Surrey University Stag


Module code: ENGM060

Module Overview

This module provides an overview of the environmental sciences which underpin sustainable development. It explores theoretical concepts from the physical and natural sciences and considers their relevance for sustainable development. These include ecological systems and ecosystem services, biodiversity and biodiversity loss, environmental measurements and indicators, agriculture and pollution impacts, and climate change and energy. Students will explore how to conduct an environmental risk assessment in a real-life scenario, and learn about enacting environmental policy at international, national and local levels.

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader

CHENOWETH Jonathan (Sust & CEE)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: F750

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 10

Independent Learning Hours: 90

Lecture Hours: 20

Seminar Hours: 1

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 19

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • ecology and biodiversity

  • pollution science

  • the science of climate change

  • environmental risk assessment

  • scientific uncertainty and environmental policy development at different levels of government

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

If a student fails the environmental risk assessment coursework completed as a group assessment they will be assigned an individual resit coursework.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to conduct research in the scientific literature and thus build upon concepts introduced in the module’s lectures.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Risk assessment report completed in groups during module week. Peer evaluation of individual contributions to the group report are used to ensure each group member receives a fair mark based on their contribution to the group’s report (20% of module marks)

  • 3000 word individual post-module coursework consisting of short-answer questions (80% of module marks)

Formative assessment and feedback:

The Environmental risk assessment report is completed an in-class workshop, with the module lecturer available throughout the exercise to answer questions and provide formative feedback to students as they prepare their environmental risk assessment report.

Following the intensive teaching week, for the post-module assignment students can prepare a draft answer to one of the short answer questions and then make an appointment with the lecturer to discuss their answer and receive verbal feedback prior to submitting their coursework.


Module aims

  • To introduce key theoretical concepts in the physical and natural sciences and explore their importance for sustainable development;
  • To outline the underlying science behind specific environmental problems such as climate change, ozone depletion and biodiversity loss
  • To introduce the complex interactions between scientific knowledge, uncertainty and public policy

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Recognise the importance of science to the debates on sustainable development C
002 Be able to articulate the scientific dimensions of policy responses to environmental problems K
003 Be able to identify the complexities of sustainable development inherent in the science / policy interface. K
004 Develop the skills to carry out environment risk assessments P

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 encourage active, problem-based learning.  The module encourages students to explore and critically evaluate theoretical perspectives, and consider their application to case studies and policy. To achieve this, students are expected to actively contribute in class discussions and group work.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures and class discussions (20 hours)

  • Facilitated risk assessment workshop whereby students complete an environmental risk assessment in small groups under the direction of the module leader (10 hours)

  • Captured content – recordings of lectures and class discussions for review and reflection after class  (19 hours)

  • Lunchtime seminar (1 hour)

  • Independent study (100 hours)


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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM060

Other information

The Centre for Environment and Sustainability is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience, in line with the Surrey Curriculum Framework. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Digital capabilities:  When completing the environmental risk assessment in groups students are encouraged to access a range of digital resources such as and, as well as online journal papers and reports.

Sustainability: This module explores some of the key concepts which underpin sustainability science, such as natural cycles, ecological systems, ecosystem services, ecology, biodiversity, pollution and environmental impact categories.

Resourcefulness and resilience: The assessed group work exercise helps students develop their resourcefulness and resilience as students have to work effectively and efficiently in small groups to produce an assessed report within a limited block of time. The module leader is on hand throughout the exercise to facilitate the groups and help students resolve any difficulties.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Corporate Environmental Management MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Environmental Strategy MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Sustainable Development MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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.