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M.Sc. Environmental Science: Pollution & Monitoring

Institute for the Environment, Brunel University

This MSc provides the skills and knowledge to carry out environmental sampling methodology and scientific analysis. You will also gain an understanding of the causes and effects of pollution in all media and an appreciation of a range of environmental issues. Specialising in monitoring and control, the student will gain knowledge of the range of analytical techniques that can be used to assess pollutant levels in all media and gain first hand experience of pollution measurement and control procedures applied in industry.

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.

This course, is designed to allow those students whose career choices, lie in the field of environmental science, to acquire a broad-based knowledge of the concepts involved. The courses are vocational and provide effective entry into all professions related to environmental pollution, assessment and control.

The taught modular MSc courses provide 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.

The core material for all MSc courses offered within the Institute are concerned with the fundamental principles of environmental science, and in this case, this is backed up by a practical laboratory component.

The course is structured around a programme of formal lectures, practical laboratory work, workshops, directed reading and participation in seminars, discussions and site visits. The students are able to specialise in an area of particular interest to them by careful choice of their dissertation topic which accounts for 60 credits of the 180 credits required to complete the Masters degree. Students on all courses benefit from lectures given by external speakers from the regulatory authorities, governmental departments, local authorities, waste management companies, water companies, environmental consultants and solicitors.

Modules (All Core)

* Principles of Sustainable Development: Energy in Transport and Industry
* Ecosystem Function
* Research and Critical Skills in Environmental Sciences
* Environmental Hazard and Risk
* Integrated Pollution
* Environmental Monitoring
* Dissertation

Principles of Sustainable Development: Energy in Transport and Industry

This 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 Function

Aims:

* To provide a solid grounding in ecological principles, their application to biodiversity and an appreciation of the influence of human activities on these processes.

Topics:

* Ecological Principles
* 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 Change

Aims:

* 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.

Topics:

* 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).
* The instrumental record of climate and what it reveals about variability and reliability of climate. Coverage of methods and causes of recent climate variability.
* 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.
* Past climates and societal responses. Case studies.
* Models and future climates. Types of models, testing models, reliability and uncertainty. Global networks and IPCC selected regional scenarios.
* Future impacts on biophysical systems, agriculture, human health, resources, energy usage. Case studies and directed project work.
* Rapid change caused by natural hazard processes: earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, hurricanes, etc.

Environmental Hazard and Risk

Aims:

* 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.

Topics:

* 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 Pollution

Aims:

* 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.

Topics:

* Water Pollution;
* Groundwater Pollution;
* Marine Pollution;
* Atmospheric Pollution;
* Bioindicators;
* Organics in the Environment;
* Heavy Metals in the Environment;
* Pollution Abatement Technologies;
* Waste Handling & Treatment;
* Trade / Industrial Effluent Treatment;
* Municipal Wastewater (Sewage) Treatment;
* Sludge Management;
* Contaminated Soil;
* Sediment Management.

Environmental Monitoring

Aims:

* 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.

Topics:

* Sampling Techniques;
* Analytical Techniques for Environmental Monitoring;
* Practical Experiments;
* Introduction to Statistical Methods;
* Data Handling & Retrieval;
* Site Visits;
* Report Writing

Dissertation

Recent 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.

Normally 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.

English Language Requirements

* Brunel English Language Test (BrunELTS) - 60% overall, minimum 50% in each section
* IELTS - 6.0 overall, minimum 5.0 in each section
* TOEFL (Computer based) - 213 plus TWE 4
* TOEFL (Internet Based) - 79, minimum of 15 in each section
* TOEFL (Paper Based) - 550 plus TWE 4

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6
CAE score: 60 (Grade C)
TOEFL paper-based test score: 550
TOEFL computer-based test score: 213
TOEFL iBT® test: 79
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Degree Level: Masters
Tuition Fee: € 6,075 / Year (EEA) , € 16,650 / Year (Non-EEA)
Language:English
Duration:1 Year
Start Date:September  2019
Delivery Mode:On Campus
Study Nature:Part-time, Full-time
Disciplines: Ecology, Biodiversity & Conservation, Earth Sciences, Environmental Systems Analysis
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