Undergraduate Summer School

The Undergraduate Summer School is aimed at undergraduates at a UK or Irish University studying a degree relating to ecological sciences.

Eycott Hill, Lake District
Ed Hall, MacroPro Photography

The emphasis of the Undergraduate Summer School is to bridge the skills gaps you may have encountered and help you progress with your career in ecology. Within the application process we are seeking your views on the most useful content to include. We have lots of exciting plans in process but the most important aspect is to provide an experience that will enhance your opportunities to succeed.

Summer School 2024

BES Summer School 10th anniversary applications are now OPEN!!

It’s the 10th anniversary year of the BES Summer School and we are planning something special! This year we are creating a programme led by past Summer School alumni to showcase their career path since graduating. We will also have some returning session leaders who have dedicated their time each and every year.

Who can apply?

Applications will be considered for all undergraduate students studying a degree relating to ecological sciences in British or Irish universities (such as, but not limited to, ecology, geography, biology, conservation, environmental sciences). Students in an integrated Masters course are also eligible unless they are in their final year of study.

We strongly encourage applications from individuals who face or have face barriers to their career development; this may be due to being from an underrepresented group and/or other factors e.g. caring responsibilities.

You do not need to be a member to apply.

Deadline to apply: Wednesday 20th March, 12pm GMT (midday)

Please read the following guidance document before applying: Student Guidance – BESUG24



Past Summer Schools

Summer School 2022

The last two years the Summer School went fully online, however this year we took the hybrid route combining the best elements from the online and in-person trips. The Summer School had a first session fully online on the 12th July 2022 where they were able to meet their peers, their mentors, and staff, and practice networking in a relaxed setting. This was followed by the residential field trip to Blencathra Field Studies Centre 15th July – 18th July, where they were able to attend classes and dive right into the world of ecology with practical skills sessions!

Plant ID in Eycott Hill 2022
Ed Hall, MacroPro Photography
Students around a moth trap
Ed Hall, MacroPro Photography
Summer School 2022 group
Ed Hall, MacroPro Photography

Summer School 2020 and 2021

The past two years have seen fully online Summer Schools with extra ecological outdoor content local to participants. Over the course of the weeks, students participated in expert-led science sessions, online interactive elements and career development workshops. There were plenty of opportunities to network with fellow undergraduates, PhD students, ecological academics and professionals. Whilst the Summer School was an intense experience, jam-packed with activities, it was extremely beneficial and lots of fun!

In previous years we have been lucky enough to visit some amazing locations to deliver the Summer School. Below are some images of previous years and an insight into the fieldwork, careers and ecological sessions Summer School alumni have taken part in!

Credit: Kelly Lench, Writtle University College
Credit: Amy Sweeny, University of Edinburgh
Credit: Chris Jeffs, British Ecological Society