ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

LEVEL: A LEVEL
EXAMINING BOARD: AQA
TYPE OF STUDY: FULL-TIME, SIXTH FORM

Do you care about the environment and the future of our planet?

By doing this course you will gain a thorough scientific understanding of how planet earth functions. Much human activity has resulted in serious environmental problems. These range from air and water pollution to species extinction. You will study the technical solutions to these specific issues.

Some of the topics we cover include:

  • Captive Breeding Programmes – using Paignton Zoo as a resource
  • The Role of Oceans in Global Climatic Change – using the National Marine Aquarium as a resource
  • Marine Conservation
  • Fisheries and Forestry Management
  • Farming Theory- utilising the College farm test plots

There is no coursework but fieldwork is an essential part of the course and the techniques are assessed with exams. We also carry out regular lab practicals.

This course can lead towards a huge range of career areas such as Marine Biology, Wildlife Conservation, Farming, Forestry, Pollution Monitoring and Renewable Energy Development. Jobs in the green sector are in the top 5 globally for job growth.

I feel this A Level will be highly beneficial in the future as our generation will be the ones needed to adapt and manage the environment. The subject offers a variety of practical experiments and fieldwork trips. Trips to the zoo and out to Westhay Moor to complete conservation work have helped apply what has been taught in the classroom. The variety of topics from habitat conservation to the conditions for life on earth mean it isn’t just all about ‘climate change’.

Izzie Talbot, Environmental Science Student
 

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English Language or Literature. A minimum grade 5 in a GCSE Science and Mathematics. It is recommended you combine this course with another Science or Earth Science A Level such as Biology, Chemistry, Geography or Geology.

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 (fieldwork and laboratory experiments).

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.

Environmental Science is an eye-opening study of the world in which we live and gives clarity and insight into topical global issues such as climate change, conservation and resource management. Whilst it is considered a “science” the specification is not overwhelmed with complicated theory and formulae, allowing for a more rounded outlook on the more human side of global issues. It has made me think differently about the impact my actions directly have on the planet and it intertwines well with my other subject choices. The creative homework and research projects integrated into the course allow for you to formulate your own ideas and viewpoints on the ideas covered through the specification and demonstrate your interest in the subject.

Madelaine Butler