Understanding Environmental Change (Nankai) DUMF5116

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course provides an introduction to issues that arise when managing natural environments in the face of mounting physical and human pressures, and the impacts of climate change. Conceptual approaches and methods for assessing how landscapes have changed over time are introduced, along with conceptual and legal frameworks, an understanding of new environmental risks and how they can be mitigated, and case studies from different settings worldwide.


Teaching will be over a 2-3 week period, with further time for practical work, study & reflection.

Requirements of Entry

Admission to MSc in Environmental Science (F753C-5301)

Excluded Courses





Individual essay on selected topic of environmental change (50%)

Individual report on environmental risk assessment/ecosystem services (30%)

Group presentation on class practical exercise (20%)

Course Aims

■ To provide a process-based overview of changes in selected environments in order to understand ways in which they may be managed sustainably;

■ To review examples of policies and practices for sustainable environmental management, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction;

■ To evaluate the impact of climate change on the environment, ecosystem services, and the consequences for societies.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Evaluate how environmental change happens at a range of scales;

■ Evaluate the key processes operating within selected environments and how these produce change;

■ Critically discuss policies and strategies for sustainable environmental management over long and short timescales;

■ Critically discuss the significance of climate change as a cause of selected environmental changes;

■ Critically assess the literature on the impacts of climate change on the landscape;

■ Evaluate the role of legal frameworks in constraining environmental management;

■ Evaluate the links between ecosystems, development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction;

■ Measure ecosystem services.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.