Geology vs Environmental engineering?Watch
Environmental Engineering to me sounds a quite specific. I find for engineering it is best to go for the main fields of electrical/electronics, mechanical, chemical, civil and aeronautics. These main fields will give you the skills needed for more specific fields.
For example you can do a renewable energy engineering degree, however an Electrical/Electronic Engineering will get you into that field just fine. Nothing wrong wit the specific degrees like renewable energy eng., but doing EEE would just give you more options.
So in your case, Environmental Eng. may limit your choices but you should still get a job with it.
You can always do a MSc in fields such as Geological Engineering, Exploration Geology, Earthquake Engineering etc. after your degree. However it would be worth adding some of these, particularly the engineering ones will want A-level maths or equivalent standard. However depending on the university, there is a good chance a geology/earth science degree will have maths modules that would match/exceed A-level content. It will vary from university to university. Which universities have you got in mind?
You mentioned the foundation year for the engineering. I'm just going to put it out there that the foundation year may be a good choice regardless. I was talking to the Faculty of Environment at the University of Leeds and they told me that it is always better to having knowledge of subjects like maths to AS/A2 level will help a lot as you don't need to spend time taking the maths modules in first year to bring you up to A-level standard, you get to study the modules you would rather be doing.
Although you would have the grades to get onto some geology/earth science courses, they may not be accredited.
So it might be a good idea if you apply for a science foundation year, if you select modules in maths and physics and chemistry during the foundation there may be a possibility of transferring to an engineering degree after the year 0. Or even apply for a engineering foundation and transfer to a geology degree if you wanted. Basically in a nutshell the foundation might be a better way of keeping your options open. That way if you change your mind it will be easy to switch degree.
You don't have maths/science A levels, and you need these for both a geology/earth science degree and an environmental engineering degree. So either way the foundation degree is a good idea.
I would also recommend the geology/earth sciences route, but I am somewhat biased!
Here's my two cents for those who care. I've got quite a bit of experience in both of these as my dad is a Geologist for an Oil & Gas company, while I'm an Environmental Engineer.
I believe you could probably find higher paid jobs as a Geologist, as they are widely employed within both the Oil & Gas and Mining industries, mostly involved in exploration I believe. HOWEVER these jobs are not easy to get, especially in the recent job market. However that being said, with a BSc Geology you can take an MSc in a whole lot of subjects with have great employment prospects such as Petroleum Engineering, Reservoir Engineering, Engineering Geology etc.... You could even take an MSc in Environmental Engineering I believe with a BSc in Geology.
For Environmental Engineering you may find it slightly easier to find a job as it is a more specific specialised field. You can work for engineering or environmental consultancies, within the Oil & Gas industries, within the mining industry (mostly in remediation projects), within the water & wastewater industries, within the solid waste industry and any industry that has an environmental sector. Environmental Engineer start-up salaries are less than those of Geologists within the Oil & Gas and mining industries, basically because they are more of a support team. Also support teams tend to suffer the most when job cuts have to be made... But that being said, the higher up you climb the ladder within the industry you choose, the higher your salary will be, and there's definitely some very highly paid senior positions out there for Environmental Engineers.
Geology: harder to get a job, potential for a higher salary.
Environmental Engineering: easier to get a job, start at a lower salary.
They are both great choices for degrees. Both job types have great opportunities for working internationally (if you're into that).
But MY advice as an Env Eng would be to do your Bsc in Geology, and then decide whether you want to do an Msc in Env Eng when you have finished, then you get the best of both worlds.
*ONE LAST VERY IMPORTANT POINT: Make SURE the university course you choose in accredited by the relevant societies before even thinking of going there. A technical degree which is not accredited is near useless*