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Course Code: SFAEV011

Course Level: Level 3

Study Mode: Full-Time

Course Type: A Levels and A+ Programmes

Course overview

If you want to help combat climate change and make a difference by deepening your understanding of the interactions seen within the natural world then A Level Environmental Science is for you.

From ecosystems and biodiversity to environmental management and sustainability, students delve into the scientific principles and practical solutions needed to address pressing environmental issues.

This interdisciplinary subject, combining biology, chemistry, physics, geography and maths, will allow you to explore interactions between organisms and their environment on a local and global scale, giving you a good grounding for further study in one of the fastest growing areas of employment. The course will includes at least two days in the field and practical lab work, giving you the opportunity to carry out modern practical and analytical methods currently used in the field.

In the first year there are two main areas of study:

  • The living environment: Including the importance of biodiversity conservation, habitat management and life processes in the biosphere and conservation planning.
  • The physical environment: Including the impact of human activities on physical processes and how these can be managed, with a focus on climate change, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, mineral resources and biogeochemical cycles. Life processes in the biosphere and conservation planning issues such as melting ice sheets, coral reef decline and the discovery of new water sources are also explored, with the emphasis on how to find solutions to these environmental problems through improved management and use of new technology.

Other units explored throughout the two-year course include:

  • Energy resources: Evaluation of new extraction/harnessing technologies relating to fossil fuels, nuclear power/fission and fusion, renewable energy technologies, new energy storage systems and conservation technologies, vehicle design for use and end of life and building design.
  • Pollution: The properties of pollutants, how environmental features affect pollution events and strategies to control pollutants based on their properties and features of the environment.
  • Biological resources: Including agriculture, aquatic food production systems and forest resources.
  • Sustainability: Covering topics on dynamic equilibria, energy, material cycles and The Circular Economy.

You will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 5 or above including maths and English Language, in subjects relevant to your A Level or A+ Programme subject choices. To study this course you will also need to achieve a grade 6 in GCSE Biology and Chemistry or grade 6-6 in Combined Science.

Two 3 hour final exams, consisting of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

Paper 1 topics:

  • The physical environment
  • Energy resources
  • Pollution
  • Research methods

Paper 2 topics:

  • The living environment
  • Biological resources
  • Sustainability
  • Research methods

Please contact Subject Lead John Griffiths by emailing john.griffiths@nscg.ac.uk.

When you have gained your A Level in Environmental Science, you can use it to progress into Higher Education, both locally and further afield. From Keele University to Liverpool Hope University, many offer degree courses linked with environmental science. This course is a great accompaniment to Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Physics and Maths. Jobs linked to Environmental Science range from Environmental Engineer, Nature conservation officer, Sustainability consultant to water quality scientist and many more.

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. If you are outside this age group, please contact Charlotte Robertson on 01782 254141 or email charlotte.robertson@nscg.ac.uk.

College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £26,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit nscg.ac.uk/finance

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