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Environmental Science with Hazards and Disasters BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time F820 2019
4 years full time including foundation year F821 2019
4 years full time including sandwich year F822 2019
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2019

Why choose this course?

If you are interested in the challenges associated with climate change, development pressures, water resources and environmental pollution, this course is ideal. You will learn to understand, monitor and evaluate the Earth's environmental systems, and predict, manage and respond to environmental challenges on global, regional and local scales.  The Hazards and Disasters pathway is ideal if you want to focus your study on the causes of environmental hazards (such as earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, floods and tsunamis) and how to plan and manage the related emergencies.

Foundation year

If you would like to study one of our science degrees at Kingston University but are not yet ready to join the first year of a BSc(Hons) course, you can include an extra foundation year within your chosen degree. Please see the science foundation year course page for details of modules.

Dr Stuart Downward talks about what you can expect from studying here:

What you will study

As a pathway of the Environmental Science BSc(Hons) the Hazards and Disasters pathway focuses on four key themes:

  • natural hazard science;
  • human science;
  • disaster management and emergency planning; and
  • develop skills and techniques to underpin your study (such as fieldwork, data gathering, presentation and research).

Year 1 provides a broad understanding of earth sciences, geography and natural hazards. You'll study the building blocks of the environmental and human systems - basic geology and hydrological, atmospheric and ecological systems. You'll also study modules in geographical information science (GIS) and fieldwork.

Year 2 develops the theory and practice of disaster risk reduction. You'll enhance your knowledge of GIS, geomorphology, atmospheric science and tectonic hazards. An overseas trip will provide the opportunity to develop your newly acquired fieldwork skills.

The modules in Year 3 further develop your knowledge of disaster management, with an emphasis on recent case studies. You'll also research and engage with practising professionals in all areas of disaster management.

An important element of Year 3 will be your independent research project. This involves collecting your own data, interpreting and reporting on a topic chosen by you (in consultation with staff). You can also choose to complete major hazard assessments and disaster planning during an optional field trip, currently to South Africa.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • Digital Earth: Spatial Analysis introduces and develops the fundamental geographical skills of data collection, analysis and presentation and the solving of spatial problems using GIS. It concerns data types, representations of reality and key spatial analysis techniques. GIS-based skills are important employability skills for geography and environment students with many course-relevant employers requiring a working knowledge of GIS and the application of GIS to solve real world geographical and environmental challenges. Digital literacy employability skills will be introduced and developed in this module and the module will provide a baseline for students taking GG5155 Cartography, Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis at Level 5 and GG6140 GIS: Transforming Geography and Environment at Level 6.

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  • This is a Level 4 module for Geography and Environmental Science students. Core lectures introduce key fundamental topics in physical geography, overviewing the various spheres of the Earth, associated processes and interaction. Themes are presented systematically as a cross-section of the Earth's physical structure: geological underpinning, Earth surface processes (introducing geomorphology, the pedosphere and hydrosphere), the atmosphere, and the biosphere. Interwoven within these topics will be lectures on associated environmental hazards, including geophysical hazards (eg. volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis), atmospheric hazards (including hurricanes and tornadoes) and environmental and ecological hazards (including oil spills, mine contamination and wildfires).

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  • This is a Level 4 module for Environment Science students. The module will investigate basic environmental principles, introduce environmental systems and identify and understand how physical and human processes can promote change in environmental systems at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Students will investigate the impacts of environmental change, understand their significance and show how this knowledge can be applied to the management of environmental challenges. The importance of a holistic approach to problem solving in the environmental sciences will be introduced along with material on key underpinning scientific disciplines including environmental chemistry and ecology through the investigation of global habitats. Environmental sustainability will be examined and debated within a broader sustainable development setting and students will define and debate anticipated 21st Century environmental challenges and the application of Environmental Science to these challenges. A range of employability skills will be emphasised throught the module curriculum and students will be challenged to consider and articulate how their environmental knowledge and skills learning development can be applied to real world environmental problems.

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  • This is a module for all Level 4 Geography and Environmental Science students. The module introduces a range of generic and discipline specific research and fieldwork methods. Students are introduced to their course learning aims and identify their learning targets from Induction to graduation and their alignment to their learning pathway. Students are tutored in a range of learning techniques (eg. critical thinking and communication skills) and are introduced to assessment for learning and the role of feedback, reflection and feedforward as an integrated part of their learning journey. Students are introduced to a range of research methods that form the basis of successful investigations in their subject areas, including research design, information acquisition, qualitative and quantitative analysis and critical interpretation.

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Year 2

  • Maps are tools for visualising geospatial data to communicate spatial patterns and processes and the results of geographical analysis. This module explores the principles of map design and production in a GIS environment. It introduces ground, aerial and space based surveying, exploring the underlying physical principles and geographical/technological concepts. It covers remotely sensed data capture, image processing and data modelling. The third element develops skills in spatial data analysis and modelling and to explore the application of techniques with respect to point patterns, spatially continuous data and area based data.

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  • This module presents a series of thematic taught sessions overviewing major geomorphological processes and landforms, sedimentary environments and geophysical hazards. The module builds upon foundations of GG4080 Introducing Physical Geography and Environmental Hazards. On completion of the module students will gain a detailed understanding of the major surface processes and their geomorphological significance and will be able to interpret a range of sedimentary environments. Module themes will reflect on likely hazards linked to geomorphological processes, including floods, coastal change (including impacts of sea-level change on coastal environments), slope stability, geological controls on geomorphology such as fault movement and associated and sediments (and sedimentary structures) created by events such as tsunamis and ash falls.

    The module emphasises the mastery of geomorphological skills through experiential learning closely associated to core lecture delivery. The practical programme will aid students in evaluating key geomorphological concepts, learning and testing analytical techniques. Fieldwork programme provides an arena for applying new skills and knowledge gained and provides a learning bridge to students wishing to pursue physical geographical and/or hazards based research projects at Level 6.

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  • This module is a Level 5 module for Geography students and Environmental Science, Hazards and Disasters students. The module introduces the key theories and concepts in disasters studies which underpin changing approaches to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). The relationship between evolving theories and practice are explored. The policies which shape disaster response are examined at a variety of scales from international to local. Employability skills and the transferability of acquired knowledge to the workplace environment are introduced and developed. These include the roles of key stakeholders and stakeholder engagement and the concepts and challenges involved in communicating effectively. The impacts of these influences are explored through a number of case studies which explore both developed and developing world examples of DRR in action across a variety of hazard types.dies.

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  • This module is core for all Level 5 Environmental Science students and forms a bridge between Level 4 GG4090 Research and Fieldwork Methods and Level 6 GG6400 Research Project.

    1)    Students design, manage and execute an environmental science or environmental hazards research project in a 'real-life' field-based setting. Students are tutored in aspects of research design: defining research questions, research philosophy and appropriate methodologies. Students learn practical aspects of research design such as logistical considerations of time and budget limitations as well as data archiving (including digital and mobile technology) and location based analysis. They will design and manage a field-based research project in a UK and/or overseas setting.

    2)    A Personal Tutorial System (PTS) will run in parallel to the taught elements of the module whereby students will integrate and develop their learning from this module to the wider academic and professional/workplace context. The PTS will emphasise key employability skills that will be acquired through the production of the research projects and their relationship to employability skills in other Level 5 modules. This will assist those students wishing to take a sandwich year and prepare those students and provide a development platform for the production of an independent research proposal. On completion of this module students will have gained first- hand experience of research project design and management as a pre-cursor to their Level 6 Independent Research Project and/or work placement

    3)    Students will learn how to collect, manipulate and interpret statistical environmental data and apply this learning to their project-based investigations.

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Year 3/4

  • This module has a twin focus on changes that have impacted on Geography and Environment over recent decades and how these have created opportunities for geographical and spatial investigation to address an expanding range of applications. Information technology, in particular GIS, is one of the major drivers of change and this module explores the application of GIS in a range of domains encompassing socio-demographic, economic, political, environmental, natural and anthropogenic hazard events.

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  • The module builds on underpinning concepts, such as vulnerability and resilience, introduced in GG5140 Disaster Risk Reduction. It takes a critical approach to understanding disaster management and its implementation. The module examines the varying ways in which societies attempt to reduce the impacts of hazards through disaster management. It provides an exploration of how the historical, geographical, social, economic and political contexts shape the creation and implementation of disaster management in both developed and developing world contexts.

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  • This is a core Level 6 module for all Environmental Science and Environmental Science, Disasters and Management Students. This module tackles the key issues relating to climate change in the three main subject areas of science, policy and society. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the key concepts and processes of climate change and the various ways in which societies can respond. Core factual material is provided via Canvas with keynote lectures, seminars and workshops used to explain concepts. Fieldwork sessions are designed to complement the lecture series and give further practical demonstration of policy and practice complexities.

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  • The module is core to students on the geographical and environmental courses. It provides experience in the design, execution and preparation of an independent but approved programme of research. Furthermore, through the Personal Tutorial System (PTS) it encourages students to employ reflective learning techniques and to develop a variety of level-appropriate employability skills by engaging with their research project as a piece of academic research with commercial, policy or political value which requires effective dissemination and communication to a range of suitable audiences. Employability skills developments are integral to the Research Project module. The specific nature of the research project chosen allows the students to target specific skills they wish to develop in their learning pathway and the PTS will work closely with the students to identify and articulate these skills through the associated module assessments.

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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*5p per minute from a BT landline. Call charges from other providers may vary.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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