Module details for Introduction to Environmental Sciences


Introduction to Environmental Sciences


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with : an introduction to key concepts, including ecology and ecosystem services, stakeholder interests, pollution, sustainability and engineering approaches, which are essential for a broad understanding of how societies can respond to current and future environmental challenges.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Describe ecosystems and natural and managed communities and how they can be monitored and managed.

2.  Explain how ecosystem services can be applied to natural and managed communities to allow anthropogenic activities in a sustainable manner.

3.  Describe stakeholder interests in land-use, how conflicts arise and how they can be resolved.

4.  Explain how hard and soft engineering approaches differ in the context of environmental engineering and management.

Indicative Content

1 Ecology and ecosystems

Understanding the basis of ecology in terms of interactions and networks, nutrient cycles, and the impact of anthropogenic activity and pollution, and how natural and managed communities can be monitored and managed.

2 Ecosystem services and sustainability

How ecosystems can be evaluated in terms of ecosystem services, how resources are used, degraded, polluted, and managed.

3 Land-use and stakeholders

Understanding the interests of stakeholders and how conflicts are managed and resolved.

4 Engineering approaches

How hard and soft engineering approaches can be used in response to current and future environmental challenges.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 24
Tutorial/Seminar 4
Practical Activity 8
Assessment 24
Independent 140
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.