Course at a glance


Environmental science is explained and covered by a host of science-based subjects e.g. Biology, Geography and Geology to study the environment and environmental problems. This subject 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. The impact and relationship of and on humans and organisms with our environment is studied in detail.

Accredited Level 3 Environmental Science Diploma Entry Requirement

Entry to this Accredited Level 3 Environmental Science Diploma requires that potential students have gained GCSE/IGCSE or equivalent qualifications and have, good English oral, reading and writing skills.

Advice on enrolment and guidance of prior learning (APL) can be obtained through out contact centre. The course is a rolling programme and can be started at any point in the year. Successful students can go on to Higher Education, including remaining as students at OLC to complete courses in our portfolio of higher awards.

All students must be aged 16 or over.


The coursework is assessed through continuous assessment with no formal exit examinations.

Study Hours

Approximately: 200 hours of personal study time for the entire course is recommended. All of which is supported by the OLC Course Tutor, who we greatly encourage students to access support from throughout their course.

Quality Assurance

This course has been developed by the College’s professional team of tutors to meet the needs of sector based employers and employees. It is also part of the College’s validated level three Diplomas’, recognised internationally, as verified and moderated Centre for Interactive Education (CIE Global). Further details of our accreditations are provided on our website.

Accredited Level 3 Environmental Science Diploma Course Length

1 Year.

Awarding Body


Accredited Level 3 Environmental Science Diploma Course Content

Module 1: Conditions for Life on Earth and Wildlife Conservation

It is believed that the Earth is the only planet which sustains life. Why is this and what conditions are needed on the planet in order to sustain life and allow organisms to grow is answered here. 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 sustainability 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 of condition called its ‘Range of Tolerance’ and this varies from the mouths of volcanoes to the deepest oceans. Each range of tolerance will be studied. Succession and what it is in terms of environmental influences is considered. In addition populations will be discussed, particularly concentrating on evolutionary processes within groups and how different external environmental influences impact upon different populations. Issues surrounding mortality and how to explore various statistics that impart information about this process are discussed. Basic mathematical statistical processes within environmental science will be studied.

Module 3: Land Resources

Without land and its resources, no life would be sustained. However lands are a limited resource. How are lands used, and how can these habitats be conserved in a way relevant to the environment and the management of sustainability of resources. Conservation laws and intervention programmes such as how tourist visitors can be managed and how effective these are is explored. Which organisations are responsible and how they protect our environment is discussed. 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 is done 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, 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 is discussed. The various interventions and resolution theories that may help control global climate change are examined.

Module 5: The Hydrosphere

The other environment essential to life are the oceans, lakes, rivers and seas found on, around and in the earth. The properties and role of water (as a solid – ice, liquid water and steam gas) within the hydrospheric layer is explored. The composition of the hydrospheric layer and the water cycle, with relevance to sustaining species is examined and discussed. In addition water as a finite resource and how this resource is managed is considered. 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 their use is managed and how their future availability can be maximised yet sustained is discussed. 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 are factors affecting energy generation and its rising/ disparate use depending on where people live. Renewable and non-renewable energy sources are discussed and compared by looking at the pros and cons of 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 the global energy crises. Energy conservation programmes are considered, together with industry and consumer issues relating to energy production, use and conservation.

Module 8: Pollution

In this module the different types of pollution in its various forms from noise to gaseous, acid rain and solid waste are defined and described. How pollution, e.g. impacts climate change, our environment and the way we exist is considered. 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 is discussed. The importance and methods in the growing field of recycling and its effectiveness are 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 affects every area of life, and nutrition and food production is specifically considered. 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, how climate changes affect agricultural techniques and output is considered. The demands and available resources, together with considering the environmental impact of farming methods on maintaining sustainability are studied.

Module 10: Forestry and Sustainability

The forests provide a vital life support system and forestry as a resource that can be managed and sustained, particularly in the face of environmental change is discussed. Deforestation is considered from its impacts on the environment and on different species. This module looks at how 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. The West has destroyed much of their forests, and yet now dictates how others need to manage their lands and forests. However, today it is clear that the problems and sustainability debates have to be global.


This Accredited Level 3 Environmental Science Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.

Further information on our Level 4 Diplomas can be found here: