Environmental Science in the Field and Laboratory


Environmental Science in the Field and Laboratory will allow students to experience and understand the challenges of working in the laboratory and the field, and to design and execute appropriate experiments and surveys relevant to environmental science.


The aim of this Module is to allow the student to explore and experience the inherent challenges and approaches relevant to field and laboratory work, and to provide the opportunity to design and execute a group investigation in the field of environmental science and technology.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Appreciate the challenges associated with working in a variety of outdoor and indoor environments, and the ability to identify and mitigate appropriately against risk in each context.

2.  Demonstrate, in the form of written proposal, the ability to formulate and contextualise ideas, test hypotheses and identify the appropriate tools required to answer specific questions in a range of environments.

3.  Plan, arrange and execute a small group work investigation in the field and lab relevant to applied environmental sciences and technology.

4.  Develop confidence and competence in problem solving and trouble shooting in field and laboratory scenarios relevant to environmental science and technology.

5.  Participate constructively in written and oral peer review.

6.  Demonstrate an ability to analyse the results of a study and report them to a wider audience as an oral presentation.

Indicative Content

1 Field based enquiry and methods

A range of staff-led, field-based inquiries based in environments that may include freshwater, brackish, marine or terrestrial, such as estuaries, bog, heath, saltmarsh, urban, etc.

2 Lab enquiries

A range of staff-led, laboratory-based inquiries that utilise different methodologies from microbiological and molecular to organism level approaches. Examples may include dietary analysis, genetics and gene expression, respirometry, pollution monitoring, ecological monitoring.

3 Tutorials

Setting up, debriefing and providing feedback on field and lab based activities.

4 Risk assessment

Assessing and mitigating against risk in a variety of environments.

5 Student-led laboratory and field investigations.

Student-led laboratory and field investigations.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Students are expected to fully engage with all group activities, seminars and laboratory sessions in this module. The feedback from these activities feed-forward into summative assessments on the module.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 0
Tutorial/Seminar 24
Supervised Practical Activity 100
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 4
Independent 72

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.