Indicative Course Content
A wide range of modules are available allowing you to either broaden your experience of environmental management and its applications or to focus on more specific areas.
Many modules are based around case studies, industrial or field visits and extensive laboratory facilities allow practical work in the analysis of soils, airs and waters for physical, chemical and biological properties.
Subjects normally available include:
- Energy and environmental management systems,
- environmental auditing,
- environmental impact assessment,
- renewable energy,
- climate change – the physical Science basis,
- contaminated land,
- impacts of oil production,
- pollution prevention and control,
- environment monitoring laboratories,
- ecological management and assessment,
- regulation, monitoring and assessment of water pollution,
- water and waste water treatment,
- environmental law,
- international environmental law,
- corporate social responsibility,
- remote sensing and digital image analysis,
- geospatial information analysis,
- geographical information Science, systems and services,
- the final period of study is based on your own area of interest in environmental management and involves and individual project.
The implications of contaminated land from both an environmental and a legal point of view are now in the public eye and this subject is seen as a growth area. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 and, in particular the recent introduction of Part IIA, opened the door to an enormous interest from both industry and financial institutions. The foremost area of interest is the identification of contaminated land and the assessment of its significance.
This module satisfies the need for professionals equipped to carry out this function. The aim of this module is to offer a program of study, which will equip students to carry out the role of manager of a project involving the assessment of contaminated sites either from field or archival evidence. It will also provide the basic background to the engineering of physical, chemical and biological treatment of contaminated land.
Corporate Social Responsibility
With the development of globalisation, multinational companies have started to manufacture their products in developing countries. Environmental damage, exploitation of local resources and labour all have serious consequences in many developing countries.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), environmental reporting and social auditing have been adopted by a number of large companies and increasingly smaller companies are coming under pressure to address their social and environmental responsibilities.
The module aims to introduce students to social auditing, environmental auditing and to CSR reporting.
Ecological Management and Assessment
An understanding of the theory and practice of ecological management, underpinned by the principles of ecological assessment and countryside regulation, is a valuable addition to the skills package of a modern environmental professional.
This module aims to familiarise students with ecological theory relevant to environmental management and conservation. The module also aims to provide students with practical skills in quantitative and qualitative ecology, along with providing a theoretical basis for the interpretation and evaluation of ecological data. Field trips and guest lecturers form a key element to this module.
Energy and Environmental Management Systems
Environmental Management and Energy Management are becoming important features of modern businesses as they seek to become more efficient in their use of the world’s resources and less damaging to the local and global environments.
This module develops the theme of Energy and Environmental Management from monitoring and auditing through to formalised frameworks of management systems which, somewhat like quality systems, record, monitor and report a company’s environmental and energy performance.
The module aims to introduce students to Environmental Assessment (EA) and EMS to enable them to conduct an EA and to understand the requirements of EMS. It also aims to expose students to the issues of legal, financial and ethical responsibilities associated with Energy and the Environment.
This module is an intensive environmental auditing course aimed at satisfying the training requirements of an environmental auditor’s qualification. Environmental Audits are carried out by either internal or external auditors for many reasons, for example, to check compliance with legislation, but an increasing need is to satisfy the conditions for a company to gain a recognised environmental standard.
This module aims to familiarise students with all facets of environmental audits, and in particular, to enable them to gain practical experience of preparing, conducting and reporting audits. Each student will conduct two audits: one of a virtual company and one of a real company.
Environmental Impact Assessment
The role of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as a process for identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social and other relevant effects of a proposed development prior to major construction decisions being taken will be explored. An introduction to the development of EIA and current legislative requirements are followed by a detailed examination of impact assessment methods.
The module will develop skills and the thought processes required to predict significant environmental impacts and propose mitigation measures. The reliability of data and subjectivity of many impact estimates is addressed along with the quality of environmental statements. The use of Strategic Environmental Assessment in long range environmental planning will be analysed.
Persons acting as regulators or as environmental managers in industry or consultancies will from time to time be required to collect and submit for analysis samples of various environmental media. To carry out this process successfully the person needs to have a thorough understanding of the processes being carried out on his or her behalf. This knowledge is required in the interpretation of the analytical results, design of sampling regimes and management of sample preservation and storage. It is also important that the person involved in specifying environmental analysis is fully aware of the range of capabilities in a modern environmental laboratory and is able to interact with professionals in the laboratory.
This module aims to provide the knowledge and skills required to achieve these aims whilst at the same time developing the understanding of environmental analytical chemistry in its academic context. This module also develops the basic laboratory proficiency which will be required if a student is later to carry out a project thesis involving chemical analysis.
This module will provide a basis for an informed understanding of the law relating to the environment. It will cover major areas of environmental protection law in the UK and the influence of the European Union. Emphasis will be placed upon the role of law in preserving and protecting the environment, and upon evaluation of control, the part played by domestic courts in resolving the often conflicting societal interests involved in environmental protection and its implementation.
The role of national and regional regulatory agencies, professional institutions, pressure groups and private individuals in formulating and implementing anti-pollution measures will be examined along with current proposals for reform.
Geographical Information Science, Systems and Services
Geographical information systems (GIS) are routinely used by professionals to store and process geospatial data and support decision-making in natural, built and human environments. This module is designed for postgraduate students new to GIS and will enable them to develop an understanding of GI Science and, in particular, mechanisms for acquiring, handling and communicating geographical information. It explores two fundamental questions, namely:
- Why use GIS?
- How is a GIS used?
The first question requires a student to exemplify the use of GIS and explore factors that determine the successful application of GIS. It is concerned with sources of geographically referenced data and the organisational and technological context of an application. The second question requires a student to understand the basic concepts of spatial data modelling and to develop skills to integrate, manipulate and present geographical information.
Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control
Following recent changes in EU legislation and its implementation in the UK it is now appropriate to take a more integrated approach to pollution control. The new regime will require that the wider picture of environmental impact will have to be taken into account when approval is sought for operation of almost all major industrial processes.
This module aims to provide the scientific basis for the understanding of the control measures which will be applied to various processes and an understanding of how the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control regime will operate in practice. Air and water pollution control technologies are explored alongside issues such as noise and land conditioning.
International Environmental Law
This module will introduce students to the legal and policy issues surrounding protection of the global environment. The institutions involved and the nature of International Law as it affects the environment will be explored in the light of a series of examples and case -studies. The module will focus on international, regional and bi-national conventions from the point of view of international agencies, national governments, non-governmental organisations and private individuals.
Regulation, Monitoring & Assessment of Water Pollution
This module aims to provide students with a broad perspective on the regulation, monitoring and assessment of water pollution; a major area of concern in relation to the delivery of point and non-point pollutants which affect the environment. Students will consider the effective monitoring and assessment of different pollutant types, together with the strengths and weaknesses of various procedures.
This will be set within the current legal and technical framework for the enforcement and regulation of water pollution. The module aims to examine the main sources and types of pollutants in the aquatic environment, their fates and effects. It will also raise awareness of the technical methods used to reduce the impact of pollutants of aquatic systems.
Remote Sensing and Digital Image Analysis
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) need information. More precisely, users of GIS need information that is relevant, complete, accurate, timely, accessible, available in an appropriate format and cost- effective. Earth observation (EO) by remote sensing is an established source of information that meets the needs of many users and new missions are driving change in geographical applications. EO data are essential for characterising and monitoring the environment at local to global scales. For example, our management of natural resources at regional scales would be impaired and our understanding of global processes severely limited without satellite remote sensing.
At a local scale orthophotos provide the framework for land reform and other users rely on archives of EO data to create a consistent record of land use change. The aim of this module is to better understand the principles and practice of EO by remote sensing within the context of GIS. The application of remote sensing and digital image processing to generate information involves a number of specific steps.
In this module a student will study remote sensing in terms of a source-target-sensor system, develop a model-based approach to image interpretation and examine the conceptual and technical basis for integrating remote sensing and GIS.
As the lifetime of the reserves of fossil fuels are finite and as the targets for the attenuation of emissions of greenhouse gases become more demanding so renewable energy sources become more prominent. This module investigates the scientific basis of the renewable energy technologies to determine their potential contributions to a country such as the UK. The economic and engineering characteristics of each of the technologies will be addressed, bringing the advantages and disadvantages of them to a debate, which will also include possible and preferred applications.
The Impacts of Oil Production in the Developing World
The extraction, refining and movement of oil, petroleum and gas in the developing world exert major environmental impacts while at the same time generating large revenues for governments and companies. While high operating standards are maintained in developed nations these standards are not applied universally with potentially dire consequences to both human health and the broader environment.
This module aims to explore the environmental, social and economic impacts of the oil industry and by comparison with best practice, examine ways in which these can be reduced or mitigated. Issues covered will include: formation and exploration of reserves, energy cost of refining and alternatives to flaring, environmental and social impact assessment of oil production, health issues of refining and spillages, land contamination and remediation, risk assessment and the emergency response to disasters, including COMAH. The economics and politics of oil production and use of revenues generated will also be examined.