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Postgraduate Soil Science 2021-2022

SS5008: GLOBAL SOIL GEOGRAPHY

15 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

Field based course that takes you across northeast Scotland exploring an ancient tropical rainforest, hill farming in action, survey techniques and soil formation.

Lectures focus on how soils form, how soils work, soil classification, soil as part of the environment, human impacts on soil, and the use of mapping and soil data to optimise the management of this fragile resource.

Your assessments are geared towards developing practical skills. This includes a presentation on a particular soil that requires research akin to detective work, a quiz on soil classification and a critical essay on a selected topic.

SS5305: SOILS FOR FOOD SECURITY

15 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This advanced soil science course provides additional teaching of physical, chemical and biological properties of soils in the context of food security and climate change. You will learn a variety of processes that affect soil productivity, accompanied by practical sessions that will teach relevant analytical methods. Students are introduced to modelling of agricultural impacts on soils and the environment, particularly in relation to greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration, so that mitigation strategies can be assessed.

There are two practical sessions with assignments, a debate and a final exam.

SS5500: REMEDIATION TECHNOLOGY

15 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

A highly interactive course, that uses extensively e-learning platforms to enable students to better understand the assessment of contaminated land. Students will learn how to interpret and apply current risk assessment regulations and predict as well as model contaminant pathways. Students will gain valuable experience in using the latest computer software and incorporate real data in order to quantify risk. Very importantly, students will be able to forecast remediation options for a variety of situations and consider the implications and processes involved.

SS5903: PROJECT IN SOIL SCIENCE

60 credits

Level 5

Third Sub Session

The three-month individual Research Project can cover any area of soil science and is undertaken under the supervision of a member of staff who is an expert in your chosen field.  Many projects are also done in collaboration with an external organisation. The project provides opportunities for you to develop your abilities and skills, generate hypotheses and design ways of testing them and to analyse, report and discuss your findings. You will learn to take responsibility for implementing your own plans and modifying them as necessary. The project is written up in the style of a scientific paper manuscript or a consultancy report.

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