16-18 Courses, 16-18: A Levels

Environmental Science (A Level)

Course Overview

Entry requirements

GCSE Average Points Score: 4.8, Grade 5 English Language GCSE, Grade 5 Maths GCSE, GCSE Science 55

Course information

Studying the Earth and how humans interact with it is vital to gain an understanding on which we make decisions on how to care for our planet. We can use this understanding to make positive changes in society.

In Environmental Science you will study:

  • How the Earth works
  • The relationship between environmental resources and services for human survival
  • Human actions that are reducing the ability of our planet to support life
  • Sustainable lifestyles
  • Practical and research skills
  • Statistical analysis

There is a strong emphasis on statistical analysis and you need to be a confident mathematician. There is also the requirement for extended answer essay questions in the exam so you will also need to be confident with structuring and balancing your arguments with written English.

In your first year, you will study the physical environment, energy resources and pollution. This includes aspects of geology, physics and chemistry. In the second year, you will study the living environment, biological resources and sustainability. This includes biology and geography.

Environmental Science A Level applies the theory of all of these subjects and combines them to provide an interesting and thought-provoking two years of study. Environmental Science will enable you to develop a wide range of skills, but to succeed you will need to become confident in both qualitative and quantitative analysis.

In both years you will also study research methods which involves a wide range of methodologies and sampling techniques. There is a compulsory requirement for a total of four days' field work across the course, although this may be completed as separate visits. There will be a cost for field work and visits but for students on low income these can be supported by a bursary.

We follow the AQA specification and assessment is by two three-hour exams at the end of the second year. 15% of these exams will be assessing your practical skills.

Here is the link to view the specification: https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/science/specifications/AQA-7447-SP-2017.PDF

  • Next steps

    The Environmental Science A Level is heavily skills based and taught through practical activities. You will gain skills in planning, data collection and analysis which are transferrable to many different careers. Students go on to study various science degrees at university as well as Environmental Science.

    The course can lead to careers in environmental or geotechnical roles as well as positions in environmental sectors including research, consultancy, education, policy, compliance and enforcement.

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What Can This Course Lead To

Progress to university, further study or employment.

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