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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG3034 Tropical Forests: past, present and future

10 creditsClass Size: 5

Module manager: Dr Tim Baker

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG3341Environment and Development in South-East Asia
GEOG3690Tropical forests and sustainable development

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Tropical forests are one of the most important ecosystems on the planet, containing approximately half of global biodiversity, 40% of terrestrial carbon stocks and providing resources that directly and indirectly support millions of people. This module explores the geological history of tropical forests and the role these ecosystems currently play in the earth system. It will draw on examples and case studies from all the major tropical forest regions of the world to examine their role in regulating atmospheric carbon and to assess their future fate in the face of development pressures.


The objective of the module is to give students a detailed understanding of the role that tropical forests play in the earth system.

Learning outcomes
1. Understanding of the role that processes occurring on geological timescales play in determining current patterns in the biosphere
2. Understanding of how climate change and human activity is perturbing tropical forest environments


1. The geological history of tropical forests: how resilient are tropical forests to environmental change?
2. Tropical forests and the earth system: diversity, carbon and climate

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning71.007.00
Private study hours73.00
Total Contact hours27.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Private study will consist of reading key references associated with course and preparing for and undertaking assessments. Group learning will consist of preparation for seminars – one hour per seminar: students will be allocated to groups and each group will be involved in leading a seminar.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Presentations on papers from course will provide early feedback to students on their progress.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1750 words80.00
Oral Presentation10 minutes20.00
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: 29/04/2022 15:32:19


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