Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Earth Resources
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Professor Karen Hudson-Edwards (Professor - University of London)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 22 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Seen examination  100%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Seen examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Describe and evaluate water resources, their management and environmental impact.

2. Describe the basics of hydrogeology – with specific reference to the extraction of water for a variety of uses.

3. Describe and evaluate the exploitation of different energy resources.

4. Describe and evaluate the exploitation of mineral deposits (for metals and other strategic elements / compounds).

5. Describe and evaluate the exploitation of bulk materials as economic deposits.

Brief description

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the most important of Earth's physical resources in terms of their use, extraction, processing and environmental impacts. The course will focus on two major topics; Water and Energy with subsidiary consideration of bulk materials and metal and mineral deposits.

Energy Resources will be discussed under the following topics: Fossil fuels; nuclear power; hydroelectricity; geothermal energy and renewable energy.

The Water Resources part of this module will describe the water cycle, discuss water management and usage, surface water and groundwater, and provide an introduction to hydrogeology.

The remaining part of the module will cover Bulk Materials (building stones; aggregates; sands and gravels; bricks) and the extraction, processing and environmental impacts metal and mineral mining.


This course covers the extraction and use of resources from the Earth. The aim of the course is to introduce students to the exploitation of resources and the environmental impact such exploitation. The course covers the following topics:

Energy resources: Introduction to energy, fossil fuels, nuclear fuels, renewable energy.
Water resources: water cycle, surface water, groundwater, hydrogeology, water treatment
Bulk materials: Aggregates - sands and gravels and crushed rock; building stones; limestone and cement, clay and bricks, gypsum.
Mineral deposits: metal deposits, their extraction and exploitation; industrial mineral deposits, their extraction and exploitation; the legacy/aftermath of mining operations from the viewpoint of current practice and former procedures.

Throughout this course the environmental impact of extracting and exploiting the Earth’s resources will be emphasized.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number This module deals with resources. By the very nature of the course there will be numerical examples used throughout the course. There is no direct assessment of numeracy skills in the module.
Communication There is no specific element of communication skills explicit in this module. It is the nature of the subject that students tend to communicate in small groups on the broad subject matter of the EES degree. This should lead to the development of communication skills.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module will provide examples of examination questions which students can review throughout the course. The directed additional reading material will allow students to improve their learning through additional research.
Information Technology The use of on-line resources and directed addition readings will enhance the teaching and learning on this module.
Personal Development and Career planning Many EES graduates go on to careers in the environmental sector and will use skills developed in this course in their work. This module will make specific use of examples from the real world and also be able to link to fieldwork conducted by the teaching staff to illustrate the applied nature of the course.
Problem solving This lecture-only course will describe the exploitation of Earth Resources. The search for such deposits involves aspects of problem solving as does the safe exploitation of resources. The problem solving elements will be embedded into the lecture course.
Research skills Independent research to support the lecture material will be expected in this course. Directed reading, as an introduction to the scientific literature, will be used. The assessment criteria for the marking of examination has a category for giving credit to independent research and the use of examples from outside of the lecture course. As such the research will be assessed.
Subject Specific Skills Assessment of resources is an important skill for EES students. The learning outcomes from this module will be applied in fieldwork at Level 2 and 3
Team work There is no specific team work in this module. Nevertheless the relatively small cohort of students taking these modules means that groups often work together and this encourages team building and skills development. Where team-based exercises are included these will be emphasised to reinforce the ‘team work’ element of the course


This module is at CQFW Level 5