Skip to main content

Introduction to Environmental Science


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: Dr Stefan Engels
  • Assessment: 300-word answers to five short questions (50%) and a 1500-word essay (50%)

Module description

In this module we introduce you to current global environmental issues and the workings of the physical environment, as well as with the political, economic and social frameworks in which these issues occur. These are critical challenges in a century in which the world faces a number of man-made environmental disasters - ones which geographers are well placed to address.

We will look at key principles and concepts from environmental science, physical geography and ecology, and focus on major ongoing environmental issues including:

  • human-induced climate change
  • global biodiversity loss
  • disruptions to the nutrient cycles.

We will discuss these within the framework of the Planetary Boundaries concept, discuss issues of sustainability and compile an overview of the key players in the debates that surround mitigation, adaptation and/or conservation. We will then focus more on human perspectives on the physical environment.