Environmental Science (Social Subjects)



Miss A Kennedy (Curriculum Leader)

Miss J Forbes

Mrs K Matheson

Mr C Stewart

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary subject which draws from the sciences and social sciences. Environmental scientists are involved in tackling issues such as global climate change, pollution, use of land and water resources, and changes in wildlife habitats. These issues require an understanding of scientific principles, economic influences, and political action.


Our courses aim to develop learners’ interest and enthusiasm for environmental science in a range of contexts, as well as their investigative and experimental skills. Environmental science takes a problem solving approach to attempt to develop solutions that prevent or reverse environmental deterioration and aim for sustainable practices.


Students will have opportunities to investigate local environments such as the Water of Leith and Arthur’s Seat and study topics such as climate change, fracking, the hydrogen economy and the reintroduction of species such as beaver to Scotland.

Our Courses

National Environmental Science

Entry requirements: All S2 students are welcome to take this course.


Learners will investigate key areas of the living environment, such as biodiversity and interdependence, resource issues in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere and biosphere, and sustainability and sustainable development.


The course is offered at National 3, National 4 and National 5.

Higher Environmental Science

Entry requirements: National 5 Geography, National 5 Biology or National 5 Environmental Science or equivalent qualifications and/or experience.


The course is practical and experiential, and develops scientific awareness of environmental issues. The course allows pupils to understand and investigate the world in an engaging and enjoyable way. It develops pupils’ ability to think analytically, creatively and independently, and to make reasoned evaluations. It provides opportunities for pupils to acquire and apply knowledge, to evaluate environmental and scientific issues, to consider risk, and to make informed decisions. Pupils develop skills in communication, collaborative working, and leadership, and apply critical thinking in new and unfamiliar contexts to solve problems.

Advanced Higher Environmental Science

A pass in Environmental Science is accepted as entry to Advanced Higher Geography where students can develop their Environmental Science knowledge and skills through a folio worth 70% of their final grade. This consists of a critical essay on a controversial topic and a study based on original research and fieldwork.

To access Environmental Science course resources on SharePoint, click here.

Please note, this is only accessible to JGHS staff and students with their school log-in information.