A Level Environmental Studies

What is Environmental Studies?

Environmental Studies is about a range of issues of environmental importance and the scientific principles and concepts which underpin them. This is achieved through the study of the biological and physical factors of the Earth, their interrelationships and human needs in relation to these factors. It is the study of human influences on the Earth's features, the stresses placed on them through the use of resources, including waste and pollution; leading onto how these resources, waste and pollution are managed and conserved through various strategies.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

The Environmental Studies course has been designed to be accessible to a wide range of candidates. There are no subject criteria, although GCSE Biology and Geography would be an advantage. This course is worthwhile for general education and lifelong learning. The material studied would be useful for those intending to pursue a wide range of careers, such as business, industry and town planning, as well as careers more directly involved in the environment or sciences.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

MPW adopts an integrated approach to the teaching of these two interrelated units. Wide reading, not only of textbooks, but also of newspapers and relevant websites, is required and students complete a minimum of two pieces of written work per week. The weekly timed assignments examine students on topics which they have covered over the previous week. In the third term, a systematic paper-by- paper revision is undertaken, with revision tests covering any aspect of the specification.

AS Specification Number
AQA 1441

 

Unit 1 (ENVS1)

1h exam 40% (20%)
The Living Environment.
This unit contains an 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.

Unit 2 (ENVS2)

1h 30m exam 60% (30%)
The Physical Environment.
This unit starts by focussing on how physical resources, such as atmospheric gases, water and mineral nutrients are essential for life on Earth. It then moves on to investigate how humans exploit and manage physical resources to provide higher material living standards.

Reading list

AuthorTitlePublisher
Richard Genn  AQA A Level Environmental Studies  Nelson Thornes 

 

A2 Level

MPW approach to A2 study

Students will need to work extremely hard during the second half of the course, where the additional intellectual demands of A2 (as compared to AS) mean that greater breadth of reading and current affairs is required to successfully discuss and debate issues. The depth of analysis of knowledge and use of exam techniques are crucial to top grades. The course is therefore taught systematically, topic- by-topic. Homework and tests are paper-specific so that students may be introduced at an early stage to the styles and demands of each paper.

A2 Specification Number
AQA 2441

 

Unit 3 (ENVS3)

1h 30m exam 50% (25%)
Energy Resources and Environmental Pollution.
Future problems of energy supply and how these may be resolved are investigated in this unit 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)

2h exam 50% (25%)
Biological Resources and Sustainability.
The factors controlling human population growth are considered in relation to the demands placed upon the plant'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 in the specification.

Reading list

AuthorTitlePublisher
Richard Genn  AQA A Level Environmental Studies  Nelson Thornes 

 

Jonathon

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Exeter University (Business Management)

I chose MPW because of the academic support provided by the college, which was instrumental in helping me throughout the challenging nature of my one-year A level courses. The weekly Timed Assignments and assistance provided by the Personal Tutor system helped me in areas I had previously struggled. Playing for the college football team was a great release from the challenging academic nature of the year and it helped me build friendships with other students in the college.

Shivali

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
Leeds University (Dentistry)

The best part about studying at MPW is the friendly, encouraging and supportive classroom environment that MPW provides.  It makes asking for help and reaching your potential easy and enjoyable. The college really helps students to believe in themselves.  The Personal Tutor system is great because it is available for you to use to whatever extent you might need whether that be having weekly meetings or meeting every now and then for a quick catch up to analyse my current progress.  The weekly Timed Assignments have also enabled me to build my confidence in the build up to my exams.  They help you to feel comfortable in an exam environment, as well as enable you to consolidate the material you need to recall in the final exams

Annabel

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AB

Progressed to
Exeter University (International Relations and History)

“Having not achieved the grades I wanted or needed in my A levels at my previous college I decided that retaking would be the best option for me.  I have found the small classes at MPW to be a real asset, and that, coupled with the fantastic teaching, has certainly enabled me to grow academically. Further to this, both the academic support and the university guidance provided by the college have been exceptional.”

Renee

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A

Progressed to
Manchester University (Dentistry)

After failing to get into Dental School last year I lost a lot of confidence and was worried that I might never get into my dream course.  The one-to-one support you get from MPW is so much more efficient compared to the main stream schools and colleges. The individual help you get for applying to University which includes interview support is amazing. No matter if you are a resit or a first time student, no one judges you and as long as you are hardworking and want to be a success.

Jake

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*A

Progressed to
Oxford University (Mathematics)

I joined MPW because I wanted to be part of a close knit community that focuses on helping students attain the grades they are really capable of.  Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor who assists them in all aspects of student life.  I would recommend the individual and personally tailored care given to any student looking to expand their academic horizons.  The encouragement and support has allowed me to aim high and achieve results that I had previously thought weren't possible. 

Cordelia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
King’s College London (Dentistry)

MPW gave me a second chance in pursuing a career in dentistry. The small class sizes and weekly timed assessments gave me and my tutors a clear indication of my progress.  The rigorous teaching schedules, structured and tailored to my personal needs, was exactly what I needed. MPW placed heavy focus on exam technique as the key to achieving the required higher grades. Being able to talk with my tutors at any time in the day was an invaluable aid. It was also clear how much the teachers took a personal interest in the development of each individual student.

Josephine

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
University of Warwick (Management)

I joined MPW having not fulfilled my academic potential during my AS level exams at my previous school. I decided to retake my AS year at MPW and it was the best decision I ever made. The tutors at MPW have pushed me to achieve my maximum potential and have greatly improved my academic performance. The best part of studying at MPW is the weekly timed assignments as they ensure that you continuously review and revise work as well as helping you to make weekly improvements on exam technique.

Olivia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Bristol University (Dentistry)

Throughout my time at MPW I have been provided with constant support.  The college has prepared me for not only my exams but also the university interviews I attended.  It has been an amazing experience from start to finish.  The friendly and welcoming environment created by the staff and students made it an ideal setting for me to concentrate on achieving my targets.

Alex

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
University of Birmingham (Law)

I came to MPW with very low self-confidence after under-achieving at AS level at my previous school, and have left with greater confidence about my academic ability and with a definite degree of clarity about what I hope to achieve in terms of my career. My experience at my previous school was that those with Oxbridge potential receive the most support and attention. This is not the case at MPW. I have found that it does not matter about that what the student's potential may be, each student receives the same amount of help to achieve their goals.