The programme aims to expose students to an integrated view of the planet earth as a life support system. The lithosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere are explored with particular reference to land resources, water and minerals. Key interactions of plant and animal populations and the effect of human activities on these are considered. Management interventions considering air pollution and climate change, energy alternatives, waste disposal, recycling, biodiversity loss and land degradation are explored.
The programme also looks at the different ways in which the environment is perceived and understood in the social sciences and how these various perspectives shape the way in which management interventions are implemented. This involves identifying and unpacking the conceptual framework and underlying ideologies which characterize the different environmental perspectives. The aim here is to develop a critical approach to investigating environmental issues and policy analysis. Key economic ideas and concepts are also explored to show how these can be used to explain environmental problems and shape appropriate intervention measures. The programme also explores the varied environmental management principles which recognize the complex nature of defining and dealing with environmental problems.