ESC-20110 - Earth's Changing Landscapes
Coordinator: Angela Turner Tel: +44 1782 7 34955
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

The Earth is characterised by a remarkable diversity of spectacular landscapes that reflect the product of complex connections between environment, process and form. These landscapes are constantly changing and evolving in response to the influence of a range of controls including climate change and plate tectonics. This module explores this diversity in global landscapes with a specific focus on a series of case study examples that illustrate the ways in which these landscapes have changed over time and may continue to change into the future. This also includes the impact on biodiversity and human populations.

The Earth¿s surface is characterised by a remarkable diversity of landscapes that reflect complex interactions between a number of controlling factors including global climate, tectonics and variations in Earth surface materials. Through the detailed exploration of remotely-sensed imagery, this module considers the nature and spatial variability of the Earths landscapes as well as their evolution and change over time by:
- Examining the connections between environment, process and form and the ways in which these are expressed in the form of the Earths diverse landscapes.
- Investigating the fundamental controls on their geographical variability and the ways in which these have caused landscapes to evolve over time.
- Considering landscape evolution of short and long-term timescales, including the accelerating impacts of climate change and their implications for biodiversity and human populations.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Describe and explain the spatial variability in geomorphic processes and products and the associated diversity of global landscapes: 1
Describe and explain the changing nature of the Earth's landscapes over time in relation to a series of key controls including climate change and plate tectonics: 2
Effectively use remotely-sensed imagery to describe, illustrate and interpret a range of global landscapes: 1,2
Assess the impact of short and long-term landscape evolution (environmental conditions and geomorphic processes) on human populations and biodiversity: 2
Illustrate the dynamic, plural and contested nature of the subject area, and explain the role played by geographers, geoscientists and environmental scientists in advancing knowledge and understanding through both academic and applied research: 1

Study hours

Core teaching content - 11 hours (in-situ interactive lectures)
Journal Clubs - 7 hours (in-situ)
Engagement with online learning materials - 10 hours
Journal Club reading and preparation - 21 hours
Independent coursework preparation and reading / investigation of aerial imagery - 101 hours

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Portfolio weighted 50%
Landscape journal club portfolio
The completion of a Journal Club Portfolio. This consists of three parts, one for each topic that students decide to review covered in the Journal Clubs and illustrating the diversity of global landscapes. This includes the description and interpretation of relevant remotely sensed imagery. Students are also required to reflect on their journal club experience. The word limit for this assignment is 2000 words.

2: Report weighted 50%
Landscape change report
This report focuses on assessing the nature and severity of landscape change over time for two of the landscape topics covered in the module, supported by evidence from remotely sensed imagery. Students are required to consider past and future changes and likely impacts on biodiversity and / or human populations. Word limit of 2000 words.