Award: 5 credits at level 4
Duration: 12 weeks
Start Date: September (Semester 1) or January (Semester 2)

GEOL40450 Environmental Geoscience


This module is for students in Semester 1 or 2 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: 

  1. Concepts in Earth systems science.
  2. Earth’s internal and external cycles and their connectedness.
  3. Records of Earth’s natural environmental change.
  4. Human influences on Earth cycles with emphasis on environmental consequences of Earth resource extraction and utilisation.
  5. Evidence for global change in Earth’s archives.
  6. Aspects of environmental geochemistry.
  7. Large scale atmospheric effects on Earth’s wind energy resources

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. You 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. The impact of changes in large scale atmospheric circulation patterns on the temporal and spatial characteristics of wind energy resources will be discussed. Basic concepts in Environmental Geochemistry relating to pollutant behaviours will also be introduced.

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.