Surrey University Stag

ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY - 2023/4

Module code: BMS3105

Module Overview

This module considers the impact of human beings on the environment, including negative aspects such as habitat destruction and pollution, and positive aspects such as conservation. It will also consider our ethical and legal responsibilities with regards to the environment and biodiversity conservation.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

PIRIE Tara (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code:

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 110

Lecture Hours: 20

Seminar Hours: 3

Tutorial Hours: 10

Practical/Performance Hours: 7

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

BMS2070 preferable but not essential

Module content

Specific topics may be subject to change. Indicative content includes:


  • The healthy planet Biodiversity: genetic diversity, species diversity, & ecosystem diversity Community ecology: relationships & change within ecosystems

  • The Anthropocene Period: Human environment interactions Habitat loss Over-harvesting & the impact of farming Introduced species Environmental Risk Climate change

  • Conservation Biology The History of Conservation Measuring human impact Approaches to conservation: Field trip to assess applications of conservation

  • Case studies: students will present case studies in addition to those incorporated into lecture content


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Case study on a current topic 50
Coursework Investigative video (35%) and report (15%) 50

Alternative Assessment

In case of justified absence, data and material can be provided to complete the assessments

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to integrate content from across the module in order to consider ecological problems and their solutions. They will be expected to integrate practical and ethical considerations with an element of investigative thinking.

The summative assessment for this module consists of the following elements:

IS1 - Case study on a current topic: 50% - A 2500 words report on an issue that you think is relevant to the content covered in the course, providing the appropriate references and showing critical analysis of the reported fact.

IS2 - Investigative video and field report: 50%: A investigative-type 3-4 minutes linked to the topic chosen in the first assessment (35%), which will include an interview to person(s) relevant in that field, reporting facts and opinions in a non-bias way; a report on the field trip about land management (15%).

Formative assessment and feedback

Students can obtain formative feedback from a variety of sources:


  • Tutorials and drop in sessions where students can discuss their progress

  • Class debates in which all students will participate.

  • Individual formative feedback provided on one draft of the report submitted in SurreyLearn


Module aims

  • Revise the concept of biodiversity and ecology
  • Consider the nature of human influence on the environment, using case studies to illustrate the impact of particular issues
  • Consider our responsibility to the planet in terms of restorative and maintenance of habitat, conservation ecology and sustainability

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Evaluate the relative importance of biodiversity at different levels CK
002 Discuss what a healthy ecosystem should look like CK
003 Categorise the various ways in which humans impacts upon the environment CK
004 Define the approaches used by conservation biologists to measure the effect of humans on the environment CK
005 Compare and contrast strategies for protecting individual species and whole communities from human impact CK
006 Discuss the relative merits of strategies to evaluate and mitigate against a specific environmental threat CK
007 Identify suitable sources of information and critically evaluate them in order to address a specific environmental concern PT
008 Present information both orally and in writing in a manner appropriate to specified audiences PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: Stimulate engagement with both the practical and ethical aspects of environmental science. The lecture component of the module will introduce some of the basic principles underpinning this topic, however the use of case studies to illustrate these principles and debates in which students can explore their own ethical ideals are both integral to the module. This module is intended to promote "blue skies" thinking as students identify and consider solutions to the issues raised by the conflict between mankind¿s needs and the environment in which we live.

The learning and teaching methods include:


  • Workshop/practical Hours: 10

  • Independent Learning Hours (including online content to prepare for tutorials): 116

  • Lecture Hours: 10

  • Seminar Hours: 3

  • Tutorial Hours: 10



Indicated hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may be subject to change and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules,as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMS3105

Other information

None

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Veterinary Biosciences BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.