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Why choose the School of Life Sciences
Our Life Sciences Liaison Board draws in professionals from across the industry including Glaxo Smith Kline, Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and Cellmark Forensics
Our academics are involved in real-world research, leading the way in areas such as COVID-19 testing technology, autoimmune disease, obesity, cancer pathways and global food security
We work with leading employers including Glaxo Smith Kline, Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Nelson’s Natural Healthcare and Cellmark
About the course
Environmental change affects everyone on the planet and sustainably managing a changing natural environment is one of the 21st century’s most pressing challenges. This course develops your theoretical knowledge and practical skills enabling you to begin to meet these challenges in your chosen career.
Through study of environmental sustainability and management as well as global environmental change you develop a comprehensive understanding of what is happening in the environment at a range of scales. You then go on to examine how the integration of environmental science biotechnology and management methods can help environmental biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The course has a focus on how biotechnology can provide practical solutions to environmental problems and your studies support you to develop valuable practical skills in identifying and evaluating useful technologies.
Why choose this course?
- Access the latest scientific thinking and teaching from a leading research-active academic team with expertise in ecology biotechnology management and environmental microbiology
- Gain the knowledge and skills to move into a career in the environmental sector or – if you are a more experienced professional - develop your range of competencies and widen your opportunities in the field
- Develop a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the biological ecological and socio-economic drivers of global environmental change
- Be able to evaluate methods of managing environmental change at local and global levels including legislative voluntary and economic management
- Hone your practical skills in our modern well-equipped laboratories
- There is the option of a part-time pathway to better fit study around your work and family commitments
What will you study?
Environmental Management And Sustainability
Many environmental management decisions are based upon the broad principles that underpin how the global community conceptualises the environment and people’s role in sustainably managing it. The most important – sustainable development – is central to our decision making, yet this concept is interpreted in many different ways and might direct us to different outcomes. This unit will critically analyse the principles that underpin decision making and then evaluate these broad goals from a multi-level perspective, integrating conceptual goals with practical realities of site-scale management decisions.
The aims of this Unit are to:
- Enable you to analyse the key theories underpinning sustainable environmental management, discuss different approaches to sustainably managing the environment and apply these concepts to practical situations.
- Analyse different approaches to sustainably managing the environment. Specifically, legislative management and regulation, economic and market-based methods of regulation and voluntary management and regulation will be introduced and discussed using theoretical and real-world examples.
- Evaluate the strengths and limitations of environmental and ecological surveys in terrestrial and aquatic environments and provide a detailed analysis of practical methods of conducting impact assessments and risk analysis (both in the UK and internationally).
- Critically evaluate different environmental management methods in a series of case studies and develop expertise in information retrieval from a variety of sources relevant to impact assessment and environmental management.
- Develop your professional communication skills through the preparation of an industry-style consultancy report and a professional presentation.
Environmental biotechnology encompasses the characterisation and utilisation of biodiversity, biological processes and components for the sustainability of natural and managed ecosystems.
The unit aims to develop knowledge and understanding of fundamental concepts and principles that underpin research and development in environmental biotechnology. Analyse the potential of diverse organisms and their components to deliver environmental and economic benefits taking into consideration the social and ethical aspects including stakeholder perspectives. Examine case studies of biotechnology applications to address the global challenges of environmental sustainability and food security. Provide you with practical skills in environmental biotechnology and to appropriately manage related health and safety issues. Enable you to critically analyse recent advances in the field of environmental biotechnology and develop the skills to communicate these aspects effectively.
Compelling evidence of global environmental change caused by anthropogenic activities and natural events is emerging. Development and application of environmental biotechnology is integral to sustainably managing global environmental change. Knowledge, understanding and skills in this emerging field will enable you to contribute to dealing with practical problems faced by the society in interrelated domains such as food, energy, health and the environment.
Environmental Project Management
Environmental project management envisions the integration of the conceptual approach of project management with the challenges of sustainably managing global environmental change.
The unit aims to introduce the concept, principles and applications of environmental project management to various situations from local to global levels. Evaluate various project management models including process- and results - based approaches relevant to diverse environmental contexts. Explore a range of methodologies and analysis techniques used in environmental research, and to develop management strategies including digital repositories used in baseline data generation and to predict and manage future trends. Provide knowledge of various institutions, developmental agencies, and their policies, systems and processes in safeguarding the environment, and the skills required in stakeholder consultation, resource planning and project management.
Environmental project management develops a holistic approach to the challenges of sustainably managing environmental change from local to global levels integrating science, technology and socio-economics applicable to specific scenarios. Knowledge, understanding and skills in environmental project management are critical in enabling you to make a contribution to the development and implementation of solutions to practical problems faced by the society in harnessing natural and managed ecosystems as well as bio-based industries.
Global Environmental Change
Successful environmental management requires an overview of how and why the environment is changing and what can be done to mitigate and adapt to change. The global environment is changing rapidly as a result of human action, but there is uncertainty about the magnitude and nature of the physical changes taking place. More uncertain still is how physical changes will affect ecosystems and the goods and services they provide to society at a range of scales. During this unit, you will explore the scientific basis of anthropogenic and natural changes and examine the current limits to our knowledge of these changes.
The aims of the unit are to:
- Introduce you to the causes and consequences of global environmental change at a range of levels of organisation and in different geographical locations.
- Enable you to engage in contemporary debates about environmental change, forming reasoned and evidenced opinions.
- Develop your knowledge of the concepts and principles that underpin our understanding of natural and human-driven changes and critically evaluate the evidence for change.
- Enable you to explain that global environmental change research is multidisciplinary, incorporating natural and social sciences as well as modelling and technology, and that multidisciplinary approaches need to be considered in developing the management strategies.
Environmental Research Project
Environmental research project is an intensive research experience, which may be laboratory, field or management related work in a chosen environmental area.
The unit aims to provide you with the opportunity to gain experience in performing an independent research investigation with guidance from experienced researchers. Develop relevant practical skills to generate, analyse and interpret data with reference to appropriate literature. Gain experience in scientific reporting in a professional context.
Ability to develop and deliver a research project including the formulation of a research question, design of the work programme, data collection, recording, analysis, and interpretation with reference to literature, and reporting in a professional format is critically important for future employment and/or further studies such as postgraduate research degrees.
How will you be assessed?
The assessment philosophy of MSc Environmental Management conforms to the recommendations of the aspects of QAA statements for Earth Sciences Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies and also takes elements from the QAA statements for Biosciences. The methods used for the assessment of students' achievements will correspond with the knowledge abilities and skills that are to be developed through their degree programme. Both formative and summative modes of assessment will be used.
The course assessment strategy is compliant with the University of Bedfordshire's Regulations. All assessed work will be marked using the Universitys percentage based marking scheme. Evidence on which assessment of student achievement is based will include: - Formal written examinations; - Written reports including scientific and consultancy-style reports; - Oral presentations; - Poster presentations; - Individual planning conduct and reporting of project work; and Essay assignments. The commitment to field and lab-based practical skills and the ability to communicate and interpret data through scientific and professional report writing is emphasised at throughout the course. As such written reports based on field or laboratory work form an important element of student assessment.
The importance of oral communication skills is also acknowledged and four units require oral or poster presentations as a part of the unit assessments. Students that fail to successfully complete the initial taught units may not be eligible to progress to the laboratory based research project stage of the course; this is determined by the Universitys regulations. Students who do not initially progress will be expected to undertake either referral assessments or if necessary retake failed units (no student can retake a unit more than once). When students pass the number of other units prescribed by the regulations they will be able to undertake their laboratory based research project.
Graduates of this course can choose from a wide range of career paths in environmental science and management in the public and private sectors including environmental agencies and ecological consultancies; biotechnological environmental and agricultural research organisations; academic institutions; national and international government agencies and non-governmental bodies; and related business and industry including food security.
You also have the option of further study leading to PhD.