Basic Cartography and GIS (20 credits)
This module introduces students practical and theoretical aspects of mapping, including cartographic design and geographical information systems (GIS). It utilises a range of relevant case studies to explain the principles, techniques, and applications of mapping and GIS. A substantial component of the module is the provision of 'handson' experience in cartographic design and in building a GIS with industry standard hardware and software.
Chemistry (20 credits)
This module aims to give students the necessary theoretical and practical background in Chemistry which will be essential for their study of environmental sciences. Wherever possible, concepts are related to the students' own experience of the world. During practical sessions, students will develop their skills in the chemistry lab, as well as see in action some of topics studied in the theory sessions.
Introduction to Environmental Issues (20 credits)
Beginning with the place of humans in the environment, the module aims to explore the relationship between people and nature and how environmental values have changed over time. This will include an examination of how the ‘environment’ has been conceived in Geography and consider evidence for the rise of humans as a driver of change in the global environment. Key concepts such as nature, place, sustainability and resilience will be introduced.
Introduction to the Physical Environment (20 credits)
This module aims to develop understanding of a selection of environmental processes, ranging from landbased processes to those controlling the oceans and the atmosphere. The module will consider how these may be applied to sustainable management of the environment.
Science Skills and Introduction to Statistics (20 credits)
This module examines aspects of the analysis of biological data, including statistics and experimental design, and how to understand scientific publications and write scientific papers. In the statistics element of the module students will learn how to correctly apply and undertake statistical tests. The other part of the module focusses on scientific methodology where students will learn how to plan an experiment and how to consider statistical analysis and sampling.
Soil Science and Plant Nutrition (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to introduce the basic concepts of soil science, focussing on the physical properties of soil, the fundamentals of soil chemistry and hydrology, and the way in which soils and plants are inextricably interlinked. This module prepares students for further study in more advanced aspects of soil science, plant physiology and land management.
Biogeography and Landscape Ecology (20 credits)
This module examines the distribution of organisms and soils in space and time, and the environmental factors that determine or limit these distributions. It introduces landscape ecology and its importance in conservation management. The module introduces the world’s major biomes and draws on a range of areas within the geographic and life sciences such as geology, climatology, palaeontology, plant and animal systematics, evolution and ecology.
Chemistry of the Environment (20 credits)
This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental theoretical concepts and practical applications of environmental chemistry. The students are introduced to the chemistry underlying the aquatic, terrestrial and atmospheric environments. It will also aim to make the students familiar with some of the different chemical analytical methods that can be used in the monitoring of these environments. In addition to becoming familiar with the natural chemical processes in soil, water and air, the students will also be encouraged to critically analyze and discuss environmental issues, such as smog, acid rain, global warming, ozone depletion and water pollution.
Data Handling (20 credits)
This module aims to develop the techniques necessary to handle quantitative biological data analysis. Central to this aim will be introducing the powerful statistical programming language, R. This module will enable students to become comfortable with the console based software and to use it for their statistical and data display needs.
Field investigation in Environmental Science (20 credits)
The module provides an invaluable opportunity for students to undertake structured field investigations in an unfamiliar international setting. This residential course introduces good field work practice and a range of field survey techniques.
Individual Study (40 credits)
This module provides you with autonomy in your learning as you pursue in depth the study of a topic of your own choice. In doing so, you will gain practice at organising your thinking in a scientific context and will increase your confidence in dealing with scientific problems and issues. With a broad scope, this module allows you to work with external businesses and partners and to potentially produce work that can be either published as a peer reviewed article or that may be of real world value to a partner organisation.
Environmental Policy and Planning (20 credits)
The module aims to equip students with an understanding of the principles behind environmental policy, the instruments available to policymakers to influence environmental behaviour and the institutional framework behind key global environmental policy initiatives. The module will also introduce students to environmental controls within the UK planning system.
Likely optional modules
Coastal and Glacial Geomorphology (20 credits)
This modules develops students' understanding of the principles of process geomorphology. Understanding such principles is a prerequisite for any sustainable environmental management. The module aims to examine the processes that operate within two core geomorphological systems (coastal processes and glacial processes) and shows the relationship between process and landform within a modern conceptual framework.
Geographic Information Science and Visualization (20 credits)
The aim of the module is to develop students’ understanding of the practical and theoretical aspects of geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing. By adopting an integrated approach, the module introduces students to a range of techniques for spatial analysis in GIS and for image processing and analysis in remote sensing. Knowledge of the issues surrounding how geographical data can be captured, explored and visualized is combined with handson practical skills for communicating the results of geospatial analysis effectively.
Placement (20 credits)
This module aims to give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge of environmental science in ‘real world’ contexts. It will enable students to synthesise and consolidate their learning and to apply that to environmental problems. Students are expected to improve their verbal/written communication and problem solving skills. This module gives students the opportunity to research, identify and negotiate a placement, further reinforcing their key skills and employability when entering the graduate job market.
Regions of Risk: Human and Environmental Security (20 credits)
The aim of the module is to introduce students to a critical component of the peopleenvironment relationship, namely the variability of vulnerability to environmental hazards and to the processes of change driving contemporary trends in disaster risk. This module aims to examine the ways in which events in geophysical or biological systems interact with human systems in a chain of causes in disasters and the varying strategies employed to reduce disaster risk.
Understanding Past Climate Change (20 credits)
Climate change is a critical concern these days, but many argue that to understand today’s climate change fully we have to understand how climates have changed in the past. This module examines the methods used by scientists to reconstruct past climates and environments and examines the theories proposed to explain the changes identified. It provides a geological context for understanding present day environmental problems and develops an awareness of the interaction between oceanic, atmospheric and cryospheric systems in explaining change.
Arctic and Arid Environments (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to examine the interactions between human and physical processes in two extreme environments: Arctic and arid. The module aims to investigate key issues affecting these environments from both a human and physical geography perspective, with a particular emphasis on recent and future climate change and how this may affect the functioning of these environments. Furthermore, the impact of changing Arctic and arid environments on both ecosystems and human activity will be outlined.
Climate and Society (20 credits)
The module aims to develop your understanding of the reciprocal relationship between the physical and human environments by examining how human activity uses, alters and is altered by climatic processes. Since scientists believe that increasing use of the atmospheric system is likely to increase future climatic change, and that this may increasingly threaten human societies, the module aims to examine the possible environmental impacts and critically evaluate issues associated with managing the environment sustainably.
Coastal Environments (20 credits)
This module aims to utilise coastal environments to critically evaluate the complex interactions between nature and society associated with the evolution and management of environmental systems. It will explore examples drawn from a wide range of coastal settings (e.g. arctic to tropics) and highlight the importance of placing current management approaches into the context of longer term evolution. It will also utilise data drawn from a coastal setting to develop skills in data presentation and analysis.
Conservation Biology (20 credits)
The module investigates the techniques, approaches and issues associated with plant and animal conservation. Topics covered include issues associated collection maintenance in zoos, botanic gardens and genebanks and the population genetic implications of using this material. The management of natural systems is explored as are the environmental and human pressures placed on these systems. The role of international treaties and conservation law as a driver of policy is discussed.
GIS and Remote Sensing for Environmental Management (20 credits)
This module considers the specific role of GIS and remote sensing in environmental management and places a particular emphasis on opensource software and its applications. Environmental management requires the increasing use of spatial data and associated analysis tools, the skills developed on this module will be valuable to any student wishing to pursue a career in the environmental sector.
Soil Science and Land Management (20 credits)
An understanding of soil science is fundamental to the management of ecosystems at all levels, whether it is for crop and livestock production, preventing erosion and land degradation, the maintenance of biodiversity or the management of urban open space and sports turf. This module aims to equip students with the knowledge and understanding required to manage, maintain and improve soil quality and productivity in the context of crop and animal production, conservation management or for recreational use.