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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG1040 Dynamic Landscapes

20 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Dr Megan Klaar

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications


Module replaces

GEOG1055 Environmental Change

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Dynamic Landscapes introduces students to the principles and applications of geomorphology and environmental change. Topics include how geomorphic (e.g. erosion and weathering) and climatic (e.g. ice ages and long term climatic cycles) processes drive landscape change, including a number of natural hazards including landslides, mass movements, glacial lake outburst and glacial surges, volcanic eruptions, sinkholes and coastal erosion. A series of micro- meso- and macro-scale studies will be presented in a range of global environments.


GEOG1040 has the following aims:
1. To introduce students to the basic principles of geomorphology and environmental change.
2. To introduce students to the application of these principles to a range of global environments and natural hazards.
3. Through field work and practical classes, to develop students’ practical skills in collecting and analysing data.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module, students who have engaged well with the syllabus should be able to:
1. Explain the basic physical principles in geomorphology and environmental change.

2. Describe how the spatial and temporal scale of processes affects their impact on the development of landscapes.

3. Discuss global, regional and local changes during Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles and understand the role of humans as agents of environmental change

4. Demonstrate some of the techniques used by geographers to study and monitor geomorphology and environmental change

Skills outcomes
A. Knowledge and understanding.
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.
A9. The theory and application of quantitative, visualisation and other spatial techniques across a wide range of geographical contexts

B. Cognitive skills.
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.
C2. Undertake effective laboratory and field work (with due regard for safety and risk assessment).
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).
D7. Manage time and organise work effectively.


This module will be taught in two main blocks.

Block 1: Contemporary Geomorphology

Main topics will include:

Principle of geomorphology

Weathering and erosion

Hydrological cycle

Landscapes and change

Block 2: Environmental Change

Main topics will include:

Glacial-interglacial cycles

Quaternary changes in the Earth system

The role of humans in environmental change

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours168.00
Total Contact hours32.00
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 three hours reading in support of each lecture.
- Preparation for each workshop will involve up to four hours of work.
- Further private study time will be spent preparing coursework and revising for the exam.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored via the workshops/ practicals (see above) and also via performance on a data- analysis report. Feedback on the coursework will be provided via individual comments on students’ scripts and a generic feedback document uploaded to Minerva.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1200 words40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

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: 25/10/2023 16:10:07


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