the course you will acquire and apply knowledge, to evaluate environmental and scientific issues, to consider risk, and to make informed decisions. This will help you to develop an informed and ethical view of topical issues. In addition to Environmental understanding you will also develop skills in communication, collaborative working and leadership, and apply critical thinking in new and unfamiliar contexts to solve problems.

Entry requirements

  • Pass at National 4 or equivalent in one science subject (Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Geography)
  • Literacy and Numeracy at SCQF Level 4 or equivalent

Units include:

The Living Environment

  • Investigating ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Interdependence between plants and animals
  • Human influences on biodiversity

Earth’s resources

  • Overview of Earth systems and their interactions
  • The geosphere we live on
  • The Hydrosphere – Earth’s water cycle
  • The Biosphere
  • The Atmosphere


  • Food
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Waste management

Field work and lab skills


  • During outdoor filed activities you will be expected to provide your own weather appropriate waterproofs and footwear.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time
  • Part Time
  • You will learn through a combination of face-to-face lectures and hands on activities and filed trips.
  • Learning and revision materials will be made available via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors.


How long will my course last?

1 Year

Where can I study my course?

    Start date



    Fee information for part time Further Education courses

    A Fee Waiver could be available to help with the payment of course fees depending on your personal circumstances, please check our Fee Waiver Policy to see if you are eligible.

    Scottish students

    Further Education (SCQF 1-6) level 



    Part-time (per single Higher)



    Rest of UK and International students 

    Further Education (SCQF 1-6) level 


    Part-time (per single Higher)


    Fees are payable on enrolment each academic year.

    Please contact credit.control@uhi.ac.uk if you have any further questions on fees.


    If you wish to study part time there is a cost of approximately £360 per subject. Some applicants may be eligible for a fee waiver.

    Funding - Tuition fees (uhi.ac.uk)

    What can I do on completion of my course?

    Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in:

    • Environmental tourism
    • Horticulture/forestry
    • Art
    • Environmental science
    • Bioscience
    • Energy
    • Wildlife management

    You may wish to progress from National 5 Environmental Science to the following courses:

    • Higher in Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry,
    • National 5 in English, Biology, Mathematics
    • National 4 in Mathematics
    • Applied Science level 5 full-time programme

    Is there more information available online?

    QR Code - scan to visit course page

    You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

    To study this subject please click here National 5 Environmental Science

    If you wish to study this subject there is a cost of approximately £360 per subject. Some applicants may be eligible for a fee waiver.

    Funding - Tuition fees (uhi.ac.uk)

    Please note that places are limited and some applications may be placed on a waiting list. We will inform you if this is the case.

    We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Inverness. UHI Inverness 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.