Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Earth Sciences


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • GEOL2171 Isotopes and Climate OR A level Chemistry or higher qualification.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To understand the behaviour of pollutants in the environment.


  • Introduction to Pollution.
  • How common pollutants move through the environment.
  • Water chemistry.
  • Pollution science and remediation.
  • Waste and water management.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • To explain the processes controlling pollutant movement in the environment.
  • To apply principles to range of common pollutant problems.
  • and develop thinking on methods for tackling and remediation of environmental problems.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills to synthesise information/data from a variety of sources.
Key Skills:
  • Critical analysis
  • Research capability
  • Engage with professional world
  • Scholarship
  • Practical competency
  • Independent learning
  • Numeracy
  • IT skills
  • Information skills
  • Literacy
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Time management
  • Continuing personal development
  • Commercial awareness
  • Environmental awareness

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is delivered through a mix of flexible three-hour sessions comprising a mix of lecture and two-hour practical slots, plus site visits and project work supported by handouts, directed reading and web-based assignments.
  • The practicals form an important component of the module allowing "hands on" learning and experience.
  • Guidance on preparation, key and exam skills are provided.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 Weekly 1 Hour 20
Practicals 40
Preparation and Reading 140
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Two-hour unseen written examination 100%
Component: Continual Assessment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Practical report 1 50%
Practical report 2 50%

Formative Assessment:

Example exam questions based on practical exercises.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University