Living with Environmental Change (CSC2011M)

Module status - Discontinued
Module description status - Inactive
Credits - 15
College code - EMS
Academic year - 2020/1

Module staff

Duration (weeks) - term 1


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The environment is changing locally and globally, from climate change to biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, with increasing pressures on life-sustaining resources (including water, food, clean air, energy and materials). This environmental change is in the context of rapidly ageing populations and growing inequalities around the world. This in turn has important implications for human health and wellbeing. We will examine the wellbeing, resiliency, and sustainability of vulnerable human populations and ecosystems in the face of rapid global environmental change. 

Delivered in Cornwall, this is an optional module and is suitable for non-specialist students (i.e. does not require having taken other modules). The module is interdisciplinary in focus, and is open to students enrolled in different programs.

Module aims

This module covers a wide range of topics related to opportunities and challenges faced when living with environmental change. These range from food and water security, land use and degradation, ecosystem services, and living in the built environment to the health and wellbeing benefits stemming from interactions with the natural environment. Insights from biology, medicine, geography, and a range of social sciences will be used to put these challenges in context, and possible approaches to prevention, mitigation and adaptation will be discussed. 

 The skills you gain from discussion and critique of cutting edge research, coupled with independent review of the scientific literature, will stand you in good stead for careers in the environmental and health sectors by developing or enhancing your employability. Transferable skills to other sectors include: problem solving, time management, collaboration and presentation skills.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Explain some of the various challenges and opportunities faced by humankind in light of global and local environmental change.
  • 2. Demonstrate appraisal of some of the potential mitigation, adaptation and prevention approaches to living with environmental change including different perspectives (e.g. individual, community, national and international).
  • 3. Examine the wellbeing, resiliency and sustainability of pertinent examples of vulnerable human populations and ecosystems facing rapid global environmental change.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Explain the need for and demonstrate some appraisal of qualitative and quantitative interdisciplinary evidence.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Communicate key concepts competently both verbally (presentation) and written (essay and essay exam).

Syllabus plan

This module will cover study of the risks and benefits of interactions between humans and the environment including the effects on health and wellbeing from a range of exposures associated with environmental change (e.g. climate change, anthropogenic pollution), potential routes of exposure , impacts on ecosystems, and related issues such as food security and energy, as well as interactions with stakeholders. Case studies, student debates, a field trip and other group interactions will be utilised.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Lectures (10 x 1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Small Group Discussions (10 x 1 hour)
Guided Independent Study75Guided reading, revision and exam revision
Guided Independent Study35Preparation of Literature Review
Guided Independent Study15Preparation for Small Groups including Presentation
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Field Trip

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group discussion, debate and class interactions10x11-5Oral
Initial essay topic exploration1 minute discussion in class1-5Oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Oral Presentation205 minutes; + time for questions1-5Written
Essay302000 words1-5Written
Exam501 hour1-4Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Oral Presentation (20%)5 minutes (recorded & uploaded via ELE)1-5Ref/Def Period
Essay (30%)Essay (2000 words)1-5Ref/Def period
Exam (50%)Exam (1hour)1-4Ref/Def period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Geof Raynor and Tim Lang Ecologic public health: reshaping the conditions for good health  (and journal article ) 

Howard Frumkin, Editor. Environmental Health: From Global to Local. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2016. 

Anne Nadakavukaren Our Global Environment: A Health Perspective. Waveland Press, 2011.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web based and electronic resources will be available

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Other resources: An up to date reading list of journal articles will be provided on ELE.

Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date