DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU


Module Specifications

Archived Version 2017 - 2018

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to elements of the global climate, allowing them to understand how the atmosphere works, what causes and affects the weather, and what is the science behind climate change. In this module students develop knowledge and skills in the global climatic system, and will be able to interpret weather charts, and relate these to general weather patterns in their daily lives. They will also be able to discuss in a meaningful way topics such as climate change, climate justice and human impact on climates. The module is taught around learning statements with associated in-class activities within a lecture-format, supported by in-class assessment for learning throughout. Students are expected to attend and engage in the module.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe how the atmosphere works in terms of its energy budget
2. Explain global patterns of rainfall and weather
3. Describe how atmospheric circulation gives rise to various winds and the effect of this on global ocean currents
4. Explain how local factors both natural and human influence weather and climate.
5. Identify key factors and consequences for climate change in Ireland

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study101No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The atmospheric energy system: Energy budget

Atmospheric structure

Heat Transfer

Air masses and weather forming systems

Motion in the atmosphere

Moisture in the atmosphere

Global climate

Climate change

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Arbogast, A.F: 2011, Discovering Physical Geography, 2nd, Wiley,
  • Smithson, P.: 2008, Fundamentals of the Physical Environment (4th Edition), Routledge, NJ, USA,
  • 0: Readings on Loop,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes