< Earth and Environmental Science (Study Abroad) : BSc Hons (Full Time)

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Earth and Environmental Science (Study Abroad)

BSc Hons (Full Time)

Minimum Length:3 Year(s)
Credit Points:480
Part II Weight:12
Part II Year 2 Weight:4
Part II Year 3 Weight:4
Part II Year 4 Weight:4
Director of Studies:Dr JS Gilbert

Educational Aims: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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Educational Aims: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • To provide a flexible but structured, progressive and thematic training in Earth and Environmental Science which will provide students with a knowledge and understanding appropriate for subject-specific graduate employment
  • To develop key transferable skills to prepare students for general graduate employment
  • To develop the intellectual and practical skills necessary for progression to postgraduate research and training
  • To encourage academic curiosity which will prepare students for lifelong learning
  • To offer a broad range of modules within which students can select a specialised route
  • To offer all students the opportunity to conduct a substantial research project
  • To offer selected students the opportunity to spend one year at an approved university overseas, so that they may acquire the ability to study in, and learn about, a different society, culture and higher education system

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

Knowledge and Understanding

Depending on the choice of modules, students will acquire detailed knowledge and understanding of:

  • Earth sciences and geology
  • Hydrology
  • Atmospheric science
  • Environmental chemistry
  • Environmental management
  • Ecology
  • Environmental modelling 

Students will be given guidance on an appropriate choice of modules.  The degree programme provides opportunities and support for all students to develop many intellectual, practical and transferable skills at various levels. 

Intellectual Skills

Students will learn to:

  • synthesise information from a variety of sources
  • critically evaluate and assess the merits of contrasting theories, explanations and strategies
  • interpret qualitative and quantitative data
  • develop a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving, and a reasoned argument
  • plan, conduct and report a substantial investigation 

Practical Skills

Students will learn to:

  • use appropriate field and laboratory equipment effectively
  • carry out experimental work in the field
  • undertake risk assessments and list appropriate safety precautions associated with practical or project work
  • collect and present field, laboratory and literature data 

Transferable Skills

Students will learn to:

  • work independently and as a team (recognising the views of others), on time limited tasks
  • manipulate numbers and use relevant information technology
  • demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills
  • design and prepare project proposals

Structure, Features and Regulations: Compulsory and Optional Modules

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The BSc degree in Earth and Environmental Science/International is a three-year full-time degree scheme; Part 1 (Year 1) is qualificatory, and marks from Part 2 (Years 2 and 3) classify the degree. Year 2 is spent at a foreign university. The intellectual content of modules becomes increasingly more demanding from Years 1 to 3. As students progress through the degree, we expect to see evidence of increased intellect, independence and scientific rigour in all assessed work.


Year 1

Compulsory Modules

ENV 101               Global Climate Change

ENV 102               Geological Processes

ENV 103               Dynamic Landscapes I

ENV 104               Hydrological Processes

ENV 105               Atmosphere, Weather and Climate I

ENV 111               Environmental Management

ENV 112               Natural Hazards

ENV 113               Earth's Internal Processes

ENV 114               Environmental Microbiology

ENV 115               Chemistry, Pollution and Human Health


For students without A2 Mathematics or equivalent

ENV 122               Numerical Skills ES I

ENV 124               Numerical Skills ES II


For students without A2 Chemistry or equivalent

ENV 123               Introduction to Environmental Chemistry


Optional Modules

Students are free to make up the remainder of their 15 Part I modules from a wide variety on across the University, although many chose to study cognate disciplines.


Students must achieve certain grades in Part 1 (as set out in the Part 1 Handbook) in order to be eligible for a placement abroad.


Year 2 (6/16 units)

Normally 8 modules are taken at an overseas university (usually in North America, Australasia or Iceland). The departmental Study Abroad Adviser will assist students spending Year 2 abroad to select courses that cover similar material at a similar level to those at Lancaster.


Marks achieved abroad are translated into Lancaster classes using a standard conversion table, and taking third year performance into account, as described in section C.3.8 of the Undergraduate Examination Regulations (available at: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/users/acadreg/calendar/ugreg.htm).


Progression to Year 3 is subject to satisfactory performance in Year 2; after re-sits students must have achieved a pass (at least 40%) in 3 of the 6 units of assessment.


Year 3 (10/16 units)

Compulsory Modules

ENV 300               Dissertation                                                                 (2/16 units)


ENV 323               Geological Hazards                                                    (1/16 units each)

ENV 321               The Dynamic Earth

ENV 312               Hydrogeology

ENV 322               Environmental and Resource Geophysics


Optional Modules

4 from:

ENV 320               Volcanic Processes Field Course                              (1/16 units each)

ENV 341               Environmental Radioactivity

ENV 331               Aerosol, Clouds and Climate

ENV 342               Soil and Water Pollution

ENV 311               Modelling Hydrological Processes

GEOG 367           Coastal Processes

ENV 313               Water Supply and Control

ENV 345               Risk Assessment and Management

ENV 314               Chemical Oceanography

No more than 4 per term.


Work/Study Placement




Students graduate with a BSc degree, Honours or Pass, in Earth and Environmental Science (International). Degrees are classified according to the university's standard regulations for 16-unit degree schemes.



12.  Support for Learning


There are three broad areas of student support in the Department and University.


Pastoral support

-           In Year 1 students have a college tutor, whose role is pastoral. The college tutor may also be consulted for pastoral concerns in subsequent years. The Directors of Study for Parts 1 and 2 and the Study Abroad Adviser deal with academic progress and general academic and pastoral advice, as does the Director of the Earth and Environmental Science degree. In Part 1, there is also a dedicated teaching technician to support students in their practical work. In Part 2 each student has a dissertation supervisor who fulfils similar functions to the Directors of Study, as well as providing specific academic guidance. Support and guidance continue to be provided to students while on their year abroad by the Study Abroad advisor, via email, the Virtual Learning Environment and, when necessary, telephone. All academic staff operate an "open door" policy, although students generally make appointments by e-mail.

-           The Special Educational Needs Officer heads a team that provides in-department support to those with difficulties. This team includes the Part 1 teaching technician and Part 2 teaching office staff, ensuring frequent contact with students at all stages.

-           The Counselling Service provides in-depth and if necessary continuing support for students with personal problems.

-           Specialist academic advice for those with learning problems is available through study consultants in the Student Learning Development Centre.



General academic support

-           E-mail is an increasingly important way of allowing staff and students to keep in contact, whether in Lancaster, overseas or working on a dissertation project. Students are expected to check their Lancaster email accounts on a daily basis.

-           The Study Abroad Adviser remains in frequent contact with students whilst abroad.

-           The university virtual learning environment (LUVLE), combined with the departmental website, is a growing resource for information provision. Students are directed to, and expected to use these resources.

-           A bulletin board system discusses academic and other issues at a number of levels. This has been particularly successful for publicizing careers information, for example.

-           We liaise with the Library over buying materials, and they automatically adjust the loan status of items or buy more copies when demand for an item exceeds a threshold. 

-           The university provides good access across campus to IT facilities including a suite of 20 high-specification machines in the Department with module-specific software and data.

-           The Effective Learning Programme is a widely advertised series of drop-in workshops on study issues.  


Specialist support for students and staff 

-         The departmental careers officer and Careers Service provide careers guidance.  Careers events are held throughout the year, often featuring guest alumni.

-         The International Office provides advice and help with non-academic aspects of studying abroad.

-         We follow the University's guidelines for disabled students (Access at Lancaster: Disability Statement 2000).  We have facilities and procedures that allow us to cope with the most severely disabled students in the lecture theatre, in the laboratory and in the field. We operate an inclusive policy, and will alter module contents to accommodate disabled students wishing to take particular modules.

-         The Student Learning Development Centre supports non-native English speakers.

-         All new inexperienced teaching staff are enrolled on Lancaster University's Certificate in Academic Practice, and more experienced staff attend individual sessions and act as mentors on this programme.


Lancaster University
LancasterLA1 4YW United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1524 65201