Environmental Monitoring and Pollution


Environmental monitoring often combines a variety of methods operating at a range of spatial and temporal scales and often focusses on problems caused by pollution. This module will provide a broad overview over environmental monitoring and imaging techniques, and introduce the students to methods of data collection and interpretation, and apply these to specific pollution cases.


The aim of this module is to teach the student an understanding of observatory and analytical techniques for monitoring, imaging and managing the environment, and to provide an understanding of the production, behaviour and effects of pollution.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Show an awareness of the different spatial scales of environmental monitoring and imaging techniques.

2.  Critically assess environmental data and understand how they can be used to underpin conclusions.

3.  Critically assess a range of sources, type and dynamics of pollution in air, land and water, and understand the effects of pollutants in environments.

4.  Evaluate pollution mitigation methods.

5.  Conduct and interpret a range of relevant laboratory / field environmental monitoring techniques.

Indicative Content

1 Micro-Local-Global Scales

Methods and spatial scales in environmental monitoring and imaging.

2 Sampling strategies

Sampling strategies in heterogeneous environments, use of multiple methods to address specific questions, quantifying spatial correlation and spatial interpolation methods.

3 Pollution in air

Particulate and chemical pollution, movement of particles, passage into the body, health effects, remediation processes.

4 Land pollution

Contaminated land, contamination of crop and livestock, heavy metals, remediation processes.

5 Catastrophe pollution

Radiation, oil spills, fires, environment crimes, remediation processes.


Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Learning outcomes of this module will be achieved by students attending lectures, tutorials and practicals. Students are expected to fully engage with all group activities in this module. The feedback from these activities feed-forward into summative assessments on the module.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Supervised Practical Activity 24
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 32
Independent 120

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.