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Masters Degrees (River Restoration)

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The course focuses on developing the professional skills required for a rewarding career as a water focused environmental scientist. Read more

The course focuses on developing the professional skills required for a rewarding career as a water focused environmental scientist. The importance of accurate assessment of the potential and existing impacts on the water environment from industrial practices, abstraction and agriculture sit at the heart of this course.

Introducing your course

Highly skilled water scientists and engineers are vital for the conservation and enhancement of our aquatic environment, both locally and globally. The MSc Water Resources Management course provides graduates with the ability to accurately assess the potential and existing impacts on the water environment from industrial practices, abstraction, and agriculture.

This masters degree focuses on developing the professional skills and advanced knowledge required for a rewarding career as a water focused environmental scientist.

Overview

On this course you will explore the scientific and engineering management of our aquatic resources. You will gain an in-depth understanding of freshwater ecosystems, visit river restoration sites and examine the state of fisheries.

In your first semester, you will study the science behind pollutants and their effect on the wider environment.You will measure and monitor pollution, remediate problems, study the impacts of engineering structures, and examine the latest processes and technologies in the field. You will also study Natural Resource Governance, helping you develop the critical skills sets you need to pursue a career as a water resources scientist.

In the second semester, we develop your practical research skills to prepare you for a diverse range of roles, from water quality monitoring to aquatic species conservation. You will learn to apply innovative research techniques, present arguments and understand how research funding works. Throughout the semesters we aim to equip you with a diverse range of professional and transferable skills. We will teach you to critically evaluate data and mitigate environmental problems. You will also undertake computer lab sessions and learn to apply modelling tools to support your decision making. Emphasis is placed on building a sound scientific basis alongside practical application.

Each semester, you have the option to specialise in modules related to your interests and career aspirations, from Water and Wastewater Engineering to Coastal Flood Defence to River Basin Management

The last part of the year will centre on your individual research, where you will put your learning into practice to complete an advanced research project.

View the specification document for this course



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This programme is delivered in close collaboration with our advisory board of representatives from the water industry, and provides fundamental and applied training in the science and management of freshwater environments. Read more

Overview

This programme is delivered in close collaboration with our advisory board of representatives from the water industry, and provides fundamental and applied training in the science and management of freshwater environments. Combining hydrology, geomorphology, biogeochemistry and ecology, the degree is designed to produce outstanding scientists capable of developing interdisciplinary environmental solutions to priority water resource and catchment issues. It involves fieldwork at our research sites including the near-natural Tagliamento River, Italy, and heavily impacted rivers within London and the south-east of England.

This programme:

- facilitates networking within the water and environmental sectors
- lets you develop core understanding of freshwater environmental systems and the key policy and legal frameworks that underpin their management
- provides hands-on training in flood estimation and inundation modelling using industry-standard software
- allows you to broaden your skills and knowledge in the monitoring and management of pollutants, nutrient levels and greenhouse gas emissions in aquatic systems
- provides training in river assessment methods
- develops your skills and knowledge in the theory and practice of river restoration
- learn transferable skills in field and lab methods, project management, statistical analysis, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and the use of remotely sensed data, report writing, problem solving and presenting
- follow in the footsteps of our graduates who have secured positions in the water and environmental sectors including Jacobs, Halcrow Group, JBA Consulting, River Trusts, Thames Water, Environment Agency, Parish Geomorphic and ESIS Inc.

Why study at QMUL Geography?

- Professional and friendly environment: We are recognised as an international centre for excellence in teaching and research. Our work is at the forefront of human geography, shaping debates and providing significant new insight and understanding. We are also known for our friendly, collegial and welcoming ethos and are home to many of contemporary human geography's best known scholars.
- Research excellence: Almost 80 per cent of our research outputs (books and articles) are rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) placing us 5th in the UK for this measure. Our research scores increased across all areas in the latest UK score of research excellence (REF 2014) and we're ranked joint 11th for geography in the UK overall. We're also proud to feature in the top 100 departments in the world to study geography (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016)
- Employability: 94% of respondents from our postgraduates were in work or further study six month after graduation; 91% at graduate level (DLHE 2015).
- You will develop knowledge and understanding relevant to employment in organisations such as Environment Agency, Defra, Natural England, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, British Geological Survey and environmental consultancies.

Funding:

A bursary of up to £4,000 is available from the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators for this programme. Contact Dr Gemma Harvey at to find out more.

Fieldwork

Students visit our researchers' site at the near-natural Tagliamento River in Italy as well as heavily-impacted rivers in London and the south east of England.

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What you will study. Tropical Ecology- 20 credits (Optional). This module encompasses dive training; a 16-day excursion (variable destinations, e.g. Read more

What you will study

  • Tropical Ecology- 20 credits (Optional)
  • This module encompasses dive training; a 16-day excursion (variable destinations, e.g. Borneo, Honduras, Philippines); one-week tropical forest surveys, one-week coral reef diving – organism identification and surveying.
  • Environmental Management and Legislation - 10 credits
  • We look at how legislation protects the environment, planning laws and policies, environmental economics and cost-benefit analysis.

  • Wildlife Surveying - 10 credits
  • You will conduct pond and river water quality surveys (BMWP and PSYM methods) and river habitat surveys (RHS). You will learn freshwater invertebrate identification skills and plant identification.

  • Tools for Sustainable Development - 20 credits (Optional)
  • This 100% coursework module includes a four-day workshop. We look at energy use/resources and climate change. We also investigate sustainable alternatives to current lifestyles, consumerism, fossil fuel use and the implications for conservation policy and practices, plus how to obtain funding for community and sustainability projects.

  • Restoration Ecology - 20 credits
  • In this module we study ecology and biodiversity; re-wilding: beaver, lynx, wolf reintroduction; restoration approaches for various habitats and tropical forest management.
  • Terrestrial and Aquatic Conservation - 20 credits
  • You will study protected areas and their management; the impact of climate change on terrestrial habitats; agricultural systems and impact on conservation; the 
  • ecology of rivers, lakes and marine habitats; the human impacts on freshwater habitats and identifying freshwater life.

  • European Field Expedition - 20 credits
  • You will study vegetation surveys (forest structure surveys, thermal zone assessment, various transect techniques, habitat mapping); land use and management issues; bird survey methods (bird identification skills); offshore marine surveys and measurements.

  • Work Based Learning Project - 20 credits (Optional)
  • The optional Work Based Learning module enables our students to gain 60 hours work experience under the supervision of an employer. You will also be assigned an academic supervisor who will advise you on a suitable employer based on your area of interest. Recent organisations who have hosted our students include Capita Symonds, Natural Resources Wales, Wales Heritage Coastal Path and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

  • MSc Project - 60 credits 
  • This project is often done in co-operation with conservation organisations such as National Parks; English Nature / Countryside Council for Wales; National Botanic Garden; Environment Agency and Wildlife Trusts. Examples of recent projects include coral reef conservation in the Bahamas; feeding habits of Groupers off Honduras; deforestation in SE Asia; invasive species in Cardiff Bay; biodiversity increase with organic farming; butterfly reintroduction and habitats; recognition of Japanese Knotweed by remote sensing.

  • Tropical Environmental Monitoring - 20 credits (Optional)
  • This module is all about conservation and wildlife / safari management. We look at field monitoring techniques and identification skills, and animal tracking on both foot and by vehicle.
  • Applied Geospatial Analysis - 20 credits
  • This offers a practical introduction to Geographical Information Systems and their use in environmental management. We will look at remote sensing techniques; animal population modelling; pollution modelling and the use of statistical software for parametric and non-parametric analysis, correlation, regression and ANOVA analysis. 

Teaching

Full-time students spend two days at University, usually Wednesday and Thursday, and around 12 hours per week in lectures and practical sessions.

Part-time students attend one day per week. First year part-time students attend on Wednesdays and second years attend on Thursdays.

We teach using a combination of lectures, laboratory sessions, problem solving tutorials, video presentations and practicals. You will also undertake fieldwork excursions within the UK and overseas (additional costs apply). The number of hours of formal teaching will vary depending on your module choice. You will also be encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning by completing guided reading and various interactive computer packages. Based on individual circumstances the MSc Project may be extended into your third year of study and will be agreed as part of a discussion with the course leader. Please note some field trips will take place on weekdays besides Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a range of methods depending on your module choice, these include: examinations, coursework such as writing reports of field excursions. You will also analyse case studies, undertake presentations, participate in workshops and analyse data.



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With a strong emphasis on practical study, you will be taught by both University academics and industry professionals, and will gain the key skills and professional training required for a rewarding career as a practitioner or researcher. Read more

With a strong emphasis on practical study, you will be taught by both University academics and industry professionals, and will gain the key skills and professional training required for a rewarding career as a practitioner or researcher.

Our programme is unique in that it is taught jointly by University academics and professionals from leading environmental consultancy JBA Consulting, the Environment Agency and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, which has a one of its major research facilities based at Lancaster. Graduates gain the skills and knowledge to progress careers with a water consultancy, water regulator, water company or research organisation.

You will study six modules and complete a dissertation project. The jointly-taught core modules have been professionally accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and will provide you with the key skills of a water professional by addressing the principles of catchment hydrology, sustainable surface water management, groundwater assessment, methods of catchment protection, principles of lake ecology, managing coastal flooding, flood forecasting, the design of river structures and the restoration of river channels. Optional modules covering wider environmental and social science skills are also available.

Practical work is an important component of the programme, with modules including challenging fieldwork in Cumbrian and Lancashire catchments, and laboratory work involving the use of flumes, water quality analyses and computer models.

We encourage you to undertake your dissertation research project with an external partner in the water sector or as an integral part of our ongoing research activities in water resources. Each year we offer a large selection of possible projects with external partnership or internship opportunities including JBA Consulting, the Environment Agency, United Utilities and many other organisations. We also welcome projects that strengthen your existing partnerships. You will be supervised by one of our active researchers with relevant expertise.



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This MSc course addresses scientific, technological and legislative aspects of the diagnosis (analysis and assessment) and management (remediation and restoration) of important environmental issues concerned with contaminated land, water quality, air pollution and waste. Read more
This MSc course addresses scientific, technological and legislative aspects of the diagnosis (analysis and assessment) and management (remediation and restoration) of important environmental issues concerned with contaminated land, water quality, air pollution and waste.

It has been designed with industry advice to enable good science and engineering graduates begin and advance successful careers in the environmental sector, and pursue postgraduate scientific research. The MSc is delivered in first-class teaching and research facilities by a dedicated team of internationally renowned environmental scientists, and presents considerable interaction with environmental consultancies and engineers, industry, local and regulatory authorities, and research institutes.

During 2007-2011, the course was supported by 6 NERC studentships, the most awarded annually to an environmental MSc. Students on the course have won the most EMpower research projects funded by companies within the nuclear industry, and since 2008, a Prize for Best Performance Overall has been awarded annually by Arup, a global environmental engineering and consultancy company.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/earthsciences/coursefinder/mscenvironmentaldiagnosismanagement.aspx

Why choose this course?

- The quality of teaching and learning on the course is enhanced considerably by significant professional networking and interaction with leading experts from environmental consultants and engineers, industry, local and regulatory authorities, and universities and research institutes; who present seminars, host study visits, co-supervise research projects, and act as an advisory panel.

- Graduates of the course are skilled and knowledgeable scientists with excellent employment prospects within the environmental sector, particularly as environmental consultants and engineers, in local and regulatory authorities, industry, charitable trusts, and research institutes and universities.

- In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the Department’s research was ranked equal 6th in the UK with 70% rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

Course content and structure

You will study seven taught modules, three case studies and complete an Independent Research Project:

- Communication & Co-operation Skills
Provides practical training in written and verbal communication media; project, team and time management; role playing in environmental impact assessment; careers advice and a mock job interview.

- Environmental Inorganic Analysis
A practical laboratory and field-work based introduction to quality assured sampling strategies, preparation processes and analytical methods for heavy metals in soils, surface waters, and vegetation.

- Diagnostic & Management Tools
Provides practical computer-based training in statistical analysis of environmental data, geographical information systems, and environmental risk assessment.

- Environmental Organic Chemistry Pathways Toxicology
Comprises physical and chemical properties, transport, fate and distribution, and toxicology of organic compounds in the environment.

- Contaminated Land Case Study
A practical laboratory and field-work based human health risk assessment of pollutant linkages at a former gravel extraction and landfill site. It comprises desk-top study, site investigation and sampling, laboratory analysis, data interpretation, quantitative risk assessment, and remediation options.

- Water Quality: Diagnosis & Management
A practical laboratory and field-work based introduction to aquatic science, hydrogeology, treatment of water and wastewater, and chemical, biological and physical monitoring of water quality. Includes a study visit to a global manufacturer of pesticides and herbicides.

- River Thames Basin Case Study
A combination of fieldwork, laboratory work and desk-top study to diagnose water quality in chemical and ecological terms, to identify industrial and agricultural pollutant linkages, and to determine environmental, ecological and health impacts.

- Air Pollution: Monitoring, Impacts & Management
Covers: sources, sinks, dispersion, conversion, monitoring, impacts and management of air pollutants with study visits to a local authority and a government research institute.

- Royal Holloway Campus Air Quality Case Study
Involves a consultancy company-style investigation of ambient and indoor air quality within the confines of RHUL campus; and combines desk-top research with practical fieldwork and laboratory analysis.

- Waste Management & Utilisation
Considers municipal, industrial and radioactive waste management options, with study visits to a landfill site, a waste incinerator, composting facility, recycling centre and nuclear power station.

- Independent Research Project
Consists of a four-month, independent scientific investigation, usually in collaboration with environmental consultants and engineers, local and regulatory authorities, industry, research institutes, and universities. Projects may comprise a desk-top study or practical laboratory and field investigation, they may be funded, and often lead to employment or to PhD research. Final results are presented at the Research Project Symposium to an audience from within the environmental sector

On completion of the course graduates will have acquired the experience, knowledge, and critical understanding to enable them to:

- Conduct themselves as professional environmental research scientists, consultants, and managers, convey in a professional manner, scientific, technical and managerial information, and manage projects and resources efficiently

- Apply quality assured sampling strategies, preparation procedures and analytical systems to quantify health risks posed by inorganic and organic pollutant linkages in soils, waters and air

- Apply statistical analysis, geographical information systems, and environmental impact and risk assessment to the interpretation of environmental data

- Appreciate the importance and impacts of hydro-geological, and bio- and physico-chemical processes on the treatment of water and wastewater, and on the quality of groundwater and aquatic ecosystems

- Appreciate the emissions, dispersion, conversion, and monitoring of natural and man-made gaseous and particulate air pollutants, their impacts on climate change, human health and vegetation, and management on local, regional and global scales

- Appreciate the prevention, re-use, recycling, recovery, disposal and utilisation of municipal and industrial waste and the management of nuclear waste within the constraints of national and international legislation

- Manage an independent environmental science research project, often with professional collaboration, and of significant value to their career development.

Assessment

- Written examinations test understanding of the principles and concepts taught in the modules and case studies, and the ability to integrate and apply them to environmental diagnosis and management.

- Assessment of module work and practical computing, laboratory and fieldwork evaluates critical understanding of the environmental science taught, and mastery of producing quality assured data, and its analysis, interpretation, presentation and reporting.

- Assessment also reflects the ability to work independently and in teams, and to learn during study visits.

- Assessment of research projects is based on the ability to manage and report on an original piece of independent scientific work.

- All assessed work has significant confidential written and verbal feedback.

Employability & career opportunities

94% of the graduates of the MSc from 2008 to 2013 either successfully secured first-destination employment as international environmental consultants and engineers, in industry, local and regulatory authorities and charitable trusts, or are conducting postgraduate research within international research institutes and universities.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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