Environmental Science

Environmental Social Sciences - BA (Hons)

UCAS code L9D4

CLEARING 2017

Planning to start this September? We may still have full-time vacancies available for this course. View 2017 course details.
2018

Our Environmental Social Sciences degree focuses on the environment from the perspective of the social sciences and humanities.  

Overview

You are encouraged to engage with a variety of environmental understandings from a range of subjects, including: 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.

In addition to compulsory modules covering social science approaches to environmental issues and environmental politics, policy and practice, you can also choose modules covering biodiversity and ecological sciences, the foundations of human culture, creative conservation and environmental law. You can also develop practical skills (for example biodiversity monitoring in Borneo) and can choose to do an independent research project on a subject largely of your choice in the UK or overseas.

Think Kent video series

In this talk, Dr Robert Fish from Kent explains how the field of human ecology seeks to promote understanding of nature and the life-giving, life-saving and life-affirming role it plays in people’s lives.

Independent rankings

In the National Student Survey 2016, the related subject of Anthropology at Kent was ranked 7th for overall satisfaction.

Anthropology and Conservation students who graduated from Kent in 2015 were the most successful in the UK at finding work or further study opportunities (DLHE).

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 ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Modules may include Credits

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

This module is designed to introduce students to the range of basic practical and technical skills required across the School's BA and BSc programmes. The following areas will be covered:

Literary skills - different types of academic writing, and when and how to use them.

Reading skills - how to read an academic paper, how to precis an argument, how to make notes on a book chapter.

Bibliographical skills - how to construct a bibliography and the use of the library, online databases and full-text journals.

Correct referencing and the use of Endnote/Refworks.

Data collection and handling - the use of spreadsheets for simple statistics and graphs.

Planning projects and fieldwork.

The use of appropriate specialist software.

Photography and video skills.

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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. We go on to examine how ideas of human-environment relations play out across different geographical and land use contexts, 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. More generally, the module aims to introduce students to basic conceptual distinctions that cut across these relationships, including ideas of ‘local and global’, ‘culture and nature’, and ‘representation and materiality’

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15

This field based module explores how to interpret and assess the sustainability of land use systems. It involves local field investigations into different types and scales of system and the way these are valued and managed according to different, often competing, economic, social and environmental priorities for land. The local field investigations span key different contexts for learning. Contexts and emphasises will vary over each year according to teaching staff but may include:

• Land-use systems at the landscape scale –such as the management of protected areas designated for their biodiversity and cultural value.

• Exploring and managing woodland environments– including the culture and practice of woodland management.

• Farming and agricultural change –spanning the environmental and economic dimensions of changes in farming systems and wider supply chain

• Urban ecosystems and landscapes – including a focus on the role of green infrastructure for linking people to the natural world

• Touristic and leisure landscapes – linking sustainable landscapes to a major sector for economic regeneration and growth

The module will include four day-long field trips to local (kent-based) sites over the course of the term and contextualised through supporting lectures and group exercises. The trips will be timetabled to avoid clashes with existing student commitments (and may include attendance at weekend and during reading weeks). The module will provide practical learning to complement theoretical issues explored across anthropology and conservation programmes. The emphasis throughout will therefore be on learning from the experience of people and organisations directly engaged in creating, cultivating and managing land for different kinds of human benefit.

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15

This course provides grounding in the basic history and assumptions of sociological thinking and research, and how they apply to key aspects of our society. Topics are less from everyday experience than in the Sociology of Everyday Life course, focusing on more abstract topics such as the state and globalization. Students will also be encouraged to consider competing perspectives on these topics and how they might be assessed. There will be a lecture and seminar each week and students will be encouraged to engage in informed discussion and debate.

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15

This module has been designed for students who need to study what is often described as a Principles of Economics course. Each economics 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 concepts to the real world. 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 the economy and how policy has been used to intervene in the working of the economy.

This module aims to introduce you to the basic principles of Economics, to the main ways in which economists think about problems and to the important current economic issues in the United Kingdom, the European Union and the world economy. The module is self-contained, so that if you do not study Economics further, you should have a basic understanding of economic methods and debates. It is also suitable as a basis for further modules that you may take 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

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

The module will begin with the question of what defines a plant and how they related to the other kingdoms. This will then lead on to a journey from the plant cell to vegetation communities and how they interact with, and are import to, other groups of organisms. The module will then finish with a discussion surrounding the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (from the Convention on Biological Diversity) and the targets within this document

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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, the Easter Vacation, plus the Summer 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.. invertebrates, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, plants, etc.) in either a terrestrial or freshwater habitat. Students will be expected to arrive at an appropriate design for data collection in discussion with their supervisor, carry out the survey, analyse the data and present a short seminar on their results at the end of the week.

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15

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
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Stage 2

Modules may 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

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 will be chosen from amongst:

• 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

• Conservation, Religion and Culture

• Campaigning for Conservation

• Conservation and Agriculture

• Literature and Storytelling

• Conservation and Cuisine - benefit or burden to the conservation mission?

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

In each case the theoretical, as well as the applied practical aspects of the topic will form a core component of the learning and teaching.

Read more
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.

Read more
30

Environmental Law I involves lectures covering the following topics:

• Introduction: basic concepts in Environmental Law

• Public health origins and statutory nuisances

• Regulatory approaches at national, European Community and international levels

• The legal protection of the aquatic environment

• Waste management and the legal protection of land quality

• The legal protection of air quality

• The integration of pollution control

• Enforcement at national and European Community levels

• Alternative approaches to environmental protection

Read more
15

This is an introduction to environmental anthropology, and a critical exploration of theories concerning the relationship between culture, social organisation and ecology. The topics covered will include problems in defining nature and environment, environmental determinism and cultural ecology, biological models and the concept of system, ethnoecology, the description of subsistence, the concept of cultural adaptation, the ecology of hunting and gathering peoples, low intensity agriculture, intensification, environment, culture and development, and the anthropology of the environmental movement.

Read more
15

Environmental Law II involves lectures covering the following topics:

• Civil law and the protection of the environment

• Environmental human rights

• Planning law and land use

• Environmental impact assessment

• The legal status of flora and fauna

• Conservation Law in national, EC and international law

• The protection of species

• The protection of habitats

• The interface between planning and conservation

Read more
15

The aim of the module is to cover major overarching and current issues, such as understanding biodiversity in the fossil record, extinction rates and how they are calculated, and how many species are there and why it matters. By looking at these "bigger picture" issues conceptual thinking will be brought in; for example how using basic biological knowledge, we can estimate the number of species on Earth. In addition, there will be guest lectures, and discussion of current global issues that are making the press such as the results of major international conferences; past examples included the outcomes of the Copenhagen conference on climate change and the concept of 'Planetary Boundaries'.

Read more
15

This course is designed to introduce and re-affirm statistical concepts, and their correct use and relevance to field biologists. Introductory topics will include measures of central tendency, frequency distributions, the normal distribution, standard errors, and how sample parameters, and null hypotheses apply in real biological situations. Further topics will include one- and two-tailed tests, chi-squared test, regression analysis, and analysis of variance. The role of probability in field biology will be considered, and its application to biological questions. Throughout this taught course, emphasis will be placed on practical application of statistics as much as possible, and when and how they are applied. Since there is both a theoretical and practical component to this course, students should aim to link the theory presented in lectures with the practical sessions and field trip parts of the course. The field trips will be towards the end of the course, by which time students will have been exposed to sufficient statistical methods, and be ready to apply it. By the end of the module, students should have a knowledge of the underlying principles of biological statistics, be able to evaluate from a theoretical stand-point and in practise, statistical results, and have a sound appreciation of the benefits and limitations of different statistical techniques and their application to field biology.

The role of this module has been to provide students with the statistical knowledge to conduct their data analysis for their research project, and to reinforce the appreciation and knowledge of statistical methods within a biological framework. It is often the case that students in the second and third years of their degree are able to execute statistical analysis via computer programmes, but lack an appreciation of what the statistical results actually mean, and the ability to correctly interpret them in the context of their research. This module is designed to address these issues through a combination of lectures on statistical topics within a biological framework, and practical tasks and exercises.

Read more
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, and particularly of the importance of politics and economics; 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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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 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) introduction to the Anthropocene- approaching the Earth as a system 2) The stratigraphy of industrial development and debates about the onset of the Anthropocene 3) Rethinking the nature-culture divide 4) The Anthropocene dilemma: humans as agents or victims? 5) Thinking the planet: challenges for science and governance.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
15

The course discusses the main approaches which have developed in urban sociology through an exploration of some of the major themes. These themes include urbanisation under capitalism, planning, post-industrialism, globalisation, social differentiation, multiculturalism, protest and social movements, and comparative urbanism (Asian and African contexts). Approaches considered within these will include Marx, Weber, the Chicago School, the Manchester school, and post-modernism.

Read more
15
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Stage 3

Modules may 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.

Read more
30

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.

Read more
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, and particularly of the importance of politics and economics; 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.

Read more
15

This course is designed to introduce and re-affirm statistical concepts, and their correct use and relevance to field biologists. Introductory topics will include measures of central tendency, frequency distributions, the normal distribution, standard errors, and how sample parameters, and null hypotheses apply in real biological situations. Further topics will include one- and two-tailed tests, chi-squared test, regression analysis, and analysis of variance. The role of probability in field biology will be considered, and its application to biological questions. Throughout this taught course, emphasis will be placed on practical application of statistics as much as possible, and when and how they are applied. Since there is both a theoretical and practical component to this course, students should aim to link the theory presented in lectures with the practical sessions and field trip parts of the course. The field trips will be towards the end of the course, by which time students will have been exposed to sufficient statistical methods, and be ready to apply it. By the end of the module, students should have a knowledge of the underlying principles of biological statistics, be able to evaluate from a theoretical stand-point and in practise, statistical results, and have a sound appreciation of the benefits and limitations of different statistical techniques and their application to field biology.

The role of this module has been to provide students with the statistical knowledge to conduct their data analysis for their research project, and to reinforce the appreciation and knowledge of statistical methods within a biological framework. It is often the case that students in the second and third years of their degree are able to execute statistical analysis via computer programmes, but lack an appreciation of what the statistical results actually mean, and the ability to correctly interpret them in the context of their research. This module is designed to address these issues through a combination of lectures on statistical topics within a biological framework, and practical tasks and exercises.

Read more
15

The aim of the module is to cover major overarching and current issues, such as understanding biodiversity in the fossil record, extinction rates and how they are calculated, and how many species are there and why it matters. By looking at these "bigger picture" issues conceptual thinking will be brought in; for example how using basic biological knowledge, we can estimate the number of species on Earth. In addition, there will be guest lectures, and discussion of current global issues that are making the press such as the results of major international conferences; past examples included the outcomes of the Copenhagen conference on climate change and the concept of 'Planetary Boundaries'.

Read more
15

Environmental Law II involves lectures covering the following topics:

• Civil law and the protection of the environment

• Environmental human rights

• Planning law and land use

• Environmental impact assessment

• The legal status of flora and fauna

• Conservation Law in national, EC and international law

• The protection of species

• The protection of habitats

• The interface between planning and conservation

Read more
15

This is an introduction to environmental anthropology, and a critical exploration of theories concerning the relationship between culture, social organisation and ecology. The topics covered will include problems in defining nature and environment, environmental determinism and cultural ecology, biological models and the concept of system, ethnoecology, the description of subsistence, the concept of cultural adaptation, the ecology of hunting and gathering peoples, low intensity agriculture, intensification, environment, culture and development, and the anthropology of the environmental movement.

Read more
15

Environmental Law I involves lectures covering the following topics:

• Introduction: basic concepts in Environmental Law

• Public health origins and statutory nuisances

• Regulatory approaches at national, European Community and international levels

• The legal protection of the aquatic environment

• Waste management and the legal protection of land quality

• The legal protection of air quality

• The integration of pollution control

• Enforcement at national and European Community levels

• Alternative approaches to environmental protection

Read more
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.

Read more
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 will be chosen from amongst:

• 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

• Conservation, Religion and Culture

• Campaigning for Conservation

• Conservation and Agriculture

• Literature and Storytelling

• Conservation and Cuisine - benefit or burden to the conservation mission?

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

In each case the theoretical, as well as the applied practical aspects of the topic will form a core component of the learning and teaching.

Read more
15

The course discusses the main approaches which have developed in urban sociology through an exploration of some of the major themes. These themes include urbanisation under capitalism, planning, post-industrialism, globalisation, social differentiation, multiculturalism, protest and social movements, and comparative urbanism (Asian and African contexts). Approaches considered within these will include Marx, Weber, the Chicago School, the Manchester school, and post-modernism.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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 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) introduction to the Anthropocene- approaching the Earth as a system 2) The stratigraphy of industrial development and debates about the onset of the Anthropocene 3) Rethinking the nature-culture divide 4) The Anthropocene dilemma: humans as agents or victims? 5) Thinking the planet: challenges for science and governance.

Read more
15
You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage

Teaching and assessment

Teaching is through a combination of lectures, seminars, field trips and laboratory-based practicals. There is also an opportunity to conduct a special research project in your final year. This gives you the opportunity to use a range of research methods in a variety of contexts to explore key environmental issues and participate in the advancement of knowledge. 

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.

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.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • produce competent and flexible social scientists with an understanding of the social, economic and political processes affecting the environment
  • to equip students with the skills, knowledge and abilities needed to contribute to understanding processes affecting the environment, whether or not they are currently labelled as ‘environmental problems’
  • to help students to understand the role of theories and values in research on processes affecting the environment.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the changing meaning of ‘environment’
  • 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 the environment
  • the process by which environmental policy is made at all levels and the role of pressure groups
  • why some issues are defined as environmental, while others (often equally serious) are not
  • the main concepts and theories used in understanding environmental problems
  • how and why some places have more attractive environments and others less
  • 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 citizen action to exert pressure for tougher action on the environment
  • the rise in environmental consciousness and its main types.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • problem-solving and the knowledge to seek solutions to urban 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
  • to undertake an investigation of an empirical issue, either alone or in a group.

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. This programme aims to secure graduates with employment in high-level policy and practice positions, as well as more technical posts involving habitat management and species conservation, working with local people. 

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 also go on to postgraduate 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

ABB

GCSE

Mathematics Grade C

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.

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 2018/19 regulated UK/EU tuition fees have not yet been set. The University intends to set fees at the maximum permitted level for new and returning UK/EU students. Please see further information below.

As a guide only the 2017/18 full-time UK/EU tuition fees for this programme are £9,250 unless otherwise stated: 

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time TBC £15200
Part-time TBC £7600

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.

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. 

For 2018/19 entry, 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.

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.