The Physical Environment

University of Cape Town

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The Physical Environment

  • Host University

    University of Cape Town

  • Location

    Cape Town, South Africa

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    GEO1009F or EGS1004S.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course focuses on contemporary atmosphere-earth surface interactions in particular the role of precipitation and water from a global to a regional scale and examines temporal dynamics, driven by natural process as well as anthropogenic pressures. It covers in detail global circulation patterns, climate variability, soil formation, polar response to climate change, tropical deforestation, desertification and earth observation
    technology. It concludes with a detailed study of local scale systems and applications covering stream catchments, estuaries, wetlands and coastlines. It is expected that students will enhance their unde
    rstanding of earth system dynamics, systems interactions and develop an appreciation for scales
    both temporal and spatial. Students are also expected to put the local context into a regional setting and make linkages to the larger global picture.

    DP requirements: Satisfactory completion of practicals and all written assignments, including projects, fieldwork reports, practicals, essays and class tests. Students must attain an average mark of not less than 40% for the coursework.

    Assessment: Project, essays, class tests and practical assignments including fieldwork report count 50%; one three-hour examination written in June count 50% (sub-minimum of 40% required).

    Fieldwork: There is a compulsory fieldwork component involving half-day field excursions.

Course Disclaimer

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.


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