University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Global Environment Challenges (PGGE11190)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis online course is only available to students registered on the Certificate in Global Environment Challenges or the MSc in Global Challenges.

The course will provide an introduction to a range of "global environmental challenges" facing humanity. It will provide the necessary background to understanding the policies, politics, governance and ethics, and decision-making processes that underpin the causes of, and responses to, environmental change. It will include an appreciation of the social construction of the term ┐global environmental challenges┐ and the implications of this. The course objectives are:

To introduce the fundamental concepts of ecosystems and sustainability;
To explore a range of topical environmental change issues with global dimensions;
To appreciate the interrelationships between human activity and environmental change;
To encourage the capacity to critically appraise policy, and other interventions, taking account of issues such as ecological limits, social equity and justice, and processes of social change.
Course description The target audience are professionals who are working in areas related to sustainability, who are studying part time, and at a distance. The chosen approach aims to maximise the benefits of engaging with working professionals, in particular by relating the course topics to the particular needs and interests of students, and also by supporting students to bring their professional experience and expertise into the course and to share this with their peers.

It will adopt a systems approach around key topics to explore: a) how human activity is changing the environment; b) the effects of those changes on humankind; and c) how humans are responding to those effects. It will be organised around a number of key topics, such as climate change, energy, food, water etc. These will be considered in relation to a number of cross-cutting themes, to explore the relationships between the topic and, e.g. health, development, politics, values, and processes of social change. The course will consider the interrelationships between each of the key topics, and the relationships between impacts and activity as global, regional and local levels.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This online course is only available to students registered on the Certificate in Global Environment Challenges or the MSc in Global Challenges.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 21/09/2015
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Learning and Teaching Activities
Assessment (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Assessment Methods
Additional Information (Assessment) Each student will explore the course material in relation to a chosen case study location, identifying and commenting on local and national policies, initiatives, relevant data sources etc. They will share this with fellow students through an individual fortnightly blog. Students will draw on their blog to produce two assessed assignments:
i) Early in the semester, a context map identifying, and commenting on, key relationships between ecosystem services, human needs and activities affecting the ecosystem, in their case study area; (30%)
ii) End of semester: a critical review of an existing or proposed project in their case study area. Subject to the agreement of the course organizer, this may be fully or partially related to a task in their professional work. (70%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Insight into environmental challenges facing humanity and the ethical issues relating to the them.
  2. critically appraise the arguments surrounding such issues and be able to communicate to others the reasons for and against a particular course of action in response to different environmental problems.
  3. use library and other desk-based sources of information in understanding these issues and in supporting their arguments.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsGlobal Challenges, Distance Learning
Course organiserProf Mark Rounsevell
Tel: (0131 6)51 7165
Course secretaryMrs Karolina Galera
Tel: (0131 6)50 2572
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information
© Copyright 2015 The University of Edinburgh - 18 January 2016 4:35 am