The Environmental Studies course enables students 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 an 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.
This course is designed to allow you to study at your own pace and is designed to develop an interest and understanding of Environmental Studies.
Read on to find out more about our A Level Environmental Studies distance learning course and how you can learn with our amazing materials and online support.
Course ContentAn outline of what is offered in our A Level Environmental Studies course:
Unit 1: ENVS1 – The Living EnvironmentAn introduction to the biodiversity of life on Planet Earth.
The reasons why the conservation of life on Earth is important are investigated, as are the methods which may be used to achieve effective conservation.
Conservation in the UK, coral reefs, Antarctica and tropical rainforests are used to develop these issues further.
‘Life Processes in the Biosphere’ allows consideration of the ecological relationships between organisms and their abiotic and biotic environments in order to understand conservation problems further and how these may be managed.
Unit 2: ENVS2 – The Physical EnvironmentThis unit introduces the available physical resources essential to life on Earth, how humans utilise these resources and issues relating to resource over-exploitation.
Additionally, the naturally occurring resources such as atmospheric gases, water and minerals, and cycles involving them are explored. The uses, management and threats to these resources are also investigated, including global climate change, water demands and management as well as mineral exploitation.
Unit 3: ENVS3 – Energy Resources and Environmental PollutionFuture problems of energy supply and how these may be resolved are investigated through the study of the energy resources which are available for use.
The properties of pollutants are considered to explain why some materials or forms of energy cause environmental damage. These issues are developed through the study of a range of atmospheric, aquatic and terrestrial pollutants.
The strategies which may be used to minimise releases, treat effluents and manage the damage caused are considered. These issues allow consideration of the issues related to Units 1 and 2 which involve pollution.
Unit 4: ENVS4 – Biological Resources and SustainabilityThe factors controlling human population growth are considered in relation to the demands placed upon the planet’s resources and life-support systems.
Food production and forestry systems are analysed, with particular emphasis on the limiting factors affecting productivity, the environmental problems caused by these systems and the ways in which problems can be addressed.
The study of the sustainability of human lifestyles allows synoptic consideration of the other modules of the specification.
How Science WorksAn understanding of How Science Works is a requirement. How Science Works is an underpinning set of concepts and is the means whereby students come to understand how scientists investigate scientific phenomena in their attempts to explain the world about us. Moreover, How Science Works recognises the contribution scientists have made to their own disciplines and to the wider world.
Mathematical RequirementsCandidates should be familiar with:
• Arithmetic and computation
• Handling Data
Summary of AssessmentsUnit 1: ENVS1 – The Living Environment
• 40% of AS Level
• 20% of A Level
• 1 hour written examination
• 60 marks
• five short answer questions (45 marks) and one structured question (15 marks)
Unit 2: ENVS2 – The Physical Environment
• 60% of AS Level
• 30% of A Level
• 1 hour 30 minutes written examination
• 90 marks
• eight short answer questions (75 marks) and one structured question including extended prose (15 marks).
Unit 3: ENVS3 – Energy Resources and Environmental Pollution• 25% of A Level
• 1 hour 30 minutes written examination
• 80 raw marks
• Seven compulsory short answer/structured/comprehension questions (60 marks) and one essay from a choice of three titles (20 marks).
Unit 4: ENVS4 – Biological Resources and Sustainability• 25 % of A Level
• 2 hours written examination
• 80 raw marks
• Five compulsory short answer/structured/comprehension questions (45 marks), one compulsory data analysis question (15 marks) and one essay from a choice of three titles (20 marks).
Throughout the course there will be self-assessment questions, and tutor marked questions, to enable students to monitor their progress.
Recommended hours of studyIt is recommended that 200 hours of your time should be allocated towards study for the A Level Examinations.
Recommended ReadingThe core text for this course is relevant to all units of the course and should be referred to throughout:
AQA A Level Environmental Studies Student book by Richard Genn (2008)
Published by Nelson Thornes ISBN-10: 1408513900 ISBN-13: 978-1408513903
Environmental Science: A Global Concern (Ninth Edition) by William P.
Cunningham, Mary Ann Cunningham and Barbara Woodworth Saigo (2007)
Published by McGraw Hill Higher Education Publisher: ISBN-10: 0071105964
Understanding GCSE Geography: For AQA Specification A (Understanding GCSE
Geography) by Ann Bowen and John Pallister (2006) Published by Heinemann
Educational Publishers; 3Rev Ed edition ISBN-10: 0435351710 ISBN-13: 978-