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Multidisciplinary Nature of Environmental Studies

Updated on 05 November, 2023

Pragya Sharma

Pragya Sharma

Sr. Content Editor

The multidisciplinary nature of environmental studies makes it a coveted discipline for students worldwide. There is immense scope for environmental education in terms of professional prospects. A report by Deloitte forecasts over 300 million jobs in this field by 2050 with swift decarbonization and proactive policies. Other reports estimate 13.3 million new jobs globally by 2030 due to the transition to clean energy. Here is a closer look at the field and what it covers. 

Environmental Studies: What Is It

Environment studies or environmental studies is an interdisciplinary field of academics that focuses on studying human engagement with the environment to solve complex issues. It is an academic field that evaluates the built and natural environments through sociology, anthropology, history, psychology, geospatial, ethics, and policy-related perspectives. 

The multidisciplinary nature of environmental studies is a major attraction for those who are passionate about solving the world’s biggest challenges. Environmental science integrates the study of biological, chemical, and physical processes happening on the Earth, along with other cultural, social, and political processes that affect it. 

The objectives of environmental studies are to enable students to understand the intricate web of relationships between humans and the environment across multiple disciplines while equipping them with the knowledge and skills to solve complex problems. 

Scope of Environmental Studies

The scope of environmental studies is immensely bright from a future perspective. There are various career options in environmental science that graduates can pursue. Some of them include the following: 

Environmental consultancy for private or governmental organizations- 

It involves evaluating the environmental impact of any project, advising on contamination/pollution, measuring carbon footprint, guiding legislation and regulations, and helping companies take steps towards sustainability. 

Nature conservation- 

This is for those who wish to supervise sustainable management of specific zones while also planning to increase biodiversity or bolster any species. This field may also involve fundraising, campaigning, awareness-building, and more. Employers include governmental organizations, private estates, local authorities, consultancies, charities and nonprofits, reserves and national parks, and more. 

Environmental education- 

There is an excellent scope of environmental education programs since graduates may get opportunities across schools, nature walks, events, community programs, volunteering, and more. Employers include educational institutions, zoos, wildlife parks, botanical gardens, public sector groups, local authorities, and trusts and charities. 

Environmental management- 

Professionals in this domain are tasked with implementing and creating strategies to encourage sustainable development. Major duties include environmental analysis, identifying problems, staff training, and environmental targets. 

Recycling and waste management- 

These disciplines offer lucrative careers in managing and implementing various schemes. Employers may include both public and private-sector organizations. 

Water quality- 

Career options in this sector revolve around strategies and steps to enhance water quality and tackle related issues. Job duties may include testing water resources, evaluations, reports, and action plans for improving quality.

Top Specializations in Environmental Science

There can be numerous specializations in environmental science. Some of them include: 

  • Soil Ecology
  • Aquatic/Marine Biology
  • Earth systems 
  • Environmental and biological conservation 
  • Water resource management
  • Energy and climate change
  • Pollution prevention and remediation

Top Universities Offering Multidisciplinary Courses in Environmental Studies 

Here are some of the world’s leading institutions offering environmental studies programs for aspirants. 

Name of the UniversityQS World University Ranking for Environmental Sciences- 2023Courses
Harvard University1

ESE (Environmental Science and Engineering)- It is an interdisciplinary program at the undergraduate level

PhD in Engineering Sciences- Environmental Science & Engineering 

Wageningen University & Research2

Bachelor’s Environmental Sciences

Master’s Environmental Sciences 

University of Oxford3

MSc/MPhil in Environmental Change and Management 

MSc in Environmental Change and Management 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)4

Bachelor of Science in Climate System Science and Engineering 

Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Course 12, Bachelor of Science) with concentrations in Environmental Systems or Atmosphere, Oceans, and Climate 

University of California, Berkeley (UCB)5Environmental Science, Policy and Management Department’s Environmental Sciences (ES) major 
Stanford University6

Bachelor of Science in Earth Systems

PhD in Earth Systems Science 

ETH Zurich7

Bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences 

Master’s degree in environmental sciences

University of Cambridge7

Earth Sciences Undergraduate Program

MPhil in Quantitative Climate and Environmental Science 

Tsinghua University9Undergraduate program in Environmental Engineering 
Imperial College London10

BSc Earth and Planetary Science

MSc Earth and Planetary Science 

BSc Ecology and Environmental Biology 

MSc Environmental Technology 

Eligibility Criteria 

The eligibility criteria for environmental studies programs vary across universities. Here are some general guidelines: 

  • Undergraduate degrees may require a secondary education diploma with good grades in at least one subject out of biology, economics, geography, chemistry, mathematics, physics, or geology
  • Master’s degrees may require a relevant bachelor’s degree in environmental science or any relevant subject. The marks required may vary across institutions. 
  • Some institutions may require face-to-face interviews or entrance examinations, depending upon their policies. 
  • Candidates may also have to meet specific English language proficiency and course-specific requirements. 

Admission Process

The admission procedure for programs in environmental studies also varies across institutions and degree levels (undergraduate or postgraduate). Yet, most universities take applications online for specific admission cycles. Candidates are usually required to fill up their personal details while furnishing necessary identity proof. They also have to provide academic transcripts, English language proficiency scores, recommendations/references if required, and other documents like proof of funds, and so on. Interviews or entrances may be necessary at some institutions as well. 

Environmental studies is a promising future discipline and holds innumerable scope for aspirants. Several leading institutions are offering advanced and renowned programs in the field as well.

Read More:


What is the multidisciplinary nature of environmental studies?

The multidisciplinary nature of environmental studies lies in its combination of various branches or fields. These include medical science, chemistry, physics, agriculture, public health, life sciences, and many others. 

What is a multidisciplinary environment?

A multidisciplinary team executes projects and tasks based on shared objectives and principles. Members will usually have some common requirements and denominators along with individual skill sets alongside. They usually learn from their peers, who all bring unique skills to the group.

What are some examples of multidisciplinary studies?

Some examples of multidisciplinary studies include majors like mass communication and counseling, liberal arts and entrepreneurship, peace and conflict resolution, environmental journalism, history of human thought and belief, and more. 

Pragya Sharma

Sr. Content Editor

Pragya Sharma is a content developer and marketer with 6.5+ years of experience in the education industry. She started her career as a social media copywriter for NIELIT, Ministry of Electronics & IT, and has now scaled up as a 360-degree content professional well-versed with the intricacies of digital marketing and different forms of content used to drive and hook the target audience. She is also a co-author of 2 stories in an anthology based on the theme- women empowerment.

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