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 plays in the evolution of coastal landscapes, and subsequent management implications. You will additionally learn the principles and practices of landscape surveying, with a specific emphasis on surveying coastal domains. You will develop your theoretical knowledge and then apply this in multiple practical settings by collecting or working with data acquired from equipment such as automatic levels, electronic total stations, terrestrial laser scanners, and unpiloted aerial vehicles (drones).

You will learn how to record and check field survey data, and how to produce and present your results in the style of a consultancy report. 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 tasks throughout the module.

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 have technical proficiency in a range of landscape surveying techniques. By taking on the role of an environmental consultant in this module, you will also have had experience of synthesising a range of data to propose and communicate coastal management strategies.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical surveys and 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, and related mathematics. A main part of your learning is by participating in practical survey exercises that will reinforce how to use surveying equipment and how to record results, both around campus, and at local coastal sites.

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 on-line 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 knowledge and understanding of key physical processes operating in the coastal zone and, in light these processes, review options for effective monitoring and management.

• MLO 2: Develop knowledge of contemporary landscape surveying techniques with specific emphasis on their application in coastal settings.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO3: Undertake landscape surveys using a range of contemporary and cutting-edge survey methods and equipment, which might include automatic levelling, total stations, UAVs (drones), terrestrial laser scanning, and digital photogrammetry.

• MLO4: Undertake critical analysis of results generated during landscape surveys and incorporate these results into a technical report.

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 technical report, which will include information for communicating with a range of stakeholders, demonstrating professional written and data presentation skills.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed via the submission of a single consultancy-style coastal monitoring and management portfolio which will comprise 100% of the module assessment.

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

Whilst a summative grade for the report will be provided after final 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 module fieldtrips 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. 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 F840

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 2023 or September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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