About the Major
Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary major that provides students with a strong scientific background for understanding and addressing environmental challenges. The Major includes a flexible teaching and learning programme so students can explore environmental issues from both a science and management perspective. The core courses in our major provide students with an opportunity to engage in hands-on research and to explore concepts related to sustainability.
Our curriculum is accredited by the Hong Kong Institute of Qualified Environmental Professionals (HKIQEP). Students following the accredited pathway will gain expertise in Environmental Science, Environmental Management, Environmental Impact Assessment, and Sustainability. The accreditation offers many benefits for our students including a shorter path to Professional Membership, partial exemption in the Professional Assessment, student membership, and opportunities to interact with and receive mentorship from practising environmental professionals in Hong Kong. For more information, see https://HKIQEP.org.
Introductory courses in the Major emphasize fundamental knowledge about the environment and provide students with a solid scientific background and an understanding of the processes that sustain life on earth. Advanced courses allow students to gain a deeper understanding of pressing environmental challenges and gain experience in designing effective solutions to these problems. Some advanced courses emphasize economic and social science approaches to address these issues. There are many opportunities for experiential learning, and we currently offer four international field trips as part of the major. Throughout their study, students are encouraged to undertake their own independent research to incorporate critical thinking, field and laboratory work, and as integrated elements of relevant courses. By completing the Major, students will have enhanced their knowledge in environmental science and have improved their problem-solving ability, communication and social skills. Students will be prepared to work in a wide variety of environmental-related jobs, including industry and government agencies, where they will help manage wisely the resources for which they are responsible.
The environment and sustainability are major global concerns, and increasingly a major focus of governments, corporations, and non-profit organizations. There is a strong demand for environmental science graduates, both locally and internationally, and the Environmental Science Major at HKU prepares students to be competitive for these positions and to become future leaders in the field. Some examples of specific career prospects include:
- ESG: This refers to positions that use Environmental, Social and Governance factors to evaluate the sustainability of organizations. There is currently a very high demand for people trained in environmental science to fill these positions and this demand will likely increase in the future.
- Environmental consultancy: environmental and ecological impact assessment, engineering, governmental advisor, risk analysis for insurers, re-insurers and commercial organisations;
- Environmental scientists: in laboratories and in the field, using skills in eco-toxicology, bio-remediation, pollution control and environmental protection;
- Planning departments: energy policies, resources management, land-use planning, statutory regulations and hazards prevention;
- Environmental professionals: conservation organisations, habitat and ecosystems management, conservation biology and fisheries;
- Environmental education: academics, school teachers, outdoor education
TSUI Teresa Ka Wing
2020 BSc graduate (double major in Environmental Science and Geography)
2020 cohort Master of International Forestry at the University of British Columbia
“It is always a memorable experience for me to study Environmental Science at HKU. The interdisciplinary program structure allows me to explore a wide range of topics such as pollution, earth system sciences, ecology and biodiversity, statistics, and environmental law in Hong Kong. This has enriched my academic background and enhanced my critical thinking when I am addressing and examining complicated environmental issues. What’s more, participating in different field trips and research, doing laboratory work and internships, and being the executive committee of the Society of Environmental Science have prepared me as an all-rounded person who equips practical skills and interpersonal skills. The most precious assets of the Environmental Science major are the teaching staff, schoolmates, and the administrative staff who have always been very supportive throughout my studies and I am really blessed to have them in my university life.”