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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Interactions between human society and our environment have never been more complex or more critical in order to place us on a pathway to more sustainable future. This course explores the diverse approaches and perspectives that help us think about, explain and address all of the environmental challenges that we face in the 21st century. Students will be introduced to these approaches and perspectives and will have the opportunity to apply them across a range of regional and global environmental issues such as climate change, sustainable tourism, the energy crisis and the ozone hole.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Tim Mighall

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 2

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • GG2504 Environment and Society (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Study of the relationship between people and their environment is perhaps the most durable of geography's core traditions. The spatial diversity of the natural environment, the distribution of resources, and the associated opportunities or constraints for socio-economic development dominated much of the work done in the first few decades of the discipline's existence as a recognised school and university subject. In the second half of the twentieth century, as the negative impact of human activities on the environment became increasingly obvious, other disciplines - such as the natural sciences, economics, sociology and politics - also started to think of the environment as part of their territory. The rise of the environment as a pervasive, but often ill-defined or disputed, 'real world' issue was matched by the proliferation of ideas about how best to study it, drawn from all parts of the academic spectrum. This course provides a survey of some of the most important of these current environmental issues (e.g., biodiversity, climate change, natural hazards, organic foods, sustainable transport, water resources), examined from various conceptual perspectives (e.g., earth systems science, political ecology, risk and vulnerability, social construction of nature). Although the diversity of environmental debates and the different perspectives that sustain and/or explain these provides the core theme of the course, coursework will give students the opportunity to focus on topics of particular interest.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 30 August 2024 for 1st half-session courses and 20 December 2024 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 100% coursework. Two data-response exercises + poster project. Resit: Apply to course coordinator. In exceptional circumstances, students may be permitted to resubmit coursework.

Formative Assessment

There is no stand-alone, formal formative assessment. However, feedback on summative assessments should help students to improve their subsequent performances within the course and for follow-up second half-session courses.


Students receive individual, written feedback on their coursework using standard comments sheets. We also provide whole-class feedback via MyAberdeen. This includes the main points of answers/tutors' mark schemes to encourage students to review where they gained and lost marks.

Course Learning Outcomes


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