BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Environmental Sustainability

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma

Exam Board: Pearson

2 years

Equivalent to: 1 A Level

Course Content:

  • Understanding Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Communities
  • Science for Environmental Technicians

The specialist units will include:

  • Understanding the Principles of Wildlife Populations, Ecology and Conservation
  • Understanding Principles of Physical and Biological Environmental Processes
  • Geology of Natural Resources


100% coursework. Your work will be graded pass, merit or distinction. The BTEC Subsidiary Diploma is equivalent to one A Level and carries a maximum of 56 UCAS points. The BTEC Certificate, awarded after successful completion of one year, carries a maximum of 28 UCAS points. 

Students must complete and pass the first year to be awarded a BTEC Certificate and the full 2 years of the course to receive the full BTEC Subsidiary Diploma.

We are aware that Pearsons are currently evaluating the assessment process and there may be the introduction of an examined unit. Further information is unavailable at the current time.

Studying at Alton College:

You achieve modules by completing assignments and some time-constrained assessments. The assignments combine individual research and taught theory with some practical work, and are based on realistic situations.

Entry requirements:

Students should normally have achieved at least five GCSEs at grade 9-4. For GCSEs which remain with the old grading system, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C. Alternatively, if you have studied at Level 2, you should have achieved a merit or above. Vocational courses are an ideal qualification for students who prefer coursework.

You should have achieved a grade 4 or 4/4 in science GCSE.

Course costs:

Printed packs and electronic book: £25 over two years.

Trips £25

Environmental Sustainability works well with:

Applied Science

What our students say

"I like how this course is different from studying GCSEs - it's more specialised. I find the subject really interesting. I am studying environmental issues in more depth in my EPQ. This course has introduced me to new interests which I want to go on to study at university."

Jemima Boam, previously at Bohunt School

"BTEC Environmental Sustainability is a good option alongside two A levels. It helps to take the pressure off during exam period. Furthermore, the grades are the same as A levels, a D* is the equivalent to an A* for example, but I feel the likelihood of me getting a D* in all coursework based work is greater thatn the chance of me getting an A* in exams. Environmental Sustainability also links well with Geography."

Kieran Rawnsley, previously at Weydon School