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Environmental Studies at Dudley Sixth

Course description

This course will equip you with the knowledge and understanding to study the environment around us in a scientific context.

Course content

Unit 1 - The Living Environment

Topics include the conditions for life on Earth, biodiversity, conservation of wildlife on a global scale, conservation of environments in the UK, coral reefs, Antarctica and tropical rainforests. Students will investigate the legal and ethical issues surrounding the conservation and protection of these environments plus some of the conflicts which occur. The management of ecological relationships between organisms and their abiotic(non-living) and biotic(living) environments is also considered. Food webs, predator and prey relationships plus competition between species is analysed, and skills in the practical evaluation of data relating to changes in environments are also studied.

Unit 2 - The Physical Environment

Topics include the atmosphere including its structure and characteristics, global climate change, ozone depletion and the El Nino effect, the impacts of humans on atmospheric processes and the hydrosphere, including the hydrological cycle and the impacts humans have on this natural system. The lithosphere is also studied such as rocks and soil, including the formation of different rock types and the development of soils in the environment. Practical work in soil analysis is undertaken in the laboratory and skills in evaluating the results of experiments are developed. Students will also investigate the exploitation and management of the physical environment in areas such as mining, water abstraction, and the natural nutrient cycles such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous. The concept of sustainability will be explored in relation to the physical environment.

Unit 3 - Energy Resources and Environmental Pollution

This unit involves studying the current and future problems of energy supply and how these may be resolved. Nonrenewable and renewable energy resources are studied with regard to both contemporary and proposed usage and the impact this has on the environment. New developments in energy resources such as the use of hydrogen, wind power and biofuels will be covered, alongside the more ‘ traditional’ energy resources. Pollution and the properties of pollutants are investigated to explain causes of environmental damage. Different forms of pollution are studied, including atmospheric, aquatic, radioactive, noise and terrestrial pollutants such as waste disposal. Strategies to minimise impacts and manage damage from these pollutants are also investigated.

Unit 4 - Biological Resources and Sustainability

The growth of human population and increased materialism are considered in relation to demands placed on the planet’s resources. Food production and nutrition are studied, alongside specific agroecosystems. Forestry systems are analysed in terms of types of forests, resources, production and deforestation. How these might be managed are also investigated. Aquatic food production systems including ocean fish stocks and commercial fish farming are studied with consideration of the future issues relating to management of aquatic food production systems. Sustainability of human lifestyles allows synoptic consideration of all modules.

Entry requirements

You will require a grade B in science or a grade 6 in maths, in addition to the general entry requirements.


Written examinations.

Financial information

Studying at Dudley Sixth is free of charge, but if other costs are a barrier to you studying with us, we aim to help you to access financial support. Examples of support that could be available include:

Bursary fund

Students aged 16-18 attending a full-time further education course can apply for help with college related costs to the 16-18 Bursary Fund. More information about the 16-18 Bursary can be found at the website: or call 01384 363 555.

Care to Learn

Students aged under 20 needing help with childcare may be eligible for help with costs. More information is available from or call 0300 303 8610.

Free meals

The government has introduced a new scheme to provide free meals for eligible learners in Further Education. The purpose of this new scheme is to enable students who claim benefits or live with parents/guardians who claim benefits to access a healthy meal whilst at college without the cost becoming a burden. Call 01384 363 555 for more details.

Learner support fund

If you're 19 before you finish your studies then help is available through the Learner Support Fund (19+) which provides means-tested grants to help students aged 19+ with any additional costs of studying. Call 01384 363 555 for more details.

Free Bus Pass

If you are 16-18, and a student of Dudley Sixth, you will be eligible* for a free bus pass, as long as you live one mile away or further from where we are based, and are not already in receipt of other financial support.

*Students with disabilities who are unable to access public transport may still be able to receive help.

If you have costs other than those mentioned here, which make it difficult for you to start or complete a course, you should still apply for help.

Future opportunities

Higher education to study earth sciences, teaching or surveying. Employment with environmental agencies.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 09 February 2017
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Contact details

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    • Student Services
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 0800 783 6095
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