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The University of Southampton

ENVS1006 Environmental Science: Research and Applications

Module Overview

Environmental Scientists need to be able to collect and analyse data relating to a wide range of disciplines, and to be able to interpret this data in relation to “real world” applications. This module introduces you to science in context, with the content cutting across and linking with other part 1 provision, particularly ENVS1005 (reinforcement of quantitative and analytical methods) and ENVS1007 (training in field, practical and research techniques). ENVS1006 consists of a series of topic specific units, each of which begins with a problem or question (e.g. highlighting the societal need or concern) and then trains you to collect data in order to address that question.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The need for both a multi-disciplinary and an interdisciplinary approach in advancing knowledge and understanding of Earth systems, drawing, as appropriate, from the natural and the social sciences
  • The processes which shape the natural world at different temporal and spatial scales and their influence on and by human activities
  • The terminology, nomenclature and classification systems used in environmental science
  • Methods of acquiring, interpreting and analysing environmental science information with a critical understanding of the appropriate contexts for their use
  • Issues concerning the availability and sustainability of resources, for example, the different value sets relating to the Earth's resources as commodities and/or heritage
  • The contribution of environmental science to debate on environmental issues and how knowledge of these forms the basis for informed concern about the Earth and its people
  • The contribution of environmental science to the development of knowledge of the world we live in
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Recognising and using subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles
  • Analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, including prior research
  • Collecting and integrating several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to complex and multidimensional problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts
  • Recognising the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for professional codes of conduct
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (e.g. textual, numerical, verbal, graphical)
  • Communicating appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical forms
  • Appreciating issues of sample selection, accuracy, precision and uncertainty during collection, recording and analysis of data in the field and laboratory
  • Preparing, processing, interpreting and presenting data, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques and packages including geographic information systems
  • Solving numerical problems using computer and non-computer-based techniques
  • Using the internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information
  • Developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (e.g. working independently, time management and organisation skills)
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Planning, conducting, and reporting on environmental investigations, including the use of secondary data
  • Collecting, recording and analysing data using appropriate techniques in the field and laboratory
  • Undertaking field and laboratory investigations in a responsible and safe manner, paying due attention to risk assessment, rights of access, relevant health and safety regulations, and sensitivity to the impact of investigations on the environment and stakeholders
  • Referencing work in an appropriate manner


The units may cover, but are not limited to, topics such as: - Intertidal ecosystems - Freshwater ecosystems - Social science surveys - Remote sensing - Biological indicators You will also learn the requirements for safe and ethical working, and have the opportunity to develop a research project idea.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module uses a wide range of teaching and learning methods, which vary from unit to unit. Each unit will include a session to provide the scientific context to the problem being studied and then either a field or laboratory session to collect and analyse data. Some units also include computer practical sessions in order to process and analyse data, whilst other units include workshop sessions to discuss findings and evaluate the field methods.

Wider reading or practice5
Practical classes and workshops12
Completion of assessment task8
Supervised time in studio/workshop8
Follow-up work36
Preparation for scheduled sessions9
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework portfolio 60%
Take-away exam 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules


To study this module, you will need to also study the following module(s):

ENVS1004Environmental Science: Concepts and Communication
ENVS1005Quantitative Methods


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

You will need to provide and wear your own suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source and costs will vary depending on your preference. You will be expected to purchase your own lunch and any additional refreshments. (clothing)

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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