The growing world population means we now face problems of over-exploitation of natural resources, rapid climate change and habitat degradation. Ecology is the scientific study of the interaction of organisms with each other and their physical, chemical and biological environment. Environmental sciences, by contrast, integrates biological, chemical and physical sciences to understand our changing environment. A combination of the two is vital for understanding and tackling these global issues. The study of ecological and environmental sciences will appeal to students with an interest in the diversity of the natural world and those concerned with environmental issues. You will study a wide variety of courses, starting with those focused on the origins of life, the basics of ecological theory, and global environmental processes. You will examine topics such as biodiversity, conservation management and land-use, while also gaining a broad understanding of physical, chemical and biological sciences. Later in the programme you will explore methods used in ecological and environmental analysis and topics such as, water resource management, land use, environmental pollution and environmental modelling. You will be taught by staff involved in high-level research in these subject areas. You will have the opportunity to undertake research projects, including a long independent research project in your final year, and will complete field and laboratory assignments, including at least three week-long field trips in Scotland. The programme will provide you with the skills and knowledge to tackle environmental issues, design robust strategies for sample collection, make ecological and environmental measurements, evaluate the significance of results and manage conservation and environmental protection projects. In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, the School of GeoSciences was identified as having the UK's greatest concentration of excellent researchers in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Some 78 per cent of our research activity is in the highest categories, 4* and 3*, which are rated world-leading or internationally excellent.