Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 Hours.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Examination 60% Multiple choice, computer marked 40% Essay (1 question from 4)  100%
Supplementary Exam As above  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

* Describe and exemplify the ways in which human activities impact on the natural environment

* Identify and exemplify a range of natural hazards which affect modern society

* Assess the consequences of anthropogenic disturbance of the natural environment

* Evaluate the vulnerability of different societies to environmental hazards at a global scale

Brief description

This module focuses on a range of key environmental issues affecting the world today. The scientific processes involved in these contemporary environmental problems are explored and then discussed within the context of colonization, economic development and globalization. We will examine a range of case studies from local to global scale, highlighting how an understanding of change from both a scientific perspective along with the associated social, economic and political factors are crucial in order to tackle major environmental concerns effectively.


10 lectures:-

1) Spatial and temporal scales of change: an introduction to the Anthropocene

2) Atmospheric change: stratospheric ozone depletion and urban air pollution

3) Hydrological change: water resources, marine and freshwater pollution

4) Terrestrial change: soil erosion, desertification and biodiversity loss

5) Colonial histories and development

6) Population, resources and nature wars

7) States and environmental governance

8) Corporate environments in a global world

9) Urbanization and the environment

10) Synthesis, conclusions and revision

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Written communication, development of a reasoned, objective argument in essay form
Improving own Learning and Performance Study papers are set each week and discussed in the following lecture in order to help students develop their skills in synthesizing information from journal articles
Information Technology Students are encouraged to make use of the wide range of online material relating to environmental issues
Research skills Independent reading and research, synthesis of literature which spans social science and science, critical evaluation of different theories.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Goudie, A. (2000) The Human Impact on the Natural Environment 5th Cambridge, MIT Press Primo search Middleton, N. (1999) The Global Casino: An introduction to environmental issues 2nd Arnold Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4