BSc in Environmental Science and Sustainability

Developing a strong understanding of environmental science and its interlinkages with sustainability, grounded in the Indian context.

As we know, the world is facing considerable challenges of environmental change and sustainability. There is a real and growing need for a programme that helps students develop a strong understanding of environmental science and its interlinkages with sustainability, grounded in the Indian context.

A key feature of the BSc in Environmental Science and Sustainability (ESS) at Azim Premji University is its inherently interdisciplinary focus.

Students will obtain an integrated understanding of environmental change, through a lab and field-based hands-on approach to learning about environmental change, exposure to real-life examples and interacting with faculty members engaged in cutting-edge research on exciting new problems.

Through this, students of ESS will develop a strong foundation of environmental science; understand its linkages with human behaviour, economy and policy; learn how to conduct qualitative and quantitative research on the environment; and end with a strong focus on environmental action to achieve change on the ground.

We admit students from all streams, including science, social science and the humanities, and believe that diversity and interdisciplinarity is a key strength of this programme.

Who should join us?

Science is necessary to address environmental challenges that we face today. But a scientific view is insufficient by itself, as environmental impacts are shaped by political decision-making and influenced by local social and cultural contexts. 

Our ESS programme engages with environmental issues that require attention globally, and specially in the Indian context, by contributing to your knowledge, developing the ability for critical thinking and building skills oriented towards finding solutions.

Why study with us?

We offer Interdisciplinary Openness

Our programmes encourage you to explore and follow your interests. We design our courses to ensure that you can specialise in a subject of your choice while learning various subjects across disciplines.

A Common Curriculum for all students

You will meet all your classmates at the beginning of your course to build all the tools you need for your four years of study. This includes foundational courses, an understanding of India, interdisciplinary studies, and courses in creative expressions.

We provide Academic Assistance

Our consistent academic assistance through language support, peer tutoring, faculty mentorship, etc., ensures that you meet the programme’s academic requirements.

We ensure Financial Support

We extend need-based financial assistance to students that cover tuition and accommodation expenses.

Programme Structure

Course Structure

The Common Curriculum will introduce students to the study of the themes and areas that emphasise and build critical and analytical abilities, and sensibilities for dialogue, reflection and cooperative learning. The Common Curriculum has three sub-components organised as below:

Foundations: Build capacity for critical thinking, reasoning and communication.

Understanding India: India’s history, society and possible future. 

  • Creative Expressions

    As an essential component of the core curriculum, Creative Expressions courses utilise artistic mediums, sports, and embodied learning to cultivate creativity, foster social cohesion, and build resilience. Encouraging students to take risks in unfamiliar disciplines, these courses nurture curiosity, self-discovery, and overall well-being. Through Creative Expressions, students are empowered to participate with meaningful social connection, fostering a community of active and responsible citizens.

The core of the BSc in Environmental Science and Sustainability major curriculum will focus on helping students develop a strong understanding of environmental science, enabling students to appreciate the interactions between geological, chemical, physical, and biological processes that shape the earth’s environment.

Building on this core understanding of environmental science, the curriculum will further introduce students to a range of research analytical methods, both qualitative and quantitative, and to methods of environmental analysis.

Alongside, they will take courses that expose them to concepts and methods of environmental economics and policy, as well as environmental communication, and action. The below lists the required courses a student in the major will take with each course being of five credits. Students doing the ESS major will be encouraged to do either an internship or a research project on sustainability.

Students must be prepared for the world of work at the end of the programme should they choose to enter it. We aim to provide the required skills and competencies for this through a Minor featuring courses in an Occupational or Interdisciplinary theme. These sets of courses are aimed to provide both conceptual understanding and skills and tools that will allow students to contribute through work and further study.

Students can opt for a Minor in any one of the indicative areas listed below:

  • Media and Journalism
  • Climate Studies
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Data, Democracy and Development
  • Design for Communities
  • Arts Education 
  • Education 
  • Music Education
  • Sports and Fitness
  • Technology for Social Good

The selection of these Minors is based on the availability of courses and our evaluation of the student’s interests and academic needs. For each cohort, a final list of available courses will be announced at the end of their second semester.

Students can craft their own educational experience by selecting courses in the following ways:

  • Students will have the option to take additional courses in their Disciplinary major
  • Interdisciplinary minor that will enable them for their further higher studies or career pathways.

These courses could also be selected to enhance and broaden their

  • Language skills and Quantitative reasoning capacities/​programming skills
  • Understanding of themes outside their Major subject

Classroom Practices

Going beyond the traditional lectures in class and labs, the programme will include demonstrations, field experiments, field trips (both independent, and guided by faculty), audio-visual teaching, and guest lectures. These will be aided by readings from textbooks, fiction and non-fiction writing, peer-reviewed journal articles and popular pieces. Debates and discussions in class will be facilitated by the instructors around specific topics of contemporary interest.


Articles by students of sustainability published in Nature inFocus

To know more, click here.

Our Graduates

The ESS degree will equip graduates with a strong understanding of environmental science, the capacity to assess and monitor pollution, conduct environmental impact assessments, generate GIS and remote sensing maps of environmental change, and engage with environmental policy and communication.

Potential careers in environmental science and sustainability are thus diverse and varied — the horizons are vast, and the sky is the only limit!

Careers can be indoors and lab-based, or outdoors and field-based, and can draw on skills and interest in core environmental science; media, humanities and art; or issues of environmental justice, economics and policy.

Students can explore work in pollution monitoring labs, environmental think tanks, urban municipalities, civil society organisations working on environmental restoration, and CSR sustainability.

Finally, students may also want to explore advanced degrees in environmental science, environmental economics, ecology, sustainability and allied areas.

Work Opportunities and Roles

Environmental Scientist, Environmental Science Teacher, Environmental Chemist, Environmental Consultant, Research Associate, Field Researcher, Environmental/​Climate Journalist, Sustainability Associate, Data Humanist Associate, Environmental Data Support Associate, Data Visualisation Analyst, Geospatial Analyst, Environmental Communications Associate, Environmental Policy Analyst, Programme Associates




All Programme faculty →


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