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Dealing with diverse topics ranging from the top of the earth’s atmosphere to the ocean floor, BSc Physical Geography is a specialised degree that focuses solely on the physical sciences and how they apply to our surroundings.

Throughout this course you will learn how to map, monitor and understand the physical world by undertaking regular day and residential field trips within the UK and Europe. You will also have the option to complete a semester-based or year-long work placement, allowing you to put all of your recently acquired skills into practise.

100% of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things plus 95% of students said that they were satisfied overall with their course (Unistats, 2016)

 

Dealing with diverse topics ranging from the top of the earth’s atmosphere to the ocean floor, BSc Physical Geography is a specialised degree that focuses solely on the physical sciences and how they apply to our surroundings.

Throughout this course you will learn how to map, monitor and understand the physical world by undertaking regular day and residential field trips within the UK and Europe. You will also have the option to complete a semester-based or year-long work placement, allowing you to put all of your recently acquired skills into practise.

100% of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things plus 95% of students said that they were satisfied overall with their course (Unistats, 2016)

 

Course Information

UCAS Code
F840

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
Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2019

Department / Geography and Environmental Sciences

This department encompasses all of our work in cold and palaeo environments, social and cultural geographies, communities and resilience, environmental geochemistry and health, and ecology.

Book an Open Day / Experience Physical Geography BSc (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Physical Geography. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

The BSc Physical Geography course allows you to concentrate solely on the physical sciences, including aspects of earth science, landscape surveying and resource management.

BSc Physical Geography utilises a range of teaching and assessment methods and a large part of this course is delivered via lectures, seminars, and practical activities in both the lab and field, to help you master core professional skills.

From the beginning you will be involved in big scientific debates, synthesising a wide range of topics in physical geography and earth science.

You will also have the opportunity to tailor your course to your own areas of interest, undertaking laboratory work, fieldwork and IT workshops to develop new and further master your professional skills.

Once you have built up your core skillset, assessments will be undertaken via a range of methods including reports, presentations, seen exams, essays and posters. Around 70% of your course will be assessed via coursework, with the remaining 30% assessed by exam.

Book an Open Day / Experience Physical Geography BSc (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Physical Geography. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Our research-active teaching team possess a range of interlinked specialisms in areas such as climate change, snow, glaciers, ice sheets, palaeoenvironments, permafrost, sea-level change, coasts, soils, pollution and contamination, hydrochemistry and geographic information systems (GIS).

Our academics boast extensive experience in their respective fields and are actively involved in international research projects that shape the discipline.

All of our staff are approachable, enthusiastic and committed to your learning experience, supporting you through every step of your degree.

Book an Open Day / Experience Physical Geography BSc (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Physical Geography. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Our research-leading facilities will allow you to further enhance your learning experience through independent research, work on projects and experiments.

Our campus encompasses three specialist laboratories – Geography Measurement and Analysis Laboratory, Palaeo and Environmental Research Laboratory and Soil and Sediment Processing Laboratory - that allow you to get up close and experiment using state-of-the-art equipment and computational software. Our extensive field equipment includes a range of portable monitoring and analytical instrumentation (e.g. for meteorological,  soil, water and air pollution monitoring).

Whether you are preparing sediments, soils or biological samples for analysis, modelling your findings using specialist 3D software or utilising specialist statistical packages, these facilities will ensure that you have access to all of the resources required to develop your knowledge. 

Throughout your course you may also undertake environmental case studies by visiting a variety of regional, national and international locations to practise and implement your investigative field techniques.

     

Facilities / Geography and Environmental Sciences

Find out more about the facilities and equipment you can access within the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences.

Book an Open Day / Experience Physical Geography BSc (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Physical Geography. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

During your degree you will have unprecedented access to our research-active experts who will bring this subject alive with findings from their trips to the Polar Regions, Canada, Laos, Romania and Chile, amongst many others.

Research findings are incorporated into all areas of your teaching to ensure your knowledge is at the forefront of scientific inquiry. Combining research-led practical, lectures and seminars, you will undertake project weeks and field trips to further enhance your knowledge and understanding. A combination of group work and individual research skills will be utilised throughout.

Mainstream teaching will often include elements of active research-based work, for example ‘An introduction to IT’ uses secondary data from high-Arctic glaciers to estimate changes in air temperature and glacier melt.

In the latest UK-wide research assessment exercise (REF2014), 55% of the Geography department’s research was ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent, making us a top-30 Geography Research Department based on research power.

Research / Geography and Environmental Sciences

From Antarctica to the Arctic, global warming to disaster risk reduction, Geography takes place at a truly global scale at Northumbria.

Book an Open Day / Experience Physical Geography BSc (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Physical Geography. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

The BSc Physical Geography course content has been designed to leave you equipped with all of the relevant skills and expertise required to pursue a career within your chosen sector.

Undertaking a semester-based or year-long placement is also encouraged to allow you to put the skills learned throughout your course into practise in a working environment, or spend time studying abroad with one of our partner institutions

Northumbria University boasts strong links with employers regionally and nationally and our research-active staffs ensure that your skills and knowledge meet immediate employability needs.

 

Book an Open Day / Experience Physical Geography BSc (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Physical Geography. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

This course will prepare you for a broad range of careers as employers appreciate the transferable analytics, communication and presentation skills acquired by our students. Our graduates are renowned for having awareness of ethical considerations and display the attitudes and skills to engage and work constructively and sensitively in multi-cultural environments and teams.

Graduates will have the necessary skills to pursue a career in a range of specialist roles in organisations such as national parks, local Government, and water and energy companies. Many Physical Geography graduates also choose to work in environmental consultancy or policy, teaching or graduate training schemes.

The Physical Geography degree has been specifically designed to prepare you for graduate jobs or postgraduate study, providing excellent graduates for employers (UNN KPI4).

Book an Open Day / Experience Physical Geography BSc (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study Physical Geography. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Course in brief

Your course in brief

Year 1

Year one This year you will be introduced to core physical and environmental concepts, including residential visits for research and key geographical skills development.

Year 2

Year two You will cover a number of exciting physical geography and geoscience modules which make use of fieldwork and laboratory investigations. You will also begin planning a final year Dissertation to be completed next year.

Year 3

Year three You will have the option to go out on an industrial placement to put the skills you have learned in the previous modules into professional practice, or on study abroad.

Year 4

Year four You will research and complete a Dissertation related to a geographical topic of your choice, as well as undertaking core and optional modules, which will include field trips and laboratory work.

Who would this Course suit?

Do you have a keen interest in physical geography and earth science? Are you interested in the processes that define our natural environment? If so then BSc Physical Geography could be the degree for you.

Entry Requirements 2019/20

Standard Entry

GCSE Requirements:

A good GCSE profile is expected including Maths and English Language at minimum grade C or equivalent.  If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a minimum grade 4.

UCAS Tariff Points:

120-128 UCAS Tariff points including one or more of the following:

GCE and VCE Advanced Level:

From at least 2 GCE/VCE A Levels 

Edexcel/BTEC National Extended Diploma: Distinction, Distinction, Merit 

Scottish Highers:

BBBCC - BBBBC at Higher level, CCC - BCC at Advanced Higher 

Irish Highers:

BBBBB  - ABBBB to include

IB Diploma:

120-128 UCAS Tariff points including minimum score of 4 in at least three subjects at Higher level

Access to HE Diploma:

Award of full Access to HE Diploma including 18 credits at Distinction and 27 at Merit

Qualification combinations:

The University welcomes applications from students studying qualifications from different qualification types - for example A level and a BTEC qualification in combination, and if you are made an offer you will be asked to achieve UCAS Tariff points from all of the qualifications you are studying at level 3.  Should the course you wish to study have a subject specific requirement then you must also meet this requirement, usually from GCE A level.

Plus one of the following:

  • International/English Language Requirements:

    Applicants from the EU:

    Applicants from the EU are welcome to apply and if the qualification you are studying is not listed here then please contact the Admissions Team for advice or see our EU Applicants pages here https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/international/european-union/eu-applications/

    International Qualifications:

    If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

    English Language Requirements:

    International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

    *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications"

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

UK/EU Fee in Year 1**: £9,250

International Fee in Year 1: £15,000

ADDITIONAL COSTS

You are expected to purchase waterproofs, an approximate cost would be £150. Walking boots are highly recommended, an approximate cost would be £100. There is an optional field trip that you may wish to attend, an approximate cost would be £150. Optional Modules where you are expected to have DBS clearance will incur a mandatory charge of approximately £50. If you choose to do a dissertation that requires digital/secondary data modelling or a locally based case study there will be no charge; however if you choose to do a UK based fieldtrip for your dissertation it may cost approximately £350; if an overseas based field trip is chosen it may cost significantly more.

FUNDING INFORMATION

Click here for UK and EU undergraduate funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International undergraduate funding and scholarships information.

Click here for UK/EU undergraduate tuition fee information**.

Click here for International undergraduate tuition fee information.

Click here for additional costs which may be involved while studying.

Click here for information on fee liability.

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Modules Overview

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

KE4000 -

Introduction to the Physical Environment (Core, 20 Credits)

You will learn a broad range of basic concepts and principles of the physical environment, how these interact as part of the Earth System and are modified by human processes. As you explore the Earth System today and in the past, you will discover a diverse range of atmospheric, land based and oceanic components that together form the physical environment. Armed with this knowledge you will be able to begin to critically evaluate the evidence concerning processes, landforms and systems. This will develop your problem solving skills and give you an international holistic view on the Earth as a system. Topics include:
• Atmospheric processes and energy flows.
• Climate and climate change.
• Weathering and Erosion.
• Soils and soil forming processes.
• Glacial and periglacial environments and the processes that shape these.
• Landscape and landform evolution from hillslope processes, to rivers and the coastal environment.
• The biogeographical distribution of vegetation and biomes
• The role of the biosphere in the Earth system and ecosystem engineers.
• How the Earth system has changed over Quaternary and Cenozoic time scales.
• The physical environment and links to human health.

More information

KE4003 -

Geography Fieldwork (Core, 20 Credits)

You will learn that fieldwork is an essential and characteristic aspect of geography and you will learn how to conduct physical geography fieldwork or a combination of physical and human and geography fieldwork, depending on your programme of study. Fieldwork is a form of experiential learning which contributes to your curiosity and enquiry about human and/or physical environments. You will carry this out by developing discerning observation and measurement of physical aspects of your environment recognising the importance of scale. You will understand the evolution and significance of the distinctiveness of places and environments including glaciated landscapes and you will be made aware of different approaches to their interpretation. In the BA and BSc programmes you will gain a parallel understanding of the role of spatial linkages in social and physical processes. You will be given opportunities to practise methods and strategies of field research in human and/or physical geography such as observing the impacts of geomorphological processes and conducting human geography enquiries. You will be encouraged to take a critical view of the challenges and opportunities of field-based research and will learn how to use and apply appropriate field based equipment and technologies. You will take responsibility for your learning and reflection upon that learning and you will recognise the moral, ethical and safety issues involved in all aspects of geographical enquiry. In this module you will learn how to work in groups and you will gain problem solving and presentation skills.

More information

KE4004 -

Academic Skills and Personal Development (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn and develop the key intellectual skills and personal attributes required for effective study and future graduate employment. Teaching, learning and assessment activities are tailored towards your own degree programme, linking to substantive core modules, thus providing an appropriate subject context for your studies. The module aims to consolidate the process of induction onto your degree programme, thus supporting your transition from further to higher education. As part of this shift in academic culture, you will be encouraged to take increasing responsibility for your own learning and through the development of reflective practice, develop ways of monitoring your own academic performance and progress. Topics and issues covered include:
? Independent study and time management.
? Effective literature searching.
? Reading and summarising academic literature.
? Referencing, citations and plagiarism.
? Marking schemes and expectations.
? Essay writing skills.
? Report writing skills.
? Exam preparation.
? Oral presentation and debating skills.
? Dissecting a peer-reviewed journal article.
? Effective group work.
? Skills evaluation and reflection.
? CV preparation and employability skills.

More information

KE4005 -

Exploring Geographical and Environmental Data (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn to explore and analyse a wide range of geographical and environmental data. You will engage in teaching, learning and assessment activities, which are generic to all students of geography and environmental science, as well as specific tasks tailored towards your own degree programme. The module aims to give you a broad introduction to data collection and analysis in the geographical and environmental sciences, which will form the basis of programme-specific training at levels 5 and 6 and future graduate employment. Topics and issues covered include:
• sources of geographical and environmental data;
• descriptive and inferential statistics;
• geographical information systems;
• qualitative data collection and analysis.

More information

KE4006 -

Dynamic Earth (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about the application of geological knowledge and research techniques to understanding our Dynamic Earth. This will provide you with the necessary understanding to a variety of issues and debates that have shaped current thinking and research in the Earth Sciences. Through lectures, lab classes, small-group seminars and a Halloween graveyard visit you will learn all about geology, including:
• Earth structure, plate tectonics and origin.
• Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks – how they form, how to identify them and their associated resources.
• .
• Structural geology, types of faults and folds, and what do they show?
• How rocks become soils, basic soil characteristics and resources of soils
• Earth history and a deep time perspective.
• Origins of life on Earth and uses of fossils.
.
• Geo-hazards: causes, impacts, underlying processes and approaches to mitigation.

A key component in semester 1 will be the laboratory practicals that will introduce you to working in labs, using laboratory equipment and using the knowledge gained in lectures to solve problems. You will also develop a deeper appreciation of the interaction between physical and human aspects of the environment, thereby demonstrating informed concern about the Earth and its people.

On completion of the module, you will have the Earth Science knowledge and laboratory experience to give you confidence for future study and an improved ability to link theory, practice and application will serve to enhance your future employment prospects.

More information

KE4007 -

Environmental Science (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about the fundamental principles of chemistry and physics associated with a range of stressors that impact on man and the environment, including air, water and soil pollution, radioactivity and climate change. You will learn key environmental analysis skills, including laboratory and field based methods to measure both biological and chemical data. You will develop skills to collect suitable environmental samples, and how to process and report on your findings. Some of the key topics you will cover include:

• Chemical composition of the natural environment.
• Water resources and pollution.
• Pollution of sediments, soils and groundwaters.
• The chemistry of the global climate and processes affecting the release and sequestration of greenhouse gases.
• Ozone depletion; causes and implications.
• How humans are influencing the natural environment and processes.

In addition to learning key concepts that will be needed throughout your degree, you will also gain a deeper appreciation of current issues that face the world today and approaches that can be used to help mitigate its impact.

On completion of the module, you will achieve a chemical basis for understanding your local and global surroundings, and have learnt fundamental skills that will open up new employment opportunities.

More information

KE5023 -

Academic Language Skills for Geography (Optional, 0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

KE5000 -

Research and Fieldwork in Physical Geography: Overseas (Optional, 20 Credits)

You will learn how to design and conduct physical geography research using the scientific method. This module will prepare you for your dissertation. Specifically, you will learn:

? Key employability skills such as: communication, teamwork, individual working, time-management, critical reading, adaptability, flexibility, synthesis of information and using feedback to improve your work
? How geography has developed as a science historically and theoretically
? Application of the scientific method in Physical Geography
? Evaluating a body of literature to understand a debate and to identify gaps in research
? Developing a research idea from concept to execution
? Advanced fieldwork techniques, risk assessment and ethics

More information

KE5001 -

Integrated Landscapes: From Karsts to Coasts (Optional, 20 Credits)

This module is designed to introduce you to the suite of processes operating on the surface of the Earth. Specifically, the module aims to:

1. Provide a detailed appraisal of the processes operating at the Earth’s surface.
2. Provide a clear understanding of the connectivity between the various process systems and the external atmospheric and ocean controls.
3. Develop a deep understanding of selected, widely used theoretical concepts in geomorphology.
4. Illustrate, through case study evidence, the effectiveness of geomorphic processes in shaping the landscape under various environmental conditions.
5. Examine the human impact on selected geomorphological processes and landforms.
6. Equip you with descriptive, interpretational and analytical skills required to interpret the environment.
7. Provide basic skills necessary for the study & description of landforms.
8. Provide training in safe laboratory procedures.
9. Familiarise you with skills, knowledge and understanding which can be transferred into subsequent dissertations / projects /employment.

More information

KE5002 -

Cold and Palaeoenvironments (Optional, 20 Credits)

In this module you will examine the nature of past environmental change and develop an understanding of the processes at work in glacial and periglacial environments. You will develop an intimate understanding of the processes and landforms of glacial and periglacial environments. You will be able to identify and utilise multiple techniques for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. By the end of the module you will be able to critically appreciate the role of evidence in reconstructing Quaternary environments, as well as developed your skills in data analysis and interpretation. Topics include:
• Energy and mass balance.
• Meltwater processes.
• Glacier flow and glacier discharge.
• Proxies for palaeoclimate reconstruction, focussing on pollen and spores, diatoms and chemical isotopes.
• Stratigraphical methods and dating techniques.
• Environments and climates of the Quaternary.
• Glacial – interglacial cycles.
• Processes and landforms of glacial erosion.
• Glacial sediments and depositional landforms.
• Quaternary glaciers and ice sheets.

More information

KE5003 -

Meteorology and Oceanography (Optional, 20 Credits)

In this module you will develop a broad grounding in the sciences of meteorology and oceanography from a physical geography perspective. In particular you will develop knowledge and understanding of:
• The operation of local and global scale meteorological and oceanographic processes, their simulation using numerical models and their measurement through in situ and satellite observations.
• How atmospheric processes and surface conditions give rise to weather, including meteorological extremes and hazards
• Ecosystems of the oceans and palaeoceanograpic proxies
• The role of the oceanic circulation in climatic variability over a range of temporal and spatial scales.

You will develop field skills in meteorological measurement using sensors and data loggers, analysis and data presentation skills using specialist software and gain first-hand practical experience of real world environmental measurement and data visualisation techniques used widely in research and industry.

You will be assessed through: (i) a report on the practical exercises in meteorology in Semester 1 (up to 2000 words, 40% weighting); and (ii) an online test on the practical exercises in oceanography and subject knowledge and understanding in both oceanography and meteorology, towards the end of semester 2 (2 hours, 60% weighting). You will receive formative feedback in practical classes and summative feedback on submitted coursework. This will provide positive criticism, identifying areas for improvement and highlighting good practice.

On completion of the module your enhanced ability to link theory and practice, confidence to approach research questions and use sophisticated tools in data analysis, and ability to communicate research results in a clear, concise and professional manner will serve to improve your future employability.

More information

KE5013 -

Environmental Monitoring and Control (Optional, 20 Credits)

In this module, you will learn about the nature and properties of soil, air and water, the key processes operating within them and the wider environmental controls influencing their behaviour. The module will enable you to appreciate the dynamic nature of pollution, its impacts on environmental systems and human health, and provide an introduction to approaches for pollution management and mitigation. In addition, you will develop skills in a range of field and laboratory techniques and approaches to data collection and analysis used in environmental monitoring. You will also develop a deeper appreciation of the interaction between physical and human aspects of the environment, enabling you to demonstrate an informed concern about the Earth and its people.

On completion of the module, your improved ability to link theory, practice and application will serve to enhance your employability skills and future employment prospects.

More information

KE5017 -

Earth Observation and GIS (Core, 20 Credits)

This module is designed to teach you the concepts and techniques of spatial data handling and analysis using the techniques of remote sensing and image processing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Adding to the cartographic skills and basic spatial analysis that you have learnt from level 4 (first year) you will be taught to carry out spatial analysis from a wider range of sources and types of social and scientific geographical data. You will learn basic theoretical principles underpinning the use and application of digital datasets followed by more advanced techniques of image classification and spatial analysis. You will be taught how to use industry standard computer software applied in research and the workplace that will allow you to manipulate and analyse those data.

One semester focuses principally on remote sensing where you will learn in relation to image processing:
• the key components of remote sensing acquisition and analysis/display, including different platforms, sensors, image wavebands, and temporal and spatial resolution of imagery, and the fundamental processing techniques required in order to interpret remotely sensed imagery;
• theoretical background of datasets that can be generated and used to interpret change over space and time (e.g. loss of crops to disease, impact of changes in climate on food productivity and earths biomass); and
• the techniques used to classify and analyse datasets; explore spectral signatures, apply different classification models to produce landcover maps as a basis for resource management.

The other semester focuses on spatial analysis using GIS by:
• teaching you about key theoretical concepts associated with the types and associated use of digital data: what you can and can’t do to digital data in GIS, implications of scale on analysis, error (what is it, why it matters and what can be done about it) geographical co-ordinate systems and georeferencing;
• teaching you about the GIS tool box and different methods of spatial analysis available to you including the third dimension – 3D analysis using digital elevation models; and
• teaching you the practical skills you need to interrogate and analyse data in order to answer spatial queries – geographical decision making for policy and practice.

More information

KE5018 -

Research and Fieldwork in Physical Geography: UK (Optional, 20 Credits)

You will learn how to design and conduct physical geography research using the scientific method. This module will prepare you for your dissertation. Specifically, you will learn:

? Key employability skills such as: communication, teamwork, individual working, time-management, critical reading, adaptability, flexibility, synthesis of information and using feedback to improve your work
? How geography has developed as a science historically and theoretically
? Application of the scientific method in Physical Geography
? Evaluating a body of literature to understand a debate and to identify gaps in research
? Developing a research idea from concept to execution
? Advanced fieldwork techniques, risk assessment and ethics

More information

KE5021 -

Applied Geosciences (Core, 20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about the acquisition and application of geoscientific data to resource exploration and research issues. The module will explore a range of topics including:
• Sedimentary rocks and palaeoenvironmental interpretations
• Geological resources; exploration, extraction and reserves
• Biostratigraphy and the uses of fossil data
• Interpretation of geological data: biostratigraphical, sedimentological, structural and maps
• Earth history and events that formed economic reserves
• Geoheritage and the educational importance of geological sites

In addition to learning about how geosciences data can be utilised, you will develop your practical skills and abilities in the identification and interpretation of rock and fossil assemblages and your ability to use a geological map to understand subsurface structure. On fieldwork you will develop practical geological skills and experience concepts presented in the lectures. This module will also develop your ethical concern for resource management giving you a deeper understanding of current debates around energy production and resource reserves.

On completion of the module, your improved ability to link theory, practice and application will serve to enhance your future employment prospects.

More information

KE5023 -

Academic Language Skills for Geography (Optional, 0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

KE5025 -

Landscape Surveying (Core, 20 Credits)

You will learn the principles and practice of land surveying and will develop your theoretical knowledge, practical and mathematical surveying skills. You will work both individually and as part of a small team to carry out surveys to identified areas of land:

• Linear and levelling measurement surveys
• Angular and distance measurement surveys
• Surveys using high-resolution surveying technologies

You will also learn how record and check surveying data, and how to produce technical reports of the results. On completion of the module, your improved ability to link theory, practice and application will serve to enhance your future employment prospects. The practical activities will also enable you to develop your ability to work effectively as part of a team, which is very important in relation to future employability.

More information

KA5029 -

International Academic Exchange 1 (Optional, 60 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment and provides you with the option to study abroad for one semester as part of your programme.

This is a 60 credit module which is available between Levels 5 and 6. You will undertake a semester of study abroad at an approved partner University where you will have access to modules from your discipline, but taught in a different learning culture. This gives you the opportunity to broaden your overall experience of learning. The structure of study will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria).

Your study abroad semester will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as an additional 60 credits for Engineering and Environment Study Abroad Semester.

More information

KA5030 -

International Academic Exchange 2 (Optional, 120 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment and provides you with the option to study abroad for one full year as part of your programme.

This is a 120 credit module which is available between Levels 5 and 6. You will undertake a year of study abroad at an approved partner University where you will have access to modules from your discipline, but taught in a different learning culture. This gives you the opportunity to broaden your overall experience of learning. The structure of study will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria).

Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

More information

KE5023 -

Academic Language Skills for Geography (Optional, 0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

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KF5000 -

Engineering and Environment Work Placement Year (Optional, 120 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment to provide you with the option to take a one year work placement as part of your programme.

You will be able to use the placement experience to develop and enhance appropriate areas of your knowledge and understanding, your intellectual and professional skills, and your personal value attributes, relevant to your programme of study, as well as accreditation bodies such as BCS, IET, IMechE, RICS, CIOB and CIBSE within the appropriate working environments. Due to its overall positive impact on employability, degree classification and graduate starting salaries, the University strongly encourages you to pursue a work placement as part of your degree programme.

This module is a Pass/Fail module so does not contribute to the classification of your degree. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised both in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate.

Your placement period will normally be full-time and must total a minimum of 40 weeks.

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KF5001 -

Engineering and Environment Work Placement Semester (Optional, 60 Credits)

This module is designed for all standard full-time undergraduate programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Environment to provide you with the option to take a one semester work placement as part of your programme.

You will be able to use the placement experience to develop and enhance appropriate areas of your knowledge and understanding, your intellectual and professional skills, and your personal value attributes, relevant to your programme of study, within the appropriate working environments. Due to its overall positive impact on employability, degree classification and graduate starting salaries, the University strongly encourages you to pursue a work placement as part of your degree programme.

This module is a Pass/Fail module so does not contribute to the classification of your degree. When taken and passed, however, the placement is recognised both in your transcript as a 60 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate.

Your placement period will normally be full-time and must total a minimum of 20 weeks.

More information

KE5023 -

Academic Language Skills for Geography (Optional, 0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

KE6000 -

Geography and Environment Dissertation (Core, 40 Credits)

This module is designed to support you in independently pursuing an original piece of research on a geographical or environmental topic of your own choice grounded in final year specialist option modules. Dependent upon your programme of study, you will draw upon and develop your research skills in answering research questions/hypothesis on a dissertation topic within the social, humanities, natural and environmental disciplines. You will develop expertise in:

• identifying a suitable topic and in reviewing critically the relevant academic literature;
• formulating research questions/hypotheses and appropriate methods of inquiry;
• collecting your own data and/or using existing data sets and/or engaging in an analysis of the research literature;
• the ability to analyse and interpret your results using appropriate quantitative, statistical and/or qualitative techniques,
• relating the findings to existing and up-to-date literature;
• oral, visual and written presentation of your research project;
• objectively appraising the ethical considerations of conducting research; and
• managing and implementing a large independent project.

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KE6001 -

Cold Landscapes (Optional, 20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about polar and non-polar mountain environments. The module will provide you with an understanding of the distinctiveness of these ‘cold landscapes’, and will provide the physical framework to investigate a wide range of processes which operate in these landscapes. You will learn how to interpret how physical processes impact on human usage of mountainous and polar terrain, and you will learn to appreciate the significance of linking diverse process domains such as meteorology, hillslopes, rivers, and snow/glacier ice.

Your learning will be set within the context of human exploration and supported throughout with applied, real-world case studies. These case studies will link theory with example applications (e.g. engineering considerations in permafrost landscapes), and will help to facilitate a wider understanding of human interaction with the physical environment. You will additionally learn about human adaptation to the problems of living and working in cold climates, and will also learn about issues of resource and ecosystem exploitation, pollution, tourism, and the regulatory and political systems which exist in these regions.

On completion of the module you will have developed an improved understanding and appreciation of the interaction between a range of landforms, landscapes and their formative processes in cold environments. In addition, you will gain a practical understanding of environmental and sustainability issues in these landscapes, with specific reference to their connection to past, current, and future anthropogenic activities. This module will support further development of your self-management, critical analysis, and personal initiative attributes through lecture-based exercises and your own independent study and review of the academic literature.

Specific topics covered will include:
• Mountain Environments: the distinctive nature of mountainous landscapes
• Mountain Geoecology: the links between geology, landforms, soils, climate and vegetation
• Paraglacial Geomorphology: landscape adjustment after the ice has gone
• Catastrophic Rock Avalanches: can hillslope processes control rivers and glaciers?
• Glacial Hazards: hazards posed by glacier recession and climatic change, and implications for development
• Mountain Meteorology: geographical controls and climatic characteristics of mountain meteorological elements
• Mountain Hydrology: rates, magnitude and routing of runoff from snow, ice and paraglacial areas
• History of polar exploration and politics of polar environments
• Introduction to the physical environment of Antarctica and the Arctic
• Permafrost and periglacial processes
• Sea ice and the role of the polar oceans in the earth system
• Resources and ecosystems: exploitation, tourism, pollution and environmental sustainability

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KE6002 -

Modelling, Computation and Data Manipulation (Optional, 20 Credits)

In this module you will learn about a variety of approaches to model environmental systems. Following an overview of fundamental approaches to environmental modelling and a practical introduction to a number of specific models, you will apply one of the models to answer an environmental question as part of an individual study. In parallel with this, you will be introduced to a range of advanced techniques in computer programming which will allow data manipulation, analysis and presentation. As a result, this module will allow you to demonstrate:
- The use of numerical modelling as an important methodological tool in the physical environment.
- The role of modelling in gaining a better understanding of the interaction of processes driving change and in predicting the form and nature of the resulting response in a variety of environmental settings.
- The latest methodological design and application of modelling and the historical context of their development.
- The practice of model design: from conceptualisation of the model by understanding the main physical processes shaping the environment in question, through development of a computational algorithm to approximate environmental response to applied external forcings.
- Critical interpretation of model output.
- The importance of reproducibility in research.
- An appreciation of modelling as an emerging tool in understanding and predicting the impact of human activity upon physical and/or wider environmental processes.
- Computation and data manipulation skills using a wide range of computer packages (e.g. ArcGIS), including high-level technical computing languages (e.g. Matlab).

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KE6003 -

Palaeoecology and Biogeography (Optional, 20 Credits)

In this module you will gain the necessary skills and knowledge needed to understand how our environment evolved in the past and how it might change in the future. Particular attention will be paid to the reconstruction and assessment of past human impact on the environment. The module strongly supports the interdisciplinary character of Geography by involving a number of different scientific disciplines such as Geology, Ecology, Palaeobotany, Limnology and Climatology.

The topics of this module include:
• Application of palaeoenvironmental reconstruction techniques (e.g. diatom and pollen analysis, stable isotope and C/N analysis)
• Principles of Biogeography and Ecology: Understanding temporal and spatial patterns of plant communities and ecosystems
• Case studies of Late Quaternary climate and vegetation
• Detecting anthropogenic impact in sediment records
• Regional vegetation and climate history of North England

The practicals will include a combination of techniques from the indicative list below::
• Core logging (e.g. description of colour using Munsell Color System, classification of sediment layers, identifying hiatus)
• Total inorganic and organic carbon (TIC/TOC)
• Charcoal particle analysis
• Pollen and spore analysis
• Diatom analysis
• Pollen diagram construction using Tilia/TiliaGraph software
• Multivariate data analyses ( e.g. PCA, cluster and correspondence analysis)

On completion of the module, you will know the theory and application of various palaeoecological and sedimentological proxy methods. You will understand the driving forces and feedbacks in the biotic and abiotic Earth System and learn to critically analyse and synthesise scientific data. In this module you will learn to assess the importance of climate change and human impact for the evolution of our modern landscapes and ecosystems.

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KE6012 -

Sustainable Resource Management (Optional, 20 Credits)

The sustainable use and management of resources is a key challenge for the future. This requires a rapid transition from a linear economy where resources move from source to sink, to a circular model where resources are kept in use for as long as possible, extracting maximum value from resources during their life and recovering and regenerating products and materials at the end of their life.

In this module you will explore some of the current trends and issues in the management of a number of key resources, focusing in particular on water and energy. Appropriate policy and technological solutions to the challenges will be introduced. You will then go on to explore the sustainable management of solid waste and the application of the waste hierarchy, exploring the links between waste management and sustainable resource consumption.

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KE6013 -

Environmental Pollution (Optional, 20 Credits)

In this module, you will develop a holistic viewpoint on issues surrounding environmental pollution, pollution impacts on human health, environmental history of pollution and approaches to pollution management and mitigation. You will engage with a range of contemporary issues across air quality management, contaminated land and water pollution; appreciate the wider context of historical and pre-historical pollution; analyse and interpret environmental data using a range of modelling techniques (for example, contaminated land software, atmospheric dispersion modelling software) and evaluate different types of interventions that can be used to alleviate/control the effects/impacts of pollutants; develop an appreciation of the role and utility of isotopes and their application to pollution studies; and develop a good working knowledge of the regulatory systems that exist for air, water and soil pollution control at global, European, national and/or local levels. On completion of the module, your ability to link theory and application will serve to enhance your future employment prospects.

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KE6018 -

Advanced Geospatial Applications (Core, 20 Credits)

You will learn about the design and implementation of geospatial Applications using evidence based practice extending practical knowledge of the techniques and analysis tools gained from level 5 (Second year). This will involve you critically reviewing existing published and adopted practice in topic areas such as:
• environmental planning,
• landcover change,
• resource management and
• risk assessment.
in order to design, cost and implement your own geospatial application. You will be taught advanced concepts of method design and how
to cost and respond to a tender request. You will also learn advanced IT skills on data compilation, download, generation, analysis, interpretation and presentation within the context of ‘fitness of use’ using image processing and GIS software. As you explore evidence based practice you will be asked to design your application with key consideration to the following questions. Can geospatial Applications be:
• value free and what role does positionality and ethics play?,
• simply sticks which powerful groups in decision making processes use to beat smaller groups with?, and
• a key determinant of planning and policy success in an organisational context?

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KE6019 -

Public Health and Occupational Safety (Optional, 20 Credits)

You will learn about public health protection and occupational safety and develop a critical understanding of the nature of communicable diseases and non-communicable occupational and environmental hazards to develop appropriate evidence and risk based approaches. You will build a critical understanding of organisations and approaches responsible for ensuring effective arrangements are in place nationally and locally for preparing, planning and responding to concerns and emergencies, including the future impact of climate change. You will focus on the key aspects including

• Harm from communicable diseases and health impact from environmental and occupational hazards
• Collection, analysis and interpretation of surveillance data
• Planning, investigation and response to incidents, accidents and outbreaks
• Legal and regulatory systems
• Resilience and emergency response
• Workplace health and safety,
• Health and safety risk management
• Principles and theories of health and safety management
• Occupational health and hygiene and occupational psychology

On completion of the module, your improved ability to link theory, practice and application will enhance your employability prospects within a broad environmental health / health, safety and environment job sector.

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