Which environmental course is right for you (2023)

With the growing focus on natural resources, climate change and sustainability, people trained and certified in environmental stewardship are becoming a key asset for organizations, with the number of environmental jobs increasing by 91% between 2016 and 20211.

As a result, environmental management courses have become very popular, especially for those who want to work in the environmental and sustainability industry, or those in organizations who want to focus more on their environmental practices.

However, there are a number of different environmental management courses to choose from, including;IEMA Environmental Management Foundation Certificateshow andNEBOSH Environmental Management CertificateDeciding which course is best for you and your career can be difficult, so in this article we'll break down the content of both to help you decide which one is best for you and your career.

NEBOSH Environmental Management Certificate

nibosh(National Board for Occupational Safety and Health Examinations) is a British board of examiners whose health and safety training and qualifications are recognized worldwide. Their Environmental Management Certificate, or what we'll call EMC from now on, benefits from this globally recognized status and consists of two modules. The course covers how industrial activities affect the environment, with the first module focusing on effective environmental management and the second module on controlling pollution levels and energy efficiency. At the end of the course, participants will be able to develop an effective environmental management system for their organization and carry out environmental impact assessments.

If you study via classroom, virtual classroom or in-house, the duration is 5 days, while if you study via e-learning, we recommend spending approximately 60 hours on the course, including assessments. Speaking of ratings, NEBOSH EMC has two ratings, one for each unit. The first is a written exam that you take online within 24 hours and the second is a practical assessment that you take on the work floor.

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Due to the broader scope of environmental management, NEBOSH EMC is beneficial to people working in a wide variety of industries where there may be pollution concerns or the need to control environmental hazards such as chemical spills or air pollution. NEBOSH EMC is a Level 3 qualification, similar to A Level qualifications, and like the Boards of Examiners themselves, is a widely recognized qualification.

IEMA Environmental Management Foundation Certificate

IEMA FC (Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management) is awarded byIEMA(Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment), a global sustainability organization that aims to improve sustainability by empowering sustainability experts around the world. With IEMA's international reach, their courses are taught to high international standards for the environment and sustainable development, making them widely applicable in various industries around the world.

IMEA FC benefits from this international perspective and teaches environmental, sustainability and governance principles that can be applied to a wide range of organizations and industries. After completing the 5-day course (or approximately 40 hours via online study) and the 1-hour open book exam, candidates will have a basic understanding of environmental sustainability. They will be able to apply this knowledge in their own organizations to help implement or improve sustainable practices. In addition, upon completion of IEMA FC, you are eligible to become an IEMA Alternate Member. When you study at Phoenix, the course comes with a free 12-month membership to IEMA, which means that after completing the course, you can enjoy benefits such as networking opportunities, events and training for free.

Compare NEBOSH environmental credentials and IEMA Foundation credentials

As you may have noticed, there are many similarities and differences between these courses, which can help you decide which course is best for you. In this section, we compare the different aspects of the courses so you can identify the strengths of each and help you decide which one is best for your career goals.

Course content:

Environmental management is a broad subject, so while it is the focus of both courses, each course focuses on specific elements of it in accordance with the objectives of the curriculum. The NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management focuses more on environmental risk management, including discussions on how to reduce an organization's environmental impact and pollution. The IEMA Foundation certificate, on the other hand, focuses more on sustainable practices and how organizations can implement them to reduce their impact on the environment.

Both courses therefore focus on reducing the environmental impact of an organization's practices, but differ in how this is achieved, with NEBOSH teaching awareness and management and IEMA teaching developing sustainable practices. NEBOSH EMC is indeed about sustainability, but it is more focused on managing and assessing environmental risks.

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Phoenix allows you to study for the NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management from:

  • studying in class

  • virtual classroom

  • intern

  • ofe-learning

While the IEMA Environmental Management Foundation certificate can be obtained through:

  • intern

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  • virtual classroom

  • or study online

period of time:

Both courses last 5 days when studied in class, virtually or on location. NEBOSH EMC takes about 60 hours and IEMA FC about 40 hours when studied through e-learning.


NEBOSH EMC is divided into two modules, each with its own rating. The first is an online written test that candidates must take within 24 hours. The second is a practical assessment in which candidates must assess the environmental impacts in their workplace.

IEMA FC has relatively only one assessment, which is an online multiple-choice exam at the end of the course.

Target audience:

Another important difference between the courses is their target audience. NEBOSH EMC is designed for those who have environmental management responsibilities in their current position or those who are pursuing a career in environmental management. Recognizing that representatives may have responsibilities beyond environmental matters, the course is broader in scope and applicable to a wider range of industries.

IEMA FC has a more focused area of ​​focus, focusing on sustainable practices, but is aimed at those new to the industry of environmental stewardship and sustainability. The course is a gateway for those taking their first steps in the industry or looking to broaden their knowledge of sustainable practices, providing a foundational education that can be built upon by further training and experience.

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Career Development and Other Benefits:

With this knowledge in mind, NEBOSH EMC may be best for those looking to expand their current role to include environmental stewardship responsibilities or broaden their knowledge to assist in such a role. Pursuing other qualifications, such as EMC, can lead to a pay rise or promotion and demonstrates a desire to broaden your knowledge to take on new responsibilities within your role.

The IEMA FC is beneficial for those who want to start a career in sustainable development and environmental management. It can lead to career advancement within the industry and roles focused on implementing sustainable development. To aid in this development, Complete IEMA offers FC IEMA membership which, as we've already mentioned, provides networking and event opportunities for those looking to further their careers. Completing NEBOSH EMC will not grant you a membership, but you can apply for an IEMA membership to take advantage of the events and networking opportunities.

It is important to note that IEMA FC is a training program and not a qualification like NEBOSH EMC. For those looking for specific qualifications rather than training, this can make the decision easier, so this should be taken into account when choosing a course. In addition, NEBOSH courses are also more recognized globally, which can be helpful if you are aiming for a position in a specific role/industry where NEBOSH qualifications are valued.

Choose between NEBOSH and IEMA

Looking at both courses in detail now, we can see that the most important factors in choosing a course are your career goals and current location, and both have a range of delivery options when you study in Phoenix, as well as similar durations whichever you choose.

NEBOSH EMC is best suited for those with environmental management responsibilities or those looking to take on these responsibilities in a new role. And IEMA FC is best suited for those looking to start a career in environmental sustainability with aspirations to help organizations improve their sustainability practices.

No matter which course you choose, considering all aspects of both courses is key to making a decision. This includes your career aspirations and the industry you are seeking a position in, as well as other benefits the course may offer you, such as IEMA membership.

you can reserveNEBOSH Environmental Management CertificateInIEMA Environmental Management Foundation CertificateToday with Phoenix. If you have any other questions about which course is best for you and your career,contact us today.

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Is environmental science right for me? ›

A bachelor's in environmental science is suited for degree-seeking students concerned with the environment and who would like to give solutions to the many problems the planet is facing. It's a degree recommended for students who are fond of observing, researching, analyzing and solving problems.

What are 3 things you learn in environmental science? ›

The three main goals of environmental science are: to learn how the natural world works, to understand how humans interact with the environment, and to find ways to deal with environmental problems and live more sustainably.

What should I study if I like the environment? ›

Top 10 Green Degrees
  • Environmental architecture and environmental design.
  • Environmental engineering.
  • Environmental health sciences.
  • Environmental Law.
  • Environmental science and sustainability.
  • Horticulture.
  • Marine Sciences.
  • Energy.

What is the course of environmental? ›

Pollution and Environmental Processes - On this pathway you'll study climate change, biodiversity and environmental management, pollution and control, population dynamics, ecosystems and urbanisation, tackling some of the global grand and pressing problems that will ensure human needs are met in a sustainable way.

What is the easiest science class in college? ›

Some of the easiest college science classes are what most liberal arts students take. They include psychology, biology, geology and computer science. Meanwhile, some of the hardest college science classes are those that involve lots of math and medicine, such as chemistry, physics and neuroscience.

Why should I go into environmental science? ›

Environmental science courses help students understand and explore the interconnected nature of services the environment provides, such as agricultural production, water purification, timber, climate regulation, and spiritual and leisure activities, among many others.

What are your learnings in environmental science? ›

When you study environmental science, you commit to learning about subjects like the understanding of earth processes, evaluating alternative energy sources, the effects of climate change, and controlling pollution.

What are the five importance of environmental science? ›

It helps us to establish a standard for a safe, clean and healthy natural ecosystem. It also deals with important issues like safe and clean drinking water, hygienic living conditions and clean and fresh air, fertility of land, healthy food and development.

What are the 5 major studies in environmental science? ›

These five fields are atmospheric sciences, ecology, environmental chemistry, geosciences, and social sciences.

What environment do you learn best in? ›

However, overall elements such as minimal distractions, a clear routine, a positive atmosphere and varied approaches and formats of teaching are all elements that have been proven to improve performance and facilitate effective learning.

Is environmental studies class hard? ›

Earning a bachelor's degree in either environmental science or environmental studies takes hard work but is also incredibly rewarding. You'll spend a lot of time in science and lab courses learning complex concepts and working with new materials and equipment.

What is environmental studies easy? ›

Environment studies is all about learning the way we should live and how we can develop sustainable strategies to protect the environment. It helps individuals to develop an understanding of living and physical environment and how to resolve challenging environmental issues affecting nature.

Is environmental science course easy? ›

AP Environmental Science is considered quite easy, with class alumnae rating it 4.4/10 for overall difficulty (the 22nd-most-difficult out of the 28 large AP classes surveyed). The pass rate is lower than other AP classes, with 54% graduating with a 3 or higher.

What do you study in environmental studies? ›

The natural environment, the built environment, and the relationship between them—that's environmental studies. If you're interested in understanding how people's actions affect the environment and how these effects can be mitigated, consider a major in environment studies.

Is environmental science easier than biology? ›

AP Environmental Science is an interesting and applicable class, where you will use more math knowledge to solve environmental problems. It is a less rigorous class academically compared to AP Bio and also requires less memorization of concepts.

What is the hardest subject in college? ›

What are the hardest degree subjects?
  • Psychology. ...
  • Statistics. ...
  • Nursing. ...
  • Physics. ...
  • Astrophysics. ...
  • Biomedical Engineering. ...
  • Astronomy. ...
  • Dentistry. Dentistry, like medicine, is an important profession, and if you wish to study it at university you must be prepared to undertake high volumes of both theoretical and practical work.

What is the hardest science class in college? ›

Organic Chemistry:

It shouldn't surprise you that organic chemistry takes the No. 1 spot as the hardest college course. This course is often referred to as the “pre-med killer” because it actually has caused many pre-med majors to switch their major.

What is the hardest class in any college? ›

Here 12 Of The Toughest College Classes:
  • Calculus.
  • Quantum Mechanics / Physics.
  • Philosophy / Metaphysics.
  • Thermodynamics.
  • Statistics.
  • Theory.
  • English Literature.
  • Psychology.
Apr 19, 2023

What type of science is environmental science? ›

environmental science, interdisciplinary academic field that draws on ecology, geology, meteorology, biology, chemistry, engineering, and physics to study environmental problems and human impacts on the environment.

What are the 4 types of environmental science? ›

Ecological health, bioscience, sustainability, oceanography and marine biology are all different types of environmental science.

Does environmental science have math? ›

Environmental science focuses on fundamental sciences like math, chemistry, biology, physics, atmospheric science, earth science and geology. As an environmental science major, you'll spend much of your time considering the scientific and quantitative aspects of environmental issues.

What skills do environmental scientists need? ›

Important Qualities
  • Analytical skills. Environmental scientists and specialists base their conclusions on careful analysis of scientific data. ...
  • Communication skills. ...
  • Interpersonal skills. ...
  • Problem-solving skills. ...
  • Self-discipline.
Dec 6, 2022

What are the goals of environmental education? ›

Environmental education is a process that allows individuals to explore environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take action to improve the environment. As a result, individuals develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues and have the skills to make informed and responsible decisions.

What is the objective of environmental studies? ›

Environmental Studies as an academic field is the product of efforts to understand and respond to the variety of changes humans have wrought in our world. Students in Environmental Studies are motivated by concern for welfare of the many human and non-human communities that shape this planet.

What is special about environmental science? ›

Environmental science is important because of its three goals: to understand natural phenomena, understand how humans interact with the environment, and to understand how humans impact their environment.

What are the 8 fields of environmental science? ›

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physics, biology, and geography (including ecology, chemistry, plant science, zoology, mineralogy, oceanography, limnology, soil science, geology and physical geography, and atmospheric science) to the study of the environment, and the ...

What are the 8 different sciences under environmental science? ›

Environmental science brings together the fields of ecology, biology, zoology, oceanography, atmospheric science, soil science, geology, chemistry and more in an interdisciplinary study of how natural and man-made processes interact with one another and ultimately affect the various biomes of Earth.

What is an example of environmental science? ›

For example, an environmental science student studying water pollution might collect and analyze samples from lakes and streams to discover how pollution impacts these ecosystems. Another student might analyze data gathered by others to quantify how much pollution is created by industrial waste.

What are the top 3 things you can do for the environment? ›

Ten Simple Things You Can Do to Help Protect the Earth
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Cut down on what you throw away. ...
  • Volunteer. Volunteer for cleanups in your community. ...
  • Educate. ...
  • Conserve water. ...
  • Choose sustainable. ...
  • Shop wisely. ...
  • Use long-lasting light bulbs. ...
  • Plant a tree.
Aug 11, 2021

What is the best learning environment for adults? ›

Adults learn best when they're in a more informal, collaborative environment. Research shows learners who interact with others during learning experiences tend to be more engaged than those who don't.

What is the most important component of the learning environment? ›

Safety. A good learning environment offers a safe platform for learners. Before you can expect learners to succeed academically, they should also feel safe both mentally and physically. While most of the schools take physical safety measures, not many learning platforms consider the mental safety of the learners.

Is environmental science the easiest science? ›

Environmental science is commonly thought of as one of the easier science degrees to obtain. One of the reasons for this perception is that it is very hands-on and requires a minimal amount of complex math, at least by science major standards.

Is environmental science like biology? ›

Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary field that combines physical, chemical, and biological sciences with social, political, and economic understanding needed to study the environment and address environmental problems.

Should I study biology or environmental science? ›

If you are interested in working in a related field or even going on to further study, then environmental science is an excellent degree choice. Should I study biology instead of environmental science? If your main interest is in biology, a pure biology degree may be a better choice.

Is environmental science a fun class? ›

For anyone considering majoring in environmental science, just know that it is a lot of fun and there are many possible career paths after graduation! I don't think you'll regret choosing to study something you love.

What is the easiest science in high school? ›

What is the easiest science class to opt for in a high school?
  • Oceanography.
  • Earth/Physical Science.
  • Biology.
  • Optional Electives ( Forensic Science, Environmental Science, Zoology, Astronomy, etc.)
  • Chemistry.
  • Physics.
Feb 17, 2021

How do I prepare for environmental science? ›

A degree in geology, engineering, or environmental studies is a good way to prepare. You should also take courses in geology, hydrology, and chemistry. Computer courses are very helpful. Many environmental scientists also obtain a master's degree.

What is the hardest science to understand? ›

Physics is the hardest undergraduate degree in the world to take at any university. One reason for this is that it heavily relies on conceptual understanding of the subject matter. But another factor that makes it even more challenging is that it is the basis of many other sciences, including astronomy and chemistry.

What are the 3 types of environment? ›

The three types of environment are:
  • Internal environment.
  • External macro environment.
  • External micro environment.

What is the easiest science to learn? ›

The 4 Easiest Science Classes to Take in College
  1. Geology. Geology is widely regarded as one of the easiest science classes you could take in college. ...
  2. Physics. Physics is a fascinating field, and taking a course in it will vastly improve your understanding of the world around us. ...
  3. Astronomy. ...
  4. Zoology.
Jun 10, 2021

What is the hardest science in high school? ›

Physics 1

This class combines physics, scientific inquiry, and algebra. AP Physics 1 is considered one of the hardest AP classes, covering topics like Newtonian mechanics and electrical charge and force.

What is the hardest subject? ›

Top 10 Most Difficult School Subjects
  1. 1 Physics. For the majority of people, physics is very tough because it is applying numbers to concepts that can be very abstract. ...
  2. 2 Chemistry. ...
  3. 3 Foreign Language. ...
  4. 4 Math. ...
  5. 5 Calculus. ...
  6. 6 English. ...
  7. 7 Biology. ...
  8. 8 Trigonometry.

Is it worth it to major in environmental science? ›

For anyone wondering: “Is environmental science a good major?” It's not surprising that the answer is yes. Green jobs are expected to grow faster than the national average through 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Is environmental science hard class? ›

Because environmental science is considered one of the more challenging AP subjects, it may not be a great fit for every student. Nearly 150,000 learners took the exam in 2021, but 51% failed to earn a score of 3 or higher.

Is environmental science a fun major? ›

For anyone considering majoring in environmental science, just know that it is a lot of fun and there are many possible career paths after graduation! I don't think you'll regret choosing to study something you love.

Is environmental science harder than biology? ›

AP Environmental Science is an interesting and applicable class, where you will use more math knowledge to solve environmental problems. It is a less rigorous class academically compared to AP Bio and also requires less memorization of concepts.

Is environmental science an easy class? ›

AP Environmental Science is considered quite easy, with class alumnae rating it 4.4/10 for overall difficulty (the 22nd-most-difficult out of the 28 large AP classes surveyed). The pass rate is lower than other AP classes, with 54% graduating with a 3 or higher.

Can you make a lot of money in environmental science? ›

The average environmental scientist salary ranges between $43,000 and $84,000 in the US. Hourly rates for environmental scientists in the US typically range between $20 and $40 an hour. The average environmental scientist salary is $77,130 in California, $74,730 in Washington, and $69,785 in Oregon.

Is environmental science a stem major? ›

The National Science Foundation and STEM

The main categories of NSF STEM disciplines include: Agricultural Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Geosciences, Life/Biological Sciences, Mathematics, and Physics/Astronomy.

What is the hardest science class to take? ›

Quantum Physics/Mechanics:

It also requires the memorization of many formulas, which you must then be able to apply to real-life problems. Quantum physics/mechanics deals with very small particles like atoms and subatomic particles and how they work.

Is environmental science a lot of math? ›

Does environmental science have a lot of math? Yes it does. There is a lot of statistical analysis and that is how you will spend most of your time. If you are no good at maths and statistics you are unlikely to be able to cope.

How popular is environmental science as a college major? ›

In 2020-2021, environmental science was the 91st most popular major nationwide with 9,274 degrees awarded. This represents a small change of only -0.7% from the prior year's total of 9,339 bioenvironmental sciences degrees awarded.

How many people major in environmental science? ›

In the 2017–2018 school year, the most recent year for which aggregate data is available, a total of 6,697 students earned bachelor's degrees in environmental science. That means 1,155 more graduates earned such degrees than did five years earlier.

What do you study in environmental science? ›

What is Environmental Science? Environmental science is the study of the interactions between physical, chemical and biological components of the Earth's natural environment. These components include energy, agriculture, water and air. Environmental science closely examines the human impact on the environment.

Which is the toughest subject in world? ›

Engineering is considered one of the most difficult courses in the world as it involves more math and physics than most students want to take on. The course curriculum includes problem-solving using tactical and analytical skills and critical thinking.


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