What are the aims of this course?
This popular course involves the scientific study of how the environment supports us, how we threaten these support systems, and strategies for a more sustainable lifestyle. The subject draws on many study areas including geology, geography, economics, politics and sociology. It is strongly recommended that this course be taken in conjunction with biology.
What are the areas covered by this course?
During the AS year you will study The Living Environment, which covers:
- Reasons why the conservation of life on Earth is important
- Methods which may be used to achieve effective conservation Conservation in the UK
- Coral reefs
- Antarctica and tropical rainforests
- Ecological relationships between organisms and their abiotic and biotic environment
You will also study The Physical Environment, which includes: Atmospheric gases
- Water and mineral nutrients
- Human exploitation and management of physical resources to provide higher material living standards
- Unsustainable natural resources
There are opportunities to gain practical skills in outdoor settings.
What qualifications do I need to do this course?
Five A-C grades at GCSE including maths and including BB grades in GCSE science. GCSE environmental studies is not essential for the course, but if taken should be at grade C or higher.
How is the course assessed?
The AS year and the A level year both have two units, which are examined by written papers.
- Unit 1 - The Living Environment is a one hour paper worth 40% of your marks
- Unit 2 - The Physical Environment is a 90 minute paper worth 60% of your marks.
The papers include short answer and structured questions in your first year with the addition of comprehension questions and essays in your second year.
Which qualification will I be awarded if I successfully complete the course?
AQA AS Environmental Studies.
What will I be able to go on to do after I've completed this course?
Successful completion with D grade on the first year allows progression onto year two of the course. On completion of the course you may progress to higher education, including degrees such as geography, wildlife conservation, science, environmental science, and related areas.
What are the career opportunities?
Environmental studies will equip you with a range of skills that could lead into careers in biology, wildlife conservation, environmental consultant, town planner, or water quality scientist. Paid or voluntary opportunities in conservation organisations could include employers such as the Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency, Defra, charitable trusts (for example, the national trust), or environmental monitoring organisations and consultancies.