Environmental Science - A Level - Year 1

A Level Environmental Science applies scientific principles to help us understand and manage the natural environment. You will develop understanding of how different events and cycles within the environment are associated, how they influence subsequent environmental events, the human impacts on these events and cycles and the strategies that can be used to minimise the problems caused. Some of the key aspects include Wildlife Conservation, Global Climate Change and Sustainability. As well as being a fascinating subject, Environmental Science will help you understand how the world works.

During the course you will study the following:

  • The Living Environment: why the conservation of life on earth is important, the threats to wildlife and methods which may be used to achieve effective conservation.
  • The Physical Environment: how current exploitation of physical resources causes environmental impacts and an understanding how physical processes and the development of new technologies can aid the management of such resources.
  • Energy Resources: how the future problems of energy supply can be resolved with new technologies in renewable resources and by improved energy conservation.
  • Pollution: how the properties of pollutants can be used to explain why some materials or energy cause environmental damage and the strategies used to minimise such damage.
  • Biological Resources: how the challenge to provide food and forest resources for a growing human population can be met without damaging the planet’s life support systems.
  • Sustainability: the principles from all the above topics are developed into a holistic understanding of sustainability and the circular economy in order to gain an understanding of the interconnected nature of environmental problems and solutions.
  • Research methods: how the principles of scientific methodology can be used to investigate a wide range of environmental situations and techniques.

How will I be assessed?

The course is assessed by two 3 hour written exams at the end of the second year. The examinations contain a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

What do I need?

You will need to achieve at least 5 GCSEs - 2 at Grade 6 including Double Science and 3 at grade 5 including Mathematics.

Where can it take me?

  • Halesowen College - you can progress to an exciting range of higher level courses, including Applied Science HNC/D and Teaching.
  • University - related degrees including Environmental Science, Ecology, Oceanography, Environmental Engineering and Climatology.
  • Careers – This course is ideal if you are interested in a career or apprenticeship in Local Government, DEFRA, Forestry, The Environment Agency, Highways & Waterways as well as Conservation Agencies.

Additional information

You will undertake an Induction period at the start of the course to ensure you are supported and guided through the correct learning pathway. There will be opportunities for field work on this course to support the theory taught within College lessons.

Environmental Science fits well within an A Level programme containing Physics, Biology, Geology, Geography and Mathematics.

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