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Introduction to Earth Sciences and Global Change

What is this Structured Elective about?

This Structured Elective is about how climate change and the broader issue of global environmental degradation can be understood and tackled from an Earth systems perspective. The main goal is to provide students from across the University, particularly non-science students, with an improved knowledge of Earth systems and their feedback, so that they can contribute in a rational and scientifically-informed way to current debates surrounding climate change, environmental degradation and possible solutions.

Why should I take this Structured Elective?

You should take this Structured Elective if you have an interest in physical geography, geology, Earth Sciences or if you are simply curious about how Planet Earth works. You should also take this Structured Elective if you would like to be better able to counter the arguments of ‘climate sceptics’ with scientific facts and logical reasoning. It should also appeal to you if you have an interest in how humans influenced the evolution of Earth systems in recent millennia, or if you are interested in how human evolution and migration has itself been influenced by changing conditions over longer timescales.

How would this Structured Elective benefit me?

It will equip you with a much better understanding of the science that underpins our current understanding of globally important and topical issues such as climate change and its impacts, as well as the wider issue of environmental degradation linked to population growth and unsustainable resource exploitation. A tangible benefit is that if you complete a minimum of 15 credits from the specified modules listed below, your official degree transcript will record that you have anElective Specialisation in Earth Sciences and Global Change,in addition to your main degree qualification.

How do I take the modules in this Structured Elective?

  • In order to earn this Structured Elective you must take the specified modules in or after2017/18.
  • To receive this Structured Elective you must take the required modules as Elective modules and not as Core or Option modules.
  • You should register for and complete a minimum of three out of the following (5 credit) Level 1 and Level 2 modules so that you accumulate 15 credits in total.
  • There are no prior learning, prerequisite or co-requisite module requirements for GEOL 10040, GEOL 10050, GEOL 10060 or GEOL 20110. However, if you wish to complete GEOL10030, you must take GEOL 10020 or GEOL 10060 as corequisites.
  • You do not need to register for this Structured Elective in advance, it will be awarded when you complete 15 credits during your studies.
  • No guarantee is given to you that it will be possible to take 15 credits from the outset, this will depend on module places being available and on the exigencies of the timetable.
Module Title Credits
GEOL 10040 Earth, Environment and Society 5
GEOL 10050 Earth and Humanity 5
GEOL 10060 Introduction to Earth Sciences 5
GEOL 20110 Global Environmental Change (online module) 5
GEOL 20180 Geoscience for Sustainability 5
GEOL20230 History of life on Earth 5

Module listing updated June 2023

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