AESC10010 Land Use and the Environment

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module will provide an overview of key environmental challenges and explore the potential impacts of these on human populations over coming decades e.g. climate change, degradation of soil and water resources and loss of biodiversity. The evolution of the farmed landscape will be explored and the impacts of modern agricultural systems discussed. The role of biodiversity in terms of facilitating ecosystem services that underpin agricultural production systems will be explored. Key policy and legislative initiatives that impact on agricultural production systems and the agri-environment will be outlined and suggestions regarding changes that need to be made to facilitate sustainable food production systems will be presented.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:
1) Demonstrate an awareness of key global environmental issues and the factors that are giving rise to these.
2) Understand the main ways in which agricultural production systems have changed over time, particularly over the last 60 years.
3) Appreciate the potential implications of global human population growth on natural resources.
4) Understand the importance of biodiversity in agricultural production systems.
5) Demonstrate an awareness of key policy and legislative initiatives that impact on European agricultural production systems.

Indicative Module Content:

Key areas this module will focus on are:
Climate change
Biodiversity loss
Ecosystem service provision
Quantity and quality of water resources
Soil degradation
Growing human population
Land use

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module will be delivered through a series of lectures. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Multiple Choice Questionnaire: Multiple choice class test (mid semester). Week 6 n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: FINAL EXAM. Multiple choice. 1 hour End of Trimester Exam No Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Assoc Professor Barry John McMahon Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Paul Murphy Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: Weeks 2-12 Thurs 10:00 - 10:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: Weeks 2-12 Tues 10:00 - 10:50