Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG1045 Living Planet

20 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Julie Peacock

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Note that assignments for this module require the application of basic statistical tests which are not taught as part of the module.

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

A firm understanding of the processes that shape the biosphere is key for managing environmental change. This module explores the relationships between soils, plants, animals and their physical environment - and how humans are modifying these interactions. The module uses a variety of approaches to explore pattern and process in plant-soil systems, including lectures, computer practicals, and laboratory classes. The computer and laboratory practicals and related assessments are designed to develop scientific understanding of the environment and introduce writing and data analysis skills, including the application of simple statistics (taught elsewhere in the programme).


To provide students with an introduction to the major processes that determine current patterns in the terrestrial biosphere, and how these processes underpin decisions about how to manage ecosystems

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module students will be able to:

1) Describe and discuss the processes that determine current patterns in the structure, composition and diversity of the biosphere and how these are being modified by humans

2) Explain energy and material fluxes within and between the different components of the earth's ecosystem and the processes involved;

3) State the key physical and chemical properties of soil and discuss how these are influenced by management

Skills outcomes
This module requires that you attend laboratory classes where soil physical and chemical tests are conducted. The Soil Report and Ecology Data Analysis Assignments require the student to apply statistics (not taught as part of the module) to a data set.


The teaching on this module will be organised into blocks.

The blocks may be taught at different times in different years depending on staffing and the timetabling of components on other modules (like fieldtrips). Some blocks may run concurrently.

Each block will be taught using a combination of approaches including lectures and student-led workshops

Block 1. Nutrient cycles and human impacts

This section of the course will consider energy capture and flow, and the carbon, water, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles and how these aspects of the Earth system are being perturbed by humans

Block 2: The bsais of terrestrial life: soils

This section of the course will consider how soils are made, their properties and how they are affected by management

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Computer Class12.002.00
Independent online learning hours3.00
Private study hours150.00
Total Contact hours47.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Lectures and practicals will be accompanied by reading lists (textbooks and journal articles), with an expectation of around two hours reading in support of each lecture.
- Further private study time will be spent in preparing coursework and revising for the exam, and in preparing group presentations for the workshops
- Students will also be required to listen and engage with three e-lectures in their own time.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

-Oral feedback will be given during fieldwork and laboratory work. Feedback will be given informally to individuals during these sessions as well as group feedback summarising the session.
Students will also gain feedback during the student-led workshops
- Feedback on the coursework will be provided via documents posted on Minerva

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportSoils report (1200 words)33.00
PracticalData analysis (1200 words).33.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)66.00

Essay on soil topic (1200 words); essay on ecology topic (1200 words)

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 30 mins34.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)34.00

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: 08/05/2019


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019