Wolverhampton puts geography back on the map

University of Wolverhampton is launching a cutting-edge climate change degree course that could quite literally change the world

The new Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Geography, Urban Environments and Climate Change will focus on green awareness, renewable energy and the impacts of climate change, combining aspects of architecture, construction, environmental health and civil engineering.

Students will study how sustainable solutions can be incorporated into the infrastructure of built environments, with focus on brownfield development, energy efficient buildings, smart cities and green infrastructure, including green roofs, sustainable urban drainage systems and integrated transport systems.

The course is designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills required by the ‘low carbon and environmental goods and services’ (LCEGS) sector (or ‘green economy’) worth £128bn to the economy which employed more than a million people 2011-12 and continues to grow.

Dr Brian Shiplee, Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Built Environment, said: “For the first time in human history, over 50% of people around the world live in cities. 

The expanding growth of megacities, of which there are 28 currently, is leading to the creation of megaregions. All urban environments present challenges, however, climate change will test the resilience of our current infrastructure beyond anything experienced so far. 

Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “The introduction of this new course shows our commitment to continue to develop the curriculum and be a leading agent of economic and social regeneration.

“The course will serve to expand the portfolio of degrees available to complement the new West Midlands Construction UTC (University Technical College) – an innovative project on a local, landmark brownfield site at Springfield.”

Notable key modules include Climate Change, Sustainability and Smart Cities, consecutive geo-spatial modules Geography of the Urban Landscape (level 4), The Digital Environment (level 5) culminating in Geo-BIM (level 6) and the bespoke module Environmental issues of the Developing World by the Centre for International Development and Training.

Students will benefit from field trips, site visits, guest lectures from practising key professionals and will be able, via a final year research module, to access real site case-studies of brownfield development in the West Midlands and nationally as well as having the use of analytical and computer laboratories. There may also be the possibility of a placement in a partner institution in North America.

Anyone interested in studying the new BSc (Hons) Geography, Urban Environments and Climate Change degree can check out the course on the website

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