Soils in the Environment

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Soils in the Environment

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • 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

  • ECTS Credits

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

    Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
    Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites: Only available to students with suitable science qualifications i.e. Biology, Chemistry or Environmental Science to A-level. Maths, Biology and Chemistry are needed to GCSE standard.
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7

    Summary module description:
    This module provides an introduction to the wide ranging scientific processes that explain why soils are so variable in terms of their properties and functions in the wider environment.

    This module comprises a series of lectures, laboratory classes and a field class designed to introduce students to the importance of soils and their role in the environment.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to:

    ? Discuss the major physical, biological and chemical processes of soil formation.

    ? Analyse and describe the properties of soils in the field.

    ? Perform simple laboratory experiments and data analysis to examine and evaluate the physical properties of soils.

    ? Define and explain the importance of soil structure in relation to the availability of soil air and water to plant roots.

    ? Illustrate and discuss the nature and functions of soil colloids in relation to the availability of nutrients to plant roots.

    Additional outcomes:
    Students will enhance their data handling and reporting skills in both laboratory and field practice.

    Outline content:
    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    There will be two 35-40 minute lectures (divided by a short break) each week, followed some weeks by laboratory work of about 2 hours. In week three there will be a 3.5 hour field class. Outside of these 25 hours of contact time, it is intended that you spend approximately 75 hours of your time engaged in guided independent study; e.g., background reading, consolidating your notes, writing up practical reports, revising and taking the module examination (summer term).

    Contact hours:
    Lectures 12
    Tutorials 3
    Demonstration 1
    Practicals classes and workshops 6
    Fieldwork 3
    Guided independent study 75
    Total hours by term 100

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Written Exam 70%
    Report 30%

    Other information on summative assessment:
    Formative assessment methods:
    Approximately two hours of formative assessment will be provided in the form of small group feedback during the tutorial sessions; this feedback is additional to that provided during the lectures, and in written form on the reports.

    Length of examination:
    A one and a half hour examination.

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination or re-submission of coursework in August/September

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

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.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.