Environmental Systems & Societies


This course is designed to combine the methodology, techniques and knowledge associated with group 4 (sciences) with those associated with group 3 (individuals and societies). As an interdisciplinary course, students can study ESS and have it count as either a group 3 or a group 4 subject, or as both. If students choose the latter option, this leaves the opportunity to study an additional subject from any other group, including an additional group 3 or group 4 subject.

Course objectives

The aims of the ESS course are to enable students to:

  1. acquire the knowledge and understandings of environmental systems at a variety of scales
  2. apply the knowledge, methodologies and skills to analyse environmental systems and issues at a variety of scales
  3. appreciate the dynamic interconnectedness between environmental systems and societies
  4. value the combination of personal, local and global perspectives in making informed decisions and taking responsible actions on environmental issues
  5. be critically aware that resources are finite, and that these could be inequitably distributed and exploited, and that management of these inequities is the key to sustainability
  6. develop awareness of the diversity of environmental value systems
  7. develop critical awareness that environmental problems are caused and solved by decisions made by individuals and societies that are based on different areas of knowledge
  8. engage with the controversies that surround a variety of environmental issues
  9. create innovative solutions to environmental issues by engaging actively in local and global contexts