Course Title AS/A Level Environmental Science
Level: 3
Code MS019

Overview of the Course

If you have a keen interest in environmental issues and the sustainability of our planet you will find this course exciting and thought provoking. Current issues relating to the environment, energy resources, pollution, circular economy and sustainability will be related to real life case studies. Environmental Science will allow you to research and understand a vast array of current issues such as why we should be interested in fracking in the North West, why certain cultures farm certain crops, or why a particular set of people design their cities and homes in a particular way. Being exposed to a world of drastically different situations, a budding Environmental Scientist is a highly employable individual, whose career path could make a significant difference in the future.

What are the career opportunities?

Many Environmental Science students progress on to Environmental Studies degrees which lead to employment through a number of employers. These include the Environment Agency (EA), DEFRA, local authorities, environmental consultancies and Natural England. There are a range of careers opportunities including Environmental Manager / Education Officer; Conservation / Waste Management / Recycling Officer; Environmental / Sustainability Consultant.

What are the entry requirements?

To study three AS Levels or two AS Levels and one Applied Qualification then the entry requirements are six GCSEs at or above grade C/4 including three subjects or more at or above grade C/5. To study Environmental Science your grades must include two GCSE grades A*-B (9-6) in Sciences (Combined Science/Separate Sciences); and grade 9-5 (A*-C) in GCSE English and Maths. Should you wish to study four AS Levels the entry requirements are six GCSEs at or above grade C/4 including two subjects or more at or above grade C/5 and two subjects or more at or above B/6. Please note: Students are expected to take another Science or Geography alongside this qualification.

How long is the course and when can I start?

This course will start in September and you will study for two years to achieve the full A Level.

How is the course structured and how will I be assessed?

Assessed through one 3 hour paper for the AS qualification and two 3 hour papers for the A Level qualification. These written papers will also assess practical skills gained by undertaking a range of practical investigations; 6 (AS) and 12 (A Level).

What employability skills will I develop on this course?

Throughout the course you will develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of Environmental Science and how they relate to each other. It will also help to understand how society makes decisions about environmental issues and how these contribute to the success of the economy and society. Learn how to develop your own opinions on how our planet should be conserved and importantly how to voice and take action to initiate change. The course will help to develop an interest in further study and careers which will be essential in the future. Working scientifically you will have opportunities for skills development and independent thinking. These include skills related to the methodologies and sampling techniques that you must gain through first-hand experience and skills related to research methods that can be gained through class-based and/or practical activities. A range of question types will be used, including those that require extended responses. Extended response questions will allow you to demonstrate your ability to construct and develop a sustained line of reasoning which is coherent, relevant, substantiated and logically structured. Extended responses may be in written English, extended calculations, or a combination of both, as appropriate to the question. Overall at least 10% of the marks in assessments for Environmental Science will require the use of mathematical skills. These skills will be applied in the context of environmental science and will be at least the standard of higher tier GCSE mathematics.

Work experience

Work experience can be found at many environmental organisations as many need help from people who are willing to carry out unpaid work. This may also help bridge the gap towards a more specialist and paid role. It is also relatively easy to become involved with conservation organisations and charities, or become involved in local initiatives. There will be an expectation that at least one week per year will be dedicated to work experience relevant to your A Level Study Programme.

Study programme enrichment opportunities

As fieldwork is a compulsory component of the course, this may be extended to support further enrichment activities. Visits to Chester Zoo and local conservation programmes also offer opportunities for enrichment.

Are there any additional costs or requirements?

There may be additional supplements for course textbooks and some enrichment / fieldwork activities.

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