Why choose Environmental Science?

Environmental Science covers a range of topics that are relevant to all aspects of our day to day lives and also very current in the media. Issues such as plastic in the oceans, the energy mix debate, fracking and the population decline of over 60% of global mammal species are all covered in the study of Environmental Science. In addition to this, many universities are now offering pure environmental science as a degree option due to increased national and global concerns over our planet’s health.

There is considerable overlap with Geography and biology and the course also covers some elements of chemistry so is a useful subject for students looking to further their field or natural sciences. Finally, it would also suit students looking to move into environmental journalism or environmental law if paired with English or Media Studies. Overall, its relevance to all aspects of life makes it an effective subject to combine with others to form an effective career pathway.

Resources and Facilities

Environmental Science will be taught in a modern, well equipped and spacious laboratory. This allows us to perform a range of experiments and practical tests. The course requirements expect students to carry out a minimum of 12 practical experiments over 2 years. In addition resources such as Moodle and online platforms such as ArcGIS allow for effective and engaging lessons.  As part of the course students are also expected to take part in a minimum of 2 days in the field in order to experience conservation in action.

Teaching and Learning Styles

Lessons will be based around a range of investigations in order to encourage students to think about the cause and effect of events or acts that may have an environmental consequence. The lessons will take place in a fully functional laboratory with access to a range of equipment. We also have access to a computer suite for research when required. Students will have the opportunity to work alone, in pairs and in small groups. There will be ample opportunity to take part in practicals and outdoor research. It is anticipated that we will visit Bristol Zoo/ West Midlands Safari Park and contrast this with much smaller conservation schemes in and around the surrounding counties.


Students will study the AQA exam board specification. Under the specification there is no coursework. But there are 12 compulsory practical experiments and 2 compulsory days in the field. Overall, at least 15% of the marks for A-level Environmental Science qualification will require the assessment of practical skills.

Examinations are worth 100% of the qualification. There are 2 papers. Each paper is worth 50% of the qualification. Each paper is 3 hours long and is based around a combination of multiple choice, short answer and extended writing questions.

Progression Opportunities

There are now over 150 courses at Degree level for Environmental Science itself; many of these at typical Russell Group Universities such as York and Durham. However, many students may wish to make a sideways move towards, Oceanography, Conservation, Urban Planning and Agronomy. Additionally, some students may take up employment directly with employers such as the Environment Agency and a number of charitable groups working in hydrology, conservation and fair trade.

Course Specifics / Entry Requirements

Qualification NameMaths GCSE Req.English GCSE Req.Other Req.Desirable QualificationsSkills & Attributes Required for SuccessGuidance on Costs or Commitments
Environmental Science55GCSE in a Science at Grade 5 or above.GCSE Geography at grade 5 or above if studied.An interest in the natural environment. Enjoyment/ willingness to complete practical experiments. A willingness to work out in the field.Approx. £50 to cover the cost of 2 compulsory days in the field over two years.

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