Environmental Science

Type of qualification – A Level
Exam Board – AQA

Course Description

Are you interested in finding out more about the impact of human activity on our planet? Perhaps you are interested in discovering ways in which environmental damage can be halted or even reversed. If this sounds like you, then come and join with like-minded people by choosing A Level Environmental Science.

As a student you will have the opportunity to gain insights and an understanding of how geographical and biological components are interrelated in terms of the environment. This scientific subject will lead you to both answers and more questions, and sits particularly well alongside subjects like Biology, Chemistry, and Geography.

Lessons are a mixture of whole class teaching, group work and independent research that will lead to you presenting your findings to the class. You will also learn through lab work, discussions and field trips. During your studies you will become more confident in kick sampling, microclimate analysis, and ecological sampling in grassland and woodland habitats.

Why study this course?

  • Choose a highly relevant interdisciplinary science option
  • Study the physical environment by looking closely at energy resources and pollution issues
  • Analyse contemporary environmental issues, systems thinking and sustainability
  • Understand the living planet index and the impact of our use of resources
  • Appreciate the importance of basing decisions on reliable data in order to guarantee evidence based analysis
  • Gain important knowledge about how society makes decisions about environmental issues and how these contribute to the success of the economy and society

Topics

  • The living environment: wildlife conservation including the importance of biodiversity, habitat management and captive breeding and release programmes
  • The physical environment: the impact of human activities on physical processes and how these can be managed, including climate change, exploitation of water and geological resources
  • Energy resources
  • Pollution
  • Biological resources
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental issues such as melting ice sheets, coral reef decline and the discovery of new water sources are explored, with the emphasis on how to find solutions to these environmental problems through improved management and use of new technology

What next?

Students who study this A Level have a wide range of options for further study, accepted by universities as a relevant science, not only for Environmental Science degrees, but also for related degrees such as oceanography, geology, marine biology and zoology. It can lead, with appropriate other subjects, to a wide range of careers including wildlife conservation, engineering, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, environmental law, tourism and sustainable architecture, among many others.

Interesting fact about studying this subject at S6C

The course includes a minimum of 4 days of fieldwork including an Ecology conference at Marwell Zoo and a day trip to Kew Botanic gardens.

Assessment

Written 3 hour exams.
A combination of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

General Entry Requirements

5 GCSE qualifications with minimum grade 4

Subject Specific Requirements

Level 5 – Mathematics
Level 5 – English
Level 5 – Science/Combined Science