Environmental Science

Environmental Social Sciences - BA (Hons)

UCAS code L9D4

2019

How does human behaviour affect our environment? What pressures do we face in managing scarce resources? Can technological innovation offer solutions? On this programme you develop an understanding of the ecological and social crises of the 21st century and gain the skills needed to bring about change.

Overview

This course encourages you to engage with environmental issues from a range of perspectives, drawing on subjects as varied as anthropology, politics, economics, philosophy, law, history, literature and the creative arts. You can also develop practical skills (for example, biodiversity monitoring) and can choose to do an independent research project on a subject largely of your choice.

The programme will be of particular interest if you have studied geography, environmental studies or biology.

Our degree programme

During your first year, you gain a solid grounding in the wide range of environmental issues which threaten our world, while also developing field skills essential for work in this discipline. In addition to compulsory modules on topics such as biodiversity and sustainable land use, you can explore areas of particular interest through the optional modules you choose. The possibilities are wide ranging, from investigations of plant life and global conservation strategies to the application of economic principles to business or the study of 'ways of living' in social anthropology.

In your second and third years, you take only two compulsory modules, allowing you the flexibility to structure your degree around your personal interests and passions.  There is an extensive choice of optional modules, studying issues such as environmental law and politics, the impact on wildlife of human demand for resources, or the implications of the Anthropocene - the Age of Humans - for the Earth as a system. 

In your final year, you undertake a research project, choosing your topic with your project supervisor. Students often undertake their field research abroad, with some joining our annual expedition to our research vessel on the Peruvian Amazon.

Year in professional practice

If you want to stand out from other graduates in today's global job market, spending time in the work place as part of your degree is invaluable. It demonstrates your ability to adapt to new situations, your sensitivity to other cultures (intercultural competence) and your desire to stretch yourself.

You can extend your degree into a four-year programme by adding a work placement between the second and final years. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent, but certain conditions apply.  See our Environmental Social Sciences with a Year in Professional Practice - BSc.

Field trips

A number of our modules include opportunities for learning and experiences outside of the classroom through field trips in the UK and abroad. Potential local excursions are:

  • food and farming systems in East Kent
  • High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Ashford Community Woodland, local nature reserve
  • forestry management on the North Downs.

Students on the Tropical Ecology and Conservation module spend two weeks at the Danau Girang Field Centre in Borneo.  The Centre is located in an area where huge swathes of jungle have been removed and replaced by plantations, so you are working on the front line between managing the needs of the community and the impact on biodiversity.

These opportunities may change from year to year and may incur additional costs. See the funding tab for more information.

Study resources

The School of Anthropology and Conservation has excellent teaching resources including dedicated computing facilities. Other resources include:

  • conservation genetics laboratories
  • ecology laboratory
  • field trials area and field laboratory
  • a state-of-the-art visual anthropology room
  • an ethnobiology lab for studying human-related plant material
  • refurbished computer suite with 32 PCs with HD screens
  • upgraded visual anthropology suite with 16 iMacs
  • an integrated audio-visual system to help provide stimulating lectures
  • student social spaces

Extra activities

The Conservation Society and Anthropology Society are run by Kent students and are a good way to meet other students on your course in an informal way. Student societies also work with local organisations and charities providing lots of opportunities for volunteering, community work and outings.

The School of Anthropology and Conservation puts on many events that you are welcome to attend. We host two public lectures a year, the Stirling Lecture and the DICE Lecture, which bring current ideas in anthropology and conservation to a wider audience.  We are delighted that these events attract leading conservation figures from around the world.

Each term, there are also seminars and workshops discussing current research in anthropology, conservation and human ecology.

Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology

This degree programme is taught by academic staff from across the School, including the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) research centre. DICE is a leading international research and training centre dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems around the world.

DICE was founded in 1989 with a clear mission: to conserve biodiversity and the ecological processes that support ecosystems and people. It does so by developing capacity and improving conservation management and policy through high-impact research. That is why DICE is in a School that does research and teaching in anthropology alongside conservation.

One component of DICE’s work is to train a new, interdisciplinary generation of conservationists who think innovatively about the challenges that lie ahead. As undergraduates, you are part of a dynamic and growing community of conservationists whose work spans all major regions of the world.

Independent rankings

In The Guardian University Guide 2019, over 86% of final-year Anthropology students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

Over 89% of final-year Anthropology students were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course in The Guardian University Guide 2019.

Of Anthropology students who graduated from Kent in 2017 and completed the national survey, 100% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Teaching Excellence Framework

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

This module introduces students to the range of basic research skills required across the range of the School's BA and BSc programmes, whilst also introducing the key areas of school disciplinary expertise. Students work in groups to collaboratively produce a 3 minute video addressing a question that requires knowledge of the diverse expertise of the school. The question will change in relation to the contemporary concerns and research interests of the school. An initial lecture introduces the course and collaborative video research that serves as the central methodology to communicate the results of qualitative and quantitative research on the question addressed. Lectures in the first part of the course introduce the key disciplinary and interdisciplinary resources to answer the question.

Following lectures are divided between qualitative and quantitative methods. The course concludes with an open screening of all video projects.

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15

This module provides an introduction to contemporary discourses and issues surrounding the relationship between nature, environment and society. The module begins by introducing people to the idea of 'environment', and specifically, to the range of assumptions we might hold about the relationship between environmental processes and human identity and behaviour. These concerns are then situated in their historical context and examined empirically at a range of different spatial scales (global, national, regional, urban and rural), and within the context of different stakeholder and social groups (such as policy makers, pressure groups, the media, and publics), More generally we provide a framework for critically evaluating the values and ethical assumptions that lay behind human constructions and uses of the non-human world and how we might manage, respond to and construct a range of environmental issues from a government, business and civic society starting point.

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15

This module explores and evaluates geographical patterns and processes occurring within urban and rural systems. The module includes introductory lectures and seminars on conceptualizing the dynamics of urban and rural change and the underlying economic, social, cultural and environmental processes that drive their geographical expression. Understanding is set within a broader consideration of how social-spatial processes in urban and rural environments can be interpreted and assessed with respect to different values and priorities, and in relation to wider questions of environmental sustainability, social justice and economic prosperity. The introductory lectures and seminars for each section of the course (urban and rural) provide the context in which these systems are investigated empirically through field-based observation, interpretation and analysis

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30

Economic growth and consumerism are threatening our planet and the future of human kind. This module provides a comprehensive introduction to environmental sustainability, using a strongly interdisciplinary approach based on environmental science and economics. In Part 1, we define environmental sustainability and explain how environmental sustainability can be assessed in relation to renewable resources, non-renewable resources and pollution. We consider the main threats to environmental sustainability such as climate change, pollution and resource exploitation and how they arise from the economic-environmental system. In Part 2, we explore environmental threats and issues in more detail focusing on issues such as species extinction, deforestation, climate change, and fossil fuel burning. Throughout Part 2 we actively consider potential solutions to current global economic and environmental crises for example, through the development of green technology, renewable energy, resource efficiency, recycling of materials, and green infrastructure.

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15

This module will introduce a range of fundamental concepts that underpin our understanding of biodiversity and, therefore, the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. The differences and similarities between the multiple definitions for the term 'biodiversity' will be considered, in addition to examining how scientists are trying to assess the magnitude of biodiversity on the planet. Spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity will be investigated, along with the importance of biodiversity (both use and non-values). The module will then explore the contemporary threats to biodiversity and provision of associated ecosystem services, in conjunction with a broad overview of the methods conservationists employ to protect and maintain biodiversity.

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15
Optional modules may include Credits

The main strand of the lecture material will establish the foundations of organisational behaviour in the context of the historical development of ideas and theory. The theories will be related to practical examples and thence students will be introduced to modern experience, practice and scholarship. Once the information of the foundation of organisational behaviour is established, at the next level, contemporary topics of management will be touched upon briefly. This will provide students with basic knowledge related to modern management practices. The content of the module will, therefore, be based on the following topics:

• Scientific Management

• Human Relations School

• Bureaucracy

• Post Bureaucratic Organizations

• Contingency Approach

• Group and teams

• Motivation

• Power and authority

• Managing diversity

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15

The broad aim of this module is to provide students with practical field experience in biodiversity monitoring and assessment methods. Specific aims are to introduce students to a range of basic field techniques and develop their skills in the collection, analysis and presentation of field data. The module provides an essential practical element of the Wildlife Conservation programme.

The module is spread over the latter half of the Spring Term. Spreading the course out in this way allows different groups of organisms to be examined as they become available for survey and the dates may vary slightly from year to year. Groups of students will each undertake survey or monitoring projects under the supervision of a member of staff. Each project will assess the biodiversity of an appropriate taxonomic group (eg. birds, amphibians, reptiles, plants, etc.) in either a terrestrial or freshwater habitat. Students will be expected carry out a range of surveys, analyse the data and present a short seminar on their results at the end of the module.

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15

This module introduces students to the introductory principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics, and the application of economic models to explain economic phenomena. It is designed to expose the main ways in which economists think about problems and to consider important current economic issues in the United Kingdom, the European Union and the world economy. The module assumes no previous knowledge of the subject.

This module introduces students to the introductory principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics, and the application of economic models to explain economic phenomena. It is designed to expose the main ways in which economists think about problems and to consider important current economic issues in the United Kingdom, the European Union and the world economy. The module assumes no previous knowledge of the subject.

The module covers a range of microeconomic and macroeconomic issues each of which is explained, analysed and then discussed with applications relevant to the real world. The application of economics to contemporary issues illustrates how economic analysis and models can be used to understand the different parts of the economy and to inform and evaluate policy interventions that support a range of different economic outcomes.

The module is self-contained to provide a basic understanding of economic methods and debates. It is a suitable primer for further modules that can be taken in economics, either as part of another degree programme or as part of a future professional qualification.

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30

This module is designed for students who have not studied Microeconomics for Business before or who have not previously completed a comprehensive introductory course in economics. However, the content is such that it is also appropriate for students with A-level Economics or equivalent, as it focuses on the analysis, tools and knowledge of microeconomics for business.

The module applies economics to business issues and each topic is introduced assuming no previous knowledge of the subject. The lectures and related seminar programme explain the economic principles underlying the analysis of each topic and relate the theory to the real world and business examples. In particular, many examples are taken from the real world to show how economic analysis and models can be used to understand the different parts of business and how policy has been used to intervene in the working of the economy. Workshops are included in the module to apply economic analysis and techniques to business situations.

The module is carefully designed to tell you what topics are covered under each major subject area, to give readings for these subjects, and to provide a list of different types of questions to test and extend your understanding of the material.

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15

This module is an introduction to human and primate evolution, and human prehistory. It provides an exciting introduction to humans as the product of evolutionary processes. We will explore primates and primate behaviour, elementary genetics, the evolution of our species. Students will develop skills in synthesising information from a range of sources and learn to critically evaluate various hypotheses about primate and human evolution. The module is also suitable for students in other disciplines who want to understand human evolution, and the history of our planet and our species. A background in science is not assumed or required, neither are there any preferred A-levels or other qualifications. The module is team-taught by the biological and medical anthropology staff and human geography staff.

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15

Social Anthropology is a discipline which arose with other social sciences in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, social and cultural anthropology has made a speciality of studying 'other' peoples worlds and ways of life. With increasing frequency, however, anthropologists have turned towards 'home', using insights gained from studying other cultures to illuminate aspects of their own society. By studying people's lives both at 'home' and 'abroad', social and cultural anthropology attempt to both explain what may at first appear bizarre and alien about other peoples' ways of living whilst also questioning what goes without saying about our own society and beliefs. Or, to put it another way, social and cultural anthropology attempt, among other things, to challenge our ideas about what we take to be natural about 'human nature' and more generally force us to take a fresh look at what we take for granted.

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30

This module introduces students to a wide-ranging view of the relationships among people, other animals and plants. The module will provide social, political and cultural perspectives on these relationships and will introduce students to some of the technical aspects of ethnobiology. The module emphasises the importance of culture in mediating the use of plants and animals among humans, and explores the role of wild and domestic plants and animals in human evolution, including the way human societies have manipulated and altered the landscape. Contemporary problems in conservation, development and human and animals rights are also explored.

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15
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

The module will begin with an introduction to research. Students will be asked to think about what counts as research, how research validity can be assessed, and. Subsequent sessions will give training in the design and use of (a) qualitative interviews and (b) (quantitative) questionnaires. Sessions will also be devoted to processing and analysis of qualitative data, and also basic descriptive statistics to analyse quantitative data, but not inferential statistics, since this is covered in a separate core module on statistics in the BSc programme (DI508). Towards the end of the module we will look in more depth at the principles of research design in order to help students begin to plan their final year research projects

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15
Optional modules may include Credits

Creative Conservation will engage students with a range of ways of thinking critically about conservation issues and their communication whilst developing their own creative practice and skills portfolio. The approach will seek to take a truly interdisciplinary approach, exploring these issues form a range of disciplinary perspectives and seeking syntheses and new imaginings in addressing them. Topics of focus may include:

* History of place and the relationship with nature – esp. East Kent and the Blean

* Photography - and the use of the still image

* Video - as representation and a research tool

* Art and Conservation - craftwork, eco-regional design and natural resource utilisation

* The Wildlife Documentary - a critical deconstruction and analysis

* Campaigning for Conservation

* Conservation and Agriculture

* Performance Ethnography - a theoretical framework for action research in conservation

View full module details
15

Condemned by the international community for refusing to sign the Kyoto Accords, rendered powerless by electricity blackouts, and stricken by the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the United States of America is today embroiled in a narrative of environmental controversy and catastrophe. This module explores to what extent the USA has been ‘inviting doomsday’ throughout the modern (twentieth-century) period. Commencing with an introductory session on writing and researching American environmental history, the module is then split into four sections: Science and Recreation, Doomsday Scenarios, Environmental Protest, and Consuming Nature. Over the twelve weeks we will consider a range of environmental issues that include wildlife management in national parks, pesticide spraying on prairie farms, nuclear testing in Nevada, and Mickey Mouse rides in Disneyland. By the end of the module, we will have constructed a comprehensive map of the United States based around themes of ecological transformation, assimilation and decay.

View full module details
30

The driving causes of biodiversity loss are not just ecological, but also political, economic and cultural, and conservationists need to acquire the knowledge and skills to address broader social contexts. This module aims to introduce students to cutting-edge debates about the place of local people in biodiversity conservation, and provide them with an overview of the essential role that the social sciences play in the analysis of environmental issues. Objectives of the module are to provide students with a broad conceptual understanding of the social context of conservation; knowledge of the history of conservation approaches towards local communities; familiarity with key issues in the implementation of community conservation; and a critical approach to analysis of the current conservation-preservation debate.

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15

Human-wildlife conflicts and resource competition imply costs on human social, economic or cultural life and on the ecological, social or cultural life of wildlife concerned, often to the detriment of conservation objectives and socio-economic realities. This module aims to introduce students to the magnitude and multidisciplinary dimensions of human-wildlife conflicts (HWC) and resource competition, and current approaches and challenges in mitigating and preventing HWC. We will explore how theoretical frameworks for approaching HWC are most often confined within disciplinary boundaries and how more holistic approaches can better equip conservationists and other professionals in dealing with the issue. Using a variety of teaching and learning methods, students will learn about issues involved in determining and analysing HWC, and planning, implementing and evaluating conflict mitigation or prevention schemes.

View full module details
15

The overall objective of the module is to provide an exposition of Environmental Law which seeks to assess the functioning of the law alongside the environmental problems that it seeks to address. Many of these problems admit scientific, economic and administrative solutions as readily as legal ones. However, the underlying premise is that, alongside other disciplines, law has an essential part to play in the protection of the environment. Within law, various strategies that may be applied to environmental problems have different strengths and weaknesses. In each case the options must be reviewed and it must be asked, which is the most appropriate legal approach to a particular kind of environmental problem?

To some extent this eclectic perspective spans traditional legal boundaries emphasising features which may be overlooked in customary treatments of subjects such as criminal law, tort, administrative law and European Union law but it is a subject which has a distinctive identity determined by the specific problems that the law is designed to address. Environmental Law seeks to examine and assess laws, of widely different kinds, from a uniquely environmental perspective. Taking a broad view, it must be asked what legal mechanisms are best used to restrict environmentally damaging land use and development, and how may the law be used most effectively to conserve wild fauna and flora and the habitats upon which they depend?

Environmental Law II (LW586) is intended to complement Environmental Law I. Whilst Environmental Law I is primarily concerned with protection of the quality of the environmental media of water, air and land, Environmental Law II is concerned with the environmental land use controls and specific mechanisms for conservation of species and habitats (ecological quality law).

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15

The overall objective of the module is to provide an exposition of Environmental Law which seeks to assess the functioning of the law alongside the environmental problems that it seeks to address. Many of these problems admit scientific, economic and administrative responses as readily as legal ones. However, the underlying premise is that, alongside other disciplines, law has an essential part to play in the protection of the environment. Within law, various strategies that may be applied to environmental problems have different strengths and weaknesses. In each case the options must be reviewed and it must be asked, which is the most appropriate legal approach to a particular kind of environmental problem?

To some extent this eclectic perspective spans traditional legal boundaries emphasising features which may be overlooked in customary treatments of subjects such as criminal law, tort, administrative law and European Union law, but it is a subject which has a distinctive identity determined by the specific problems that the law seeks to address. Environmental Law seeks to examine and assess laws, of widely different kinds, from a uniquely environmental perspective. Taking the broadest possible view, it must be asked what legal mechanism is best used to restrict emissions causing deterioration in the quality of the three environmental media of water, air and land and how the law can provide appropriate redress for environmental harm.

Environmental Law I is broadly concerned with environmental quality law, particularly the different ways in which environmentally damaging activities are addressed through legal mechanisms. The module commences with a discussion of foundational issues concerning basic concepts in Environmental Law and the range of legal approaches that are adopted in national, European Union and international law. Thereafter, the main focus is on the protection of the environmental media of water, land and air to prevent pollution and to secure environmental quality objectives. The module concludes by examining some cross-cutting issues, such as enforcement, information access, participation and alternative strategies for environmental protection.

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15

This module seeks to engage directly with the central provocation of the Anthropocene: that the speed, scope and scale of human industrial activities are having unparalleled, unintended and poorly understood impacts on the earth as a system, thus contributing to and significantly expanding the scale and risks associated with the crisis of modernity and its multiple dimensions: environmental, social, political, and cultural. In response to this crisis, and especially in light of the fact that human activities are so profoundly entangled with biological, ecological, geographical and geological process, a number of academic disciplines are reconsidering many of their core categories, boundaries and approaches. The Anthropocene constitutes an important, novel and challenging problem and a unique case study to attempt a more careful and effective integration of the different intellectual traditions and methods as exemplified in SAC: social and biological anthropology, human ecology and conservation. Some of the main areas covered in the module include: 1) A review of the key problems and issues signalled by the Anthropocene, including the evidence and the debates and areas of disagreement 2) The Anthropocene in relation to earth system science and the planetary, with a particular emphasis in the relationship between the history of the earth, the history of life and the history of humans 3) Some of implications of the incoming period of heightened risk, uncertainty and cascading crises 4) To consider the consequences of the changes and challenges signalled by the Anthropocene upon core categories and assumptions underlying the humanities and sciences, with particular attention to such key binaries as human-nature, living-non-living, and technology-biology 5) The need and challenge of simultaneously considering multiple and apparently incommensurable scales, both in time and space 6) The Anthropocene dilemma: humans as agents or victims? 7) Considering some of the challenges the Anthropocene raises for the practice of science, politics, law, governance, etc. 8) What do these problems, questions and debates mean in terms of our own individual and collective futures, both professionally and personally?

View full module details
15

The aim of this module is to introduce students to recent developments in natural resource management focused on the ideas of natural capital, ecosystem services and sustainable landscape management and thus a module set firmly with the socio-ecological tradition of human ecology. The module will trace the traditions of this gradual harmonisation of resource management discourse and how it plays out conceptually, empirically and at the interface of environmental science, policy and practice. The module will also set this tradition in a critical frame, drawing back to underlying assumptions about the idea of nature, and the relationship between nature, economy, human development and well-being. It will also have a practical edge by covering issues of environmental citizenship and the ethical, procedural and practical rationales that underpin different forms and levels of engagement in environmental decision making.

View full module details
15

Environmental issues have become central matters of public concern and political contention. In this module we shall consider explanations for the rise and social distribution of environmental concern as well as the forms of organisation that have been adopted to address environmental questions, including the emergence of global environmental issues and the responses to them. The development of environmental protest, environmental movements and Green parties are central concerns, but we shall also consider the ‘greening’ of established political parties and political agenda. Is it realistic to expect the development of a global environmental movement adequate to the task of tackling global environmental problems. The approach is broadly comparative and examples will be taken from Europe (east and west), North America, Australasia and south-east Asia.

View full module details
15

This is a 15 credit course which will enhance your CV, particularly if you are hoping to work in the public or voluntary sector. You will be supported to undertake three placements in a variety of volunteering roles, both on and off campus; attend four lectures on the voluntary sector and complete a reflective learning log to help you think about your experiences and the transferable skills you are gaining.

The following 2 units are compulsory:

Active community volunteering

Project Leadership

Plus 1 unit selected from the following:

Active university volunteering

Training facilitator

Mentoring

Committee role

All students taking this module are expected to attend four sessions that provide the academic framework for understanding volunteering, as well as practitioner knowledge that will be helpful as you progress through your placements, and invaluable preparation for your essay. These sessions last one hour each and are spaced evenly throughout the academic year.

View full module details
15
You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

The module is considered as an important element of Wildlife Conservation undergraduate training. The opportunity to engage in personal research is seen as an essential element of academic training in all disciplines. The particular skills necessary to undertake research, whether practical fieldwork or laboratory work or a desk-based study, can only be taught through the medium of practically orientated investigative tasks. The principle objective in the research project is to assist students in gaining insight into the organisation, analysis and communication of research. The approved investigation may be novel i.e. one that has not previously been carried out, or it may repeat previously executed work for comparative or control purposes.

View full module details
30
Optional modules may include Credits

Human-wildlife conflicts and resource competition imply costs on human social, economic or cultural life and on the ecological, social or cultural life of wildlife concerned, often to the detriment of conservation objectives and socio-economic realities. This module aims to introduce students to the magnitude and multidisciplinary dimensions of human-wildlife conflicts (HWC) and resource competition, and current approaches and challenges in mitigating and preventing HWC. We will explore how theoretical frameworks for approaching HWC are most often confined within disciplinary boundaries and how more holistic approaches can better equip conservationists and other professionals in dealing with the issue. Using a variety of teaching and learning methods, students will learn about issues involved in determining and analysing HWC, and planning, implementing and evaluating conflict mitigation or prevention schemes.

View full module details
15

The driving causes of biodiversity loss are not just ecological, but also political, economic and cultural, and conservationists need to acquire the knowledge and skills to address broader social contexts. This module aims to introduce students to cutting-edge debates about the place of local people in biodiversity conservation, and provide them with an overview of the essential role that the social sciences play in the analysis of environmental issues. Objectives of the module are to provide students with a broad conceptual understanding of the social context of conservation; knowledge of the history of conservation approaches towards local communities; familiarity with key issues in the implementation of community conservation; and a critical approach to analysis of the current conservation-preservation debate.

View full module details
15

Condemned by the international community for refusing to sign the Kyoto Accords, rendered powerless by electricity blackouts, and stricken by the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the United States of America is today embroiled in a narrative of environmental controversy and catastrophe. This module explores to what extent the USA has been ‘inviting doomsday’ throughout the modern (twentieth-century) period. Commencing with an introductory session on writing and researching American environmental history, the module is then split into four sections: Science and Recreation, Doomsday Scenarios, Environmental Protest, and Consuming Nature. Over the twelve weeks we will consider a range of environmental issues that include wildlife management in national parks, pesticide spraying on prairie farms, nuclear testing in Nevada, and Mickey Mouse rides in Disneyland. By the end of the module, we will have constructed a comprehensive map of the United States based around themes of ecological transformation, assimilation and decay.

View full module details
30

Creative Conservation will engage students with a range of ways of thinking critically about conservation issues and their communication whilst developing their own creative practice and skills portfolio. The approach will seek to take a truly interdisciplinary approach, exploring these issues form a range of disciplinary perspectives and seeking syntheses and new imaginings in addressing them. Topics of focus may include:

* History of place and the relationship with nature – esp. East Kent and the Blean

* Photography - and the use of the still image

* Video - as representation and a research tool

* Art and Conservation - craftwork, eco-regional design and natural resource utilisation

* The Wildlife Documentary - a critical deconstruction and analysis

* Campaigning for Conservation

* Conservation and Agriculture

* Performance Ethnography - a theoretical framework for action research in conservation

View full module details
15

This is a 15 credit course which will enhance your CV, particularly if you are hoping to work in the public or voluntary sector. You will be supported to undertake three placements in a variety of volunteering roles, both on and off campus; attend four lectures on the voluntary sector and complete a reflective learning log to help you think about your experiences and the transferable skills you are gaining.

The following 2 units are compulsory:

Active community volunteering

Project Leadership

Plus 1 unit selected from the following:

Active university volunteering

Training facilitator

Mentoring

Committee role

All students taking this module are expected to attend four sessions that provide the academic framework for understanding volunteering, as well as practitioner knowledge that will be helpful as you progress through your placements, and invaluable preparation for your essay. These sessions last one hour each and are spaced evenly throughout the academic year.

View full module details
15

Environmental issues have become central matters of public concern and political contention. In this module we shall consider explanations for the rise and social distribution of environmental concern as well as the forms of organisation that have been adopted to address environmental questions, including the emergence of global environmental issues and the responses to them. The development of environmental protest, environmental movements and Green parties are central concerns, but we shall also consider the ‘greening’ of established political parties and political agenda. Is it realistic to expect the development of a global environmental movement adequate to the task of tackling global environmental problems. The approach is broadly comparative and examples will be taken from Europe (east and west), North America, Australasia and south-east Asia.

View full module details
15

The aim of this module is to introduce students to recent developments in natural resource management focused on the ideas of natural capital, ecosystem services and sustainable landscape management and thus a module set firmly with the socio-ecological tradition of human ecology. The module will trace the traditions of this gradual harmonisation of resource management discourse and how it plays out conceptually, empirically and at the interface of environmental science, policy and practice. The module will also set this tradition in a critical frame, drawing back to underlying assumptions about the idea of nature, and the relationship between nature, economy, human development and well-being. It will also have a practical edge by covering issues of environmental citizenship and the ethical, procedural and practical rationales that underpin different forms and levels of engagement in environmental decision making.

View full module details
15

This module seeks to engage directly with the central provocation of the Anthropocene: that the speed, scope and scale of human industrial activities are having unparalleled, unintended and poorly understood impacts on the earth as a system, thus contributing to and significantly expanding the scale and risks associated with the crisis of modernity and its multiple dimensions: environmental, social, political, and cultural. In response to this crisis, and especially in light of the fact that human activities are so profoundly entangled with biological, ecological, geographical and geological process, a number of academic disciplines are reconsidering many of their core categories, boundaries and approaches. The Anthropocene constitutes an important, novel and challenging problem and a unique case study to attempt a more careful and effective integration of the different intellectual traditions and methods as exemplified in SAC: social and biological anthropology, human ecology and conservation. Some of the main areas covered in the module include: 1) A review of the key problems and issues signalled by the Anthropocene, including the evidence and the debates and areas of disagreement 2) The Anthropocene in relation to earth system science and the planetary, with a particular emphasis in the relationship between the history of the earth, the history of life and the history of humans 3) Some of implications of the incoming period of heightened risk, uncertainty and cascading crises 4) To consider the consequences of the changes and challenges signalled by the Anthropocene upon core categories and assumptions underlying the humanities and sciences, with particular attention to such key binaries as human-nature, living-non-living, and technology-biology 5) The need and challenge of simultaneously considering multiple and apparently incommensurable scales, both in time and space 6) The Anthropocene dilemma: humans as agents or victims? 7) Considering some of the challenges the Anthropocene raises for the practice of science, politics, law, governance, etc. 8) What do these problems, questions and debates mean in terms of our own individual and collective futures, both professionally and personally?

View full module details
15

The overall objective of the module is to provide an exposition of Environmental Law which seeks to assess the functioning of the law alongside the environmental problems that it seeks to address. Many of these problems admit scientific, economic and administrative responses as readily as legal ones. However, the underlying premise is that, alongside other disciplines, law has an essential part to play in the protection of the environment. Within law, various strategies that may be applied to environmental problems have different strengths and weaknesses. In each case the options must be reviewed and it must be asked, which is the most appropriate legal approach to a particular kind of environmental problem?

To some extent this eclectic perspective spans traditional legal boundaries emphasising features which may be overlooked in customary treatments of subjects such as criminal law, tort, administrative law and European Union law, but it is a subject which has a distinctive identity determined by the specific problems that the law seeks to address. Environmental Law seeks to examine and assess laws, of widely different kinds, from a uniquely environmental perspective. Taking the broadest possible view, it must be asked what legal mechanism is best used to restrict emissions causing deterioration in the quality of the three environmental media of water, air and land and how the law can provide appropriate redress for environmental harm.

Environmental Law I is broadly concerned with environmental quality law, particularly the different ways in which environmentally damaging activities are addressed through legal mechanisms. The module commences with a discussion of foundational issues concerning basic concepts in Environmental Law and the range of legal approaches that are adopted in national, European Union and international law. Thereafter, the main focus is on the protection of the environmental media of water, land and air to prevent pollution and to secure environmental quality objectives. The module concludes by examining some cross-cutting issues, such as enforcement, information access, participation and alternative strategies for environmental protection.

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The overall objective of the module is to provide an exposition of Environmental Law which seeks to assess the functioning of the law alongside the environmental problems that it seeks to address. Many of these problems admit scientific, economic and administrative solutions as readily as legal ones. However, the underlying premise is that, alongside other disciplines, law has an essential part to play in the protection of the environment. Within law, various strategies that may be applied to environmental problems have different strengths and weaknesses. In each case the options must be reviewed and it must be asked, which is the most appropriate legal approach to a particular kind of environmental problem?

To some extent this eclectic perspective spans traditional legal boundaries emphasising features which may be overlooked in customary treatments of subjects such as criminal law, tort, administrative law and European Union law but it is a subject which has a distinctive identity determined by the specific problems that the law is designed to address. Environmental Law seeks to examine and assess laws, of widely different kinds, from a uniquely environmental perspective. Taking a broad view, it must be asked what legal mechanisms are best used to restrict environmentally damaging land use and development, and how may the law be used most effectively to conserve wild fauna and flora and the habitats upon which they depend?

Environmental Law II (LW586) is intended to complement Environmental Law I. Whilst Environmental Law I is primarily concerned with protection of the quality of the environmental media of water, air and land, Environmental Law II is concerned with the environmental land use controls and specific mechanisms for conservation of species and habitats (ecological quality law).

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You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage

Teaching and assessment

In our most recent national Teaching Excellence Framework, teaching at Kent was judged to be Gold rated. Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Our teaching is research-led as all our staff are active in their fields. In addition to lectures and seminars, we run laboratory-based practicals and field trips. You also have an opportunity to conduct a field-based research thesis in your final year. This gives you practical experience of developing a research proposal and research questions, finding appropriate methods, conducting research, analysing and interpreting results, writing up a full research project and giving an oral presentation, all with the support of a dedicated project supervisor.

We offer you the opportunity to conduct your research project either in the UK or abroad. The type of approach may differ depending on the student’s preferred discipline. For most, it will mean using advanced methods to explore literature and other documents and, in some cases, there may also be opportunities for field research using the skills taught during the course. Some students use this opportunity to take part in our annual expedition to the Peruvian Amazon, one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth.

Most modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and unseen exam. Some modules are assessed only by coursework, which takes a variety of forms, including essays, short answer tests, presentations, advocacy, individual and team projects, and research reports.

Contact Hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide flexibility and a multidiscipline approach to environmental sustainability
  • provide teaching informed by research and scholarship in environmental sustainability
  • meet the lifelong needs of a diversity of students
  • support national and regional economic success
  • build on close ties within Europe and elsewhere, reflecting Kent’s position as the UK European University
  • produce students capable of contributing positively to global environmental sustainability
  • produce graduates of value to the region and nationally, in possession of key knowledge and skills, with the capacity to learn
  • prepare students for employment or further study in the field of environmental sustainability
  • provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable experiences, involve realistic workloads, based within a research-led framework and offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds
  • provide high quality teaching in supportive environments with appropriately qualified and trained staff.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the changing meaning of ‘environment’ and 'sustainability'
  • the role of international and EC treaties, agreements and laws, and national laws and regulations affecting the environment
  • the role of market forces and state action in the production of environmental sustainability
  • the process by which environmental policy is made at all levels and the role of pressure groups
  • the typical conflicts that occur over environmental issues
  • the options available to households, companies and local governments when faced with unsatisfactory environments
  • the role of local governments and national regulatory agencies in shaping local environments
  • the scope for consumers and citizens to exert pressure to enhance environmental quality
  • biodiversity and environmental processes

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • problem-solving and the knowledge to seek solutions to environmental problems and individual needs
  • research skills, including the ability to identify a research question and to collect and manipulate data to answer that question
  • evaluative and analytical skills to assess the outcomes of policy intervention on individuals, communities and places
  • sensitivity to the values and interests of others and to the dimensions of difference.

Subject-specific skills

You gain specific skills in the following:

  • to identify and use theories and concepts to analyse environmental issues
  • to seek out and use statistical data relevant to environmental issues

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • the ability to study and learn independently using library and internet sources
  • develop an appetite for learning and be reflective, adaptive and collaborative in your approach to learning
  • make presentations to fellow students and staff
  • communicate ideas and arguments to others in written and spoken form
  • prepare essays and reference the material quoted according to scholarly conventions
  • use IT to wordprocess, conduct online searches, communicate and access data sources
  • develop skills in time management by delivering academic work on time and to the required standard
  • develop interpersonal and teamwork skills to enable you to work collaboratively, negotiate, listen and deliver results.

Careers

The conservation and environmental sector is an expanding area for employment opportunities.  Potential employers include local, regional and national UK government departments, voluntary organisations and the private sector, as well as international conservation and environmental organisations. Many students also go on to pursue postgraduate studies.

Graduate destinations  

Our recent graduates have found work in:

  • ecological surveying
  • habitat management
  • species conservation
  • environmental education
  • conservation planning 
  • conservation policy
  • international consultancy
  • community-based conservation projects

Help finding a job

The School offers an employability programme aimed at helping you develop the skills you'll need to look for a job.  This includes workshops, mentoring and an online blog featuring tips, advice from employers, job adverts, internship information and volunteering opportunities.

The University’s friendly Careers and Employability Service offers advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

As a conservation student, you develop expertise in understanding and managing wildlife and biodiversity in a sustainable way. You'll gain skills in gathering and collecting information, analysing data, exploring and communicating challenging ideas. Alongside such specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:

  • think critically 
  • communicate your ideas and opinions 
  • work independently and as part of a team.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

The lecturers were very passionate about their subject, which made studying here really enjoyable.

Emma Heydon Environmental Studies

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

BBB

GCSE

Mathematics Grade C / 4

Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 overall or 16 at HL, including Mathematics 4 at HL or SL

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £15700
Part-time £4625 £7850

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

Field trips

One day trips that are compulsory to a module are financially funded by the School. Optional or longer trips may require support funding from attendees.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Full-time

Part-time

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.