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MSc Contamination, Risk Assessment and Remediation

Mode of Study: Full Time Department: Lancaster Environment Centre
UCAS Code: None Duration/Length: 12 Month(s)
QAA Subject Benchmark: Not Defined Director of Studies: Professor KT Semple
Total Credit Points: 180

Educational Aims: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

    The MSc in Contaminated Land and Remediation aims to provide students with an understanding of:

    • environmental microbiology;
    • the fate and behaviour of chemicals in the environment;
    • environmental toxicology;
    • foodchain dynamics and human exposure.

    Case studies are widely used to illustrate the application of the taught material and specifically include a detailed investigation into the bioremediation of a contaminated land site and risk assessment of a chemical pollution incident.

    General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

    The course also aims to develop transferable skills appropriate to a career in research, conservation or industry. The range of transferable skills that students are expected to gain includes

    IT literacy in mainstream word-processing, analysis and presentation software; presenting information in verbal, electronic and hardcopy media; numerical skills, including statistical analysis; practical laboratory and field skills, and the ability to critically analyse and interpret data.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

    Subject specific knowledge is developed through research informed teaching and associated reading. Initially this is achieved through the subject-specific modules that employ a range of delivery and assessment styles including lectures, practical workshops (including paper-based, computer-based, laboratory-based and site-based studies), and seminars. Students are expected to self-learn using reference material to further develop their perceptual models, and to field visits are provided illustrate the associated practicalities. More depth to subject-specific knowledge is added through the specialisation of students in their chosen research projects. The range of subject specific knowledge that students are expected to gain is reflected in the breadth of modules available in the taught programme. These cover a broad range of environmental and chemical modules linked contaminant behaviour, toxicology, risk and remediation.

    Students' scientific methodology is developed at all stages of the programme and in particular through their chosen research projects. Initially, scientific method is nurtured through the written and verbal feedback of staff to students during the taught elements of the programme, along with the exposure of students to the scientific literature. The research project affords the opportunity for closer staff-student interactions where a critique of scientific method occurs within a research active environment. The range of scientific disciplines that students are expected to gain include:

    - Developing a robust scientific argument

    - Formulating and testing hypotheses

    - Assessing contrasting scientific theories

    - Identifying, abstracting and synthesising scientific information

    - Problem solving and decision making

    - Identifying, abstracting and synthesising scientific information

    - The use of experimentation within a scientific problem solving exercise.

    - Handling complexity and uncertainty.

    General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

    Students completing the MSc programme will be expected to have gained transferable skills, subject specific knowledge and scientific methodology to Masters level. In addition to these outcomes, which are considered in more detail below, the course nurtures working relationships between students and active researchers/practitioners both internally and externally.

    Transferable skills achieved through varied methods of delivery and assessment of the subject specific modules which include group presentations, reports and essays, and associated practical and analytical work. The individual research projects consolidate and extend transferable skills both through the execution of the research work and the writing of the associated thesis. The range of transferable skills that students are expected to gain includes:

    - IT literacy in industry-standard word-processing, analysis and presentation software.

    - Presenting information in verbal, electronic and hardcopy media.

    - Numeracy, including mathematical and statistical modelling.

    - Project management.

    - Interpersonal skills in group settings.


Learning and Teaching Strategies and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding, Skills

  • Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

    Teaching and learning is made up of two parts: (i) in Michaelmas and Lent terms compulsory and optional modules are delivered, and (ii) a research project is developed in the 2nd and 3rd terms, with an academic supervisor and sometimes in conjunction with an industrial partner identified through the Enterprise and Business Partnership unit within LEC. Any IP generated by a student project will be managed on a case-by-case basis by EBP. It is anticipated that the thesis should make an original contribution to knowledge, and contain material of a standard appropriate or publication. It should be as short as is consistent with the subject and unnecessary length may be a disadvantage. It is important that great care is taken with grammar, spelling and punctuation, and make precise ibliographical references.

    The course is structured so that the students are able to tailor their programme of modules based on their interests and background. During the project students are given the opportunity to apply and further develop their transferable skills, subject knowledge and in some cases scientific methodology. The diversity of the research and vocational expertise offered by the contributors promotes interdisciplinary learning, whilst also improving students' employability.

     General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

    The student will gain a variety of transferable skills essential for the effective communication of science. These transferable skills are developed through the varied methods of delivery and assessment within the taught elements of the programme, particularly in the workshop/practical sessions and (where applicable) the project. All student ts on this programme will be required to attend specific careers training provision provided by LEC to aid the planning and development of students' careers.

Assessment Strategy and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • This is achieved through module specific coursework assessments, which may take the form of essays, reports, grant applications, tests or presentations either individually, or as group work and also through the examination system. Furthermore, the research project tests the ability of a student to manage their time effectively whilst carrying out an in-depth piece of scientific research using practical, library or computer skills. The project also displays the level of in-depth knowledge acquired by the student.

    General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

    During the course of this scheme of study students will be called upon to make oral and poster presentations to support their academic work. They will also present their work in a written scientific paper format, write a grant proposal and examine how the peer review process works. They will have had the opportunity to attend specific computer; statistics; scientific writing and project management courses, either as part of their assessed programme or simply to enhance their individual personal development on a non-assessed basis.

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