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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

BA (Hons) Environmental Humanities

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBA (Hons) Environmental Humanities Programme codeUFA3EGLEGLCC
Study mode(s)Level 1
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)Cornwall Campus
NQF Level of the Final Award6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

Environmental Humanities is a global interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary field of study, enabling you to discover new and fresh ways of thinking and acting upon urgent environmental, ecological and societal problems. During your degree you will explore the key contribution of humanities methods (in history, literature, anthropology, archaeology, cultural geography for example) to scientific and political understandings of local and global crises and challenges. You will consider the problems and limitations of dealing with these challenges from a single disciplinary perspective and the rich potential of working together and collaboratively across disciplines. You will pursue humanities-led questions on a range of connected issues from climate change, environmental and social injustice, oceanic and aerial pollution, and global resource depletion, and will engage in critical enquiry of the narratives and representations, infrastructures and inequalities that continue to reproduce environmental and societal problems.

Join the BA Environmental Humanities programme at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus in Penryn and learn how and in what ways the Humanities brings critical insights to understanding and solving current and global problems of climate and environmental change. You will benefit from world-class research-led teaching and will join a close-knit community of scholars and students committed to making a difference through actively engaging in the climate and environmental crisis.

The BA in Environmental Humanities offers you a creative, flexible, future-facing and innovative Humanities programme that allows you to explore climate and environmental change as urgent local, global and planetary challenges. This programme is unique in the following ways:

  • Our interdisciplinary focus and optionality allow you to follow interests in law, politics, geography and archaeology, for example, alongside literature and history.
  • Our location in Cornwall, at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus, places you among students and staff with expertise in environment and sustainability, giving you opportunities to engage with cutting edge research, teaching and student activism across disciplines.
  • Our commitment to embedding employability within teaching programmes and providing opportunities for you to engage with creative industries and organisations through work placements. We will support you in developing and attaining your future career goals.
  • Our focus on some of the most urgent global challenges of the twenty-first century and giving you the opportunity to contribute to current global debates and challenge-led solutions.
  • Our practical, interdisciplinary field-course teaching designed to take you outside the lecture and seminar room where you can apply your knowledge and skills to real world problems.

The BA in Environmental Humanities offers a wide-ranging programme of study from different disciplinary perspectives but keeps the critical contribution of the Humanities at its intellectual and methodological core. Lecturers and tutors will help you to gain a range of highly transferable skills whether your interests lie in project management, creative thinking and practice, critical enquiry and strategy, communication and behavioural change, planning and problem solving, heritage, museums and archives within the context of climate and environmental challenges.

Advice and guidance on your programme can be sought from your personal tutor and programme director. All staff offer regular office hours that you can drop into without a prior appointment for this purpose.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

Academic scope

Our BA Environmental Humanities has been designed for those who have a deep interest in the environment but do not wish to pursue a science-based degree. On this exciting and innovative programme, you will focus on pressing current and global challenges from an arts and humanities perspective. You will have the opportunity to contribute to new thinking on the future of humanity and the planet in this time of accelerating climate and environmental change.

Your first year will introduce you to environmental humanities exploring relationships between humans and the non-human world. You will address issues associated with language and narrative, inequality, ethics and justice, crisis and risk, sustainability and resilience, experience and imagination. During your second year, you will explore the contribution of humanities subjects in responding to real-world challenges such as biodiversity loss, energy system change, agriculture and food production, mining and extractivism. You will have opportunities to apply your academic thinking to work in the field. In your final year, you will undertake a dissertation that offers the opportunity to undertake an extended research essay on a topic of your choice. 

Learning and teaching methods

As well as lectures, seminars and tutorials led by internationally respected academics at the forefront of research, you will engage in field-courses, workshops and challenge-focused activities. You will participate in group tasks, discussion groups and independent study. You will engage as active learners in module material including documentary material, film, photography and visual sources, historic documents, journalistic and creative writing and digital sources. You will grow your skills as writers and communicators in preparation for seminars, presentations, fieldwork and workshops. We encourage presentation work and written coursework, because it creates a participatory teaching and learning environment and develops important transferable skills such as good verbal and visual communication, as well as effective interaction with other people. You will also develop a range of professional skills, such as time management and team working, plus valuable critical and analytical skills.

You will be introduced to the broad foundations of environmental thought as well as the methods and practices available to environmental humanities students by engaging with climate and environmental challenges that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. You will engage with students from across the environmental sciences, geology, geography, archaeology, technology, business studies, law, politics and international relations.

Learning environment

You will have on average 2-3 teaching hours per module and will need to allow for up to nine additional hours of private study. You should expect your total workload to average about 40 hours per week during term time. As well as attending lectures and writing essays and assignments, you’ll be expected to make presentations in seminars or tutorials. We encourage your presentation work, because it involves you actively in the teaching and learning process and develops important life skills, such as good verbal and visual communication and effective interaction with other people.

You will have a personal tutor as well as tutors in individual subjects and they will work with you to monitor your progress, as well as offering pastoral support and other help. You will have a chance to make your mark on the programmes through regular student evaluations and participation in the Student-Staff Liaison Committees and student societies.

4. Programme Structure

The BA (Hons) Environmental Humanities is a 3-year full-time programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 6 (as confirmed against the FHEQ). This programme is divided into 3 stages. Each stage is normally equivalent to an academic year.

The programme is divided into units of study called modules which are assigned a number of 'credits'. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.

Interim Awards

With the requisite number of credits a student may qualify for a Certificate of Higher Education or a Diploma of Higher Education.

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the Faculty website: https://intranet.exeter.ac.uk/humanities/studying/undergraduates/modules/

You may take optional modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

You may take elective modules up to 30 credits outside of the programme in any stage of the programme as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

Stage 1


Stage 1: 60 credits of compulsory modules, 60 credits of optional modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
HIC1010 Foundations of Environmental Humanities 15No
HIC1602 Crafts of Research and Writing 15No
HUM1005 Climate Emergency - An Introduction to Environmental Humanities 15No
HIC1305 World History: Science, Environment and Sustainability 15No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
EGLP S1 BA EnvHum opt 2023-4
POC1026 Power, Inequality and Global Justice 15 No
LAW1016C A Legal Foundation for Environmental Protection 15 No
GEO1408B Global Issues in Environmental Science 15 No
GEO1413 The Geography of Cornwall 15 No
GEO1401B Approaches to Geographical Knowledge 15 No
POC1023 Participating in Politics 15 No
BEP1100 Understanding Work and Organisations 15 No
HIC1604 New Approaches to History 15 No
HIC1306 World History: Globalisation 15 No

Stage 2


Stage 2: 30 credits of compulsory modules, 90 credits of optional modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
HIC2030 Environmental Humanities Field Methods: Research and Practice 30No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
EGLP S2 BA EnvHum opt 2023-4
HUC2014 Mapping and the Environmental Imaginary: History, Literature and Politics 15 No
HIC2028 Art and Archaeology in Post-Colonial Nations 15 No
HIC2328 Landscape History: Power and Protest c. 1500 to c.1800 15 No
HIC2315 Past Actions, Present Woes: History and Anthropogenic Climate Change 15 No
POC2114 Green Politics in Theory and Practice 15 No
BEP2150 Ecological Economics 15 No
GEO2454 Waste and Society 15 No
GEO2458 People and Nature 15 No
GEO2456 Social and Cultural Geographies 15 No
GEO2442 The Politics of Climate Change and Energy 15 No
HIC2032 Queer Ecologies 15 No
HIC2033 Black and Indigenous Ecologies 15 No
HIC2007 Apocalyptic Narratives: Disaster Writing 15 No
HIC2034 Iron and Steel and Society 15 No
POC2103 Introduction to Postcolonialism 15 No
POC2108 Political Geographies: Local to Global 15 No
GEO2445 Rural Social Issues 15 No
HIC2009 Ecology and Empire 15 No
HUC2001 Humanities in the Workplace (Penryn) 15 No

Stage 3


Stage 3: 30 credits of compulsory Dissertation, 90 credits of optional modules

a Wholly taught online (mixed cohort with Streatham)

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
HIC3003 Dissertation in Environmental Humanities 30No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
EGLP SF BA EnvHum opt 2023-4
HUC3016 Irish Stories: History, Politics, Literature and Heritage 30 No
HIC3311 Indigenous History, Colonialism and Identity in Western Canada 30 No
HIC3310 Regionalism, Localism, and Ideas of Home in Modern European History 30 No
POC3117 The Politics of Climate Change 15 No
POC3095 Environmental Knowledge Controversies 15 No
POC3103 The Resource Paradox: Blessing or Curse? 15 No
LAW3016C Legal Response to Environmental Destruction 15 No
CSC4011M Living with Environmental Change 15 No
GEO3437B Climate Change and Society 15 No
GEO3467 Human-Animal Interactions 15 No
GEO3458 Marine and Coastal Sustainability 15 No
HIC3316 The Environment and Everyday Life in Modern Britain 30 No
HIC3513 Landscape, History and Heritage in Britain Since the Sixteenth Century 30 No
HIC3007 Some Corner of a Foreign Field? Contemporary Militarised Landscapes, 1899 to the Present Day 30 No
HUC3048 Writing Nature 30 No
HIC3006 Indigenous Heritage and Belief 30 No
BEP3011 Business and Climate Change [See note a above]15No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Identify Environmental Humanities as a broad interdisciplinary field.
2. Demonstrate understanding of the distinctive character and terminology employed in Environmental Humanities disciplines.
3. Showcase an excellent critical and creative understanding of the use and significance of humanities-led research on issues of climate and environmental change.
4. Critically analyse recurring themes in Environmental Humanities such as nature, culture, history, narrative, justice, sustainability, extractivism, decolonialism, political ecology, Anthropocene.
5. Demonstrate knowledge of dominant theories, methods and debates informing the field of environmental humanities research.
6. Demonstrate critical understanding of the cultural, political and scientific production of environmental, cultural and social knowledge.
7. Demonstrate critical and creative insight on the textual and visual frameworks employed in the representation of climate and environmental change and communicate their links with planetary social justice issues.

ILOs 1-6 will be developed through lectures, seminars, workshops, student study groups and field work. The degree of knowledge and competency in handling the themes and issues of environmental humanities study will increase over the course of the programme, culminating in the third year Dissertation module. Optional modules at second and third year most closely relate to staff research specialisms. Teaching methods vary according to each module. Some modules will be team-taught, others will be taught by individual staff. 

Your learning is further developed through engagement with assessments, following guidance from tutors and lecturers and through feedback on work submitted.

ILOs 1 – 7 are introduced in the Foundations of Environmental Humanities module and tested using collaborative and creative techniques on the fieldcourse module: Climate Emergency! Introduction to Environmental Humanities

The assessment of these skills is through a combination of presentations and participation in seminars, participation diaries, log-books, policy writing, web-based assessments, creative portfolios, essays, reports, research projects, and the final year dissertation. 

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

8. Apply critical skills in the close, detailed analysis of textual and visual material.
9. Understand and engage critically with a variety of different disciplinary practices in their relationship to planetary environmental and social justice issues.
10. Critically evaluate various different forms of evidence in order to demonstrate understanding of audience, authorships, context (historical), production and intended audience.
11. Communicate effectively and coherently independent ideas and understanding of the role of interdisciplinary research to dealing with climate change and ecological change.
12. Command a broad range of critical terminology employed by different environmental humanities groups.
13. Work collaboratively in workshops and assignments that require creative and sensitive responses to problem solving.
14. Apply bibliographic skills appropriate to the Humanities disciplines, including accurate citation of sources and consistent use of conventions in the presentation of scholarly work.

ILOs 8-14 will be developed throughout the programme in all modules, in lectures, reading groups, workshops, fieldwork and seminars. They are further developed in independent study, written work, and oral work (both in presentation, seminar discussion and field work activities), and reinforced through the range of core and optional modules across all stages. Collaborative and creative work is specifically introduced in HUM1005 Climate Emergency! at level 1, and the level 2 residential fieldcourse.

The assessment of these skills is maintained throughout the second year programme, through a combination of presentations and participation in seminars, log-books, creative portfolio work, policy writing, web-based assessments, essays, field work, field diaries and projects, as also group work.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

15. Apply advanced literacy and communication skills in appropriate contexts including the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments.
16. Analyse and critically examine diverse forms of primary and secondary material.
17. Assimilate complex information of diverse kinds, in a structured and systematic way, and involving the use of the distinctive interpretative skills of the subject areas.
18. Apply research skills for literary and historical material, and analyse, interpret and organise this material independently and critically, evaluating its usefulness.
19. Critically evaluate and deploy a variety of theoretical positions in environmental humanities studies, and weigh the importance of alternative perspectives in a critical and self-reflective manner.
20. Develop independent thought and judgment.
21. Collaborate with others in group work and activities, and work towards collective outcomes and solutions.
22. Plan and execute written and other forms of assessment
23. Work under time-constrained conditions and effectively manage deadlines.
24. Employ IT skills, including the ability to access and assess electronic material.
25. Develop ways of applying the critical methods of EH in other, alternative, perhaps external contexts including policy writing.
26. Showcase persuasive communication skills, respond creatively to complex issues, utilize independent critical thinking and group working skills.

ILOs 15-26 will help foster personal and key transferable skills delivered through all modules, and developed in lectures, workshops, study groups, tutorials, work experience and other learning activities throughout the programme.

The assessment of these skills is maintained throughout the three year programme, through a combination of presentations and participation in seminars, log-books, creative portfolio work, policy writing, web-based assessments, essays, field work and projects, group work and final year dissertation.

7. Programme Regulations

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

You will have an academic personal tutor for your entire programme of study who is available at advertised ‘office and feedback hours’. There are induction sessions to orientate you at the start of your programme. A personal tutoring system will operate with regular communication throughout the programme. Academic support will be also be provided by module leaders. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Other useful information and student resources can be accessed via the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE): http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/login/index.php which has specific information on library skills, essay writing and research skills.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

Not applicable to this programme.

18. Final Award

BA (Hons) Environmental Humanities

19. UCAS Code

QVH3

20. NQF Level of Final Award

6 (Honours)

21. Credit

CATS credits

360

ECTS credits

180

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

Level 1

23. Dates

Origin Date

04/02/2022

Date of last revision

18/09/2023