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XX20239: Introduction to environmental sciences and sustainability

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Programmes in Natural Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 12      [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 240
Further information on unit levels Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW40EX60
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment detail for this unit will be available shortly.
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: You must have A level mathematics plus 1 A level science subject (or equivalent Level 3 qualifications or UG unit) to take this unit
Aims: To provide each student with an opportunity to develop:
* A knowledge base in the core theories, approaches and disciplines used in environmental science and sustainability;
* Skills needed to apply the knowledge to solve simple real-world problems.
Learning Outcomes: By the end of the unit you will be able to:
1. Explain a range of concepts and theories from the field of environmental science;
2. Use a range of quantitative techniques to analyse data and make predictions;
3. Discuss different approaches to utilise natural resources in a sustainable manner;
4. Describe and analyse economic considerations, environmental law and ethics on environmental and sustainable problems;
5. Apply knowledge and skills to propose solutions to real world environmental or sustainability problems.
Skills: Problem solving (T/F/A), Quantitative and mathematical skills (T/F/A), Communication skills (F/A).
Content: Environmental history and the Anthropocene
Ecosystems and biodiversity
The hydrosphere
The Gaia hypothesis
Atmospheric dynamics and chemistry
Energy flow, requirements, generation and supply systems
Environmental indicators and ecological footprints
Environmental modelling and statistical methods
Environmental ethics and law
Environmental economics
IPAT and the modernisation cycle
Sustainability and the climate problem
Evidence-based environmentalism and sustainability.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

XX20239 is a Generally Available Unit which is available to all students of the University (subject to the usual constraints) to take either as a Director of Studies approved option within their programme of study or as an 'extra' unit which does not count towards a final award.

XX20239 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biochemistry with Environmental Science stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biochemistry with Environmental Science stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biochemistry with Environmental Science stream) with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Environmental Science stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Environmental Science stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Environmental Science stream) with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Environmental Science stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Environmental Science stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Environmental Science stream) with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Biochemistry stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Biochemistry stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Biochemistry stream) with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Biology stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Biology stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Biology stream) with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Chemistry stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Chemistry stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Chemistry stream) with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Physics stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Physics stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Environmental Science with Physics stream) with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Environmental Science stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Environmental Science stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Environmental Science stream) with Year long work placement (Year 2)

XX20239 is Optional on the following programmes:

Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biochemistry with Chemistry stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biochemistry with Chemistry stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biochemistry with Chemistry stream) with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Chemistry stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Chemistry stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Chemistry stream) with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biochemistry stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biochemistry stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biochemistry stream) with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biology stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biology stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biology stream) with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biochemistry with Chemistry stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biochemistry with Chemistry stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biochemistry with Chemistry stream) with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Chemistry stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Chemistry stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Chemistry stream) with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) (Year 3)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biochemistry stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biochemistry stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biochemistry stream) with Professional Placement (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biology stream) (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biology stream) with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Biology stream) with Professional Placement (Year 2)

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