Unit 1: Life support systems and the uniqueness of planet Earth are examined. Ecological principles and the importance of conserving species are illustrated through a number of topics such as biomimetics (mimicking nature). Global biodiversity is under threat and conserving habitats and species is not as easy
as it may appear.
Unit 2: Out of 13,950 peer reviewed studies into climate change, only 24 suggest human activity is not a principal cause. Climate change management and mitigation are highly relevant today. The course also examines ozone depletion, the hydrosphere (water pollution and treatment), biogeochemical cycling and
the environmental costs of mining and quarrying: can these important economic activities be done sustainably?
The course involves fieldwork which will be undertaken locally. Costs will not exceed £50.
Unit 3: The looming energy gap is assessed as well as the benefits and disadvantages of different energy sources. The second part of this unit identifies the properties of pollutants and their effects on life. It assesses pollution sources, pathways and management techniques, identifying how pollutants can be
controlled and their impacts minimised.
Unit 4: This wide ranging unit investigates the population-resource balance-
or imbalance-and the resultant impacts on the planet’s life support systems. It includes an in-depth analysis of agricultural techniques, forestry and fishing. There is a strong synoptic aspect to this unit which poses a significant question: can we live sustainably?
A grade B in GCSE level Biology is essential.