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Environmental Diagnosis and Management

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Environmental Diagnosis and Management

  • Option 1 year full time or 2 years part time
  • Year of entry 2021
  • Campus Egham

The course

Humankind’s ceaseless pursuit of progress has brought countless advances in our quality of life, but has often had adverse impacts on the world around us. Our environment and ecosystems are vulnerable to threats from pollution and waste, and as such it is the work of professional practitioners in the environmental sector to analyse and assess them, and then to remediate and restore them for the benefit of future generations.

Study Environmental Diagnosis and Management at Royal Holloway, University of London and you will develop the practical skills and scientific knowledge needed to address globally important environmental and ecological issues of contaminated land, water quality, air pollution, and waste and resource management. You will benefit from first-class research-led teaching, and be trained by professionals from environmental consultancies and engineers, local and regulatory authorities, industry, and leading research institutes.

You will study in the renowned Department of Earth Sciences,  and contribute towards our leading research culture with your own Independent Research Project. You will also become a part of a vibrant international postgraduate community, and make use of our extensive range of modern geochemical analysis facilities and computer laboratories as you work towards a rewarding future career in the environmental sector. 

Follow your passion for the environment at Royal Holloway on a masters degree that has been developed with expert industry advice to help graduates progress into rewarding careers in the environmental sector or go on to further postgraduate study.

  • An MSc course with outstanding and expanding links with the environmental sector, which, together with the excellent training and careers advice provided, has resulted in an outstanding record of graduate employment and PhD research training.
  • In many cases, employment follows on from successful research project placements in environmental consultancies, local authorities, regulatory agencies, research institutes, academia, and industry.
  • Work towards the Syngenta Prize for Most Improved Performance, the Atkins Prize for Best Research Project, and the Arup Prize for Best Performance Overall.
  • Student performance has been excellent with at least 48% of graduates earning a Distinction or Merit in 9 out of the first 12 years of the course, and an overall Pass rate of 96%.

Core Modules

There are three case studies:
  • In this case study, you will assess risks to human health posed by chemical contamination of the former gravel extraction and landfill site of Hounslow Heath, which is now a nature reserve. Working in teams, you will design and carry out the site investigation, analyse and interpret data, quantitatively assess health-risks, and produce a jointly written report. Your risk assessment will follow industry standard procedures to establish pollutant linkages, and will also consider remediation options.

  • In this case study, you will follow the non-tidal River Thames from near its source at Lyd Well to Richmond Lock, including several major tributaries with distinct agricultural, industrial and urban inputs. You will conduct fieldwork and laboratory analyses to diagnose water quality in chemical, physical and ecological terms, combining these with desk-top studies to determine environmental, ecological and health impacts. Findings will be considered in the context of legislation and plans to mitigate against major management issues faced within the River Thames Basin.

  • In this case study, you will become a member of a student-led environmental consultancy company that will survey ambient and indoor levels of a range of air pollutants and greenhouse gases at selected sites within the Royal Holloway Campus. Upon completion of the survey, you will produce a jointly written report that summarises your findings, and if appropriate, makes recommendations to the College and Local Authority how to manage the air quality on campus.

Environmental Diagnosis

This module comprises of four components:

  • You will acquire advanced knowledge and a critical understanding of how to convey in a professional manner, scientific, technical and managerial information. You will gain practical experience in a wide range of written and verbal communication media, project management, and team dynamics, and learn how to manage yourself, colleagues and projects efficiently and effectively. You will receive advice on how to improve your career opportunities, and will role play a recent real-life environmental impact assessment.

  • You will acquire practical experience, advanced scientific and technical knowledge, and a critical understanding of quality assured sampling strategies, sample preparation procedures and analytical systems for environmental inorganic pollutants. The focus will be on quantitative measurements of heavy metals and radionuclides with natural and man-made sources in different environmental media.

  • You will acquire practical experience, advanced knowledge and a critical understanding of applications of statistical analysis of environmental data. You will also become familiar with the principles and applications of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to interpret and illustrate environmental data.

  • Primarily through independent learning and teamwork, you will acquire practical experience, advanced knowledge and a critical understanding of the physical and chemical properties of a wide range of organic compounds that influence their distribution and degradation in the environment, ecological impacts and toxicity, and quantitative measurement.

Environmental Management

This module comprises of three components:

  • You will acquire practical experience, advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the role of aquatic chemistry, ecology, and hydrogeological processes in the diagnosis and management of surface- and ground-water. You will learn first-hand how water and wastewater are treated and how the quality of surface and groundwater is assessed in ecological and physio-chemical terms.

  • You will acquire practical experience, advanced knowledge and a critical understanding of the dispersion and conversion of gaseous and particulate air pollutants derived from man-made and natural sources, their impacts on health, climate and the environment, and global air quality monitoring methods and management issues.

  • You will acquire practical experience, advanced knowledge and a critical understanding of the management and utilisation of municipal, construction, demolition, and excavation waste, and of the reprocessing of nuclear waste, all in compliance with international and national legislation.

Research Project
  • In this 4-month module you will acquire practical experience, advanced scientific and technical knowledge, and a critical understanding of independent environmental science research, which will be of significant value to your career development.

    You will be expected to follow up contacts for potential project opportunities in your chosen professional work environment that will provide invaluable experience.

    Your project will be co-supervised by members of staff at Royal Holloway and at external placements within the environmental sector.

    You will submit your thesis, and give a verbal presentation at the Research Project Symposium, which provides opportunities to network with potential employers invited from environmental consultancies and engineers, local and regulatory authorities, industry, research institutions and universities.

Optional Modules

All modules are core

We provide hands-on practical teaching and training in the field and in geochemical analysis and computing laboratories, together with critical understanding of the underlying science in a dedicated teaching facility.

This means that environmental and ecological issues associated with contaminated land, water quality, air pollution, and waste management may be analysed and assessed, and remediated and restored.  Or so that they may be diagnosed and managed.

A dedicated academic teaching team deliver 7 teaching modules, 3 case studies, many study visits and an independent research project, all of which include teaching, training and/or supervision by professional practitioners from within the environmental sector.

Assessment of module and case study work and of practical computing, laboratory and fieldwork skills evaluates your critical understanding of the environmental science taught, and mastery of producing quality assured data, and its analysis, interpretation, presentation and reporting.

Assessment also reflects your ability to work independently and in teams, and to apply what you learn during the case studies and study visits.

Assessment of research projects is based on your ability to manage, report on and present an original piece of independent scientific work.

Whether or not it counts towards your final mark, all assessed work has significant confidential written and/or verbal feedback designed to help you improve.

94% Percentage of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent

Source: REF, 2014

2nd Ranking in the UK for Earth Sciences research

Source: REF, 2014

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