KE5028 - Coastal Monitoring and Management

What will I learn on this module?

This module will give you the opportunity to work on real-world coastal monitoring and management problems and will provide you with numerous transferable skills for future employment, including, but not limited to, familiarisation and application of advanced landscape surveying techniques, complex data visualization and presentation, developing solutions to applied problems, project management and delivery, and professional report writing.

You will learn about the past, present, and future behaviour of coastal systems, and the various ways in which coastal environments are monitored and managed. You will learn about the fundamental principles of coastal landscape evolution over long (millennial) to short (months-years) timescales, and gain understanding of the role that sea-level rise and extreme hydrological events play in the evolution of coastal landscapes, and subsequent management implications. You will additionally learn the principles and practices of landscape surveying using field-based (e.g. drones) and satellite remote sensing datasets, with a specific emphasis on surveying coastal domains.

You will learn how to produce and present your results in the style of a consultancy report, using templates and formatting that are used by external organisations. You will also learn how to produce material for the public communication of science. You will work both individually and as part of small teams to carry out desk- and field-based tasks.

On completion of the module, you will have gained many key skills that will be useful for your dissertation, further study, or to improve your future employment prospects. As well as having an improved knowledge of coastal processes and management issues/solutions, you will develop technical proficiencies in a range of landscape mapping and analysis techniques. By effectively taking on the role of an environmental consultant for the summative assessment, you will also develop experience of synthesising a range of data to propose and communicate coastal management strategies to a hypothetical client, and the public.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical workshops, IT practical workshops, ‘in-person’ or virtual fieldtrips, and self-directed study. Lectures will cover coastal geomorphology (processes and landforms), historical and contemporary monitoring and management approaches, sea-level rise, in addition to landscape surveying principles, practices, tools and equipment. The module will include at least one guest lecture, delivered by colleagues affiliated to an external organisation, and through interaction in such sessions, and via discussions on the module fieldtrips for example, you will develop insight into how external organisations approach coastal monitoring and management problems in practice.

In addition to timetabled sessions, your independent study will be guided and supported through your engagement with a range of interactive learning resources accessible on-line via the module e-learning portal site, including electronic reading lists.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by the provision of formal lectures and practicals that will be led by the teaching team. You will benefit from teaching team support in student-led seminars. During field surveys and practical workshops, you will engage in small group activities during which you will benefit from peer interaction and support. In these sessions, you will also interact closely with teaching staff, who will provide formative support and feedback on activities leading up to the assessment task.

You will also be supported by the provision of online resources via the module e-learning portal (Blackboard Ultra). These resources include lecture and workshop information (including ‘how-to’ guides) and an interactive reading list with on-line access to guided reading. Staff teaching on the module have an ‘open door’ approach during normal working hours and are responsive to communication via e-mail to support your learning.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO1: Develop and consolidate conceptual and practical knowledge and understanding of key physical processes operating in the coastal zone and their significance for landscape evolution.

• MLO2: Develop and consolidate knowledge of historical and contemporary approaches for monitoring and management of coastal zones.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO3: Undertake landscape surveys using a range of contemporary survey methods, for example UAVs (drones) and digital photogrammetry, and the use of satellite remote sensing datasets for landcover mapping and analysis.

• MLO4: Undertake critical analysis of results generated during field- and desk-based activities and communicate these results via a technical report and public information document.

Personal Values Attributes:
• MLO5: Work effectively as part of a team whilst working on tutor-guided exercises (both classroom- and fieldwork-based). Work effectively individually to produce a summative report, which will include information for communicating with a range of stakeholders, demonstrating professional written and data presentation skills.

How will I be assessed?

The module has two assessed components, namely:

1) a single consultancy-style coastal monitoring and management portfolio. Comprises 80% of the module assessment and is an individual assessment.

The portfolio will comprise written commentary, visual presentation of results and critical data analysis. The report will be an individual submission submitted electronically. It will assess all MLOs.

2) a public information poster, via which you will communicate your key findings and proposed solutions for your coastal management problem. You will develop the poster as a small group and will present it at a dedicated showcase event, during which you will be asked questions about your work. Both the poster itself, and your ability to answer questions about its content, will be assessed. This component comprises 20% of the module assessment.

Whilst a summative grade for each component will be provided after submission, you will receive informal feedback on an optional pre-submission task, and throughout the year as you progress through the module. Combined, these will provide an indicator on your progress whilst providing useful feedback to assist you with subsequent work.


KE4000 Introduction to the Physical Environment
KE4005 Exploring Geographical and Environmental Data



Module abstract

Given concerns over future sea-level rise and climate change, understanding the past, present and future behaviour of coastal systems is key for effective monitoring and management. This module will introduce you to the dynamic processes that shape contemporary coastal environments, the monitoring tools and methods that are available to coastal practitioners to assess their state and trajectory, and options for short-, medium- and long-term management. You will engage with modern landscape surveying techniques and will apply these methods to survey local coastal landscapes on a module fieldtrip to the Tyne and Wear coast. The module requires you to work in both small teams and individually, and the module assessment focuses on the production of a consultancy-style coastal monitoring and management portfolio, and a public information poster. Through engagement with an external organisation, you will additionally gain first-hand insight into the way in which such bodies approach coastal monitoring and management problems, and this knowledge will be further developed by working on problems that have been co-designed with this organisation and which feed directly into the module assessment. More broadly, the module will improve your knowledge of coastal landscapes and associated management problems, enable you to develop surveying, data analysis, and data presentation skills, as well as build your inter-personal skills, all of which will significantly enhance your employability.

Course info

UCAS Code F800

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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