ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE MODULES

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. 

YEAR ONE

EGM Skills Toolbox

Year: 1


This module is designed to introduce level 4 students of environmental science and geography to a range of practical skills related to investigative work in these areas of science. This encompasses data gathering (particularly related to mapping, questionnaires, interview techniques, and focus groups), data summary and analysis, and the use of software packages for data display and analysis (Excel and SPSS). The module also provides study and writing skills, data presentation, report writing, and the use of information resources.


Society, Environment and Sustainability

Year: 1


This module introduces the theories, ideas and issues associated with the study of sustainability, spatial inequality and the environmental challenges facing society. It adopts a multi-scale approach, examining many of the environmental and developmental issues operating at the global, international, national, regional, local scales The module focuses on patterns of disparity, development and environmental degradation in the less developed world, in western Europe, and the island of Ireland.


The Lithosphere

Year: 1


This module is an introduction to general geological materials, processes and concepts. Students will learn to identify rocks, minerals and fossils, study the structure of our planet, learn to read and analyse maps, and interpret geological processes and structures in the field.


The Biosphere

Year: 1


The biosphere provides an overview of the constituent parts of the living component of the planet, beginning at the level of the individual organism. Starting with an introduction to the history of life on earth and several general concepts, this material will move into the diversity of form in plant divisions and animal phyla in light of taxonomic classification, systematics and phylogeny. These concepts will be outlined with reference to specific case studies and the current state of scientific literature on the subject. These concepts will be demonstrated through a series of practical exercises which will give an appreciation of the diversity of external and internal anatomical form of a range of different organisms and their approaches to life.


The Hydrosphere

Year: 1


The hydrosphere provides an overview of fundamental physical, chemical, hydrological and ecological concepts and processes in aquatic environments. Practical exercises in laboratory and field demonstrate and explore these concepts and processes. Accompanying lectures introduce the theoretical concepts and provide the context for practical applications.


Environmental Systems

Year: 1


This module is designed to introduce students to the theory of environmental systems and provide an understanding of systems behaviour using various environmental systems as examples. The theoretical component of the module will be provided by lectures, which will cover a contemporary thinking into concepts of environmental systems and the practical part of the module will consist of a laboratory exercises.


YEAR TWO

Research Methods and Field School - Environmental Science

Year: 2


This two-part module is compulsory and allows students to practise, in the field, a range of methods appropriate for work in many areas of Environmental Science. This will take place within the context of an integrated 8-day residential field course in Portugal. The second part is a detailed preparation for the dissertation module, which is undertaken in the final year.


The Atmosphere

Year: 2


This module is designed to allow students to gain a good understanding of weather phenomena, atmospheric circulation and our climate. In addition, impact of human activity such as pollution and climate change on the atmospheric conditions and circulations will be explored. Global events such as El Nino and the Monsoon will be discussed as case studies.


Ecology and Biogeography

Year: 2


Ecology is a broad discipline involving biology, chemistry and physics of the environment, geography and human impacts. Concepts of ecology, including the interactions between individuals and populations, and the structure and resilience of communities and ecosystems, will be examined with reference to specific case studies and in the context of the biosphere as a whole. A range of different ecosystems will be studied in terrestrial, freshwater, marine and microbial environments, from which case studies will be drawn. These case studies will include the key production processes in each ecosystem, in addition to model organisms at a range of trophic levels and relevant publications detailing the current state of knowledge for each system. The role of applied ecology, in relation to conservation and environmental management will also be emphasised.


Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems

Year: 2


This module offers students the opportunity to study the principles and applications of terrestrial and underwater remote sensing and GIS and develop links between remote sensing and GIS. Students are expected to become familiar with theoretical foundations of these technologies and to demonstrate technical principles through a series of software-based practical exercises and projects.


Skills for Sustainable Planning

Year: 2


Through a variety of teaching methods this module provides students with a range of environmental, geographical and generic employment-orientated skills and practices to help them enhance their employability potential and to integrate more effectively into the workplace. Continued development of regions and the expansion in the use of the environment and its resources requires planning and management of often complex and diverse issues and stakeholders. This module examines the relationship between society, planning and environment and explores a range of decision making approaches and the wider social implications of these. It considers the concepts and requirements of environmental impact assessment and outlines the methodology of planning an EIA.


Freshwater Systems

Year: 2

This module is optional


This module provides a general introduction to the physical, chemical and biological processes occurring in freshwater, including water balance processes, their management and relevance to society.


Coastal & Marine Processes

Year: 2

This module is optional


This module is designed to introduce students to the interaction between coastal and marine processes and forms, and how these relate to the human use of the coastal zone and the deep sea. It examines various parameters within the coastal zone, shallow and deep water, and outlines the basic fundamentals of coastal and marine processes. Current state-of-the-art techniques used in modern coastal and marine research are described. Use is also made of the www to add supplementary material to that given in lectures.


YEAR THREE

Industrial placement - Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP)

Year: 3

This module is optional


This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and professional work experience, in a work-based learning environment, as part of their planned programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.


Diploma in Intern'l Academic Stds (learning in a foreign language)

Year: 3

This module is optional


This module is a requirement of the Diploma in International Academic Studies and is mandatory for those students of Environmental Science and Geography studying in a European or International University teaching in a foreign language. It is not available to any other students. Students on this programme are required to achieve at least 50 ECTS while abroad and complete a reflective portfolio concerning their experience while at the host University.

The pass mark for the module is 40%.
The Board of Examiners may award a Pass with Commendation to a candidate who achieves an overall mark between 60% and 69% and a Pass with Distinction to a candidate who achieves an overall mark of at least 70%.


Diploma in International Academic Studies (Learning in English)

Year: 3

This module is optional


This module is a requirement of the Diploma in International Academic Studies and is mandatory for those students of Environmental Science and Geography studying in a European or International University where teaching is (mostly) carried out in English. It is not available to any other students. Students on this programme are required to achieve at least 50 ECTS while abroad and complete a reflective portfolio concerning their experience while at the host University.

The pass mark for the module is 40%.
The Board of Examiners may award a Pass with Commendation to a candidate who achieves an overall mark between 60% and 69% and a Pass with Distinction to a candidate who achieves an overall mark of at least 70%.


YEAR FOUR​

Geography and Environmental Sciences Dissertation

Year: 4


This module involves the completion of an individual research project conducted on an Environmental Science, Marine Science or Geography topic of students' own choice in conjunction with help from an academic member of staff (supervisor).


Environmental Change

Year: 4


The module examines temporal and spatial signatures of environmental change with the aim of developing an understanding of landscape evolution at Quaternary to historical timescales. A range of proxy evidence (sedimentary and biological) is used to explore the links within the ice-atmosphere-ocean system in global context.


Advanced Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems

Year: 4


The module offers students the opportunity to study a variety of spatial and statistical techniques relevant to the GI Industry. Techniques from GIS and remote sensing are applied to the measurement and monitoring of spatial patterns and processes. A number of software programs are available, especially ArcGIS 10.*. Practical experience will be gained using Global Positioning Systems.


Environmental Challenges and Management

Year: 4


This module uses real life case studies to examine how landscapes may be managed and conserved. Examples are drawn from across a range of contexts and challenge the students to consider the complexity of decision making in environmental management. It is available to final year students in Environmental Science and Geography.


Research and Professional Skills

Year: 4


Through a variety of teaching methods this module provides students with a clear focus on professional career opportunities and assists them in enhancing their environmental and geographically specific employability skills. Particular emphasis is given to the translation of the specific research skills of project planning, critical literature review and methodological and analytical techniques that they employed in the dissertation project. Students will gain an understanding of the various sources of postgraduate study and professional job opportunities available to Geography and Environmental Science graduates and will provided with the opportunity to experience a full job application, interview and selection process.


Water Resources Management

Year: 4

This module is optional


This module applies theory and techniques relevant to current issues in catchment management, water pollution and toxicology.


Physical and Biological Oceanography

Year: 4

This module is optional


This module is designed to examine the physical and biological aspects of the ocean environment. It provides an understanding of physical oceanic environments behaviour using various examples covering the deeper to nearshore zones. The theoretical component of the module will be provided by lectures, which will cover a contemporary thinking into physical and biological concepts of ocean science while the practical element of the module will consist of a laboratory and field exercises.