Why choose this specification?

The Environmental Studies 2440 specification enables students to be well-informed and knowledgeable about current environmental issues. Students have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate high-level practical and interpretative skills through planning and carrying out investigations.

In addition to knowledge of How Science Works, students develop skills that are analytical, evaluative and synoptic to propose hypotheses, present scientific arguments and solve scientific problems using appropriate methods.

What teachers like about A-level Environmental Studies

Teachers tell us they like:

  • getting the chance to teach a course around the environment – as this is a new subject which is interesting to teach and appealing to students
  • the teachers' notes that help them decide how much detail needs to be covered in any particular area
  • online resources that are quick and easy to find: no waiting for hard copies to arrive in the post
  • the free support booklets that provide detailed information about the specification content of the AS and A2 elements
  • the Enhanced Results Analysis that gives a breakdown of marks, comparisons with other schools and statistics about candidate performance
  • having subject teams on hand by phone or email.

What students like about A-level Environmental Studies

Students tell us they like:

  • getting the chance to study a subject that they are really interested in
  • being challenged with realities and ideas that require mature thought, eg animal testing and pollution
  • learning how to devise strategies for problem-solving
  • working in groups on projects
  • bringing their knowledge of Science, Geography and current affairs into the course
  • the emphasis on practical skills throughout the course.

Skills students will develop with this specification

Students will develop:

  • a deep appreciation and understanding of the environment and the scientific processes that affect and control it
  • a practical appreciation of How Science Works
  • the ability to define environmental issues and devise problem-solving strategies
  • experience in carrying out field work
  • knowledge of how to gather and evaluate information.

Support for teaching this specification

AQA offers teachers a variety of support for this specification. This includes:

  • lots of helpful resources including schemes of work
  • a matching key terms Dominoes game
  • example essay questions
  • enhanced results analysis (ERA)
  • teacher support
  • access by telephone or email to subject teams.

Follow-on study

A-level Environmental Studies is a good option for students considering higher study in Science, particularly Environmental Science, Countryside Management, Law and Marine Biology. Environmental Science is a rapidly-expanding discipline and opens doors to careers not only in scientific and technological professions, but within many sectors of industry which are now required to demonstrate green credentials.


Candidates can re-sit each unit any number of times within the shelf-life of the specification. The best result for each unit will count towards the final qualification.

Overlap with other qualifications

There are some overlaps with other AQA A-levels:

  • Biology: biodiversity, dynamic equilibria of populations, energy through ecosystems, chemical element recycling, ecosystems
  • Geography: rivers, floods and management, food supply issues, energy issues, weather, climate and associated hazards, challenges facing ecosystems, sustainability issues, conflicts over using a resource
  • Physics B: Unit 2 Module 2 Energy and the environment
  • Science in Society: transport issues, radiation – risks and uses, responding to global climate change, energy futures, sustaining the variety of life on earth.

Private candidates

This specification is available to private candidates. Please consult the information on our private candidates page.