ENVB40310 Peatlands and Environmental Change

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module should provide students with a comprehensive summary of peatland science.
Human activities, climatic variability as well as other natural processes shape peatlands which are dynamic ecosystems, constantly evolving. From microbial diversity to entire landscape, students will develop an understanding of peatlands, especially Irish ones, but also of those around the world, including Indonesia, Africa and South America.
This module bringing together knowledge from science, policy and practice to highlight and debate the importance of peatlands from an ecological, social and economic perspective.
Topics include:
• Natural history, biology and ecology of peatlands
• Distribution and classification of peat soils
• Peatlands and climate
• Utilization and management of peatlands
• Peatlands and people
• Current research in peatland science

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students will be able to:
- recognise peatland types and understand their natural history (their origin and development and how they got to their current status);
- understand processes within these ecosystems (ecology, hydrology and peat accumulation);
- understand peatland-environment feedback, especially with regards to global climate;
- recognise the different ecosystem services they provide and appraise the consequence of these values in different countries around the world;
- evaluate resource management options.

Indicative Module Content:

Peatland biology, ecology, history, sustainability

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures based on many examples and using latest literature and on-going project data with videos and bringing the bog into the classroom. Independent research on a topic presented during a seminar with discussion.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:


Learning Exclusions:


Learning Recommendations:


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Essay: Critical essay on a given topic Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Presentation: Presentation during seminar on a topic of their choice Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded 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

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback provided through discussion during the seminar as well as individually post-assessment.