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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG1000 Planet Under Threat

20 creditsClass Size: 300

Module manager: Paul Chatterton
Email: p.chatterton@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Module replaces

GEOG1065 Nature, Society, Environment

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

In this module you will study some of the key environmental challenges facing humanity and the wider biosphere from both social and natural science perspectives found within human and physical geography. You will explore several specific environmental challenges such as climate change and global warming, biodiversity loss and species extinction, deforestation and desertification, flooding and extreme weather, food and energy shortages, resource and territory conflicts, migration and climate refugees. A key focus of the module is on identifying the main anthropological and ecological causes of the global environmental crisis as well as the range of political responses and potential solutions at different scales. You will learn how to assess the effectiveness of national and international environmental policies, and acquire a range of tools that you can use in later studies in human and physical geography in Levels 2 and 3, and in the workplace.

Objectives

On completion of this module, students should be able:

- to introduce students to the key threats to Earth’s vital planetary systems from both social and natural science perspectives found within human and physical geography
- to explore the specific challenges of key environmental problems e.g. climate change, biodiversity loss and species extinction, deforestation and desertification, flooding and extreme weather, food and energy shortages, resource and territory conflicts, migration and climate refugees
- to identify the main anthropological and ecological causes of the global environmental crisis as well as the range of political responses and potential solutions at different scales

Learning outcomes
1. a foundational understanding of the major ecological challenges facing the future of our planet from both social and natural science perspectives found within human and physical geography
2. an awareness of contemporary debates about the causes of these ecological threats and challenges and how patterns and processes of environmental change interact with human activities
3. an appreciation of the range of political responses, policy ideas and practical solutions being developed at different scales to address the problems of planetary collapse
4. the value and distinctiveness of geographical perspectives on the political, social, economic and ecological processes that are driving environmental change;
5. key skills in reading, analysis, writing, presentation and critique of a range of academic material, individually and in groups

Skills outcomes
QAA subject-specific skills
- spatial awareness and observation
- abstraction and synthesis of information
- developing a reasoned argument
- assessing the merits of contrasting theories and explanations
- critically evaluating, interpreting and combining different types of geographical evidence (for example texts, imagery, archival data, maps, digitised and laboratory data)
- planning, designing and executing a piece of rigorous research or enquiry, both independently and in groups, including the production of a final report
- conducting fieldwork and field data collection
- taking responsibility for learning and reflection upon that learning

QAA knowledge and understanding
- understand the complex relationships between natural and human aspects of environments and landscapes
- the concept of spatial variation
- an appreciation of temporal change
- a critical awareness of the significance of spatial and temporal scale
- distinctiveness of place
- able to use critically a systems framework to conceptualise patterns, processes, interactions and change in the physical world
- knowledge of the main dimensions and scales of economic, social, political and environmental inequality and difference
- clear understanding of the drivers of change in the natural world
- knowledge and critical understanding of the diverse manners of representation
- geographical knowledge and understanding
- field skills


Syllabus

The module syllabus is drawn from the following themes and topics:
- The global ecological crisis
- Planetary stresses: warming, deforestation, flooding and biodiversity loss
- Climate change science
- Ecological effects of climate change
- Anthropological causes of climate change
- The international political agenda
- Greening capitalism
- Civil society movements
- Resource conflicts
- Food, energy and water crises
- Climate change and migration
- Sustainable urbanisation
- Car-free cities and sustainable transport
- Post-carbon cities and energy
- Bio-cities and urban nature
- Retrofitting and repurposing the city

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Workshop61.006.00
Film Screenings42.008.00
Fieldwork23.006.00
Lecture22.004.00
Lecture261.0026.00
Private study hours150.00
Total Contact hours50.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will use their private study time to reinforce their own learning by devoting:
- c. 60 hours to additional reading to enhance their understanding of themes introduced in lectures;
- c. 40 hours to reading and other preparation for workshops;
- c. 50 hours to reading and research in preparation for the assignments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Interactive sections of lectures, film showings and workshops will monitor students’ understanding of the core material being taught;
Workshops will also provide opportunities for students to ask questions and receive formative feedback;
The two field excursions will enable staff to monitor student understanding of some issues as well as development of specific data collection skills.
The two assessed pieces of work at the end of both semesters will receive formative feedback as per normal.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportProject report 2,500 words60.00
ProjectGroup project 1,500 words40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019

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