Awarding Body:AQACourse Duration:1/2 Years

Minimum Entry Requirements

If you are studying either
a) GCSE Biology / Chemistry / Physics or
b) GCSE Science and Additional Science
You need to achieve 5 GCSEs at A*- C, including a grade B in Additional Science, Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

If you do not achieve a B in any one of these subjects, then you need to have Maths at grade B.

If you are studying one of the applied science courses either
c) GCSE Science and Additional Science (Applied)
d) GCSE Applied Science (Double award)
You need to achieve 5 GCSEs at A*-C including grade CC in Applied Science (Double award) or grade C in Additional Science (Applied), and Mathematics at grade B.

Course Content

The course provides the knowledge necessary to understand the fundamental processes of the various systems of planet Earth, how human activities affect the planet and what we can do to reduce our impact. The underlying theme is ‘How can increasing numbers of people have a good quality of life without damaging the life-support systems of the planet?’

The two AS units provide a general introduction to the subject and cover wildlife conservation, ecology, land-use, geological resources, soils, water, and atmospheric processes. Topical issues such as global climate change, tropical rainforest conservation and water supplies are covered.

The second year has two units which cover energy resources, pollution, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and sustainability.

The applied nature of the subject means there are many opportunities to relate topics to everyday issues and current affairs.

Students with an interest in practical conservation can assist with the management of a woodland nature reserve which we are developing to increase its wildlife value.

Methods of Teaching

You will learn through discussions, practical activities, multimedia, group projects and study skills. Private study includes expanding topic summaries, background reading (sources recommended) and internet research (website addresses provided). A range of field trips is offered to support class-based studies.

Methods and Patterns of Assessment

All AS and A2 units have exams at the end of the academic year.

Financial Implications

Textbook is currently £26, plus a £10 fee for online resoources. Day-trips are, with one exception, optional and should cost no more than £20 per trip (prices will vary according to the type of trip). There is one fieldtrip at the end of September, which all students are expected to attend, but there is no charge for this. The price for residential trips includes all transport, accommodation, visits, meals and insurance. Exact prices will be available once trip details are finalised. The College has a Student Support Fund for those students who have difficulty meeting these costs.

Career Progression

Environmental Studies is a broad subject, 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, water industry, energy industry, environmental health, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, teaching, journalism, environmental law, tourism, sustainable architecture, among many others.

Past students are employed in a variety of fields, including the petrochemical industry, biodiversity and conservation research (international and local), environmental monitoring and management in the nuclear industry, venerinary science and agrochemicals.

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