General Themes and Principles of International Environmental Law
The module is designed to elucidate those general themes and principles that have emerged from the substantial body of detailed rules regulating the environment in international law, particularly since the 1972 Stockholm conference on the Human Environment. It will consider the extent to which these rules are evolving into a coherent legal regime.
Foundations of Environmental Management
The module provides a foundation for the scientific concepts and issues which underpin environmental management.
Topics covered include:
- climate-change impacts and mitigation
- river channel processes and management
- pure and applied research on biodiversity patterns
- the science of risk-based contaminated land management
This module covers the preparation of a group presentation and individual report on an environmental subject.
Qualifying module options
Biodiversity and International Law
This module examines the mechanisms by which international law seeks to protect and conserve biological diversity in terms of species and ecosystems, as well as genetic diversity within species.
Environmental Law Supplement
This module is designed to provide further assessment in conjunction with one or more of the law modules open to the MSc Law and Environmental Science.
It will facilitate the fit between law and science modules by providing an opportunity to add five credits to one or more of the law modules.
International Law of the Sea
The module will consider:
- the history and evolution of the law of the sea
- baselines, internal waters and the territorial sea
- straits, archipelagos and the contiguous zone
- the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone
- the high seas
- the international seabed area and ice-covered areas
International Law of Transboundary Pollution
The module examines the techniques and mechanisms by which international law seeks to protect the atmosphere and freshwater resources from various forms of pollution.
International Law of Treaties
This module examines the legal regime governing the adoption, implementation, interpretation, amendment and termination of international agreements within the wider context of the role and significance of treaties in the international legal order.
Law, Development and the International Community
This module examines some of the relationships between law and development. After examining both the notion of development per se and the right to development as a human right, the module moves on to cover a number of individual issues where the relationship between law, development and human rights can be explored.
Subjects covered include:
- the concept of development and the role of international law in promoting "development"
- the regulation of aid
- the WTO and developing countries
- intellectual property and access to medication
- the protection of traditional knowledge
- food aid and food security
- sustainable development
- gender and development
Contaminated Land Site Investigation and Risk Assessment
The module will develop a basic understanding of the site investigation and risk assessment of contaminated land.
The natural and industrial sources of contamination will be introduced. The use of desk study information to develop conceptual models will be practice. The design of site investigations to resolve uncertainties in the conceptual site model will be practiced. Generic and detailed quantitative risk assessments will be practiced.
Environmental Management in Practice
The module will introduce you to a range of approaches to environmental management and their use in practice within government and non-governmental agencies and the private sector. Approaches covered could include:
- tendering for projects in the context of environmental consultancy
- environmental management practices
- participatory approaches to environmental policy and planning
Environment, Space and Society
This module is split into a number of sections following an opening session which introduces the different ways in which human geography engages with environmental issues. Indicative content of the remaining sessions include:
- environmental history
- environmental knowledge and governance
- environmental activism
- economy and environment
These issues are also explored through a day field visit.
Global Climate Change
The module covers the following:
- A review of modern climate systems and forcings
- Climate modelling, projections of future climate change and their uncertainty
- Controversies around climate change, the argument between believers and sceptics and the ways in which climate change is communicated to and perceived by the public
- The impact of climate change on the world's physical and built environments, water and food resources, and human health
- Mitigation and adaptation to future climate change including the role played by policy markers and NGOs
Project Management and Environmental Legislation
This module will develop your understanding of the principles of project management and land related environmental legislation. The lectures will focus on:
- the management organisation of projects and the roles taken by individuals in the management structure
- the management of change, quality and risk
- time and resource management techniques
- project selection strategies
- project finance
- evaluating the legal context of land contamination related liability
Applied Bioethics 1: Animals, Biotechnology and Society
The module consists of lectures and associated seminars on:
- bioethical theory
- research with animals
- animal agriculture
- applications of modern biotechnology to animals
- animals and professional ethics
- generic issues concerning: risk, precaution and trust
- political dimensions of the biosciences
- research bioethics
Applied Bioethics 2: Sustainable Food Production, Biotechnology and the Environment
The module consists of lectures and associated seminars on:
- bioethical theory
- the ethical dimensions of the nutritional needs of the global population
- ethics of population management, use of new reproductive technologies and development
- agricultural practices designed to meet the nutritional needs of the global population (including the use of GM crops)
- the impacts of agricultural and industrial activities on the sustainability of the global environment
This module provides training inenvironmental biotechnology, with particular emphasis on the interaction between microorganisms and the environment. The main topics covered will be wastewater treatment, bioremediation of organic and inorganic pollutants, microbes as indicators of risk factors in the environment, microbes in agriculture (biocontrol and biofertilisers) and the role of microorganisms in bioenergy production.
Each topic will be introduced by a formal lecture followed by workshops during which you will study the topics in greater detail through problem-based learning techniques facilitated by the convenor and by independent research. Knowledge and understanding of the lecture material will be assessed by Rogo examination and you will present the problem-based exercises and case studies within an individual portfolio during the final week of the module.
Environmental Pollutants: Fate, Impact and Remediation
This module is concerned with the behaviour and effects of pollutants in terrestrial and aquatic environments and how their impacts can be ameliorated and managed. The focus is on both the scientific understanding of environmental pollutants and on the intervention strategies currently available. Topics covered include:
- study of the common water and soil pollutants: heavy metal contamination of land
- radionuclide behaviour in the environment
- persistent organic contaminants and pesticides
- nitrate pollution of groundwater
- pollution of surface waters by agriculture
- eutrophication of lakes
- acidification of soils and freshwaters
- biological monitoring of rivers
- ecotoxicology and environmental epidemiology
- quantitative risk assessment
- land reclamation, including landfill sites
Plants and the Light Environment
The module provides a wide-ranging, detailed and modern training extending from the cellular to community level, for those with interest in plant physiology, environmental biology, agronomy and horticulture.
The module focuses on the influence of the light environment on the physiology of native and crop species. It considers how this knowledge contributes to an understanding of the causes of variations in crop yields and may be used to assist in the search for improved varieties and increased productivity in agricultural systems.
Plants and the Soil Environment
This module provides a detailed study into below-ground biological processes which influence the uptake of water and nutrients by plants. The module considers the acquisition of water and nutrients by plants in both agricultural and natural systems, and how plants interact with the soil environment. Consideration is given to using this knowledge to improve crop productivity and resource management and to understanding how resource capture by plant roots has influenced plant evolution over wider timescales.
The module includes a practical study component on the development of new methods and technologies for below-ground phenotyping of roots. The module provides a detailed and modern training extending from cellular to whole organism level. It is highly suitable for those with interests in plant physiology, environmental biology, environmental science, biology, and crop science.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.