ESC-20017 - Human Impact on the Environment, scientific perspectives
Coordinator: Adam Moolna Tel: +44 1782 7 34115
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
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

Human impacts on the environment are substantial and affect processes, conditions and components of our planet and biosphere on global, regional and local scales. Scientific understanding is key to be able to manage and address human impacts for better environmental and human well-being. We cover a broad spread of issues organised into key topics: anthropogenic climate change and responses; soils and land use; human impacts on waters; managing pollution including mining and persistent organic pollutants; and global frameworks for managing human impacts. Students will address all these topics in a written portfolio and carry out a detailed literature review on their choice of one specific topic.

Students will learn about human impacts on the environment and the implications for functioning and balance of key systems, including the interactions between different processes and components. A major part of learning is about strategies to mitigate and adapt to environmental problems caused by human impacts, such as addressing climate change, and the role of science in informing action.

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

Intended Learning Outcomes

discuss a broad range of human impacts on the environment and their wider significance and possible solutions: 1,2
search for and assimilate information from the literature on a key environmental issue: 1,2
describe and explain, in scientific terms, the key causes of negative environmental impacts: 1,2
communicate effectively in written form about an environmental issue, including possible solutions and barriers to their adoption, in an interesting, engaging and informative way: 1,2

Study hours

27.5 Active Learning Hours =
15 hours lectures: 3 lectures for each of 5 topics (15x 1 hour)
5 hours workshops: 1 workshop for each of 5 topics, incorporating skills briefings (5x 1 hour)
7.5 hours asynchronous resources: video to watch and reflect on for each lecture (15x 30 mins)
122.5 hours independent study =
122.5 hours reading, independent work, and completion of assessments

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Portfolio weighted 50%
Portfolio of topic Intended Learning Outcome responses
2,500 word portfolio of approximately 5 x 500 word responses (the word limit is on the total, not individual parts) to each of the five topics covered in the module

2: Literature Review weighted 50%
Literature review on choice of module topic
2,500 word literature review of your choice of one of the five topics covered in this module evaluating the context, issues and solutions