Environmental science

Number of credits: 40

Entry requirements: None


This module aims to provide the student with an understanding of ecological and physical processes, of the impact of man on these processes and with an appreciation of the key concept of sustainability. The module also aims to develop skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation appropriate to subsequent degree work.

Intended learning outcomes

Assessable outcomes

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • explain ecological principles including energy flow, biogeochemical cycling, population dynamics
  • outline Earth's history
  • discuss factors influencing human population size
  • recognise the impact of man on the natural environment
  • recognise the significance of sustainability.

Additional outcomes

Students will have the opportunity to

  • enhance their library, IT and language skills
  • improve their skills of analysis, evaluation and presentation of researched material.
Outline content

The module follows three themes. Firstly, ecology, the study of the interrelationships between living organisms and their physical environment. Secondly, the impact of man on these natural processes, for example, population explosion, global warming, depletion of the of stratospheric ozone layer, desertification, deforestation, threats to biodiversity and water pollution. Finally the course explores the concept of sustainability and the influence of economics and politics on environmental issues.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods

The module is taught through lectures that introduce the student to the principles of the subjects studied. Seminars allow students to research and discuss topics in greater depth whilst case studies and videos may also be used to enhance understanding. Weekly homework assignments are designed to develop the student's understanding and to provide feedback on written work. A weekly tutorial hour tutorial provides an opportunity for students to seek additional help, if required. A visit to the Natural History Museum in London provides an opportunity for review at the end of the course.

Student view of this module

Midori Takano (Japan)
I chose to study this module because I am interested in nature.
The most challenging aspect of the module has been to learn the new words and definitions but I have found it very interesting to learn about the environment.
My advice to students studying this module it to remember that doing the reading is important.'

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