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Environmental Science

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Environmental Science A Level

Environmental issues are often in the news and play an increasingly important role in almost every aspect of life, from human population to recycling. Studying Environmental Science will help you to understand how the world works.

Environmental Science applies scientific principles to the natural environment to help us to understand and manage it. You will develop your powers of analysis using scientific methods to see how environmental problems could be solved.

The key to doing well is to be able to make links between cause and effect.

Environmental Science goes well with the other Earth Sciences, such as Biology and Geology, as well as Chemistry and Physics.  Some students, who are doing mainly Arts subjects, choose to study Environmental Science because they have a genuine concern for the environment and want to keep their education broad.

Practical work is an integral part of the course.

Year One

The course develops a foundation of scientific knowledge and skills associated with the environment and how it works.

You will study the four main life support systems which are essential for life on Earth: the Biosphere, Atmosphere, Hydrosphere and Lithosphere:

The units studied are:

  • The Living Environment.
  • The Physical Environment.
  • Research Methods.

Year Two

You will apply your knowledge to understand how different environmental principles are linked. You will study the use of our natural resources to supply the energy, materials and food we need:

The units studied are:

  • Energy Resources.
  • Pollution.
  • Biological Resources.
  • Sustainability.
  • Research Methods, including Experiment Design.


Four days field work is part of the course. Most of the field work will be carried out locally, but a residential trip may be arranged.

There are trips to the Elan Valley and a zoo, as well as local trips to study a river, a nature reserve and a large farm.

What can you do after the course?

Environmental Science will give you an A level in a Science subject, to help you gain a place on a degree or technical course, or an apprenticeship.
There are many courses with environmental content, from land management to environmental health, climate science to conservation biology.

Environmental Science is also relevant to primary school teaching, veterinary medicine, architecture and agriculture, amongst other careers.

I never realised the environment was so important.

Ty Roberts, student

Darce talks about Environmental Science