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MSc Pollution & Environmental Control

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Pollution Management in Practice 1

Unit code EART66001
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit uses urban environment theme case studies to develop environmental modelling skills and project management skills to work through a project life cycle for a simulated science / consultancy project using for real world case studies. This unit is complimentary to ‘Measuring and Predicting Part 1’ unit which teaches how to carry out an independent research project by defining a general process for research.

The emphasis is on developing advanced modelling skills and learning detailed knowledge about one on the following topics: flood prevention and mitigation in cities, flood risk impacts from dam failure to mountain settlements, and water resource planning for future urban and economic development. The emphasis is on how the models relate to the real world rather than computational details. The unit runs with staff supported individual and team-based independent study, working weekly to complete a series of activities which culminate a portfolio of assessed coursework.

We run a series of workshop style sessions where the focus of the initial sessions teaches the process of project planning, how to produce a project strategy, and techniques for project monitoring and reporting. This gives a framework into which the subsequent sessions can focus on advanced modelling related content which can be integrated for each of the real-world case study. The final sessions present an opportunity to synthesise the prior learning using model output to present solutions and recommendations as a briefing note to stakeholders and give an oral (or video) presentation.

Students write individual and co-authored technical documents which show an appreciation of the standards expected at university post-graduate level. Students will make illustrated oral presentations using animations, videos and infographics to demonstrate ability to defend their position in a seminar environment. Students demonstrate record keeping, project management and team working skills; and professional resilience in dealing with difficulties and challenges.

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.


To prepare students to carry out an independent research / consultancy project by defining a general process for research and teaching general skills related to environmental modelling using industry standard software for ‘problem-based learning’ using urban environment themed topics including how urban and industrial development perturb the natural environment and natural processes impact on populated areas.


To prepare students manage a project and work in a team to work through a ‘project life cycle’ for a simulated research / consultancy project by solving real world problems.


Learning outcomes


On the successful completion of the course, students will be able to:


Be able to plan work from a project scope, develop a project programme, identify project risks, develop a project approach strategy, and use tools to share information and to collaborate with team members




Be able to use industrial standard software for environmental modelling purposes to evaluate how urban development perturbs the natural environment, and how natural environment impacts on urban communities using real world case studies


Apply environmental models to either evaluate future urban, industrial development on natural lake environments, or used to mitigate flood risk in UK cities, or to evaluate the impacts of nature dam failure on mountain settlements


Analyse model output to assess environmental impacts and use outcomes to make recommendations for mitigation and adaption in urban environments


Write individual and co-authored short technical briefing documents which show an appreciation of the standards expected at university graduate level


Make illustrated oral presentations to stakeholders (including animations, videos, and infographics) and demonstrate ability to defend their position in a seminar environment



2-hour workshop plus 1-hour group work session (in classroom or online) and 1-hour drop-in online help session each week. Modelling workshop sessions are supplemented with live demonstration of key software using real world example data sets, with some led by experts from industry. 


  1. Introduction to Urban Environmental Science Project

Workshop: Introduction

Practical: Individuals download software and install on laptop, download data packs, test collaboration tools, and review models and data, log data in project information register, and models in model log, and setup calculation sheets.


  1. Assessment Approach 1

Workshop: Modelling software Part 1

Practical: Individuals complete multiple choice exercise using DSS, QGIS and FMP and Infraworks and submit online for assessment before Week 3.

  1. Assessment Approach 2

Workshop: Modelling software Part 2

Practical: Individuals complete multiple choice exercises for HEC-RAS and WEAP software


  1. Project Setup

Workshop: Case Study Details

Practical: Group work to produce 1) Co-authored 2-page report clearly defining the problem, summarise the scope of work, and literature review of assign topic 2) Completed project plan 3) Log data in project information register


  1. Project Strategy

Workshop: Selecting a Project Strategy

Practical: Group work to produce 1) Co-authored project strategy document 2) Activity schedule 3) Project programme 4) Risk register


  1. Applying Strategy – Model Setup and Calibration

Workshop: Data quality, types of error, and model calibration 

Practical: Group work to setup model to run and calibrate model, producing a results summary document with updated model log, and calculation file


  1. Applying Strategy – Scenario Modelling 

Workshop: Managing uncertainty

Practical: Group work set up model to run for all scenarios and resubmit updated result summary document with model log and calculation files


  1. Reporting Outcomes – Part 1

Workshop: Evaluating and Communication of Results

Practical: Individuals to produce 2-page technical briefing note for stakeholders


  1. Reporting Outcomes – Part 2

Practical: Group work to produce 1) Presentation or AV video of project2) Media statement press release or social media post or website


  1. Communicate Outcomes - Presentations (weeks 10 and 11)


  1. Q & A


Teaching and learning methods


  • Staff supported individual and team-based independent study, working weekly to complete a series of activities in classes and away from the University which culminate a portfolio of assessed coursework
  • The initial sessions teach general process of project planning and developing a project strategy including techniques for project monitoring and gives a framework into which the subsequent sessions on more specifically environmental modelling related content can be integrated for each case study. The final sessions present an opportunity to synthesise the prior learning in a case study using model output to present this as a briefing note, and oral or audio-visual presentation
  • 2-hour weekly workshop style sessions online covering the planning of the science project, different techniques modelling approach, relevant theory, case studies, and techniques for data analyses and visualisation
  • 1-hour weekly session for group work in classroom and online using collaborative with some guided learning where students may download and use models to simulate environmental processes, and plot / interpret the results, and allocate task between team members
  • Teaching will be in the form of video lectures with videos available at start of the course
  • Industry experts demonstrate advanced modelling software in class with students
  • Team-based independent study is expected weekly to progress modelling and reporting
  • Regular contact with your tutor through online video-conferenced weekly help sessions.
  • Software used is freely available online for formative learning which can be used away from the University
  • Supplemented with on-line video to aid with technical tasks with regular online help
  • Courses involve some online quizzes or self-tests so tutor can keep track of individual and group progress
  • Formative assessment through on-line BB tests with immediate feedback to check progress and learning outcomes
  • Summative assessment is by portfolio of course work:
  • Quiz - Online exercises (Individual 20%)
  • Note – Co-authored literature review (Group 5%)
  • Planning – Project plan, activity schedule, programme, risk register (Group 5%)
  • Report - Co-authored project strategy report (Group 10%)
  • Record keeping - Summary result document, model log, calculations (Individual 10%)
  • Report – Technical briefing note for stakeholders (Individual 20%)
  • Presentation - Oral or video presentation (Group 20%)
  • Note - Media statement (Individual 5%)
  • Portfolio of Coursework – (Individual 5%)
  • Synthesis – group work to prepare presentations or video subsequent peer-review (marked by staff)
  • Coursework assignments are submitted online through the University’s virtual learning environment and students will receive grades and feedback through the same platform.


Assessment methods

  1. Individuals to have submitted online for assessment the following:
  • All modelling exercise by Week 3 and Week 4 (20%)
  • Summary result document and model log by Week 7 (10%)
  • Technical briefing note for stakeholders by Week 12 (20%)
  • Media statement by Week 10 and Week 11 (5%)
  • Submission of Portfolio by Week 12 (5%)


  1. Groups to submit a portfolio of coursework online by Week 12 including:
  • Literature review by Week 5 (5%)
  • Project plan, activity schedule, risk register, and programme by Week 6 (5%)
  • Project strategy document by Week 6 (10%)
  • Presentation / video by Week 10 and Week 11 (20%)


Feedback methods

Assessment type

% Weighting within unit

Hand out and hand in dates

How, when and what feedback is provided

ILO tested

Online exercises (Individual, 1000 words)


Week 3/4

On-line within 2 weeks


Report (Group):

Literature review, 1000 words


Week 5

On-line within 2 weeks


Planning (Group):

Project Plan, activity schedule, programme, risk register


Week 6

On-line within 2 weeks


Report (Group):


Project strategy report



Week 6

On-line within 2 weeks


Record keeping (Individual):


Result summary document, model log, calculations


Week 7

On-line within 2 weeks


Report (Individual, 2000 words):


Technical briefing Note


Week 12

On-line within 2 weeks


Oral (Group) presentation and Media Statement (Individual, 500 words):



20% + 5%

Week 10 Week 11

On-line peer and staff review and marking/online within 2 weeks

10, 11,12

Course Portfolio (Individual)


Week 12

On-line within 2 weeks of submission



Recommended reading


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Practical classes & workshops 48
Independent study hours
Independent study 102

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Andrew Lowe Unit coordinator

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