Module code: ENG2132

Module Overview

This module examines the relationship between the media and sustainability and the environment. The media does not simply present the global challenges humans face when implementing sustainable development but actively shapes public understanding of sustainable development and motivation for change through its presentation of key issues. With environment and sustainability increasingly politicised, it is important to critically reflect on the role played by the media in shaping public understanding of sustainability science.

The media is increasingly fragmented as people now draw upon a diverse range of media sources for information on contemporary events and issues. Sustainability practitioners need an understanding of how different forms of media work. Some sustainability careers depend upon effective use of social media for raising public awareness and campaigning purposes. In this module students will plan a hypothetical social media campaign on a sustainability related case study or issue.

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 105

Lecture Hours: 18

Seminar Hours: 7

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

-The social construction of the environment and sustainable development

-Globalisation and the media

-Media audiences and fragmentation

-The impact of social media

-The role of influencers

-Sustainability and the arts

-Marketing, consumption and the media

-Media coverage of sustainable development and global challenges

-Campaigning and activism

-Building a social media campaign

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Review of media piece 30
Coursework Planning a social media campaign 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their media analysis skills and to provide students with an opportunity to present information in a widely accessible format.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:
- A review of a media piece (documentary, tv news report, newspaper article, blog, social media) worth 30% of the module mark.

- Planning a social media campaign, worth 70% of the module mark. 
Formative assessment and feedback:

Students receive verbal feedback during lectures. There are also weekly seminar sessions during which key topics relating to the media and sustainable development will be discussed together by the class, with students receiving informal feedback on the input into these discussions.  For example, some media pieces relating to sustainability will be reviewed together in a seminar prior to students completing their own media piece review. There will also be discussion in class on what makes an effective social media campaign, with students receiving informal feedback on their ideas by their peers and the instructor.

Module aims

  • To help students develop a broad understanding of the global and UK media
  • To explore audience fragmentation and the rise of social media
  • To analyse how the media presents issues relating to sustainable development
  • To explore how media can be used for social and environmental campaigning
  • ¿ To help students develop a skill set for delivering a media campaign and delivering impact through the media. Skills include the ability to write simply and clearly for a wide audience, and potentially graphic design and video editing depending upon the media platform(s) chosen.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Be able to analyse how the media portrays issues relating to sustainable development CKPT
002 Understand the impact of social media on public understanding of sustainability issues KPT
003 Be able to present sustainability related information in an accessible format for a variety of audiences across multiple social media platforms 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 help students:

  • Develop an understanding of how the media operates

  • Develop critical analysis skills of media portrayals of issues relating to sustainable development

  • Develop writing skills for presenting information in a way which is accessible to a wide audience.

The learning and teaching strategy seeks to develop student’s understanding of how the mass media and social media operate, and how issues relating to sustainability are presented through the different media. Lecture material will introduce core concepts, theories and ideas, while in the weekly seminars students will  explore and develop their understanding of these concepts and theories via examples and sustainability related case studies. Seminars will make use of classroom-based discussions and group work.  Students will be encouraged to develop social media relevant skills like graphic design and video editing via self-study using online resources.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures and class discussions (11 hours)

  • Captured content (11 hours)

  • Seminars (11 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: ENG2132

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: Sustainability: Sustainability professionals need a good understanding of how different media operate and present information relating to sustainable development as sustainability professionals need to be able to work with the media and use different media effectively. In this module students critically analyse how the media present sustainability issues and global challenges. Digital capabilities: This module will help students develop skills to enable them to participate actively in a digital connected world by developing an understanding of how different media operate and influence society. Students can demonstrate their social media skills by planning a social media campaign.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Environment and Sustainability BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory 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 2025/6 academic year.