Foundation degrees

Course Information

Tools for Sustainability

Module summary

Module code: ENVI1086
Level: 7
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Peter Burt



This course aims to:

• introduce the major issues in natural resource management, and the part that specialist technical, scientific, economic and managerial skills can play in promoting sustainability;
• allow students to understand and apply scientific measurement techniques to natural resource management;
• introduce the concept of monitoring as a vital element of sustainable tourism and natural resource management;
• introduce the role of governments and tourism trade organisations in fostering monitoring programmes as a way of meeting development goals (e.g. through Agenda 21, MDGs)
• provide an awareness of the strengths and limitations of particular technologies, assessment techniques and management systems in promoting sustainability.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, students will be able to:

1. demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the range of scientific methodologies that can be applied to measure progress and improvement in environmental condition as a direct result of sustainable practice in natural resource management;
2. understand the practical application of sustainability indicators natural resource management, and how such monitoring can ensure sustainable development;
3. demonstrate their understanding of the need for empirical scientific evidence in the sustainability debate.

Indicative content

• Basic definitions, key concepts and notions of d natural resource management,
consideration of sustainability within an evolutionary framework and an examination of milestone literature and events which have shaped current thinking.;
• Assessment techniques, indicators and measures of sustainability.
• The essential ingredients of sustainability: resource conservation, environmental, social and economic considerations. Sustainability indicators;
• Concepts of carrying capacity (social, physical, economic) and limits of acceptable change;
• Methods of environmental data collection ( photographic records; green mapping; aerial photography; ecological monitoring techniques);
• Social science dimensions of environmental data collection, participatory methods and communication.

Teaching and learning activity

Learning will be facilitated through teaching in the form of guided reading and lectures.

Learning Time (1 credit = 10 hours)

Contact Hours
lectures 39
practical sessions
Private Study 41
Assignments: course work and other forms of assessment
coursework 70
laboratory work


Essay (1) - 50%
Up to 3500 words.
Sustainability Indicators Report. (1, 2).

Essay (2) - 50%
Up to 3500 words.
Critical essay related to a topic based around Natural Resource Management. (2, 3).

Pass mark - 50%