Global Environmental History

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 1MV002

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Sustainable Development G1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 28 April 2010
Responsible department
Department of Earth Sciences

Entry requirements

General entry requirements

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • account for and discuss historical societies and cultures relationship to and use of nature;
  • account for central processes and explanatory models in environmental history concerning different societies emergence and decline, and relate these to relevant contemporary questions within the sustainability field;
  • from a perspective of environmental history account for and discuss the most prominent challenges, discourses and ideas from eighteenth to the twentieth century within the sustainability field.


The environmental history of the world: general perspectives are mixed with specific focus on different historical events and geographic locations. Historical societies and cultures view of and interaction with nature, with focus on the three levels: mental level, interactive level (human-nature interaction) and ecological level. The three levels partly corresponds to the academic division of humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. The human evolution as a cultural being, the origin of agriculture and the early city cultures. The modern world with focus on the expansion of the Europeans, the emergence of the industrial society and the globalisation. The ecosystems (including human societies) with its animal, plants and diseases as historically relevant factors. The environmental problems of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and discussion of environmental and natural resources.


The course consists of lectures, seminars and environmental historical field trips. The lectures are given by guest lecturers from different academic disciplines. Part of the course uses art creation as a way of learning.


Students are examined through written preparation and active participation in seminars and workshops (3 credits) and at the end of the course through written and oral presentation of project work (4.5 credits).