CEM241-Energy and the Environment

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Maria Vahdati

Email: m.m.vahdati@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Energy underpins our current standard of living and economic development. The environmental impact of energy use and transition to a lower carbon economy presents significant challenges. This module is concerned with the technical, environmental, economic and social issues associated with the production of energy. It includes an overview of energy production and consumption trends, traditional means of energy production, renewable energy, sustainability, environmental issues and political and economic concepts in energy. Students are able to explore a range of energy related issues through conducting research for one assessed report.


To provide a multi-disciplinary, integrated introduction to technical, environmental, economic and social issues associated with energy production, including the consideration of the practical constraints that limit the extent to which negative impacts can be ameliorated.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to demonstrate ability in the following areas:

  • Be able to discuss, at a professional level, the significance of energy in the modern world, with due reference to social, economic, historic, environmental and technological contexts.

  • Be able to make rational preliminary choices between energy technologies for any application on the basis of economic, social, environmental and technological factors, using quantitative arguments where appropriate.

  • Understand some of the environmental impacts of energy production.

Additional outcomes:

On completion of this module students will have had the opportunity to:

  • Be able to identify some of the most important references in the field in order to be able to support an argument or defend an assertion

  • Be able to outline the factors that constrain and otherwise influence energy production, and describe their multi-disciplinary nature and linkages

Outline content:

  • Trends in energy production and consumption

  • Energy economics

  • Fossil fuel heat and power generation

  • Nuclear power

  • Environmental impacts of energy production

  • The impact of carbon dioxide

  • Sustainability

  • Introduction to new and renewable energy technologies

  • Introductory Meteorology for Renewable Energy Systems

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will be delivered through lectures in an intensive block in the autumn term. It usually involves a site visit.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 24
External visits 3
Guided independent study 73
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One written assignment in week 6 of the autumn term.

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

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Re- submission of failed elements. Students are required to contact the School to confirm reassessment arrangements.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 21 September 2018


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