GV2ER-Energy Resources

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring 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:
The module explores key social, environmental and political issues affecting energy resource provision. The module covers key events dating back to the 1940s although the focus is on the current energy context in the UK and its future prospects.


- provide an overview of the past and present roles of different energy resources in the UK
- consider UK energy policy and the changing energy mix through to 2030
- consider issues of resource and political security related to different energy resources, including coal, oil, gas, renewables and nuclear.
- consider social, economic, environmental and public health factors associated with utilisation of these resources.
- provide understanding of the resource, supply and demand issues associated with the major energy resources

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of this module it is expected that a participant will:

- understand past, present and future importance of different energy resources to the UK energy mix
- have a critical awareness of how energy resource issues incorporate social, political and environmental factors
- understand the rationale and objectives of current energy policy

Additional outcomes:
Participants will develop their skills in accessing information in the library and on the Internet. The topical nature of module content will require access to current news and information sources.

Outline content:

Provisional content includes: UK Energy Mix 1970-2012 Coal: Reserves & dependency, Environmental impact relative to other energy resources, political history of coal in the UK, Marshall Aid. Oil: Oil industry history; Oil and conflict, Suez, Iran, Iraq, Falklands, 1973 embargo, Oil resources, production and consumption – Peak Oil. Unconventional oil and gas. The UK gas strategy. UK Energy policy. Privatisation and liberalisation. Energy Bill 2012/13 Nuclear Power: Contribution to UK energy mix; the nuclear process; Nuclear safety & public health risk. Chernobyl nuclear disaster: Background and the aftermath (online directed task). Renewable Energy: Resource issues, Microgeneration, Wind power, Solar Power, Biomass Energy, Nuclear Fusion. UK policy implications through to 2030. Energy Conservation: Approaches and policy. The MPG Illusion example and public attitudes.

Global context:
Energy supply and security is a matter of critical global importance from breaking the developed world's "addiction to oil" to fuelling economic and industrial growth in the developing world. This module covers examples of energy and conflict that emerged in the second half of the 20th century before focussing on UK policy and future prospects.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures, short videos; optional tutorial; drop-in help sessions. The contact hours table indicates 2 hours of project supervison (academic support) - this include attendance at optional module surgeries and support in the module Blackboard support forum. It is understood that some students will make use of much less than 2 hours of support while some may use more.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 16
Project Supervision 2
Guided independent study 82
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Portfolio 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students complete individual coursework for this module and there is no assessed group work or formal exam.

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:
An overall module mark of 40%

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-submission of coursework

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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