Appendix C: Previous science learning

To develop skills and knowledge in AS Environmental Science, students should have the skills and knowledge associated with at least GCSE Combined Science or equivalent. While an understanding of all GCSE Combined Science or equivalent topics is advantageous, there are a number of topics that have particular applications in AS Environmental Science.

The following table illustrates the GCSE Combined Science topics that have particular applications in the development of skills and knowledge in AS Environmental Science.

GCSE Combined Science topic Application in AS Environmental Science
Osmosis

Hydrosphere: unsustainable exploitation.

Levels of organisation within an ecosystem

Conservation of biodiversity.

Life processes in the biosphere and conservation planning.

The principle of material cycling

Biogeochemical cycles.

Biodiversity

Conservation of biodiversity.

Life processes in the biosphere and conservation planning.

The genome

The importance of the conservation of biodiversity:

  • genetic resources
  • captive breeding and release programmes.
Variation and evolution

The importance of the conservation of biodiversity:

  • genetic resources
  • captive breeding and release programmes.
Selective breeding and gene technology

The importance of the conservation of biodiversity:

  • genetic resources
  • captive breeding and release programmes.
Chemical symbols, formulae and equations, including reaction stoichiometry and masses of reactants and products

Global climate change

Ozone depletion

Biogeochemical cycles

Life cycle assessment and recycling

Mineral resources

Different methods of extracting and purifying metals

Mineral resources

The composition and evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere since its formation

Atmosphere

Carbon dioxide and methane as greenhouse gases

Atmosphere

The Earth’s water resources and obtaining potable water

The hydrosphere