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Environmental Diagnosis and Management MSc

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The EDM MSc course addresses scientific, technological and legislative aspects of the diagnosis (analysis and assessment) and management (remediation and restoration) of environmental issues concerned with contaminated land, water quality, air pollution, and waste.

It begins in late September, and is usually taken full-time over 50 weeks. It may also be taken part-time over 102 weeks by choosing 1- and 2-week modules and case studies in years 1 and 2, with a research project in year 2.

The MSc is taught by a dedicated team of internationally renowned environmental scientists, consultants and managers. Teaching and learning are highly interactive, and consist of lectures and small group work, seminars and tutorials, several case studies and study visits, and much practical laboratory and field work.

Students work independently, in pairs and small teams, and are encouraged to learn from each other as well as the teaching staff. In addition, there is a wide range of assessed work including examinations, verbal presentations, written reports, proposals and posters, PC-based exercises, and an independent research project.

There is also much invaluable interaction with leading professional experts from environmental consultants and engineers, industry, local and regulatory authorities, who teach, present seminars, host study visits, and co-supervise and research projects.

The Autumn term comprises an induction week followed by 4 modules, 1 case study and 2 examinations:

Communication, Co-operation & Careers (2-weeks; 3% of overall marks)
Training in written and verbal communication media; project, team and time management; role playing in environmental impact assessment; careers advice and interview skills.

Environmental Inorganic Analysis (2-weeks; 3% of overall marks)
Quality assured field sampling strategies, laboratory preparation processes and analytical methods for heavy metals in soils, surface waters, and vegetation.

Diagnostic & Management Tools (2-weeks; 3% of overall marks)
Computer-based training in statistical analysis of environmental data, geographical information systems, and environmental risk and exposure assessment.

Environmental Organic Chemistry, Pathways & Toxicology (1-week; 2% of overall marks)
Physical and chemical properties, transport, fate and distribution, and toxicology of organic compounds in the environment

Contaminated Land Case Study (2-weeks; 8% of overall marks)
Human health risk assessment of pollutant linkages at a former gravel extraction and landfill site: desk-top study, on site sampling and measurements, sample preparation and laboratory analyses, data work-up and interpretation, quantitative risk assessment, remediation options.

Examinations (2 x 2-hrs; 2 x 6% of overall marks)

Feedback: Upon request and for all assessed work, confidential verbal and/or written feedback, together with an indication of the marks awarded, will be given.

The Spring term comprises 3 modules, 2 case studies and 2 examinations:

Water Quality: Diagnosis & Management (2-weeks; 3% of overall marks)
Aquatic science, hydrology, hydrogeology, treatment of water and wastewater; chemical, biological and physical monitoring of water quality; study visit to a global producer of pesticides.

River Thames Basin Case Study (2-weeks; 8% of overall marks)
Fieldwork, laboratory work and desk-top study to diagnose water quality in chemical and ecological terms, to identify industrial, agricultural and urban inputs, and to determine environmental, ecological and health impacts.

Air Pollution: Monitoring, Impacts & Management (2-weeks; 3% of overall marks)
Sources, sinks, dispersion, conversion, monitoring, impacts and management of air pollutants; study visits to a local authority and research institute.

Campus Air Quality Case Study (2-weeks; 8% of overall marks)
Environmental consultancy investigation of ambient and indoor air quality within RHUL campus: desk-top research, practical fieldwork, laboratory analysis, data interpretation and reporting.

Waste Management & Utilisation (1-week; 2% of overall marks)
Municipal, industrial and radioactive waste management options; study visits to a material recycling facility, clinical waste incinerator, composting facility, energy from waste facility, landfill site, and a nuclear power station.

Examinations (2 x 2-hrs; 2 x 6% of overall marks)

Feedback: Upon request and for all assessed work, confidential verbal and/or written feedback, together with an indication of the marks awarded, will be given.

Research projects are intended to be an independent, original scientific investigation of publishable standard. They almost exclusively involve professional collaboration with environmental consultants and engineers, local and regulatory authorities, industry, research institutes and academia.

Most students find that their research project is the most challenging but rewarding part of the MSc. Successful projects often lead to offers of employment and graduate training within the environmental sector, and to further research leading to a PhD.

Students are encouraged to be involved in the conception and organisation of their research project, and to discuss possibilities with potential host supervisors. Projects often involve practical laboratory and fieldwork, although desk-top studies are also undertaken.

Projects are supervised by RHUL staff and by colleagues at external organisations. They start in mid-April, with an interim progress report presented in late May. Completed theses are submitted in early August.

Major highlights of the work are presented in early September at the Research Project Symposium, which is the culmination of the MSc. The Symposium offers students an opportunity to showcase their professional standards of achievement to potential employers invited from the environmental sector.

Applicants who have accepted an offer of admission to the MSc are invited to take part in the Symposium.  Alumni are also invited back as professional environmental scientists.

Download a PDF of Research Project Symposium 2008 to 2014.

Assessment: 5-months; 33% of overall marks (26% thesis; 3% symposium presentation; 2% proposal; 2% progress report)

Feedback: Upon request and for all assessed work, confidential verbal and/or written feedback, together with an indication of the marks awarded, will be given.




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