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 competence 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 module 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 module 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 module and will include basic literature and internet based searches. Lectures will be illustrated with case studies.


Poster Presentation - 50%
LO - 1, 2, 3.
Pass mark - 40%
Poster prepared on an environmental science-based topic of the student’s choice, with an ecosystems services focus.

Essay - 50%
LO - 1, 3, 4.
Pass mark - 40%
1500 words.
Essay describing a cycle of the student’s choice from a geographical (P13901) or environmental (P13603) viewpoint.

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