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 2021/22


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2021/22

This module provides knowledge and understanding, from a scientific perspective, of the impacts from human activities on the Earth and its systems and processes. Particular emphasis is given to impacts on water, air, soil and biota (plants and animals). Over the last century numerous environmental problems have arisen as a result of human activities, including global climate shifts, water pollution, soil degradation, habitat loss, diversity loss and air pollution. These problems can in turn impact upon human health and well-being, so managing these problems benefits humans as well as the wider environment. This module examines a wide range of these environmental issues and, importantly, also focuses on ways to mitigate, manage or even resolve environmental problems caused by human impacts.

In this module students learn about human impacts on the environment, the implications of these impacts for the ecological functioning and balance of the natural environment including the interactions between natural processes and components. A major part of the teaching tackles strategies to mitigate or cope with environmental problems caused by human impacts such as dealing with the implications of and mitigation of climate change or options for attenuation and prevention of water and air pollution.

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 on air, water and soil quality: 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

18 hours lectures
3 hours workshops
129 hours self study and completion of assessments

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Literature Review weighted 50%
2500-word essay
Each student must write a literature review (2500 words) on one of the topics covered in the module

2: Portfolio weighted 50%
Portfolio of blog posts (3000 words)
You will write a 3,000 word portfolio consisting of 6x approximately 500 word responses (the word limit is on the total, not individual parts) to the overall Intended Learning Outcome for each of the 6 topics covered in the module.