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2019/20 Undergraduate Programme Catalogue

BSc Sustainability and Environmental Management

Programme code:BS-ENV/SEMUCAS code:F7M0
Duration:3 Years Method of Attendance: Full Time
Programme manager:Dr Stephen Whitfield Contact address:s.whitfield@leeds.ac.uk

Total credits: 360

Entry requirements:

England and Wales
Normally 3 A-levels at grades ABB, including two from biology, chemistry, economics, English, Environmental Science/Studies, Geology, Geography, History, Law, Mathematics, Physics, Politics, Sociology. Other subjects may be considered. Excludes General Studies.

Scottish Highers
Normally ABBBB, including two from biology, chemistry, economics, English, environmental science/studies, geology, geography, history, law, mathematics, physics, politics, sociology. Other subjects may be considered.

International Baccalaureate
Normally 34 points overall, with 16 at the Higher Level, including two from biology, chemistry, economics, English, environmental science/studies, geology, geography, history, law, mathematics, physics, politics, sociology. Other subjects may be considered.

School/Unit responsible for the parenting of students and programme:

School of Earth and Environment

Examination board through which the programme will be considered:

School of Earth and Environment

Relevant QAA Subject Benchmark Groups:

The relevant QAA Benchmark is Earth sciences, environmental sciences and environmental studies

Programme specification:

Sustainability is at the core of how governments, societies, researchers, and increasingly business, now think about the environment and our place in it. The environment is important to everyone, but our demand for natural resources and the waste that our lifestyles generate means that it is under increasing pressure. For this reason, there is demand for literate and numerate graduates who possess a thorough understanding of the environmental, economic and social implications of the decisions that we make and the strategies we use to find sustainable solutions to environmental problems.

BSc (Hons) Sustainability and Environmental Management is designed to sit at the interface between human activity and the environment. The programme draws on disciplines such as environmental science to develop knowledge and skills in the science that underpins our understanding of sustainability. At the same time, teaching in areas such as business, economics and policy means that students are able to understand and evaluate societies' role in and interaction with changes in the natural world. Teaching on the programme draws on the skills and expertise of one of the largest groups of environmental and social scientists in the country, the Sustainability Research Institute whose research is tackling some of the major sustainability challenges we face.

For existing students in 2019/20
The programme is composed of four pathways that will equip students for particular sectors, although many of the skills they will develop will also cross sector boundaries. Students should choose one pathway to pursue in the second and third years of their degree, although some deviation from the pathway structure is permissible (e.g. additional skills modules) subject to programme leader approval. The Business and Sustainability pathway will equip students for positions in the private sector, for example, in corporate social and environmental responsibility roles. The Energy and the Built Environment pathway allows students to specialise in transport and energy, equipping them to work in policy and planning departments as well as with corporations within these sectors. The Natural Resources and Biodiversity and the Earth systems pathways build ecological and environmental science skills alongside the sustainable development knowledge required for roles within the consultancy and environmental policy sectors. Students from across the programme will be well placed for jobs with Government and non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in environment and development.

Throughout the programme there are opportunities for students to develop key competencies and skills (e.g. interview skills, fieldwork and laboratory skills, presentation and writing abilities), as well as developing the ability to reflect on and appreciate the limitations of current knowledge and approaches to sustainability and environmental management. Teaching will be delivered through a variety of means, from lectures to fieldtrips. Fieldwork is an important aspect of teaching and so students will get the opportunity to put methods into practice during fieldtrips. Teaching across the modules also makes use of small group discussions/seminars to help students to engage in deep learning.

Please note that this BSc degree programme is accredited by the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA),


For students entering in 2019/20
The programme is designed to allow students to pursue diverse combinations of subjects and, in doing so, explore their individual interests and build a uniquely tailored degree. The programme also has three themes, which students will have the option to specialise in, should they wish. These themes are aimed at equipping students for employment in particular sectors, although many of the skills they will develop will also cross sector boundaries:
-The Economics, Business and Policy theme will equip students for positions in the private sector, for example, in corporate social and environmental responsibility roles.
-The Energy and Transport theme allows students to specialise in transport and energy, equipping them to work in policy and planning departments as well as with corporations within these sectors.
-The Environmental Science theme will equip students with the knowledge and skills to work in environmental research, environmental consultancy, and conservation roles
Students from across the programme will also be well placed for jobs with Government and non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in environment and development.

Themes and optional modules for years 2 and 3 will be updated in the appropriate year (i.e. 2020/21 year 2 will be available next year)

Throughout the programme there are opportunities for students to develop key competencies and skills (e.g. interview skills, fieldwork and laboratory skills, presentation and writing abilities), as well as developing the ability to reflect on and appreciate the limitations of current knowledge and approaches to sustainability and environmental management. Teaching will be delivered through a variety of means, from lectures to fieldtrips. Fieldwork is an important aspect of teaching and so students will get the opportunity to put methods into practice during fieldtrips. Teaching across the modules also makes use of small group discussions/seminars to help students to engage in deep learning.

Please note that this BSc degree programme is accredited by the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).


Year1 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules.

Students must pass SOEE1111, SOEE1381, SOEE1460 and SOEE1483 (if they are studying this module) to progress to second year.

SOEE1111Sustainable Development20 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
SOEE1181Ecology10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE1281Atmosphere10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE1381Skills for Environmental Social Science10 creditsSemester 1
SOEE1390Introduction to Business, Environment and Corporate Responsibility
Pre-requisite for: SOEE2310
20 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
SOEE1450Environmental Politics and Policy10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE1460Environmental Science for Environmental Management
Pre-requisite for: SOEE2170
20 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
TRAN1011Challenges in Transport and Mobility10 creditsSemester 1

Optional modules:

Candidates WITHOUT A-Level Maths or AS Level Maths with a grade of A-C or equivalent will be required to study SOEE1483 'Mathematics for Environmental Social Science' as a compulsory module. If taken, SOEE1483 is Pass for Progression.

If you are not required to study SOEE1483, you may choose up to 10 credits of optional SOEE modules or up to 10 credits of Discovery modules, subject to timetabling constraints.

Students who have completed A-Level Maths or with AS Level Maths at Grade A-C or equivalent should NOT enrol in SOEE1483.

SOEE1483Foundation Mathematics for Social Sciences10 creditsSemester 1

Discovery modules:

If you are not required to study SOEE1483, you may choose up to 10 credits of Discovery modules, subject to timetabling constraints.


Year2 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

SOEE2032Personal Development for Careers in the Environmental Sector10 creditsSemester 1
SOEE2371People, Sustainability, and the Environment20 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
SOEE2570Research in the Environmental Social Sciences30 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
SOEE2670Environmental Impact Assessment10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE2680Environmental Policy and Governance10 creditsSemester 1

Optional modules:

Students must select one of the following Pathways. Students may study SOEE2650 GIS for Geoscientists in place of one of their 10 credit Pathway modules OR substitute one 10 credit module from their Pathway with a Discovery Module or another optional SOEE module, subject to timetabling constraints.

Business and Sustainability Pathway

SOEE2310Tools and Techniques for Business, Environment and Corporate Responsibility
Pre-requisite for: SOEE3270
20 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
SOEE2355Energy Transitions: Technologies, Markets and Policy10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE2610Economics and Sustainability
Pre-requisite for: SOEE3750
10 creditsSemester 2

Energy and the Built Environment Pathway

SOEE2355Energy Transitions: Technologies, Markets and Policy10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE2610Economics and Sustainability10 creditsSemester 2
TRAN2020Transport Land Use and Development10 creditsSemester 2
TRAN2041Transport, Energy and Environment10 creditsSemester 1

Natural Resources and Biodiversity Pathway

Students must select 40 out of the following 60 credits. The SOEE equivalent pre-requisite for GEOG2085 Ecosystems is SOEE1180 Environment and Ecology.

GEOG2085Ecosystems: process, pattern, and change20 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
SOEE2160Climate Change: Science and Impacts10 creditsSemester 1
SOEE2165Climate Change: Society and Human Dimensions10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE2170Water Quality10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE2690Managing Biodiversity10 creditsSemester 1

Earth Systems Pathway

Students should select 40 from the following 50 credits.

Students WITHOUT A-Level Chemistry or AS Level Chemistry with a grade of A-C or equivalent will be required to study SOEE1131 Introductory Chemistry for Earth and Environmental Scientists to progress on this Pathway. Students who take SOEE1131 will only have to study three out of the other four modules.

Students who have completed A-Level Chemistry or with AS Level Chemistry at Grade A-C or equivalent should NOT enrol in SOEE1131.


SOEE1131Introductory Chemistry for Earth and Environmental Scientists10 credits 
SOEE2160Climate Change: Science and Impacts10 creditsSemester 1
SOEE2165Climate Change: Society and Human Dimensions10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE2460Contaminated Land Studies: Integrating Business Skills and Science in Consultancy10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE2481Atmospheric Pollution from Local to Global Scales
Pre-requisite for: SOEE3431
10 creditsSemester 2

Skills Module

Students may opt to study this module instead of a 10 credit module from their chosen pathway.

SOEE2650GIS for Geoscientists10 creditsSemester 1

Discovery modules:

Students may ONLY select 10 credits of Discovery Modules providing that they have NOT SELECTED SOEE2650


Year3 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

SOEE3030Environmental Research Project40 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
SOEE3112Environmental Risk: Science, Policy and Management10 creditsSemester 1
SOEE3202Sustainable Consumption10 creditsSemester 1
SOEE3771Sustainable Futures10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE3780Sustainable Development in Practice10 creditsSemester 2

Optional modules:

Students must continue the Pathway studied in year two. Students may substitute one 10 credit module from their Pathway with a Discovery Module or another optional SOEE or SOEE Skills Module, subject to timetabling constraints and approval from the Programme Leader. Module changes should be discussed with your Personal Tutor before seeking approval from the Programme Leader.

Business and Sustainability Pathway

LAW3132Law and the Environment II: Governing the Environment10 creditsSemester 1
SOEE3270Business and Sustainable Development10 creditsSemester 1
SOEE3630Strategic Energy Issues10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE3750Sustainability Economics in Practice10 creditsSemester 1

Energy and the Built Environment Pathway

Students must enrol for 40 from the following 60 credits.

SOEE3750Sustainability Economics in Practice10 creditsSemester 1
TRAN3031Public Transport Policy and Practice10 creditsSemester 1
TRAN3052Case Studies in Sustainable Transport10 creditsSemester 2
TRAN3061Travel Activity Analysis10 creditsSemester 1
TRAN3062Social Analysis and Social Psychology for Transport10 creditsSemester 2
TRAN3070Healthy Cities: Transport and Health10 creditsSemester 1

Natural Resources and Biodiversity Pathway

Students must study 40 out of the following 70 credits
There are no pre-requisite modules for SOEE students for GEOG3180 Management of Wilderness Environments.

BLGY3247Advanced Topics in Conservation Science20 creditsSemester 2
GEOG3180Management of Wilderness and Global Ecosystems20 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
LAW3132Law and the Environment II: Governing the Environment10 creditsSemester 1
LAW3133Law and the Environment20 creditsSemester 2
SOEE3287Catchment Processes and Management10 creditsSemester 1
SOEE3760Terrestrial Biosphere in the Earth System10 creditsSemester 2

Earth Systems Pathway

Students must study 40 out of the following 50 credits
There are no pre-requisite modules for SOEE students for GEOG3180 Management of Wilderness Environments.

GEOG3180Management of Wilderness and Global Ecosystems20 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
SOEE3410Atmosphere and Ocean Climate Change Processes10 creditsSemester 1
SOEE3431Atmospheric Pollution: Causes, Impact and Regulation10 creditsSemester 2
SOEE3760Terrestrial Biosphere in the Earth System10 creditsSemester 2

Careers/Skills Modules

Students may opt to take one of the following careers/skills modules in place of optional modules of equivalent credits. Note that the number of places on GEOG3520 is strictly limited, and that students wishing to take the module will be asked to submit a personal statement to, and meet with, the Programme Leader prior to being accepted on to this module. Students taking GEOG3520 are also advised to shadow 10 or 20 credits of optional modules from the above list for the first four weeks on Semester 1, in case a work experience placement cannot be undertaken and the student has to revert.

GEOG3520Workplace Co-operative Project20 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
SOEE3521Earth and Environmental Sciences into Schools10 creditsSemesters 1 & 2

Discovery modules:

In place of a 10 credit module from the above list, students may elect to study a 10 credit discovery module, although they should not select a discovery module if they have already opted to take a careers/skills module

Last updated: 29/05/2019

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