Environmental Science BA (A), Scientific Introduction to Environmental Science, 15 credits


Environmental Science BA (A), Scientific Introduction to Environmental Science, 15 credits

General data

  • Code: MX046G
  • Subject/Main field: Environmental Science
  • Cycle: First cycle
  • Progression: (A)
  • Credits: 15
  • Progressive specialization: G1N - First cycle, has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
  • Answerable department: Natural science, Design, and Sustainable Development
  • Approved: 6/14/2022
  • Date of change: 3/8/2023
  • Version valid from: 8/27/2023


The purpose of the course is for the student to gain a knowledge base in order to understand the conditions for ecological sustainability and learn to apply foundational concepts in environmental science. The student should gain an insight into foundational scientific methodology, calculation methods within chemistry and an introduction into systems thinking. After completing the course, the student should be equipped with a significant number of foundational tools and skills pertaining to natural science methods and concepts for further environmental science studies.

Course objectives

After completing the course, the student is expected to be able to:
1. a) formulate a simple research question, use scientific methods and basic descriptive statistics in order to be able to answer research questions and present an investigation, study or experiment in a systematic way.
b) distinguish a qualitative method from a quantitative method.
2. a) apply instructed biological concepts and models to describe ecosystems, organisms' relationships and trophic level, as well as how abiotic and biotic ecosystem factors interact and form different ecosystems.
b) choose relevant methods to identify and quantify abiotic and biotic ecosystem factors.
3. a) use concepts and models within chemistry to explain how chemical interactions within and between molecules affect the nature of substances, and to carry out stoichiometric reasoning.
b) apply chemical methodology to an environmental problem.
c) perform basic chemical laboratory work based on given instructions.
d) apply designated physical and chemical concepts and models to explain differences between different ecosystems.
e) explain basic thermodynamic concepts and processes.
f) explain the Earth's energy balance and how the processes in the climate system work and interact.
4. a) explain causal relationships in the interaction between society and the environment
b) describe and give examples of how organisms, forms of energy and matter are affected by anthropogenic changes in the ecosystem.
c) identify, give examples of and describe how anthropogenic changes change the dynamic equilibrium of ecosystems.


This is a foundational course in environmental science with an emphasis on the natural scientific basics of environmental science. The course includes basic concepts, models and methods used in environmental science in order to understand the connections between how humans affect nature and how they are dependent on it.
The course includes the following elements:
1. Ecosystems, Scientific method and scientific writing
2. Energy and matter in ecosystems
3. Human interaction with ecosystems

Entry requirements

The following course levels from Swedish Upper Secondary School (Gymnasium) or equivalent: Chemistry course 1, Mathematics course 3b or 3c or Mathematics C, and English course 6.

Selection rules and procedures

The selection process is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance and the local order of admission.

Teaching form

The pillar of the pedagogical approach is based on cooperative learning and requires active student participation both individually and in groups. The course consists of own studies supplemented by workshops, seminars, lessons, excursions and labs. These take place in real time during the day. The course is given on campus and long-distance. Workshops and seminars are often shared by on-campus and distance students. The teaching is conducted in English and Swedish. To be able to follow the course, a computer and internet connection are required.

Examination form

2301: Ecosystems, Oral and Written Presentation, 4.5 Credits
Grade scale: Fail (U) or Pass (G)
Performed in group.

3W11: Energy and matter in ecosystems, Web examination, 3.0 Credits
Grade scale: Seven-grade scale, A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F. Fx and F represent fail levels.

4L11: Energy and matter in ecosystems, Laboration Work, 3.0 Credits
Grade scale: Fail (U) or Pass (G)
Performed in group. Written report.

5W21: Human pressure on ecosystems, Web examination, 4.5 Credits
Grade scale: Seven-grade scale, A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F. Fx and F represent fail levels.

The examining elements require participation in field weeks and laborations. It is possible to choose English or Swedish as the language for examinations

Grading criteria for the subject can be found at www.miun.se/gradingcriteria.

The examiner has the right to offer alternative examination arrangements to students who have been granted the right to special support by Mid Sweden University’s disabilities adviser.

Examination restrictions

Students registered for this version of the syllabus have the right to be examined 3 times within 1 year according to specified examination forms. After that, the examination format according to the latest valid version applies.

Grading system

Seven-grade scale, A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F. Fx and F represent fail levels.

Other information

The course overlaps the course MX005G and MX043G and therefore cannot be included in the same degree as either of these courses.
The university is responsible for the costs of accommodation during fieldwork and transport to/from Campus Östersund and the place for fieldwork.

Course reading

Required literature

  • Author: Sloan T
  • Title: Introductory Climate Science
  • Edition: 2016
  • Publisher: Bookboon
  • URL: https://bookboon.com/en/introductory-climate-science-ebook
  • Comment: ISBN 978-87-403-1408-3. Introductory Climate Science is in English and is an alternative to Klimat och väder
  • Author: Riisgård H. U.
  • Title: General Ecology Outline of contemporary ecology for university students
  • Edition: 2018
  • Publisher: Bookboon
  • URL: https://bookboon.com/en/general-ecology-ebook
  • Comment: ISBN 978-87-403-2201-9 Tillgänglig som nedladdningsbar E-bok
  • Author: Mackenzie L. Davis, Masten Susan J. .
  • Title: Principles of Environmental Engineering and Science
  • Edition: 4
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill
  • URL: https://www.mheducation.com/highered/product/principles-environmental-engineering-science-davis-masten/M9781259893544.html
  • Comment: ISBN: 9781259893544 (tryckt version), ISBN: 9781260853216 (E-bok)
  • Author: Lave B., Shingledecker D., Romey J., Brown N., and Schatz M.
  • Title: Beginning Excel 2019
  • Edition: 2019
  • Publisher: Open Oregon Educational Resources
  • URL: https://openoregon.pressbooks.pub/beginningexcel19/
  • Comment: Tillgänglig som nedladdningsbar E-bok
  • Author: Fisher M. R.
  • Title: Environmental Biology
  • Edition: 2019
  • Publisher: Open Oregon Educational Resources
  • URL: https://openoregon.pressbooks.pub/envirobiology/
  • Comment: ISBN 978-1-63635-036-3 Tillgänglig som nedladdningsbar E-bok
  • Author: Bogren J., Gustavsson T. och Loman G.
  • Title: Klimat och väder
  • Edition: 2008
  • Publisher: Studentlitteratur AB
  • Comment: ISBN 978-91-44-04849-9

Reference literature

  • Author: Granström Karin
  • Title: Introduktion till miljökemi
  • Edition: 2016
  • Publisher: Studentlitteratur
  • Comment: ISBN: 978-91-44-09728-2

Artiklar och kompendier kan tillkomma.

The page was updated 9/2/2014