The Pollution Management option focuses on the interface and interaction between science, technology, and policy in the environment. There is an emphasis on local issues, but these are inescapably set within the context of regional and global developments. We draw on best practice in the UK and Western Europe, applied not only here but also in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.
In Western Europe and North America, many short-range pollution problems of past decades have been solved, but business and industry find themselves operating in an environment where the public and government demand ever more stringent environmental standards. Other parts of the world might be seen as following some way behind this trend and learning from it, including where examples of acute local and regional pollution remain in a context of a pressing need for rapid socio-economic development. Globalisation is an additional, external source of pressure on every nation to meet the highest environmental standards that are increasingly prevalent elsewhere. In many cases, however, developing countries have an opportunity to learn from our mistakes as well as our successes. In particular, the trend of the past was for environmental protection to be an expensive luxury. Today, it is possible to find a different and more efficient path to a better quality of life for everyone, now and in the future, by protecting the environment in a way that leads simultaneously to an increase in economic prosperity. There is therefore continued growth in demand for graduates with expertise in pollution management:
- Within the UK and European Union
- Working from the UK but exporting expertise to other parts of the world
- World-wide, especially in the rapidly developing economies of Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and in Eastern European and Mediterranean regions having increasing levels of trade and political interaction with the European Union.
Responses to pollution at least must reassure the public it is safe, or allow adaptation to or protection from its effects. A better approach is to control concentrations of a pollutant in the environment, but the best solution is to prevent its formation in the first place.
Integrated Pollution, Prevention and Control is a major development in this area, pioneered in the UK and now led by the European Union, bringing together management, planning, and communication as well as end-of-pipe technological solutions. But this needs to mesh with other kinds of regulatory and voluntary initiatives, especially where non-industrial sources of pollution including transport and agriculture make an important contribution, in more and less developed countries alike.
The Option is divided into six modules, covering all the major areas of environmental concern, and there is a significant interdisciplinary element throughout, reflecting the philosophy of the MSc as a whole. They should not be considered as stand-alone, but should be seen as a closely integrated whole:
Module Aims and Learning Outcomes
Environment and Health
- To give the student a foundation in chemistry, microbiology and policy basics to understand aspects of environmental management and technology and their impact on health.
- Describe the main chemical and biological processes important in the physical environment and environmental technology and parameters that define environmental quality.
Air Pollution and Climate Control
- To familiarise students with how our incomplete but expanding scientific understanding of pollution is translated into policy and practice for Air Pollution & Climate Control management.
- Be able to integrate understanding of atmospheric chemistry and physics together with biological implications and pollution control technology, with the application of Air Pollution modelling and monitoring for review and assessment of air quality & Climate.
Waste and Resource Management
- To provide students with an introduction to policies that aim to manage human activities with a focus on waste management to prevent, reduce, or mitigate harmful effects on nature and natural resources.
- Be able to understand the principal features of UK and EC environmental policies and appreciate from a management point of view the principal waste and resouce related problems today.
Environmental Decision Making and Tools
- To introduce students to some of the most important policy tools and techniques to assist them in decision-making.
- Be able to select and use certain management techniques and policy tools to support decision- making in environmental management and policy.
Environmental Pollution and Assessment
- To enhance students' understanding of the pathways in the environment followed by pollutants from source to receptor
- Be able to assess the physical and chemical processes involved in the progress of pollutants from source to receptor, and manage the impacts the pollutants may have on a range of receptors.
Water Technology and Pollution
- To introduce the student to the various unit processes used in water and wastewater treatment, including underlying pollution theory and treatment technology.
- Be able to describe the basic concepts of polluted water treatment technology and the selection of unit treatment processes .
The majority of the graduates enter environmental consultancy both in the UK and abroad usually within the risk assessment and contaminated land areas, but this is not an exhaustive list. A second path of graduates is to regulatory agencies/government bodies such as the Environment Agency of England & Wales and the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Other paths have included further study, the retail sector and banking. To date, the Option has had an excellent track record of employment with over 90% of graduates employed within 12 months of completing the MSc.
It’s only possible to give a selection here, as all our graduates find jobs and the vast majority of these are directly related to environmental technology. In the following list, we have tried to include representative examples as well as the high fliers. For the earlier years, some of the examples are their current posts and some are posts held sooner after graduation.
• Assistant Environmental Consultant, Enviros Aspinwall
• Postdoctoral Research Assistant (surface properties of fuel cell materials) Imperial College Department of Materials
• Research Engineer, Onyx
• PhD, Technical University of Athens
• Projects Manager, British Council, Brazil
• Environmental Health Officer, London Borough of Newham
• Assistant Director, Science & Technology Division, Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment Malaysia
• Field Engineer, Schlumberger (Angola)
Graduates from the 1990s:
• Senior Consultant, Arthur D. Little
• Packaging Development Manager, Halfords
• General Director, Environmental Management, Environment Ministry, Mexico
• Consultant, Price Waterhouse Cooper
• Consultant, OECD/UNEP, Paris
• Societal Analyst, Shell International
• Senior Environmental Consultant, RTZ Technical Services Limited
• Technical Officer, London Borough of Camden
• Section Chief, Department of Global Environmental Change, Japanese Government
• Researcher, Transport 2000
• TransportAction M arketing M anager, Energy Saving Trust
• Head of Natural Perils, Loss Pr evention Council
• Senior Manager, Multimedia Development Corporation, Malaysia
Graduates from the 1980s and 1970s:
Several of our earlier graduates are now employers of more recent graduates! These include:
• External Environmental Affairs Advisor, Amarada Hess
• Partner and Director of UK Environmental Services, Price Waterhouse Coopers
• Technical Director, Stanger Science & Technology
• Senior Lecturer, Roehampton University
• Quality Control Engineer, Chiyoda Corporation, Doha, Qatar
• Head of Environmental Audit, Body Shop International
• Head of Solid Waste Control, Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department
• Environmental Affairs Advisor, Engineering Employers Association
"After two years working in media I decided I wanted to tackle environmental problems from the inside, instead of just documenting them. Doing the Pollution Management Option gave my enthusiasm a more professional grounding. I am now writing a report for the House of Commons." - Robyn Kimber, 2007-8
"The Pollution Management Option was very well-structured, stimulating and challenging. I feel it provided me with an invaluable grounding of knowledge and project management skills which I've found relevant and applicable in my job. I'm working at Atkins consultancy and my job title is Graduate Envrionmental Scientist." - Diana Hickox, 2006-7