Environmental Issues 2023-24
School Of Natural Sciences
Module - Semester 1
This module allows the student to undertake a desk-based research project looking in depth at a current environmental or related issue. The module runs in Semester 1 and culminates in the production of a written project report and interview. The issues are chosen by the student to reflect his/her interests and can range from local issues through to global issues. The range of popular current issues will be investigated by individual students. Sources such as tabloid and broadsheet daily and Sunday newspapers, broadcast media, the internet, popular scientific journals and the more rigorously refereed scientific journals should be consulted. The topic should be different from that chosen in the student's experimental research project. Topics should be selected in consultation with the module organizer. The module involves student-led research into a specific topic. Apart from an introductory lecture and one mid way question and answer session there are no formal lectures or practicals associated with this module. At the end of Semester 1, each student will present their topic in the form of a 15 minute interview and will submit a project report on their chosen topic. Both the interview and project report elements will be assessed.
-threshold -Grade D- to D+Aware of the key principles underlying the science. Pass level in specialist essays. Basic competence demonstrated in group discussion.
-good -Grade C- to B+Better understanding of the principles. Competent demonstration of the understanding and use of data in specialist reports. Rapid progression through topics in group discussion. A deep knowledge of a specific environmental or related issue and a thorough understanding of seminar material.
-excellent -Grade A- to A**Very good understanding of the science. High level of competence demonstrated in understanding current environmental or related issues. Evidence of considerable effort and thought and effective use of background material to support cases.
- Gain experience in interview technique.
- Successful students will typically be able to apply technology in the use of standard computer software (Web databases, MS-Powerpoint, MS-Word) for searching databases and producing reports .
- Successful students will typically be able to appreciate associated environmental issues and be able to stimulate scientific debate.
- Successful students will typically be able to critically evaluate the arguments associated with a specific scientific issue.
- Successful students will typically be able to study and critique a range of scientific literature and explain and illustrate the specific aspects of their chosen topic.
- Successful students will typically be able to understand how this issue is perceived by the media.
Project Report We will expect you to deliver a well-structured and presented report. Essential elements include a good structure (including subheadings), the use of graphics to aid the reader (photographs, graphs), data summaries (e.g. summary tables), proper and consistent referencing in the main text and the list at the end, the use of secondary information to support arguments made in the text (especially from journals) and a good conclusions section. Preferably reports should also include a short (250 word max) abstract.
Assessed interview Following submission of the report, there will be a 15-minute interview with yourself and two of the module marking team. The interview will ask questions about your project report to test your knowledge of the subject and the wider implications of your findings. Given the report is twice the length of the similar 10 credit version of the module, students will need to prepare for a broader range of questions at interview.