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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Ecological Science

Undergraduate Course: Environmental Pollution (ECSC09005)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course deals with major problems of pollution of the atmosphere, water, the land surface and the food chain. It covers processes responsible for the occurrence and release of pollutants in the environment, dispersion mechanisms, the hazards associated with different types of pollutant, problems of accumulation of toxic substances, and procedures for the reduction of emissions and remediation of contaminated environments. The course includes pre-recorded lectures, live sessions (group exercises/Q&A) relating to these lectures, workshops (including computer modelling), an exercise in handling research data and writing a report and a final exam
Course description Block 3 Weeks 1-3: Soil and Water Pollution
Block 3 Weeks 3-5: Atmospheric Measurement
Block 4 Weeks 1-3: Local Scale Atmospheric Pollution
Block 4 Weeks 3-5: Global Scale Atmospheric Pollution
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Soil, Water and Atmospheric Processes (ECSC08003)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  69
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 21, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, External Visit Hours 9, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 151 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 50%, Course Work: 50%, Practical Exam: 0%.

The exam in May diet will cover theory and examples from ALL lectures and workshop sessions.

The in-course assessment will be an assignment involving evaluation of material provided or obtained from appropriate databases. This exercise will involve some quantitative work and you will be given a choice of four topics (one on each of Soil and Water Pollution, Atmospheric Measurement, Local Scale Atmospheric Pollution and Global Scale Atmospheric Pollution) during Block 1 Week 5 (w/c 14th February).

You will submit your topic preference to Nicola Clark ( by 12 noon Monday 28th February 2022 (Block 2 Week 1). You will be informed by e-mail which topic you have been allocated.

The submission deadline for your assignment will be 12 noon Monday 11th April 2022 to a Turnitin submission box on Learn. No paper copy is required.
Feedback There will be a workshop session at the end of each lecture course at which there will be verbal feedback on non-assessed problems that will be made available in advance or during the session. There will be written feedback on assessed coursework which will indicate what you have done well and areas which could be improved. Finally, there will be an opportunity to view examination scripts on which you will find written comments relating to your answers. Examples of feedback can be found here:
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have an appreciation of how the transition to renewable energies may lead to resource depletion and soil and water pollution and be familiar with best practise approaches to minimise environmental impacts.
  2. Have an understanding of how organic chemicals used in the agricultural/pharmaceutical/personal care sectors may impact our food and water and apply knowledge about their physical/chemical properties to determine their fate in the environment.
  3. Have an understanding of the causes of global warming, ozone depletion, enhanced N and S emissions and urban air pollution.
  4. Have an understanding of methods for measurement of atmospheric pollutants, processes which determine their local- and global-scale dispersion.
  5. Have an understanding of the impact of atmospheric pollutants upon human health.
Reading List
The following book will be the key course reference book:
- M.K. Hill. Understanding Environmental Pollution. Cambridge University Press, 3rd Edition, 2010.

Other recommended books that cover particular elements of the course are:
- C. Baird and M. Cann. Environmental Chemistry. W.H. Freeman, 4th Edition, 2008.
- M.Z. Jacobson. Atmospheric Pollution, History, Science and Regulation. Cambridge University Press, 2002.
- J. Houghton. Global Warming, the Complete Briefing. Cambridge University Press, 3rd Edition, 2004.
A book covering relevant basic chemical concepts:
- C.V.A. Duke and C.D. Williams, Chemistry for Environmental and Earth Sciences. Cambridge University Press, 2008.
Please see the course handbook for further information on recommended reading for each section of the course.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 2 two-hour lectures per week.
One hour computer workshop in week 7.
KeywordsECSC09005 EP
Course organiserDr Margaret Graham
Tel: (0131 6)50 4767
Course secretaryMiss Francesca Nadal Finnegan
Tel: (0131 6)50 4842
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