Award: 5 credits at level 4
Duration: 12 weeks
Start Date: 09/09/2013 (Semester 1)

ENVB40390 GMOs and the Environment


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 issues concerning deliberate release of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) into the environment. Topics include: EU regulations on release of GMOs, public perception, risk assessment, food and health safety issues and environmental consequences of release of GM plants.

How will I study?

The GMOs and Environment module will include:
  • Demonstrations by the lecturers
  • Interactive learning material
  • 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, and other online learning materials (throughout the semester): 24 hours
  • Assessment, essay (throughout the semester): 24 hours
  • Student Autonomous Learning: 72 hours

How will I be assessed?

In-semester assessment (essay): 50%

End of semester online written exam: 50%

On successful completion of this module I will be able to

At the end of the course students will
  • have acquired the scientific knowledge and skills involved in the assessment of applications for deliberate release of genetically modified plants.
  • be familiar with the legislation regulating the release of GM plants in the EU.
  • be familiar with risk assessment in a biological context.
  • be aware of future developments in GM plants and animals.
  • have acquired a comprehensive knowledge to enable them to address the scientific issues arising from the use GM plants in modern agriculture.
  • be aware of the diversity of public opinions on the safety of GM plants and plant derived products and be equipped to engage in that debate.

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.