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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE3710 Frontiers in Environmental Research

10 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Graham Mann

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications


Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The “Research Frontiers” involves 15 overview lectures by leading scientists in the School and 5 discussion-seminars (every 3 weeks through the module).Whilst the lectures give a window into several themes of the research, the seminars focus on just one area, small groups discussing 1 or 2 key papers from each lecture, identifying the main findings and the “frontiers in the subject” the research aims to incrementally advance.The module provides an exciting window into current research across the 5 pathways of the Environmental Science degree programme: Earth, Atmosphere, Water, Biosphere and the Anthroposphere, with 2-5 lectures on each theme. With the 3,000-word essay assessment, students research one of the lecture topics in depth, to gain experience of an academic research discipline in environmental science. Once projects are assigned, students will be provided with a list of key references, and are also encouraged to contact the lecturer with specific questions about the research area.


This module aims to give time and space for students to develop the following skills:

- Recognising and using subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles
- Analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, including prior research
- Collecting and integrating several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses
- Applying knowledge and understanding to address familiar and unfamiliar problems
- Planning, conducting and reporting on investigations
- Communicating appropriately to a academic audiences in written form
- Developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (eg working independently, time management and organisation skills)
- Using the Internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information
- Recognising the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for professional codes of conduct.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will also have learned to:

- Practice skills in analysis, synthesis and integration of information, and in the application of related theoretical knowledge, where relevant. They will appreciate related issues of the investigation of the exploitation of resources and other human impacts on the environment.
- Gain an understanding of the range of academic research carried out within the school and produce a high quality literature review to a tight deadline.
- Demonstrate ability to engage with academic research and critically evaluate the state of the science knowledge in a chosen area.


- 15 x “overview research lectures”
- 5 discussion seminars aligned with key papers in each lecture topic.
- The 15 topics will span the 5 streams with Environmental science: Earth; Atmosphere: Biosphere: Water and Environmental Management, with 2-4 topics in each area.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Drop-in Session11.001.00
Private study hours79.00
Total Contact hours21.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Time to prepare for discussion seminars and reading of papers for the 3,000-word essay assignment.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Drop in session during semester two to ensure students have chosen topics and are aware of requirements for final submission.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, but with a different lecture topic than originally assigned.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 01/10/2018


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