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MSc (research) International Master's Environmental Science and Technology


Mode of Study: Full Time Department: Lancaster Environment Centre
UCAS Code: Duration/Length: 21 Month(s)
QAA Subject Benchmark: Earth Science, Environmental Sciences an Director of Studies: Professor KT Semple
Total Credit Points: 300

Educational Aims: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

    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

    The ability to critically analyse and interpret data.

     The total credit weighting for this SoS is 300 credits, with 180 credits in Year 1 and 120 credits in Year 2.The taught element of the course, which accounts for 90 credits , provides students with a basic understanding of the physics and chemistry of the natural environment and the ways in which man affects the natural environment. The atmosphere, hydrosphere and surface/near surface lithosphere are all studied, although the structure of the course allows students to focus on one or more of these compartments of the Earth system if they wish. The quantitative aspects of Earth system science are emphasised; the course offers more than a qualitative description of the environment.

     Transferable skills (scientific writing, statistical methods, computing, presentation skills, project management etc.) are also developed throughout the taught modules and the extended research project. On completion of the taught component of the course, the students undertake an extended research project which comprises 210 credits, of which 90 credits are attributed to LU and 120 at CAS. The projects are tailored to allow the students to develop particular areas of speciality relating to environmental science and technology. The framework of the project enables students to enhance environmental problem solving methodologies through the focussed application of appropriate scientific methodologies.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Programme Outcomes

    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 outcomes

    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.

     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 science and environmental technology modules.

     Scientific methodology outcomes

    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.

     

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

  •  The International MSc Environmental Science and Technology is primarily intended to be a two year, full time course. In sympathy with the educational aims, the course is made up of two parts, a. in the first year, subject modules delivered in the first and second terms along with the development of a research project in the 2nd and 3rd terms and b. a research project in the 2nd year which may be developed in conjunction with an industrial partner identified through the Enterprise and Business Partnership unit within LEC, which will take place at a CAS institute in China. Any IP generated by a student project will be managed on a case-by-case basis between LU and CAS. The programme is structured this way to capture the high quality students, mainly from China, and bring the cohort to a level whereby they all have the necessary level of academic skill to execute their extended research projects. The project theses will be externally examined by appropriate external examiners; selection of which will be on a thesis-by-thesis basis decided by the DoS and the project supervisor. It is expected that the thesis should not exceed 20,000 words, which would be submitted at the end of June of Year 2. 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 unnecessary length may be to your disadvantage. It is important that you take very great care with grammar, spelling and punctuation, and make precise bibliographical references. The examiners are likely to require that all errors are corrected before the degree is awarded.

    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 project may be developed in conjunction with LEC and CAS, as well as the possibility of an industrial partner identified through the Enterprise and Business Partnership unit within LEC and so draws on real world experience and contexts. 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 students on this programme will be required to attend specific careers training provision provided by LEC to aid the planning and development of students' careers.

    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. Depending on student performance; at beginning of Summer term, students performance will be reviewed. There are two possible scenarios:1. If a student's academic performance is below a module average of 60%, the student will not be allowed to progress to year 2 and will follow the normal 1 year MSc. 2. If the student is performing satisfactorily (module average of >60%), then the student will be allowed to progress to the 2nd year and go to China.

    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.

     

Assessment Strategy and Methods: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Subject Specific: 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.

    Depending on student performance; at beginning of Summer term, students performance will be reviewed. There are two possible scenarios:

    1. If a student's academic performance is below a module average of 60%, the student will not be allowed to progress to year 2 and will follow the normal 1 year MSc.

    2. If the student is performing satisfactorily (module average of >60%), then the student will be allowed to progress to the 2nd year and go to China.


    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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