Award: 5 credits at level 4
Duration: 12 weeks
Start Date: 20/01/2014 (Semester 2)

GEOL40450 Environmental Geoscience


This module is for students in Semester 1 of the MSc, Graduate Diploma or Certificate in Environmental Sustainability (Negotiated Learning) course.

What will I study?

This module introduces students to the field of Environmental Geoscience.

Topics include:

  • Concepts in Earth Systems Science
  • Earth’s internal and external cycles and their connectedness
  • Records of Earth’s natural environmental change
  • Human influences on Earth cycles with emphasis on environmental consequences of Earth resource extraction and utilisation
  • Evidence for global change in Earth’s archives
  • Environmental geochemistry
  • Medical Geology and Earth’s influence on human health

How will I study?

The Environmental Geoscience module will include:

  • Demonstrations by the lecturers
  • Interactive learning reinforcement quizzes
  • Online assessed multiple choice quizzes
  • Interactive discussion boards

Expected Commitment

Students are not required to attend any lectures at the UCD campus as part of the module. However, Students are expected to attend the final semester exam and spend a total 120 hours workload during the semester consisting of:
  • Lectures, videos and other online learning materials (throughout the semester): 24 hours
  • Assessments, project and quizzes (throughout the semester): 24 hours
  • Student Autonomous Learning: 72 hours

How will I be assessed?

In-semester assessment: 30%

2 hour end of semester written exam: 70%

On successful completion of this module I will be able to

At the end of the module students will be able to make informed judgments about a range of environmental issues affecting planet Earth. Students will study Earth Systems Science and gain an appreciation of how Earth’s internal and external processes influence each other. Students will learn about Earth’s evolution and its cycles, how the latter are now affected by human activity and about the nature of the archives that preserve evidence for such changes. Basic concepts in Environmental Geochemistry will be introduced. Finally the course finishes with a section on Medical Geology and how the Earth can influence human health on a range of scales.

Am I eligible?

Applicants must hold a minimum of a 2.2 honours level degree in a science, engineering or related discipline. Otherwise, there are no pre-requisites for taking this module.