Environmental Science

Environmental Science

Students who enjoy a multi-disciplinary approach to learning and have a keen interest in the sustainability of our planet will find this course engaging and thought provoking.

  • Course Type School Leaver
  • Subject Area Science
  • Qualification A Level 🧩
  • Study Mode: Full Time Only
  • Course Level Level 3
  • Course Length 2 years
97.92% Pass rate in 2019

This course is combined with other A Levels (and BTEC Certificates) to make up a full time programme of study.

A Level Environmental Science enables you to gain a deep and well informed insight into the environment, and the scientific processes that control and affect it. The central theme is the development of the understanding of how different events and cycles within the environment interrelate, how they influence subsequent environmental events, the human impacts on these events and cycles and the strategies that can be used to minimise the problems caused. Key aspects include Wildlife Conservation, Global Climate Change and Sustainability.

This course is ideal if you enjoy a multi-disciplinary approach to learning and have a keen interest in the sustainability of our planet, from the conservation of wildlife to the development of technology to improve renewable energy resources.

You will be taught through lectures, practical work, case studies and small group work. You will have access to fully-equipped laboratories, IT equipment and electronic resources. During the course there will be ongoing assessment of your progress by tests, essays and independent work. Formal assessment is by two 3 hour examinations at the end of the second year.

What topics will I study?

  • The Living Environment: why the conservation of life on earth is important, the threats to wildlife and methods which may be used to achieve effective conservation.
  • The Physical Environment: how current exploitation of physical resources causes environmental impacts and an understanding of physical processes and the development of new technologies can aid the management of such resources.
  • Energy Resources: how the future problems of energy supply can be resolved with new technologies in renewable resources and by improved energy conservation.
  • Pollution: how the properties of pollutants can be used to explain why some materials or energy cause environmental damage and the strategies used to minimise such damage.
  • Biological Resources: how the challenge to provide food and forest resources for a growing human population can be met without damaging the planet’s life support systems.
  • Sustainability: the principles from all the above topics are developed into a holistic understanding of sustainability and the circular economy in order to gain an understanding of the interconnected nature of environmental problems and solutions.
  • Research methods: how the principles of scientific methodology can be used to investigate a wide range of environmental situations and techniques.

You will:

  • Gain an understanding of how Earth’s systems are used to propose changes in society that would produce sustainable lifestyles
  • Learn about why species are important, how they are threatened and methods to conserve them
  • Attend various trips, for example ecological sampling, Paignton Zoo and National Marine Aquarium Plymouth
  • Study the science of climate change
  • Learn about the impacts and management of unsustainable exploitation of water, mineral resources and soil
  • Study how we manage pollution, energy and biological resources
  • Develop your practical and investigative skills through lab work in our new laboratories

A Level Geography, Geology or Biology would complement this subject particularly well.

Next steps: You could progress to a wide range of university courses, or to employment with organisations such as the Environment Agency, the National Trust and conservation agencies.

Entry Requirements

Standard entry requirements: You will need eight GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English Language and Maths.



You will have access to new fully equipped laboratories and PCs as well as access to a learning centre. There is a cafe and student hub based in the new building.

Additional Costs

There are some costs of materials and resources.

This further education course is free for all 16-18 year olds who are resident in the UK and the European Economic Area for the last 3 years. (You must be under 19 on 31st August in the calendar year that you start your course). For any fee-related queries or further information, please contact the Advice and Recruitment Team on 01392 400444.

  • Have a question?

    If you have questions or would like to speak to someone, our team of Customer Service Advisers can help answer your questions or direct your enquiry to the correct team.
    Speak to us today on 01392 400500 or email info@exe-coll.ac.uk.

  • Ready to find out more?

    Why not come along to one of our open events, a chance to explore our facilities, ask questions about our courses and find out more about being a student at Exeter College. Visit our open events page to find out more today.