Environment and Climate Change MSc

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months  
  • Programme start: September 2020
  • Entry requirements: You will need a 2:1 Honours degree or better in an appropriate field of study. Individual consideration is given to mature students with significant and relevant experience and with professional qualifications.
Environmental and Climate Change msc

Module details

Compulsory modules

Introduction to Environment and Climate Change (ENVS425)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To teach techniques of soil and sediment sampling and field description;
To provide examples in the field of how sedimentary deposits can be used for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction;
To provide an introduction to various laboratory techniques for analysing soils and sediments;
To provide an introduction to the regional environmental history;
To use a combination of the above to define and execute a small research project;
To provide an overall introduction to recent and past environmental changes, our understanding behind these changes, forcing and feedback mechanisms as well as an overview of recently developed methodological tools for reconstructing past climates and environments.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Demonstrate the ability to undertake team work in both field and laboratory settings.

(LO2) Employ a range of instrumental techniques for environmental sampling.

(LO3) Evaluate and apply field and laboratory observation for palaeo reconstruction.

(LO4) Design and undertake an independent research project.

(S1) Problem solving skills

(S2) Numeracy

(S3) Teamwork

(S4) Organisational skills

(S5) Communication skills

(S6) IT skills

Research in Anthropocene Environments (ENVS485)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aim of this module is to provide students with:

The opportunity to conduct in depth piece of research on a chosen topic within the broad theme of human impacts on the environment;

Provide students with training in research methods and critical analysis techniques;

Teach them to write a short concise abstract (in a conference format);

To present the results in the form of a high impact, high quality A0 poster.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) 1. Demonstrate an understanding of anthropocene environments;

(LO2) 2. Knowledge of a series of key case studies illustrating interactions between human activities and terrestrial and marine ecosystems;

(LO3) 3. Critically analyse and assess previously published materials and synthesize into an appropriate case study;

(LO4) 4. Write a concise abstract;

(LO5) 5. Demonstrate knowledge of poster development and construction;

(LO6) 6. Present a poster in a professional manner.

(S1) Problem solving skills

(S2) Communication skills

(S3) IT skills

(S4) Organisational skills

Politics of the Environment (ENVS525)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
Aims

This unit is designed to critically evaluate the political responses to the growing impact that environmental issues and the concept of sustainability are having on decision making at all levels of governance (international, national and local). More specifically the unit aims to:

Develop a critical understanding of the growing importance of environmental and sustainable development thinking in political decision-making processes;

Explore different environmental attitudes, values and perspectives and examine the impact on various political perspectives;

Develop a critical understanding of the opportunities and limitations of environmental decision making international dimension of environmental politics and its impact on nation states;

Understand the role that environmental pressure groups have in shaping political decisions at the international, national and local levels of governance;

Critically evaluate the policy responses at national and local levels to the new emerging environmental agenda.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) a critical appreciation of how environmental issues are being addressed at all levels of governance;

(LO2)  a critical understanding of different environmental values and attitudes and the way that these impact upon political philosophy and decision-making;

(LO3) a critical understanding of the way that various environmental interest groups impact on political and other decision making processes.

(S1) Communication skills

(S2) International awareness

(S3) Ethical awareness

Physical Properties of Environmental Archives and Modelling Approach (ENVS433)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To outline the principles of the application of granulometric, rock magnetic, and geochemical analytical techniques to palaeoenvironmental reconstruction;
To teach the practical laboratory measurement and analysis of the above;
To introduce the theory and practice of methods of advanced data presentation and analysis.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To make practical measurements of sediment grain-size, geochemical and rock magnetic properties

(LO2) To interpret litho-, magnetic-, and geochemical stratigraphies to reconstruct sedimentary environments, identify sediment sources and reconstruct human impacts

(LO3) to graphically present and statistically analyse a range of uni and multivariate data sets

(LO4) To gain an insight in environmental modelling by developping knowledge and technical capabilities about programming language.

(LO5) To get acquainted with specialised softwares to reconstruct environmental conditions

(S1) Problem solving skills

(S2) Numeracy

(S3) Teamwork

(S4) Communication skills

(S5) IT skills

(S6) Organisational skills

Tackling Environmental Issues (ENVS471)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This  module will promote independent thinking, critical insights, leadership, team work and a sound understanding of environmental issues that affect local, national and international governance.

It will enable students to develop the skills to research a key environmental issue, showing a good grasp of what is required in terms of synthesising the relevant information in an objective and robust manner and communicating this at the right level for a consultancy report.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) demonstrate an appreciation of the environmental dilemmas faced by national. regional and local (e.g. towns and cities) government in adapting to a more sustainable way of living, working and playing;

(LO2) Demonstrate an understanding of the factors that will shape different authorities’ approaches to tackling issues such as climate change (e.g. international and national law, local climate, key sectors of employment, available resources, etc ) or sectoral conflicts for resource use.

(LO3) Demonstrate the ability to complete a consultancy report and policy briefing on a key environmental issue

(LO4) demonstrate team working skills

(S1) Teamwork

(S2) Communication skills

(S3) Ethical awareness

(S4) Leadership

(S5) International awareness

(S6) Organisational skills

Analysing Climate Processes and Variablity (ENVS475)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To outline the modes of operation, timescales of variation and drivers of the global climate system;
To introduce major research themes in the global climate system;     To introduce the techniques and approaches for the analysis of ocean, atmopshere and paleoclimate data sets; 
To learn to discuss and present key findings from data analysis of large data sets.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Knowledge of how the Earth’s atmospheric and oceanic system operates, including the various spatial and temporal scales of the processes

(LO2) The external and internals drivers of climate change

(LO3) Basic techniques and research themes in ocean, atmospheric and paleoclimate research

(LO4) Knowledge of the methods of data collection and production in ocean and atmospheric science.

(LO5) Knowledge of the techniques of reconstruction of past climatic conditions

(S1) Assessing the merits of contrasting theories and explanations

(S2) Numeracy and statistical literacy

(S3) Ability to work responsibly, autonomously and with others

(S4) The handling of large datasets

Project Design and Management (ENVS484)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To initiate the preliminary research for the dissertation project with the development of a project design (aims and objectives), the background research (literature review), the methodology and expected outcomes. This module aims to achieve the acquisition of time management and independent thinking skills.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students successfully completing this module will be able to: Design an individual research project.

(LO2) To show a criticaly informed understanding of which appropriate methodology(ies) to choose for the investigation of the research topic.

(LO3) Identify, access and critically use bibliographic resources and databases.

(LO4) Demonstrate a sound awareness of time and project management.

(LO5) Show an understanding on the importance of background research and hypotheses for a successful completion of a project research.

Introduction to Quaternary Micropalaeontology (ENVS542)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module seeks to provide a deep and comprehensive understanding on methods and techniques used in micropalaeontology that will enable students to have an insight in a research field that is relevant for environmental sciences as well as geosciences, including biostratigraphy, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology and palaeoceanography.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Have an understanding at research level of biological proxies that are used to qualitatively and quantitatively reconstruct Quaternary environments

(LO2) Be able to identify at a species level marine and terrestrial key microfossils

(LO3) Understand principles of uniformitarianism and palaeoecology

(LO4) Understand and apply principles of qualitative reconstructions of past conditions

(LO5) Understand and apply principles of quantitativereconstructions of past conditions

(LO6) Appreciate limitations of the biological proxies and the statistical analysis of their relationships with environmental conditions

(S1) Numeracy

(S2) research skills

(S3) laboratory procedures

(S4) Communication skills

(S5) Teamwork

(S6) Problem solving skills

(S7) IT skills

(S8) Organisational skills

Dissertation - Environmental Sciences (ENVS490)
LevelM
Credit level60
SemesterSummer (June-September)
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To develop the ability to undertake an individual research project building on the knowledge and skills acquired elsewhere in the programme.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) In a format suitable for their programme and discipline area, students will demonstrate the ability to execute an individual research project building on the design developed in ENVS484 or ENVS496

(LO2) students will be able to select appropriate research strategies and undertake appropriate methods of data collection and analysis

(LO3) students willbe able to synthesize different information sources to form coherent arguements and relate research findings to relevant applied issues

(LO4) students will be able to write up the results of the research project and interpret the findings in light of the broader knowledge base and literature

(LO5) students will be able to use bibliographies, referencing and citations in the appropriate and correct manner to support their academic work undertaken

(S1) Adaptability

(S2) Problem solving skills

(S3) Communication skills

(S4) Organisational skills


Part-time structure

No rigid structure, although ENVS425 should be in year 1 and ENVS484/ENVS490 should be taken in year 2.