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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 10/01/2023 12:26:04

Title of Module: Environmental Systems

Code: CEWM11001 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Andrew  Hursthouse

Summary of Module

On completion of this module you will gain the following Graduate Attributes:

  • Critical thinking by working collaboratively with colleagues on research-minded assignments
  • Problem solving and effective communication
  • Your research will be innovative and creative producing resilient solutions to our environmental and waste management challenges

This is an attendance based, continuously assessed module.

This module provides the foundations for further study in waste and clean technology and leads the student through the basics of earth and environmental sciences. Following a lecture on the principles of environmental management and sustainability, fundamentals of earth and environmental science are introduced to provide the student with an understanding of the physical environment and its relationship to resource use and protection.  Management of freshwater, ocean and coastal environments, and air quality are covered, leading to issues surrounding changes in climate, their impacts on the environment and society, and adaptation. The module concludes with environmental management systems and environmental auditing, linking with the industrial focus of parallel and future modules (trimesters 1 and 2) and introducing a basis for consideration in dissertation topics.

Class materials, research resources, exercises, class communications, administrative information and assignment handling will be supported by a Virtual Learning Environment.

This introductory module presents a framework for students to further their studies in waste and clean technology and many of the topics and issues will be taken further in individual study to lead on to Master of Science dissertations.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. To understand the main components of the Earth System, i.e., the atmosphere, land, water, their interrelationships, and interactions with the biosphere

L2. To demonstrate a detailed understanding of the impact of human activities on the environment and the principles of sustainability

L3. Apply knowledge to complex issues when utilizing the principles of environmental management systems and auditing techniques

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

Gain a critical understanding of the development of principles of environmental protection and sustainability.

Evaluate the effectiveness of control measures in relation to environmental impacts.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Identify issues in a range of environmental settings.

Synthesise information and gain a coherent understanding of theories and practices in managing environmental issues.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Develop and demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively in a variety of professional settings.

Demonstrate an understanding of an issue and develop a solution to an environmental problem.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Gain a full understanding of the process of preparing oral and written reports, using IT.

Communicate study results in a professional setting.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Work as part of a professional team to analyse information, formulate a solution and present it back to the group.

Work independently to create a programme of management for an environmental issue.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:All applicants must satisfy the qualification and/or experience requirements as established in the admission criteria. See Reg. 6.3
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery30
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop6
Independent Study164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Additional learning material will be highlighted in the online virtual learning environment. These will consist of online websites and databases

G. Jones (2004) “People and the Environment – A Global Approach”. Prentice Hall, Harlow, England. ISBN 978-0-582-41412-9.

L.R. Kump, J.F. Kasting, R.G. Crane (2010) “The Earth System” 3rd edition. ISBN-13: 9780321597793

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPhysical Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelPhysical Sciences
ModeratorJan Miller
External ExaminerA Oke
Accreditation DetailsCIWM
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assignment 1 is worth 40% of the module grade
Assignment 2 is worth 40% of the module grade
Assignment 3 is worth 20% of the module grade.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Review/ Article/ Critique/ Papercheck markcheck mark 408

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essay check mark 408

Component 3
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Case study  check mark204
Combined Total For All Components100% 20 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
This module is appropriate for all students.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.