GV1EI-Environmental Issues

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
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 Alan Howard

Email: a.howard@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

In this module we overview the history of concerns about the natural environment and focus on current issues related to population growth, health, energy resource utilisation and climate, water quality problems and prospects for the future. The module is equally appropriate to Human and to Physical Geographers and to students from a range of disciplines across the university. Module content is mainly non-scientific and is delivered through traditional lectures and online content.

To enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding of different environmental issues.

To challenge students to enhance their subject knowledge through wider reading.

To begin to critically evaluate and challenge ideas and concepts, particularly media representations of environmental issues.

To enable students to experience collaborative working through completing a group-based project that will share ideas and findings with a wider audience.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Knowledge and understanding of the underlying concepts and principles associated with topics relevant to environmental issues, and an ability to evaluate and interpret these within the context of this area of study

An ability to present, evaluate and interpret qualitative and quantitative data, in order to develop lines of argument and
make sound judgements.

Communicate the results of their study/work accurately and reliably, and with structured and coherent argument

Good team-working skills

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Typical issues include:

- historical development of the environmental movement; changing environmental concerns and limits to growth 

- population growth and the Malthusian theory: geographic context and impact

- life span and public health: understanding the link between polluted water and disease and its historical basis

- Millennium development goals: progress on safe water and sanitation

- energy and climate: industrial development, increasing GHG emissions and radiative forcing leading to climate change

- tackling climate change from Kyoto to Paris

- EU water quality directives: consequences of environmental pollution and the toxic algae problem

- EU wastewater directives: consequences for river and bathing water quality.

Some content may be subject to change.

Global context:
The content of the module covers contemporary issues of global importance.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures, short videos and documents posted on Blackboard. There will be a one hour lecture scheduled each week. There will be easily accessible academic support available including "drop-in" help sessions, opportunity for one-to-one meetings and online support through Blackboard (collectively these count as "Project Supervision" in the contact hours table). Actual academic support requirements will vary between students and some students may receive much more than one hour, while others may need a lot less.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 9
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study 90
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Project output other than dissertation 90
Class test administered by School 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Students will complete project work and an end of term quiz.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:
• where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;
• where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
(Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)

Assessment requirements for a pass:
Overall mark of 40%

Reassessment arrangements:

Completion and submission of an essay as a substitute for any missed project work.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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