The minor in Environmental Studies introduces the student to the major themes in this field, including ecology, environmental ethics and environmental science, and well-known environmental issues such as global warming and climate change, ozone depletion, pollution, and energy and population issues. The minor also allows students to develop their interest in more advanced areas of environmental studies including energy politics, environmental politics, sustainability, and environmental economics.

Programme Structure

A basic introduction to the major themes of Environmental Studies, this course covers basic ecology, environmental ethics, and environmental science. Well known environmental issues such as global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, pollution, and population issues are addressed from scientific, economic, politico-sociological and ethical standpoints. An awareness and appreciation of global, local, and personal environmental problems are developed, together with the implications of possible solutions. The concept of interrelatedness is a unifying theme throughout the course.

This course is designed to develop students’ understanding of the concepts of environmental ethics through an analysis of historical and modern issues. The role of humans within nature and anthropogenic effects upon nature will be discussed along with typical environmental issues such as climate change, pollution, population issues, energy issues, conservation, women in the environment, and animal rights.

Plus two of the following:

This course offers a basic introduction to regional and social geography through selected regions of the globe. The course will include historical and modern aspects of geography, basic geographical terminology, population patterns and demography, the influence of poverty and affluence, and basic medical geography. All topics will be approached from a cultural and environmental perspective.

A basic introduction to the major themes of modern and historical energy use, this course covers the basic science of energy use and technology and the history and science of humankind’s spiralling and sometimes insidious drive for new forms of energy. From prehistory through to the industrial revolution and beyond this course takes a historical, environmental and comparative approach to the development of animate power, windmills, watermills and traditional uses of biomass, through to the industrial revolution and the modern use of fossil fuels, including electricity generation. Investigations of more modern energy use such as nuclear fission and fusion, along with renewable technologies such as wind turbines, hydroelectrics, solar, geothermal, biomass and fuel cells allow the course to explore the possibility of managing energy sources for the benefit of all.

This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of the science of ecology through a study of ecosystems, conservation, biodiversity, and selected endangered or threatened species. The course will address natural and anthropogenic causes of species’ decline and extinction and possible conservation techniques that are, could be, or could have been, used to reverse the extinction or decline. As well as some typical ‘poster species’, other less well known but equally important species will be discussed.

Provides students with an introduction to development studies, seeking to explain both the existence of and persistence of a Poor World from a political, sociological, historical and economic perspective. The course addresses numerous issues as they affect the Poor World, and studies relations both within and between Poor World and Rich World. Topics include colonialism and post-colonialism, processes of industrialization, food security, inequality, nationalism, aid, democratization, and conflict, as well as an introduction to theories of development.

Plus two of the following:

This is a course in theoretical and applied public economics using microeconomic theory. The course addresses the theoretical analysis of market failure, public finance, taxation and expenditure systems in modern economies and discusses philosophical issues of economic welfare

Examines the theoretical assumptions and practical outcomes of ‘sustainable development’. The course explicitly focuses on the political, social and economic complexity of managing environmental issues in developing states. The tension between developmental and environmental issues is often a determining factor in the formation and implementation of policy at both national and international level, and sustainable development has provided a framework for managing these tensions.

Examines the political, economic, ideological, and social dilemmas associated with environmental issues. The first section of the course addresses the historical roots of environmentalism, its key concepts, and a range of key thinkers and paradigms for understanding environmentalism as an ideology. The second section of the course explores the role of key actors engaged in environmental policy making, and important issues in contemporary environmental politics. Topics addressed include environmental movements and parties, global environmental regimes, the impact of the media on environmental issues, and prospects for green technologies and employment

Examines some of the contemporary geo-political, economic, technical, governance and environmental issue surrounding global energy issues. We look at supply and demand tensions, transit and pipeline issues, infrastructure problems, private companies and state monopolies, deregulation and markets, innovation policy, energy and development, international cooperation, environmental stress, and energy futures.

Undergraduate Prospectus 2022