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SD2001 Sustainable Development: Ecological and Environmental Aspects

SCOTCAT credits:30
Academic year(s):2014/5
SCQF Level 8
Planned timetable:1.00 pm Mon, Tue, Fri (lectures), 10.00 am and 11.00 am Wed, 10 am Thu (seminars/tutorials)

This module takes students through a range of ecological and environmental issues associated with sustainable development. This interdisciplinary module is taught collaboratively by staff from the Schools of Biology, Chemistry, and Geography & Geosciences. The module explores five main themes: Part A -ecosystem functions and services- provides a general introduction to key concepts, including: biodiversity, ecosystems, and the role of environmental cycles. Part B -the anthropogenic effects on ecosystem functions and services- explores the human impacts on natural systems, including issues of habitat change, global warming, agriculture, commercial and industrial impacts. Part C -technology and the environment- considers how advances in technology might play a crucial role in moving towards sustainability, and the potential impacts of technology, both positive and negative (focusing energy supply and use, and also geo-engineering). Part D -conservation and management - covers issues including species and habitat protection, protected area design, and community participation. Part E - environmental monitoring and assessment - considers the supporting evidence base required for sustainability. Techniques are explored through case studies at local and global levels. The module covers a wide range of theory and knowledge, and provides you with ideas and material from various disciplines. You will be assessed by an essay, which will enhance your understanding of a particular field and the constraints to achieving sustainable development. Essay topics will be supported by tutorial sessions. The seminar series offers an opportunity for peer learning and presentation by exploring case studies of a range of relevant topics and offering time for discussion.. There will be a fieldtrip to a coastal location.

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Compulsory for Sustainable Development

UG Pre-requisite(s):SD1001 or SD1003

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:3 lectures ( x 11 weeks), 4 x 1-hour seminars, 5 x 1-hour tutorials, 2 x 1-hour debriefing sessions, 2 x 6-hour fieldtrips during the semester.
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 56
  • Guided independent study: 244

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 30%
  • Practical examinations: 20%
  • Coursework: 50%
UG As used by St Andrews:3-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%
UG Re-assessment:2-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator:Dr T A Stojanovic
Module teaching staff:Team taught