ESC-10041 - People and the Environment
Coordinator: Peter Knight Room: WSF30 Tel: +44 1782 7 34304
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733615

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

Climate change; plastics in the oceans; clean energy; planning for future social systems - this module addresses issues at the heart of humankind's relationship with the natural environment. The relationship between people and the environment is relevant to disciplines across the academic spectrum and to employment areas that are set to grow in coming years. This module is highly relevant as an elective option for students from across the University, especially given Keele's "Green" ethos and environmental position, and is a core module for Geography students. For Geographers, this module is an important point of overlap between Physical Geography, Human Geography & Environmental subjects, adopting a Geographical perspective on environmental issues and on some approaches to tackling them (from both natural science and social science perspectives). For students from all across the sciences, social sciences and humanities this module encourages us to look more closely at the problems, and potential solutions, associated with the ways we live in our world. In particular, we consider environmental hazards, the ways that people use the environment as a resource, the impacts people have on the environment, the ways people can try to manage those impacts, and the future of our relationship with the environment.

To enable students to develop an understanding and appreciation of a range of environmental issues and different approaches to tackling these issues, in particular addressing questions of environmental hazards, how we use the environment as a resource, the impacts we have on the environment, and how we can try to manage those impacts.

Intended Learning Outcomes

describe the ways in which people interact with their environment, and society's approaches to dealing with environmental issues: 1,2
outline the complementary nature of physical science and social science approaches to engaging with environmental issues: 1,2
account for the relationship between scientific knowledge and the contested interpretation of information in the environmental context: 1,2
gather and synthesize information from appropriate published sources, and use this information to discuss, in written form, a variety of environmental topics: 1,2

Study hours

22 hours scheduled interactive live-class sessions
32 hours directed work using online resources connected to each live class
32 hours research and writing for the Literature Review assessment
32 hours research and writing for the Workbook assessment
32 hours flexible weekly independent research time

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Literature Review weighted 50%
2000 word literature-review essay
A coursework literature-review essay of 2000 words (plus a correctly formatted reference list), giving students the opportunity to explore issues raised in their choice of one of the module's case-study topics.

2: Workbook weighted 50%
short-answer coursework exercise
A workbook of short text-based and image-based exercises that students will complete step-by-step as they progress through the module, completing tasks associated with sections of the course.