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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG3065 Water Science & Management

20 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr Gordon Mitchell

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Water is an essential commodity for humans and ecosystems. Knowledge of its distribution, quantity and quality and the best ways to manage these features are required by scientists, government agencies and NGOs across the globe. This module aims to give students a detailed understanding of major international foci in water science and management, concentrating predominantly on issues arising in river systems and their catchments. It addresses the natural dynamics of river systems with respect to temporal variability of river landscapes/morphological features, flows, water quality and biological communities. This module then introduces students to some of the serious issues necessitating the management of rivers and their catchments, due to degraded water quality, and both hydrological and geomorphological alterations. The module subsequently addresses some of the approaches to managing water sustainably both in an environmental context and water supply/treatment networks. An emphasis on key pieces of water policy and legislation will be an underpinning theme of the module. The module provides students with an opportunity to apply understanding from earlier lectures through group seminar(s), by undertaking data analysis practicals and with individual written assessments.


On completion of this module students should be able to:
1. demonstrate an advanced level of knowledge of water science across a range of spatial and temporal scales,
2. evaluate the scientific underpinning of key pieces of water policy/legislation through the study of hydrogeomorphology, aquatic ecosystems, water quality and water management,
3. critically evaluate some of the key ideas, concepts and models underpinning the aquatic sciences, using detailed case studies,
4. appreciate the importance of an holistic understanding for effective catchment management,
5. perform appropriate data analysis techniques to understand and manipulate datasets used by various water scientists, and demonstrate awareness of their advantages and limitations.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should have detailed knowledge of:
- Hydrogeomorphological processes
- River ecosystems
- Water quality
- Sustainable water management

Skills outcomes
A Knowledge and Understanding
A1 The dynamic nature of geographical thought and practice and the inter-relationships between the discipline and the physical and natural sciences, the social sciences and humanities
A2 The diversity of global environments and the operation of, and inter-relationships between physical and biological systems over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales
A3 Patterns and processes of environmental change and their inter-relationships with human activities

B Cognitive skills
B1 Abstraction and synthesis of information from a variety of sources
B2 Assessment and critical evaluation of the merits of contrasting theories, explanations, policies
B3 Critical analysis and interpretation of data and text
B4 Developing reasoned arguments
B5 Solving problems and making reasoned decisions

C Practical/professional skills
C1 Plan, design, execute and report geographical research both individually and as part of a team
C3 Employ a variety of technical and laboratory-based methods for the analysis and presentation of spatial and environmental information (e.g. GIS, water chemistry, etc)
C4 Collect, interpret and synthesise different types of quantitative and qualitative geographical data

D Key skills
D1 Learn in familiar and unfamiliar situations
D2 Communicate effectively (in writing, verbally and through graphical presentations)
D3 Apply numerical and computational skills to geographical information
D4 Use information technology effectively (including use of spreadsheet, database and word processing programmes; Internet and e-mail)
D5 Identify, retrieve, sort and exchange geographical information using a wide range of sources
D6 Work as part of a team and to recognise and respect the viewpoints of others
D7 Manage time and organise work effectively


- Hydrogeomorphology (e.g. flow regimes, catchment hydrology)
- River ecosystems (e.g. spatial and temporal dynamics)
- Water quality (e.g. physical and chemical, pollutants)
- Sustainable water management (e.g. urban environments, land management, water utilities)

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning201.0020.00
Private study hours136.00
Total Contact hours64.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study spread over the two semesters involves:
1. Reading research papers to embed and extend knowledge from lectures
2. Reading for, and preparation of, practical work
3. Reading and preparation for essays

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Informal question/answer sessions during lectures, and timetabled drop-in meetings

Practical sessions under supervision, before individual write up

Essay assessment

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 words50.00
Practical2000 words report50.00
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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