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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

Case studies of contaminated land and the science underlying the remediation strategy employed provides you a broad understanding of the sources, fates, effects and assessment of pollutants.

Lectures covering legislation for the assessment and treatment of contaminated lands develop your understanding of how and why techniques are applied.

Online course material organised using a moodle-based interactive system provides scope for independent study and pursuit of specialized knowledge.

Coursework designed to replicate tasks that one would encounter in an environmental consultancy provide you with transferrable, employability skills. 

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Graeme Paton
  • Dr Vasilis Louca

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of BSc Biology-Environmental Humanities (Studied) or BSc Plant Biology (Studied) or BSc Animal Behaviour (Studied) or BSc Behavioural Biology (Studied) or BSc Plant and Soil Sciences (Studied) or BSc Ecology (Studied) or BSc Environmental Science (Studied) or BSc Environmental Science (Physical Sci) (Studied)
  • One of BI4301 Environmental Pollution (Studied) or EV3802 Environmental Analysis (Passed) or PL3304 Ecosystem Processes (Passed) or PL3309 Soils for Food Security (Passed)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course aims to enable students to develop a theoretical grounding in this important topic and to link this to the application and policy issues accordingly. A component of the course will focus on training students in key skills suited to a remediation officer that operates as part of a large company or as a regulator. By the end of the course students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate understanding of what constitutes contamination; the factors that make pollutants available; the suitability of techniques to address specific environmental issues; and how scientific questions link to social, political and regulatory parameters;
  2. predict pollutant pathways; source key information for remediation; develop and implement sample strategies; and
  3. relate academic findings to non-expert groups. Deal with kinetic models and predictive concepts; write in a scientific style using suitable language.

Associated Costs


Further Information & Notes

This course runs in weeks 25-29, and is scheduled in Thread 1, so may have contact hours in any or all of these times:  Mondays, 9-13; Thursday, all day; Friday, 9-13.  If this is an optional course, there may also be contact hours on Wednesdays, 11-13.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 50% coursework and 50% exam. Coursework is a desk study of a manufactured gas plant site that involves an assessment of how current and past uses could cause certain sources to be present (length 4 pages). Exam is a 2-hour essay-based exam. Resit: Similar to first attempt, with continuous assessment mark(s) and/or exam mark carried forward with an opportunity to resit either or both, depending on what was failed in the first attempt.

Formative Assessment

Tutorial sessions will provide opportunity for student-student and student-tutor interaction. Formative assessment will be provided during this interaction and during student-led discussions and tutor-led tutorials. A strong emphasis will be made throughout the course on informal verbal feedback during tutorial sessions.


Each student will receive individual feedback and a mark for the Phase 1 report. Feedback will be provided as written comments. Students who are identified as having difficulty in successfully completing the coursework assessment tasks will be invited to meet members of the course team to identify difficulties and discuss solutions.

Course Learning Outcomes


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