UCL Department of Geography


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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Study  /  Graduate Taught  /  MSc Modules  /  GEOG0096 Lakes

GEOG0096 Lakes

Key Information

Credit value: 15

Level: Postgraduate (FHEQ Level 7)



Intended teaching term: Term 2

Methods of assessment:
100% written report (2,500 words)

Module leader: Helen Bennion

Who to contact for more information:



This course aims to develop a holistic understanding of lakes and ponds and their place in the landscape. Different lake and pond types and key environmental gradients are introduced. The focus then shifts to the nature of lake–catchment systems including hydrological and physico-chemical processes. The structure and functioning of biological communities within lake systems and the natural and anthropogenic stresses affecting these are described, and the importance of lake–catchment systems to conservation and management is explored. A field class introduces sampling in lakes and a practical class provides taxonomic skills.

The following topics are covered:

  • Introduction to lakes and ponds and their different origins
  • Lake-catchment interactions
  • Hydrological and physical processes
  • Lake chemistry
  • Primary production and food-webs
  • Pond ecosystems and their conservation
  • Disturbance of lake-catchment systems, conservation, restoration and management

The course is based upon lectures, seminars, practical classes and fieldwork. Formative assessment involves feedback on group presentations of lake restoration plans.

Coronavirus note: Due to COVID-19 updates, there may need to be changes to planned fieldwork for this module. This will depend on travel restrictions, social distancing measures, and the availability of the relevant venues. We will keep you updated if any changes need to be made and on alternative options, as successfully used in 2020-2021.