GV3NUI-China Environmental Analysis Fieldclass

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Steve Robinson

Email: j.s.robinson@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This is a field-based module to enhance training and experience of monitoring and assessing environmental issues; e.g. waste and contaminated land management, water and air quality, and sustainable agri-ecosystems.  The class is based at the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST), China, with the field work conducted in the local area.   This module provides you with a unique opportunity to spend time working with local students and academics in Nanjing.


This module aims to provide you with the practical skills to identify, document, and evaluate the impact of human activities on the environment in the field. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, you should be able to:

  • Describe and explain some of the main environmental challenges facing Nanjing and Jiangsu province.

  • Collect, organise and analyse a range of types of field data including your own observations.

  • Select and apply appropriate methods in the study of water, air and soil quality at a range of spatial scales.

  • Evaluate the environmental impact of waste management practices.

  • Competently use maps and other navigation aids in the field and use these in unfamiliar environments.

  • Record data and observations in a field notebook clearly and accurately.

  • Present findings of a group activity at a NUIST Presentations and Awards (NPA) event after the field class.

Additional outcomes:

Additional outcomes:

  • General experience of the challenges faced when working in the field.

  • The opportunity to develop your teamwork, interpersonal and leadership skills through working in small teams comprising students based at NUIST.

  • International research experience and greater awareness of scientific practice in a global context.

  • Evaluation of the potential health and safety hazards associated with field work.

  • Reporting the findings of field investigations

Outline content:

The field class will comprise fieldwork with students divided into small, supervised groups. A familiarisation day will provide an overview of the study area, its natural features and environmental challenges.  Each subsequent day will be composed of data collection on a specific theme, including waste management, contaminated land, water quality and sustainable land management.  The evenings will involve data analysis and presentation.

Global context:

The module provides fieldwork skills that can be applied globally.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Prior to departure, there will be a short introduction to the module during a seminar in the spring term, comprising preparatory sessions and safety briefings. The module comprises 10 days of work in the field including travel time and team presentations. You will make observations in the field and then make measurements of environmental media either in the field or in the NUIST laboratories to assess the anthropogenic impacts on the environment. Each day's activity will be discussed the evening before and the outcomes discussed and evaluated during the evening afterwards. You will be required to give a short, team presentation each evening. Before departure, you will attend a seminar on how to prepare your final report, as well as take part in a series of team presentations on a particular environmental topic.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5
Seminars 7
Practicals classes and workshops 5
Fieldwork 70
Guided independent study 113
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 85
Oral assessment and presentation 15

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Coursework: One essay of up to 3000 words on an environmental topic studied during the field class, to include data collected (60%); field notebook (25%); one team oral presentation reporting on field work activities (15%).

Formative assessment methods:

  • Verbal feedback from peers and instructors during the evening reviews whilst on the field class. 

  • Peer assessment of laboratory notebooks halfway through the field class.

  • This field class offers an excellent opportunity to develop independence as well as valuable field experience in an unfamiliar culture. The experience and opportunities on offer will be extremely valuable in team building and personal development.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    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.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Re-submission of coursework components during the following assessment period.

    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: The field class will require a contribution to the travel and accommodation costs for those attending.

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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