Introduction to Global Sustainability Challenges

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
09 February 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC C520 Ecology and Environmental Biology,
BSC C521 Ecology and Environmental Biology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C522 Ecology and Environmental Biology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C523 Ecology and Environmental Biology (Including Placement Year),
BSC C161 Marine Biology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C164 Marine Biology,
BSC CC60 Marine Biology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC CC64 Marine Biology (Including Placement Year),
BSC C510 Global Sustainability,
BSC C511 Global Sustainability (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C512 Global Sustainability (including Year Abroad),
BSC C513 Global Sustainability (including Placement Year),
BA C900 Global Studies with Sustainability,
BA C901 Global Studies with Sustainability (Including Foundation Year),
BA C902 Global Studies with Sustainability (including Placement Year),
BA C903 Global Studies with Sustainability (including Year Abroad),
BA V5L5 Philosophy, Ethics and Sustainability,
BA V5L6 Philosophy, Ethics and Sustainability (Including Foundation Year),
BA V5L7 Philosophy, Ethics and Sustainability (Including Placement Year),
BA V5L8 Philosophy, Ethics and Sustainability (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

This module will introduce students to the major themes of sustainability along with the most recent developments. Topics include environmental sustainability issues like water, food, and energy; social sustainability themes like environmental justice and transportation; and economic sustainability topics like green businesses and economic development as well as sustainability issues in Universities. We will use case studies to explore examples and understand the issues and future of sustainability.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the main themes of sustainability and to be able to explain examples and case studies for the future of sustainability.

Module learning outcomes

1. Knowledge and understanding of the roots of the modern sustainability movement
2. Understand and evaluate natural systems and how to measure sustainability
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the major themes of sustainability
4. Ability to evaluate and interpret sustainability issues related to food, water, energy, pollution and climate change
5. Knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles associated with environmental justice issues around the world

Module information

1. Roots of the Modern Sustainability Movement (LJH)
2. Measuring Sustainability (LJH)
3. Energy (LJH)
4. Climate Change (EOG)
5. Water (TC)
6. Food and Agriculture (TL/AC)
7. Green Building & Transportation
8. Pollution and Waste (CW)
9. Environmental Justice (JH)
10. Sustainability Planning and Governance (ECC/CC)

Learning and teaching methods

This module promotes inclusivity and diversity in its delivery in line with the University’s expectations. Different learning styles are catered for through the approaches to teaching by including hands on practical experiences, the use of visuals and audio input. Learning and teaching methods will include lectures, group work and workshop style additional sessions associated with them. These will be case study workshops and some will involve student-led role play, These have been developed to ensure employability related skills are incorporated and will include industry partner facilitation.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Literature Review    100% 
Exam  MCQ exam: In-Person, Closed Book, 50 minutes during January 
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 60 minutes during January 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 60 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 
Exam  Reassessment MCQ exam: In-Person, Closed Book, 50 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
33% 67%


Coursework Exam
33% 67%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Leanne Hepburn, email:
Dr Eoin O'Gorman, Dr Nick Aldred, Dr Amanda Cavanagh, Prof Corinne Whitby



External examiner

Prof Edgar Turner
University of Cambridge
Professor of Insect Ecology
Available via Moodle
Of 28 hours, 26 (92.9%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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