ESC-10048 - The Earth System
Coordinator: Stuart Egan Room: WSF29 Tel: +44 1782 7 33174
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733615

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

This module provides an overview and considers interactions between the Earth¿s major systems, including the solid earth (geosphere), biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, and how they combine in terms of their physical, geochemical and environmental processes. The module also covers some of the anthropogenic causes of global environmental change and the need to mitigate the predicted effects in terms of the sustainable use and development of the planet. It also helps students gain useful experience of a range of employability skills within a geoscience context.

To provide an overview and consider interactions between all of the Earth's major systems, including the geosphere, atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

demonstrate knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles associated with all of the Earth's major systems: 1,2,3,4
understand and evaluate the role of society on global change as well as have an appreciation of the need for the sustainable use of natural resources: 1,2,3,4
further develop their IT and writing skills through practical work and coursework assignments: 1,2,3
show knowledge and understanding of the relationships between past, present and future changes on Earth and their relationship to perturbations of its Systems and interactions between Systems: 1,2,3,4

Study hours

24 hours scheduled synchronous class activity
12 hours structured engagement with online resources and directed research
6 hours completion of spreadsheet-based box modelling assignment
30 hours research and completion of computer-based presentation
30 hours research and completion of review article
30 hours revision and completion of class test
18 hours flexible independent study (e.g. background reading)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Computer Task weighted 30%
PowerPoint Exercise
Development of a standalone computer-based presentation on a selected Earth Systems topic

2: Computer Task weighted 10%
Spreadsheet exercises
Spreadsheet based exercises on system analysis diagrams

3: Review weighted 30%
Review article
750-1000 word review article on a selected Earth Systems topic (e.g. climate change, mass extinctions).

4: Class Test weighted 30%
KLE short answer/MCQ test
End of semester short answer/multiple choice test administered via the KLE and taking approximately one-hour to complete.