Environmental Science and Society
This module can be taken as standalone or as part of building up to a certificate, diploma or master’s degree. You can take up to three standalone modules before deciding whether you want to work towards any of these.
If you do decide to build up to a qualification, then you will need to complete and pass the following amount of modules within a five year period: four modules for a certificate; eight modules for a diploma; eight modules and a dissertation for a degree. Please note that certain modules will be compulsory depending on the degree you opt to take.
This module will introduce key theoretical concepts in the physical and natural sciences and their importance for sustainable development and the complex interactions between scientific knowledge, uncertainty and public policy. It will outline the underlying science behind specific environmental problems such as climate change, ozone depletion and biodiversity loss and give an overview of the scientific approaches to diagnosis, analysis and solution of environmental problems.
On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
- Recognise the importance of science to the debates on sustainable development
- Articulate the scientific dimensions of policy responses to environmental problems
- Identify the complexities of sustainable development inherent in the science / policy interface
- Carry out a basic environmental risk assessment.
Content includes the following:
- Ecology and biodiversity
- Thermodynamics of ecosystems and human systems
- Pollution science
- The science of climate change
- The science of ozone depletion
- Environmental risk assessment
- Scientific uncertainty and the development processes for environmental policy.
Learning and teaching methods
The learning and teaching methods include:
- Lectures and class discussions
- In-class assessed group work
- Independent study.
- A ten-page group report completed during the module
- A 3,000 word post-module coursework consisting of short-answer questions, to be completed over the four-week period following this module.
Please note: If you are taking this as a standalone module, then you are not required to complete the post-module coursework, however, this will mean that you won't gain any credits for completing the module and so won't be able to work towards a qualification if you later decide to do so.
Jonathan ChenowethSee profile
You will be required to do some reading prior to the module starting, take a look at the reading list.
There are no entry requirements if you are taking this as a standalone module.
For those wanting to build up to a qualification please refer to the MSc course pages for entry requirements.
Fees and funding
To be confirmed
For group bookings or bespoke training packages please contact us.
How to apply
For those taking this as a standalone module, applications are taken through our online store.
Payment can be accepted by purchase order, credit card or bank transfer. Payments will be accepted subject to availability. Please note that we do not charge VAT as we are an educational establishment.
If you have any problems with booking or payments then please contact the Administrative Officer, Melanie Wilde:
- +44 (0)1483 689470.
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Further details of our terms and conditions will follow.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the commencement of the course. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.