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MScDiploma in Environmental Protection & Management

University of Edinburgh

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Course Description

This programme is run in association with the Scottish Agricultural College, an Associated Institution of the University of Edinburgh. Human activities have become a significant factor affecting the functioning of the Earth system. Our use of natural resources has increased more than ten-fold over the last 200 years, and future growth will increase the pressures on the system. Deforestation and soil erosion, the release of potentially toxic elements and chemical compounds to surface and ground waters, pathogen contamination of waters and the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, are all examples of such pressures. The effects on the biosphere are of particular concern, because they have potentially serious consequences for humanity and other life on Earth. There is a requirement for well-trained postgraduates who can combine adequate understanding of the processes which give rise to environmental degradation and pollution problems with capability in management of natural resources, and who can thus play a vital role in devising and enacting strategies to protect and conserve the environment. Edinburgh is a unique location to study Environmental Science: there is a long history of collaboration between the Scottish Agricultural College, the University and major research institutes, particularly the Centre for Hydrology & Ecology. Each of these institutions has a strong scientific interest in the science related to pollution in rural areas. The research base from which this programme emanates relates principally to the interactions between land use and soil, water and atmospheric quality. The programme will be particularly attractive to: ? graduates in natural sciences who wish to work in fields relating to environmental protection ? students from disciplines such as ecology, agriculture, forestry and related disciplines who are keen to understand the scientific basis of environmental management ? students from developing countries as well as from advanced economies. Many of our students obtain jobs in environmental science and management. Programme Objectives ? to develop a scientific understanding of some of the major processes which influence the quality of land, air and water resources. ? to improve knowledge of the most effective methods of environmental protection. ? to develop expertise in the design and implementation of programmes of environmental protection. ? to provide the opportunity to study the integrated protection and management of particular ecosystems or resources. Programme Structure The curriculum consists of: ? a taught component during the Autumn and Spring Semesters (September to March) ? a 12-day Study Tour of Scotland (April) ? a 22-week individual research project, written up as a dissertation (May to September). The taught component consists of six courses of lectures, three in the 1st Semester and three in the 2nd Semester. All students attend and complete the two compulsory core courses, one in each Semeseter: ? Atmospheric Quality & Global Change ? Land-UseEnvironmental Interactions Further courses totalling 80 credits are selected from the list of postgraduate courses available in the School. Most courses have a nominal 40 hrs contact, made up of lectures, seminars, workshops and exercises. The following courses are particularly recommended: ? Waste Reduction & Recycling ? Water Resource Management ? Soil Protection & Management ? Environmental Impact Assessment All courses are assessed by continuous coursework assessment and by a written examination. An oral examination may be given. Study Tour A field tour of about two weeks will be an integral part of the study programme. Recent study tours have been to Northern Greece, Portugal and Israel. There is also usually a short pre-programme tour and, by agreement, a dissertation write-up retreat in late August. Dissertation Each student will conduct an individual project in an approved subject area. MSc candidates submit a dissertation

This programme is run in association with the Scottish Agricultural College, an Associated Institution of the University of Edinburgh. Human activities have become a significant factor affecting the functioning of the Earth system. Our use of natural resources has increased more than ten-fold over the last 200 years, and future growth will increase the pressures on the system. Deforestation and...

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