Programme Specification for the 2019/0 academic year

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science with Study Abroad

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBSc (Hons) Environmental Science with Study Abroad Programme codeUFS4GOAGOACB
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2019/0
Campus(es)Cornwall Campus
NQF Level of the Final Award6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

This programme is the University's flagship environmental degree and promotes a truly interdisciplinary systems approach to environmental science. In this degree you will learn the science behind the complexity of the Earth’s biotic and abiotic environmental processes, which will allow you to understand and respond to the biggest debates in contemporary environmental science. You will begin the degree by thinking about the "grand challenges" facing society and the way that science and technology can help respond to these challenges. The programme structure is designed to give you the essential skills that environmental employers demand, meanwhile allowing you to pursue your interests in the wider subject area. The degree covers a broad range of disciplines, from environmental chemistry and physics, to environmental management and law. It is led from the department of Geography within CLES, but other departments feed in (Biosciences and Law) to provide an interdisciplinary flavour. The degree draws on the international research excellence of teaching staff and is supported by the University’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) - an interdisciplinary centre leading cutting-edge research into the consequences of environmental change and the mitigation and management of its effects.

At our Penryn Campus we offer a welcoming atmosphere, where you are encouraged to make the most of Cornwall’s unique environment, both in your studies and in your free time. Our programmes treat Cornwall as a 'natural laboratory', taking learning into the field to explore the incredible diversity of natural landscapes in the region.

When participating in field courses, you will be required to cover any visa costs and, if necessary, purchase anti-malarial medication and relevant immunisations. You will also need to provide your own specialist personal equipment appropriate to the field course destination, eg. walking boots, rucksack, mosquito net, sleeping bag, binoculars. You may incur additional costs dependent upon the specific demands of the research project chosen. Details of specialist equipment, vaccinations and visas that you must supply at your own expense are provided at http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=6569.

Studying abroad offers you a fantastic opportunity to expand your educational and cultural experiences. Moreover, research indicates that 64% of employers consider an international experience important for recruitment and report that graduates with an international background are given greater responsibility more frequently. 92% of employers involved in a study conducted in 2014* indicated that they look for skills such as openness to and curiosity about new challenges, problem-solving and decision-making skills, confidence, and tolerance towards other personal values and behaviours. The study revealed that studying abroad had a positive impact on the development of these skills and concluded that the employability and competences of students greatly benefit from mobility.

*European Commission (2014) The Erasmus Impact Study, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2014

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

This programme is designed to train the next generation of environmental practitioners. It achieves this in several ways:

  • The programme seeks to introduce a broad range of theoretical concepts in environmental science from a solid physical foundation in the first year, through to more management- and practice-focused modules in the second and final years.
  • The programme offers an integrated interdisciplinary curriculum to allow you to make connections between physical processes, ecological patterns, and environmental policy and practice.
  • It aims to equip you with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skill-sets required by environmental employers. This includes hands-on training in the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing analysis and field data collection and analysis.
  • It uniquely combines the study of the natural and semi-natural environment with consideration of environmental policy and law, enabling you to make science-into-policy connections and to facilitate environmental decision making.
  • The programme encourages you to think about human interactions with the environment, through understanding complex issues such as climate change and ecosystem services.
  • Through fieldwork and other activities, this programme promotes intellectual curiosity about the environment and how it functions.
  • The programme provides training in a range of general and transferable skills (e.g. IT, statistics, data handling, writing and presentation) to propel you to high level careers in the environmental sector.

You will be taught by internationally recognised research-active staff through a range of methods including lectures, seminars, tutorials, field work, and laboratory sessions. Throughout the programme emphasis is placed on developing practical hands-on expertise, grounded by sound theoretical knowledge. We embed important environmental science skills within modules, including GIS, remote sensing and practical data analysis. We include a range of fieldwork from local to international venues and you will engage in fieldwork of all varieties and in many different environments throughout the programme of study.

We apply novel methods of interactive teaching in the Environmental Science degree. From your first year you will engage with hands-on enquiries using databases, maps and satellite data, developing GIS tools to facilitate understanding of the local, regional, national and global picture of the natural world and all of its processes. Lecture material will be global in scope but practical work will build from a local focus in year 1 to a global perspective by the final year. By the end of your degree you will be able to use spatial datasets to answer environmental questions important to the future of our planet.

The Study Abroad module will provide you with the opportunity to study some aspects of Geography in a university abroad and to give you an insight into the culture of the host country.

4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

http://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/current/

http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/currentstudents/

http://medicine.exeter.ac.uk/programmes/programme/modules/

https://intranet.exeter.ac.uk/emps/studentinfo/subjects/mathematicspenryn/modules/

http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/students/undergraduatemodules/

You may take optional modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

You may take elective modules up to 30 credits outside of the programme in the first, second and final stages as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

If you have mobility or health disabilities that prevent you from undertaking intensive fieldwork, reasonable adjustments and/or alternative assessment can be considered. This could include replacing a fieldwork module with an alternative in agreement with the Director of Education.

You are also permitted to take the five-credit module LES3910 Professional Development Experience in any year. Registration on this module is subject to a competitive application process. If taken, this module will not count towards progression or award calculation.

Stage 1


90 credits of compulsory modules, 30 credits of optional modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GEO1405B Earth System Science 15No
GEO1406B Analysis of Environmental Data 15No
GEO1408B Global Issues in Environmental Science 15No
GEO1416 Environmental Science Tutorials 15No
GEO1506B West Penwith Fieldclass 15No
LAW1016C A Legal Foundation for Environmental Protection 15No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GeoP S1 BSc-MSci ES opt 2019-0
BIO1411 Genetics 15 No
GEO1401B Approaches to Geographical Knowledge 15 No
GEO1410 Introduction to Human Sciences 15 No
GEO1413 The Geography of Cornwall 15 No
BIO1426 Ecology and Conservation 15 No

Stage 2


75 credits of compulsory modules, 45 credits of optional modules

a You may not take GEO2449 and LES2002 or GEO2453 and LES2002 in the same academic year. Additionally, if you have taken GEO2449 you may not take GEO2453 in any stage, and vice versa.

b The field course module, GEO2447, is compulsory. If you are unable to take the field course, you will be required to take another optional module.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GEO2440 Geographical Information Science and Systems 15No
GEO2441 Remote Sensing for Environmental Management 15No
GEO2447 Isles of Scilly Field Course [See note b above]15No
GEO2448 Research Methods in Geography, Environment and Society 15No
LAW2016C Environmental Regulation and Redress 15No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GeoP S2 BSc-MSci ES opt 2019-0
BIO2406 Biodiversity and Conservation 15 No
BIO2407 Population and Community Ecology 15 No
BIO2425 Introduction to Ecological Consultancy 15 No
BIO2432 Exploitation of the Sea 15 No
BIO2441 Applied Insect Ecology 15 No
CSC2010M Oceans and Human Health 15 No
CSC2011M Living with Environmental Change 15 No
CSC2021 Health, Place and Wellbeing 15 No
GEO2428B Atmosphere and Ocean Systems 15 No
GEO2435 Evolution of Human Societies 15 No
GEO2442 The Politics of Climate Change and Energy 15 No
GEO2444 Landscape Evolution 15 No
GEO2445 Rural Social Issues 15 No
GEO2450 Biogeography 15 No
GEO2451 Ice Sheets: Glaciology, Climate and the Oceans 15 No
GEO2454 Waste and Society 15 No
GeoP Employability opt [See note a above]
GEO2449 Green Consultants 15 No
GEO2453 Social Innovation Consultants 15 No
LES2002 Workplace Learning 15 No

Stage 3


120 credits of compulsory modules

Compulsory Modules

For your year abroad you will agree a suite of modules in your host institution with the College Study Abroad Coordinator. Details of individual modules that may be taken whilst abroad can be found by accessing the partner institution’s factfile at http://www.exeter.ac.uk/international/abroad/exchange/where/ and navigating to the “Course Requirements” section of that factfile where a link to the modules on offer in the partner institution is displayed.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GEO3508 One Year Study Abroad 120Yes

Stage 4


45 credits of compulsory modules, 75 credits of optional modules

a You may not take GEO2449 and LES2002 or GEO2453 and LES2002 in the same academic year. Additionally, if you have taken GEO2449 you may not take GEO2453 in any stage, and vice versa.

c Changes to your dissertation topic will not be possible beyond 1 December in the final stage.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GEO3513 Dissertation in Environmental Science [See note c above]40Yes
LES3001 Preparing to Graduate 5No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GeoP SF BSc-S3 MSci ES opt 2019-0
BIO3131 Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15 No
BIO3135 Human Behavioural Ecology 15 No
BIO3411 Science in Society 15 No
BIO3420 Evolutionary Biology of Health and Disease 15 No
CSC4013M Frontiers of Global Health 15 No
GEO3437B Climate Change and Society 15 No
GEO3443 USA Field Course 30 No
GEO3444 The Complexity of Human Societies 15 No
GEO3448 Quaternary Environmental Change 15 No
GEO3454 Antarctica: Science from a Frozen Continent 15 No
GEO3455 Marine Climate and Environmental Change 15 No
GEO3457 Geographies of Democracy 15 No
GEO3458 Marine and Coastal Sustainability 15 No
GEO3459 Whole Energy Systems 15 No
GEO3461 Arctic Frontiers: Can We Preserve the Arctic Environment? 15 No
LAW3016C Legal Response to Environmental Destruction 15 No
GeoP Employability opt [See note a above]
GEO2449 Green Consultants 15 No
GEO2453 Social Innovation Consultants 15 No
LES2002 Workplace Learning 15 No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Describe in detail the scientific theory underpinning the study of the environment.
2. Explain comprehensively the science of physical, chemical, biological and human dimensions of global systems and their intertwined functions.
3. Discuss the grand challenges facing society in the context of the natural environment.
4. Propose sensible mitigation and management approaches for addressing environmental issues, within a legal framework.
5. Apply appropriate methods for collecting and analysing environmental data.

Lectures, seminars, discussion groups, oral presentations, poster presentations, practical laboratory and field skills, independent reading and synthesis.

 

In the study abroad year, the teaching and learning activities will be those used by the host university.

ILO1 – Explicitly through essay and exam in core modules in first year.

ILO2 – First year is highly interdisciplinary and modules are assessed against student’s understanding about interconnections through essays and exams. Final year field course and second year Key Skills modules explore inter-relationships between human and physical environments through assessed presentations and applied examples.

ILO3 – Explicitly through content of core and optional modules in all years.

ILO4 – Through group discussions and debates in law modules in all years, and field classes.

ILO5 – Training in the first year and final year field classes, second year Key Skills module, first year data handling module, and through the final year dissertation in Environmental Science.

In the study abroad year, the assessment methods will be those used by the host university.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

6. Evaluate the diversity of approaches towards the generation of environmental knowledge and understanding, with detailed knowledge of essential facts and theory.
7. Describe in detail and apply environmental concepts in different situations.
8. Describe and critically evaluate aspects of current research in environmental sciences with reference to reviews and research articles.
9. With limited guidance, deploy established techniques of practical investigation, data collection, and the analysis and interpretation of these data across a range of environmental sciences.

Lectures, seminars, discussion groups, oral presentations, poster presentations, practical laboratory and field skills, data handling, independent reading and synthesis.

 

In the study abroad year, the teaching and learning activities will be those used by the host university.

ILO6 – Explicitly through module-based assessment in all years. Assessment of performance in modules is through written examinations, short answer tests; practical work and reports; quantitative problems; project report or dissertation; oral presentations; and formatively through Q&A in lectures and practical classes.

ILO7 – First year is intentionally designed to expose students to a range of ideas and theories from science to social science, all of which underpin the integrated understanding of global environmental science. Coursework and exams in core modules of first and second years are particularly relevant.

ILO8 – Assessment will be through essay and review assignments in most modules at all years. Students are made aware of the marking criteria for all major pieces of work and receive detailed feedback on their performance.

ILO9 – Assessment is primarily in the dissertation in final year when skills learned in first and second years (field classes and key skills) are deployed independently towards a research question of the student’s choice and guided through close supervision by a member of academic staff.

In the study abroad year, the assessment methods will be those used by the host university.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

10. Work effectively independently and as part of a team.
11. Present work in the format of an environmental consultancy report.
12. Synthesise information and recognise relevance, develop a sustained and reasoned argument, and evaluate and articulate weaknesses in the arguments of others.
13. Communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively and fluently by written, oral and visual means in a manner appropriate to the intended audience.
14. Illustrate and discuss the contested and provisional nature of knowledge and understanding and to articulate and communicate teaching/learning methods and strategies.
15. Identify/formulate and evaluate questions or problems, and identify and evaluate approaches to problem-solving.
16. Use communication and IT tools effectively and appropriately to select, analyse, present and communicate environmental information, effectively and appropriately interpret and use numerical statistical information, and apply basic and more advanced numerical skills effectively and appropriately to spatial data.

Personal transferable employment skills and knowledge are embedded in all modules. Methods include Lectures, seminars, discussion groups, oral presentations, poster presentations, practical laboratory and field skills, data handling, independent reading and synthesis.

In the study abroad year, the teaching and learning activities will be those used by the host university.

ILO10 – Independent work through written and oral assessments in all modules, and through examination assessment in all years. Team work: through group presentations and activities in field classes in first and final years, and in second year Key Skills.

ILO11 – In the second year Key Skills module.

ILO12 – Data analysis tools are assessed in class tests for first year data handling, second year Key Skills, and final year dissertation and field course modules.

ILO13 – Through coursework, essays, projects and exams in all modules in all years.

ILO14 – Through coursework, essays, projects and exams in all modules in all years.

ILO15 – Through critical writing tasks assessed in a range of modules through second and final years and in the dissertation.

ILO16 – Explicitly through coursework in core modules in all years.

In the study abroad year, the assessment methods will be those used by the host university.

7. Programme Regulations

Programme-specific Progression Rules

To progress to Stage 2 you must achieve an average mark of at least 60% in Stage 1, otherwise you will be required to transfer to the three year programme. This is to ensure that only those students who are likely to succeed in their Year Abroad are selected.

The Year Abroad counts as a single 120 credit module and is not condonable; you must pass this module to graduate with the degree title of BSc Environmental Science with Study Abroad. If you fail the Year Abroad module your degree title will be commuted to BSc Environmental Science. You will be assessed by your host university during your academic year abroad with their grades converted back to Exeter grades to contribute towards your degree classification. The rules governing failure and referral will be determined by the host institution.

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

You will be located in the Centre for Geography, Environment and Society (Penryn Campus), where close working relationships are fostered. You will receive formative feedback from various discussion groups/in-lecture exercises throughout the delivery of each module and therefore receive essentially continuous feedback during the taught component of the programme. Project supervisors provide academic and tutorial support once you move on to the research component of the programme. In addition, the Programme Director will offerevery student a meeting each term with an academic who provides guidance and feedback on assessment performance. Your progress will be monitored and you can receive up-to-date records of the assessment, achievements and progress at any stage.

The College complies with the University’s Code of Practice on Study and Work Experience Abroad. The name of the member of staff acting as the programme’s Co-ordinator for study abroad is made known to you before you leave Exeter, and this person is responsible for liaison and oversight of your progress during the year abroad. Contact will be maintained with you during your year abroad by regular email communication.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students’ learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(http://as.exeter.ac.uk/support/admin/staff/qualityassuranceandmonitoring/tqamanual/fullcontents/)

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

The programme is not subject to accreditation and/ or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of educational provision. The College documents the performance in each of its taught programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Programme Monitoring cycle:

  • Admissions, progression and completion data
  • In Year Analysis data
  • Previous monitoring report
  • Monitoring of core (and optional) modules
  • External examiner's reports and University and College responses (reported to SSLC)
  • Any Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body/accrediting body or other external reports
  • Consultation with employers and former students
  • Staff evaluation
  • Student evaluation
  • Programme aims

Subject areas are reviewed every four years through a periodic subject review scheme that includes external contributions. (http://admin.exeter.ac.uk/academic/tls/tqa/Part%209/9JREVISEDPSRSCHEME.pdf)

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science with Study Abroad

19. UCAS Code

F752

20. NQF Level of Final Award

6 (Honours)

21. Credit

CATS credits ECTS credits

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

[Honours] Earth sciences, environmental sciences and environmental studies

23. Dates

Origin Date

01/02/2012

Date of last revision

07/03/2019