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Choosing what to study can be challenging. Speak to one of our advisors to find out what your options are.

Advice & Help Centre

This study programme is designed for 16-18 year olds only (age 19-24 for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan).

Please visit our Adult Education, Degrees and Employer section for alternative courses.

About the course

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Are you concerned about the future of our planet and its wildlife?  Worried for the sustainability of our food and energy sources?  Wishing you could do something about it?


The Level 3 Extended Diploma in Environmental Science is a new and exciting course being offered for 2021 that could start you on your career path to change the world.  With a wide range of modules from the Conservation of Biodiversity, to Crop Production and soil science, and Renewable Energy this course provides a strong foundation on which to build a successful future in the Environmental Science field.


Here at West Suffolk College, we endeavour to do as much practical work as we can.  Students will study the fundamentals of Science, along with all aspects of Environmental Science.  You can look forward to learning practical techniques that can be used in the laboratory as well as in the field. You will conduct environmental surveys and learn how to produce a report on your findings, and how Scientists communicate on a global scale.


This breadth of study will allow students the opportunity to pursue careers in both scientific and environmental disciplines so is ideal for those students who want to branch out as well as those with a clear career path in mind.


Students will complete both coursework and exams for the  qualifications offered. 

Entry requirements

Students require 5 grade 4s and above including English, Mathematics and Science.  Students who require a resit of Maths or English GCSE can still study towards this programme but will be enrolled on our Progression to Level 3 Science qualification to allow time for this.  These students will have the opportunity to move up to this Level 3 if they demonstrate the ability to work at a high standard whilst resitting.


Students will receive a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science (Environmental Science). This qualification is worth the equivalent of 3 A Levels.

What you'll learn (core modules)

The modules are designed to provide students with a broad range of knowledge and skills to enable them to progress to whichever area of Environmental Studies employment or further studies they choose. 


Most modules have an environmental focus. These include:


  • Environmental surveying - a practice-based approach to understanding environmental information and data
  • Environmental management - a study of environmental management of a range of habitats, including the legal and regulatory frameworks crucial to environmental management practice
  • Waste management - to develop knowledge and understanding of management and minimisation of solid waste, air emissions and water discharges
  • Sustainable and renewable energy - explore technologies that produce renewable energy and the environmental impact of different ways of producing energy
  • Crop production and soil science - develop knowledge of plant growth and apply this to better understand crop production and how to maintain healthy soil to provide sustainable food sources for future generations
  • Conservation of Biodiversity - using real world examples to explore different conservation methods and there effectiveness.


Other modules provide a core scientific knowledge that will underpin student's understanding of the Environmental concepts.  These include:


  • Science fundamentals - to build a thorough understanding of scientific principles and practices and provide a solid foundation to build on throughout the rest of the course.
  • Lab techniques - to provide students with a good grounding in working in a laboratory
  • Scientific analysis and reporting - to develop knowledge and  understanding of a range of useful analytical techniques that can be applied in experimental and investigative settings

Benefits, skills and character strengths

Students will develop a wide range of knowledge and skills that every scientist needs.  From gathering and analysing data, to conducting environmental surveys and communicating research findings.  The course includes many practical aspects, both inside the lab and in the field, as well as allowing students to develop an appreciation of how scientists use the data they generate.


How will I be assessed?

Students are assessed using a combination of coursework assignments and external exams.

Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)

This course is delivered at the Bury St Edmunds campus in our onsite laboratories and classrooms.

Where will the course take me?

Studying Environmental Science can be an entry route into a career in Environmental Management, Conservation, Environmental Protection, or other STEM careers.  If you are planning to pursue your studies beyond Level 3, this course will prepare you for further study in the Environment, Geography, Ecology, or Environmental Law, for example.

Will I need any materials or equipment?

Students will need standard college equipment as well as a scientific calculator, a hardback A5 Laboratory notebook, a lab coat and goggles.

How much will it cost?

There are no costs associated with this course, unless students wish to take part in enrichment activities.

I'm interested. What should I do now?

If you're interested in this course, then why not come along to one of our open days or apply online?

Days & times

Starting September 2021

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