Environmental Science National 5

What is special about this course?

This course is designed for students entering rural skills sectors especial the sub sectors of estate management or sustainable development.

Entry requirements

No formal entry requirements.

There are no internal units for this course.

The follow shows a brief overview of the topics covered: 

  • Living environment: investigating ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Interdependence: food webs
  • Human influences on biodiversity
  • Earth’s resources: an overview of Earth systems and their interactions
  • Geosphere: rock cycle processes
  • Hydrosphere: water cycle and uses
  • Biosphere: an overview of nature resources 
  • Atmosphere
  • Sustainability 1: an introduction to sustainability
  • Food: an introduction to the farming of food
  • Energy: the impacts of energy and climate change
  • Waste management



Internet connection and a suitable device with headphones, microphone and camera (minimum spec) is required. Please email us if you have any concerns about connectivity or equipment.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time
  • Evening
  • Online

Timetabled learning will take place in an online classroom where you connect and interact with your lecturer and classmates, at set times, using video, voice and text chat.  You will also complete regular and flexible personal study which most students choose to do from home. 

How long will my course last?

34 Weeks

From September to June on Wednesday evenings, 5pm-9pm.

How will I be assessed?

    Assessment for this course will be carried out in the following way:

    • Ongoing informal assessment using scholar and notes of test marks etc.
    • Two internal assessments based on the units covered
    • One prelim exam
    • An SQA external exam in April /May

    Attendance at a college centre is required for assignment and final external exam.


Where can I study my course?

    Please note, UHI West Highland will be changing its name to UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study.

Start date

September 2023




A Fee Waiver or funding of up to £200 could be available to help with payment of course fees, depending on your personal circumstances.

This support will be available for people who are 16 or over, living in Scotland and either in low paid work or actively seeking work. To be eligible, you must have income of £22,000 a year or less, or be on certain benefits.

You will also not be undertaking any secondary, further or higher education, SDS funded training or participating on the Community Jobs Scotland programme.

Please contact your local college centre for more information about eligibility, or call us on 01397 874000.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Path 1: Progress on to Higher Environmental Science.

Path 2: Consider a college course with a focus on working within the outdoor environment.

Path 3: Enter Higher Environmental Science and then move on to HNC/HND or a Degree in Sustainable Development or Estate Management.

Is there more information available online?

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

Apply for Environmental Science National 5

I want to start in 2023/24

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI West Highland. Please note, UHI West Highland will be changing its name to UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study. UHI West Highland 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.