Introduction to the Geo-environment

Module summary

Module code: ENVI1163
Level: 0
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Peter Burt


Pre and co requisites



• To introduce students to the basic components of the world around us, the way that these interact and the importance of these to human well-being as a foundation to further studies
• To provide an environment in which students may build up their skills and confidences in scientific disciplines.
• To ensure that the Greenwich graduate attributes of scholarship, creativity and diversity are central to the learning experience

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 Discuss and appreciate the basic components that make up the world around us and the types of interactions between these
2 Begin to comprehend the importance of the environment to human well-being and the nature of and importance of maintaining ecosystem services
3 Synthesise and present information from a variety of sources
4 Demonstrate communication, time management and subject-relevant presentational skills

Indicative content

The course will begin by introducing the basic materials of which the Earth is composed, encompassing geology, soil, air and water. The importance of these for living organisms and the ways in which these different components interact will be explored. Different parts of the world, of countries and of local areas exhibit distinct characteristics and the reasons for this will be explored, bringing in the concept of landscape and cultural identity.

Ecosystem services, introduced following the Rio Earth Summit and developed in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, provide a framework for understanding the importance of the environment (in the broadest sense) to human well-being. These concepts will be explored to enable students to understand the real importance of the world around them.

Teaching and learning activity

Student centred ‘learning by doing’ will be significant component of this course and will include basic literature and internet based searches. Lectures will be illustrated with case studies.


Method of SUMMATIVE assessment: Poster
Outcomes assessed:1-3
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :50%
Passmark: 40%
Word Length:n/a
Outline Details: To be prepared on an environmental science based topic of the students choice, with an ecosystems services focus.

Method of SUMMATIVE assessment: Essay
Outcomes assessed:1,3,4
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :50%
Passmark: 40%
Word Length:1,500
Outline Details:Essay describing a cycle of the students choice from a geographical (P13604 students) or environmental (P13603) viewpoint.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
In-class discussions and tutorials based on course material, preparing posters and drafting essays