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ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

LEVEL 3: A LEVEL
EXAMINING BOARD: AQA

Environmental Science is for anyone interested in getting beyond the headlines about environmental issues and discovering the science behind the stories; what’s going wrong and how we are working to protect our environment.

Today we face many challenging environmental problems which have potentially disastrous consequences if these issues are not addressed. Environmental Science is an important area to study and the green sector is in the top five globally for job growth.

There are several trips during the course, for example, to Paignton Zoo to study captive breeding programmes, and to The National Marine Aquarium to study marine conservation. There is also a three day residential fieldtrip to Cornwall.

There are several related enrichments available at Huish such as the Earth Science Society and the Eco Action Group. These involve a range of activities such as talks, environmental campaigns as well as practical activities that aim to improve the biodiversity of the local area.

On this course you will study the following topics:

  • The Living Environment (biosphere)
  • The Atmosphere
  • The Lithosphere (soil science, mining etc.)
  • The Hydrosphere (global water resources)
  • Farming
  • Fishing and Aquaculture
  • Forestry
  • Water Pollution
  • Air Pollution
  • Energy
  • Radiation
  • Noise Pollution
  • Sustainability
  • Practical Skills and Research Methods (fieldwork and laboratory experiments).

You will need (or equivalent to);

  • GCSE Mathematics grade 4/C or above
  • GCSE English Language or Literature grade 4/C or above
  • plus three more GCSEs grade 4/C or above

It is strongly recommended you;

  • have a GCSE Mathematics grade 5 or above
  • have a GCSE Science grade 5 or above
  • consider combining this course with another Science or Earth Science A Level.

There are two written exams, each three hours in duration.  

Around 15% of all exam questions are based on practical skills and 10% of exam questions have a mathematical component.

Many students go on to study Environmental Science at University or related Earth Science courses. Marine Biology, Zoology and Agriculture are also increasingly popular university courses.

Some students go on to Apprenticeships, for example at Hinkley Point or The Environment Agency.

Popular career areas/jobs related to Environmental Science include; Marine Biology, Agriculture & Horticulture, Environmental Management & Consultancy, Pollution Management, Veterinary and Animal Management, Renewable Energy Design/Engineering, Conservation and Habitat Management, Architecture, Ecology, Town Planning, Forestry and Toxicology.

Can I combine this course with Geography or is there too much overlap?

Yes, you can combine them and this is a very popular combination of subjects.

Do I need to be interested in the environment?

Yes, this is important and you will be expected to read around the subject following topical environmental stories and issues.