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

ENVB40360 Peatlands and Global Change


This module is for students in Semester1 of the MSc, Graduate Diploma or Certificate in Environmental Sustainability (Negotiated Learning) course.

What will I study?

This module should provide students with a comprehensive summary of peatland science. Human activity, climatic variability as well as other natural processes, shape peatlands which are dynamic ecosystems in constant evolution. From microbial diversity to cultural landscape, students will develop an understanding of peatlands especially Irish ones but also around the world.

Topics include:

  • Natural history, biology and ecology of peatlands
  • distribution and classification of peat soils
  • peatlands and climate
  • utilisation and management of peatlands
  • peatlands and people
  • current research in peatland science

How will I study?

The Peatlands and Environmental Changes module will include:
  • Videos and demonstrations by the lecturer
  • 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 122 hours workload during the semester consisting of:

  • Lectures, videos and other online learning materials (throughout the semester): 22 hours
  • Assessments, project and quizzes (throughout the semester): 20 hours
  • Student Autonomous Learning: 80 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

Students will be able to:
  • recognise peatland types and understand their natural history (their origin and development and how they got to their current status)
  • understand processes within these ecosystems (ecology, hydrology and peat accumulation)
  • understand peatland-environment feedback, especially with regards to global climate
  • recognise the different ecosystem services they provide and appraise the consequence of these values
  • evaluate resource management options

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 this module.