GEO1005 : Environmental Issues

  • Module Leader(s): Dr Andy Henderson
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module introduces key concepts in geography, earth science and environmental science. It encourages reflection on the natural and human processes affecting and affected by the natural global environment. Strategies for prevention and mitigation of a range of environmental issues will be presented.

Outline Of Syllabus

1.       Environmental issues: overview of environmental science and Earth’s physical system
2.       Biodiversity: ecological principles, evolution, conservation management
3.       Environmental degradation: global environmental change, pollution, waste
4.       Natural resource security: terrestrial and water resources, energy, minerals
5.       Geohazards: flooding, glacial outbursts, earthquakes, volcanoes
6.       Human societies: human population, ancient civilisations, geopolitics

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching33:009:00Practical lab (individual)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Problem-based learning (Group)
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity1163:00163:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The dominant teaching method is the comprehensive, well-illustrated and up-to-date lecture, heavily backed by widely available texts, and by use of the media. This delivers a new intellectual milieu, new techniques of thought (e.g. ecosystems) but also new responsibilities to take a critical approach to science/ society interaction. A series of small problem-based learning exercises will be used to support the lecture materials, encourage engagement with the scientific literature, and develop study skills. These will contribute to the two summative assessments (submitted in semester 1 and 2).

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination601A25Computer Aided Exam
PC Examination602A25Computer Aided Exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M5Group
Practical/lab report1M15Individual
Practical/lab report2M30Group and Individual
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The computer assessed exams enable the understanding of key concepts to be assessed throughout the course. The exams comprise a variety of question types, to test knowledge, understanding and application of material.

The problem-based learning and practical lab reports is based on group and individual work and will be assessed with a report in response to the environmental problem set out for the students.

Reading Lists


Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.