APMA91-Environmental Management: Principles and Practice

Module Provider: Agriculture
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Simon Mortimer

Email: s.r.mortimer@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The module is available to students on the MSc Environmental Management and MSc Environment & Development programmes and aims to introduce students to the ways in which the principles of environmental management are applied in professional settings. Using a series of lectures, case studies and field visits, it examines the motivations for businesses and organisations to carry out environmental management, the ways in which environmental impacts are assessed and the systems employed to minimise environmental problems. Students apply their learning by writing a report to improve the environmental management of a real client’s activities.


To encourage and enable students to: ~ understand how business and organisations address environmental issues, measure their impacts and respond to drivers such as policy and regulation and pressure from consumers and the wider public ~ examine and critically appraise the relationships between the principles of environmental management and its practice in a number of case studies ~ place their own understanding and experience (professional and/or educational) in a broader multidisciplinary perspective of issues relating to environmental management. ~ develop further their skills in researching cross-cutting issues relating to environmental land management, including skills of critical reasoning, analysing, evaluating and synthesising ~ develop further their communication skills and team working abilities.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
~ synthesise critically appraise the relationships between the principles of environmental management and its practice, with particular regard to both environmental and socio-economic aspects
~ explore the potential environmental consequences of a range of economic activities and outline approaches to environmental impact assessment
~ explain the relationship between regulation of business and corporate responsibility in managing environmental impact
~ evaluate the effectiveness of policies, governance structures and environmental management systems in monitoring and controlling environmental impact in businesses and organisations

Additional outcomes:
~ develop team-working skills in problem-based learning
~ demonstrate good academic practice in use, citation and referencing of source material
~ use appropriate bibliographic sources and tools to identify literature relevant to a given topic

Outline content:

Lectures and guided pre-class learning on corporate environmental responsibility, regulation, Environmental Impact Assessment, environmental auditing and Environmental Management Systems. Through industrial visits and a seminar given by an external speaker, students will gain an understanding of issues that are of interest to industry, consultancies, NGOs and government agencies. This will also foster an awareness of potential employment opportunities at the end of the degree. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The principles of corporate environmental responsibility, regulation, Environmental Impact Assessment, environmental auditing and Environmental Management Systems will be covered in lectures. The module uses team-based learning methods throughout, where pre-class learning each week is assessed individually and also in teams, and equips students to undertake assessed practical exercises to deepen their learning.  A number of businesses and organisations will be visited to illustrate environmental management in a number of contexts. An opportunity for practical application of these principles will be provided through writing a report to a real client, assessing their environmental impacts and recommending a way to improve their environmental performance. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15
External visits 12
Guided independent study 73
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 60
Class test administered by School 40

Other information on summative assessment:

The module will be assessed by two pieces of written coursework, class tests and team exercises:

(a) A report of a visit to an environmental organisation and discussions with its staff (30%).

(b) A report to a client organisation assessing and recommending improvement to their environmental performance. 30%

(c) Multiple choice tests assessing pre-class learning and lecture material. 25%

(d) Team tests and application exercises to realistic situations (marks are moderated by peer evaluation of individual contribution to team outputs) . 15%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall (weighted average of the three coursework marks).

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-submission of coursework

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Specialist equipment or materials: waterproof jacket for outdoor visit

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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