This MSc is suitable for graduates or those with experience who wish to develop a career in practical environmental monitoring and control for industry and public bodies using applied environmental science.Entry RequirementsNormally at least a second class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline eg Environmental Science; Chemistry; Biological Science; Geography; Environmental Health. Applicants with appropriate experience and other qualifications will be considered. Course AimsThis course provides a rigorous academic treatment of the fundamental scientific principles and practice of assessing and controlling the extent of environmental damage by Man’s activities.
The course emphasises the processes and techniques related to the reduction of emissions to air, land and water, and the effects of pollution. It is designed to allow those whose career choice lies in fields such as environmental science, health protection and regulatory processes, to acquire a broad based knowledge of the concepts involved. The course is vocational and provides effective entry into all professions related to environmental pollution assessment and control.Course ContentModules (All Core)Principles of Sustainable Development: Energy in Transport and IndustryThis element includes: sustainable development, energy, energy use, energy as business issue, industrial processes and energy use, energy use by transport systems and travel, advanced transport systems, zero emission vehicles and fuel cell developments.Ecosystem FunctionAims:
To provide a solid grounding in ecological principles, their application to biodiversity and an appreciation of the influence of human activities on these processes.
Earth systems and their interactions
Ecological energetics and Nutrient cycles
Factors influencing Biodiversity
The Biogeography of Earth
Biological stability, homeostasis and sustainability
The Gaia hypothesis
How and What should we conserve?
Biological Extinctions in earth history, present and future
Is development sustainable Research and Critical Skills in Environmental Sciences
Main topics of study: methods and techniques for knowledge analysis; skills associated with critical and reflective understanding/evaluation; skills associated with communication of scientific issues; issues associated with professional practice and research in environmental sciences; case studies in global climate change – development of an integrated understanding of the impacts of climate change on society and the environment and the increasing importance of sustainability as a guiding principle in all arenas of human activity. Environmental ChangeAims:
To understand the processes which cause environmental change, how they are measured, how future change is predicted and how to interpret trajectories in elements of ecosystems and human health. Interactions between human impact and the environment will be examined.
1. Introduction: brief overview of the relationship between climate and biophysical and social systems. Introduction to global networks (e.g. IGBP) and agreements (e.g. Kyoto).
2. The instrumental record of climate and what it reveals about variability and reliability of climate. Coverage of methods and causes of recent climate variability.
3. Past global changes: methods, reliability, global data sets and case studies. What these reveal for the full range of climate variability and on driving forces behind climate change. Selected case studies.
4. Past climates and societal responses. Case studies.
5. Models and future climates. Types of models, testing models, reliability and uncertainty. Global networks and IPCC selected regional scenarios.
6. Future impacts on biophysical systems, agriculture, human health, resources, energy usage. Case studies and directed project work.
7. Rapid change caused by natural hazard processes: earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, hurricanes, etc. Environmental Hazard and RiskAims:
To address various aspects of the relationship between hazard and risk, how risk is perceived and how government/industry/individuals assess risk in relation to natural, anthropogenic and occupational hazards in our environment.
Conceptualising Hazard and Risk - Probability and the concept of risk - The Risk management cycle: risk assessment frameworks - Human versus Environmental Risk Assessment - Exposure characterisation: environmental transport and fate of chemicals - Hazard characterisation: toxicity endpoints from gene to community - Dose-response profiling: low dose effects and non-monotonic dose response relationships - Point-deterministic and probabilistic risk assessment procedures
Ecotoxicology - An introduction to environmental toxicology - Toxic substances in the aquatic environment - Aquatic toxicity testing in the laboratory - Field studies in aquatic toxicity - Bioaccumulation and Bioavailability - Metabolism of Pollutants - Structure-Activity Relationships - A Specific Example: oestrogenic chemicals in the aquatic environment and their effects on fish - Single chemical versus mixture toxicity: modelling mixture effects - Monitoring of the Aquatic Environment
Risk Perception and Management - The precautionary principle: late lessons from early signs - Risk management and risk communication - Perception of risk and stigma: socio-political influences on risk assessment Integrated PollutionAims:
To study the fundamental scientific aspects of environmental pollution with emphasis on an integrated approach to environmental pollution and control.
To study the environmental and technological issues in the management and control of water, air and land pollution.
Organics in the Environment;
Heavy Metals in the Environment;
Pollution Abatement Technologies;
Waste Handling & Treatment;
Trade / Industrial Effluent Treatment;
Municipal Wastewater (Sewage) Treatment;
Sediment Management. Environmental MonitoringAims:
¦ To learn the key aspects of sampling techniques in acquiring representative samples of air, soil and water for environmental monitoring.
¦To learn the key analytical techniques and develop the practical skills in monitoring of environmental pollution.
¦To study the practical methods for the investigation of air, soil and water quality.
Analytical Techniques for Environmental Monitoring;
Introduction to Statistical Methods;
Data Handling & Retrieval;
Report Writing DissertationRecent examples of dissertations by students taking this course include:
History of pollution in Lake Sapanca, Turkey;
The use of ionic liquids for treatment of solid and liquid wastes.