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Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)

Environmental Science and Management

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This module provides an overview of the main contemporary issues in environmental science and management, introducing the earth system and its main components and processes. It covers the main features of the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere, emphasising their connections and interactions. The cryosphere is also considered separately (although it may be regarded as a subset of the hydrosphere). This module focuses on the science underlying the most prominent global environmental issues, including biodiversity loss and climate change. Important approaches to, and principles of, environmental management are also examined in this module.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the fundamentals of environmental science, emphasising some of the most important environmental issues at the global and local scales. It also aims to explain the main principles of environmental management and to demonstrate some of the ways in which environmental science is used to inform policy and management.

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • describe the main concepts of environmental science, including the concept of the earth system and its main components (the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and biosphere)
  • discuss critically the idea of environmental change and to state some of the main environmental changes of earth’s recent history
  • explain the importance of environmental monitoring and modelling in understanding the earth system
  • identify the main approaches to, and principles of, environmental management

Scope and syllabus

  • Unit 1 Introduction: the earth system and its components
  • Unit 2 The geosphere
  • Unit 3 The atmosphere
  • Unit 4 The hydrosphere
  • Unit 5 The cryosphere
  • Unit 6 The biosphere
  • Unit 7 Environmental change
  • Unit 8 Environmental modelling and monitoring
  • Unit 9 Environmental management: approaches and principles
  • Unit 10 Environmental science and management: issues and challenges

Module sample

P500 module uses a core text which is specially written and will take you through your self-directed study. Exercises, assignments and other activities, such as self-assessment questions, film clips and animations are included to help you with learning. Most module study guides are now provided in electronic format on a USB flash memory stick, but can also be downloaded from the online learning environment. Click the linked image below to view a sample of our e-study guide: