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ACE1008 : Environment and Land Resources

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Elisa Lopez-Capel
  • Lecturer: Dr Simon Peacock, Dr Julia Cooper
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This Module aims to provide the environmental background required to understand and assess the land resource mosaic in both natural habitats and managed agro-ecosystems. This requires development of an understanding of how climate, vegetation, hydrology, geological substrate, topography and time interact to determine rural landscapes and land use patterns in the UK. The key ecological interactions and physical factors determining land use and the delivery of ecosystem services are investigated.
The module will encourage the handling, evaluation and judgement of information from several disciplines. It provides the background for more detailed studies of soils, vegetation ecology, and sustainable land management at Stages 2 and 3.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module provides the background information and skills needed to understand and assess the land resource mosaic in the UK, including consideration of natural habitats and managed agro-ecosystems.
The module develops an understanding of how climate, geology, topography and vegetation/management interact to affect land use and the delivery of ecosystem services
Lectures and practical classes are integrated.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion17:307:30Preparation and completion of Blackboard MCQ tests after practical classes
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Semester 1 examination and revision of taught materials (lectures, tutorials, practicals)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical14:004:00Computer Classes
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading13:003:00Tutorial preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical34:0012:00Students split into two groups by degree programmes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00Tutorials in degree programme groups to evaluate research and or carry out problem solving exercises
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork15:005:00Students split into 2 groups by degree programmes
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study127:3027:30Lecture follow up and background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

An integrated programme of lectures, practicals and tutorials allows material to be introduced and then handled in a variety of ways.
The field trip provides an introduction to the range of issues to be tackled in the remainder of the course and a chance to learn some preliminary field observation skills.
Lectures provide core information and also allow students to consider integration of aspects of the material introduced in earlier lectures into more complex case studies in later lectures.
Practical classes allow further hands on integration of ideas and resources, including the development of practical skills and group working.
Small group teaching in tutorials allows more in depth discussion and problem solving in groups.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A60PC exam (examination booklet optional)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment1M40Blackboard MCQ testing application of information recorded in practical classes (60mins)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The computer assessment and report following on from the tutorials and practicals allow students to consolidate, develop and integrate materials and apply them to materials beyond the case studies presented in lectures. The computer assessment and report are spaced throughout the first term providing regular feedback on progress and development of understanding to staff and students.

The examination tests knowledge and understanding across the full module content. Breadth is assessed through part 1 which contains true/false and short answer questions. Depth is assessed through part 2 in which students answer one essay question. which allows students to integrate materials from across the lectures, tutorials, practicals and beyond showing their broader understanding of the knowledge outcomes. This will be a PC exam (hard copy examination booklet optional).

Study abroad students may request a take-away exam paper to be returned via NESS (or equivalent).

Reading Lists