Diploma in Environmental Science


In Oxford

£ 415 + VAT


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  • Duration

    1 Year

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    Different dates available

Environmental science is explained and covered by a host of science-based subjects to study the environment and environmental problems. It covers every physical environment from the forests to Savannah, the atmosphere to the oceans, and looks at every earth system from energy to pollution to natural resource management. It looks at the impact and relationship of and on humans and organisms with our environment.



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Oxford (Oxfordshire)
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Campus 231, 266 Banbury Road, OX2 7DL

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Different dates availableEnrolment now open

About this course

All students must per 16 years of age and above. These require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order to for students to manage study and the assumed knowledge within course content.

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Course programme


Environmental science is explained and covered by a host of science-based subjects to study the environment and environmental problems. It covers every physical environment from the forests to Savannah, the atmosphere to the oceans, and looks at every earth system from energy to pollution to natural resource management. It looks at the impact and relationship of and on humans and organisms with our environment.

Module 1: Conditions for Life on Earth and Wildlife Conservation

It is believed that Earth is the only planet which sustains life. Why is this, and what conditions are needed on our planet in order to sustain life and allow organisms to grow. The main conditions needed, such as gases, water, light and temperature will be described and their historic relevance and formation will be described. The concepts and processes of wildlife conservation, why it is necessary are discussed and linked to sustainment of human existence through the maintenance of the physical environments.

Module 2: Life Processes and the biosphere

This second module explores the concepts of species and environments. Every organism had to and has adapted in order to maintain its survival today. Most survive in a limited range called its Range of Tolerance and varies from the mouths of volcanoes to the deepest oceans. Each range of tolerance will be studied. We consider succession and what this means in terms of environmental influences. In addition populations will be discussed, particularly concentrating on evolutionary processes within these groups and how different external environmental influences impact these. We will look at issues surrounding mortality and how to explore various statistics that impart information about this process. We will also look at basic mathematical statistical processes within environmental science.

Module 3: Land Resources

Without land and its resources, no life would be sustained. However the land is a limited resource. How do we use our lands, and how can our habitats be conserved in a way relevant to the environment and the management of sustainability of resources. We also look at conservation laws and intervention programmes such as how tourist visits can be managed and how effective these are. Which organisations are responsible and how do they protect our environment? In addition land-use conflicts within the conservation paradigm are examined and various land-use resolution processes are explored.

Module 4: The Atmosphere

How did gases originate and how are they distributed in the atmosphere? What occurs in the earth's atmospheric environment is just as important as what we do on land. In this module the composition and temperature of the atmospheric layers are discussed and also how different organisms survive within these layers. In addition we look at contamination issues, the impact of pollutants e.g. on the Ozone layer, and the characteristics of radiation, together with the implications for global climate changes. The module also discusses various interventions and resolution theories that may help control global climate change.

Module 5: The Hydrosphere

The other environment essential to life is our oceans, lakes, rivers and seas found on, around and in the earth. This module is mainly concerned with the properties and role of water (as a solid - ice, liquid water and steam gas) within the hydrospheric layer. We will examine and discuss the composition of the layer and look at the hydrological – water cycle, with relevance to sustaining species. In addition we will consider water as a finite resource and how this resource is managed. Discussion of water treatment programmes will be presented, together with different techniques, processes and implications, paying particular attention to fulfilling our forever rising demands.

Module 6: The Lithosphere

The land is made up of topsoil and below that are the exploitable rocks. This deeper layer contains rocks, minerals and elements and this module will discuss their distribution and availability. How is their use managed and how can their future availability be maximised yet sustained? There will be discussion on the importance of soil, its fertility and its composition, types of fossil fuels, geological processes that describe how rocks formed, and various key cycles, for example the carbon cycle. How humans affect the balance of these cycles, and how this impacts on an already fragile earth, will be discussed.

Module 7: Energy

Essential to life and crucial to sustainability we look at factors affecting energy generation and its rising/ disparate use depending on where people live. This module will also discuss and compare renewable and non-renewable energy sources, looking at the pros and cons for both. The availability and storage of energy is a topical issue and this will be looked at in detail, together with how the demands and limitations are managed in the face of global energy crises. We will also consider energy conservation programmes, together with industry and consumer issues relating to energy production, use and conservation.

Module 8: Pollution

In this module we will define and describe the different types of pollution in its various forms from noise to gaseous, acid rain and solid waste, also looking at how pollution, e.g. impacts climate change, our environment and the way we exist. We will consider the different methods of pollution control, weighing up the advantages and cons for examples and relating them to energy production, use and also the effects on the atmospheric layers of the earth. The importance and methods in growing field of recycling and its effectiveness will be described.

Module 9: Human Populations and Food Production Systems

The largest impact on life on earth has resulted from humans and their manipulation of the environment to meet their growing needs, e.g. over-fishing of the oceans. Rapid growth in population affect every area of life, but this module specifically considers these changes relating to nutrition and food production. How food production practises change to accommodate varying needs and various controls relevant to food production and the economic and political factors involved are examined. In addition, climate changes affect agricultural techniques and output; these are considered. We will look at the demands and available resources, together with considering the environmental impact of farming methods on maintaining sustainability.

Module 10: Forestry and Sustainability

The forests provide a life support system and so we look at forestry as a resource and how we can manage and sustain this vital resource, particularly in the face of environmental change. We look at deforestation and consider its impacts on the environment and different species. The module looks at lifestyle impacts and demands especially between the developed and so-called developing world, together with consideration of various political and economic factors. Some maths relating to the study of populations will be covered. We in the west have destroyed much of our forests, and yet now dictate to others how they need to manage their lands and forests. However, today we all know that the problems and sustainability debates have to be global.

Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above.

Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Study Hours

Approximately 20 hours per unit

Assessment Method

Final online multiple choice examination.

Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.


Diploma in Environmental Science

This course is Quality Assured by the Quality Licence Scheme

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units the learner has completed as part of the course). Please note that this ABC certificate is only available to students enrolling on or after 01.04.15.

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future.

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners' and/or employers' requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

ABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government. It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. As a registered charity, ABC Awards combines 180 years of expertise but also implements a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers. Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards also offers Ofqual regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

How can I progress

For more information on how to progress after completing this course, please click here

Additional Information

You will receive a certificate from the College. A digital version is included in the price and will be emailed to you within 5 days of taking your online exam.

Should you require an embossed hard copy of your certificate to be sent to you by Special Delivery post, you can order this separately after taking your exam.

The course can be enrolled upon by students Internationally. There are no deadlines for enrolments.

To view the differences between our qualifications, please click HERE

What's Included

Online study materials to enable the student to successfully complete the Diploma. Support is provided by the tutor department for the duration of the course (1 year). Certification upon completion. All examination fees.

Diploma in Environmental Science

£ 415 + VAT