Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 15 x 1 hour lectures
Practical 4 x 2.5 hour practicals
Other 1 x 2 hour workshop


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Report based on data from laboratory practicals and from dataset provided  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment 2 Hours   Candidates must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. demonstrate a knowledge of the importance of QA/QC procedures.

2. discuss the role of risk assessment in setting environmental standards

3. appreciate the underlying principles and uncertainties associated with common analytical procedures.

4. demonstrate competence in sample analysis

5. undertake data manipulation and interpretation of datasets.

Brief description

This module consists of a series of lectures that introduce students to the basis of environmental standards and some of the problems associated with collecting reliable data for environmental assessment. It considers the entire process from sample collection through laboratory analysis to data interpretation, emphasising the integral link between protocols for investigation and associated environmental standards and the need for quality assurance (QA) procedures.



The differences in properties between land, air and water are discussed with particular reference to the implications for risk assessments associated with the setting of environmental standards (both chemical and biological). Design of monitoring programmes and methods for taking, storing and preparing samples are considered. Principles underpinning a range of techniques (both chemical and biological) used in monitoring soil, air and water quality are outlined and the importance of QA measures emphasised. Overall, there is a strong emphasis on the how methodologies affect the reliability of data produced and their relationship to published environmental quality standards.

Practical classes

A series of laboratory practical classes gives students experience in sample analysis, data processing, QA/QC measures and data interpretation for a case study based on samples taken from a local estuary.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Data handling skills will be developed and assessed in coursework reports
Communication Development of written in the subject, assessed in coursework and examination
Improving own Learning and Performance Scholarly review of recent peer-review publications in the topic for practicals, workshops and seminars
Information Technology Word processing, spreadsheet manipulation and presentation of data. Assessed in coursework reports
Personal Development and Career planning Familiarisation with quality control/quality assurance issues essential to career in environmental science
Problem solving Practical classes will provide opportunities to develop problem solving skills and these will be assessed in coursework reports.
Research skills Coursework reports require preparation using library and web resources and this will be assessed.
Subject Specific Skills Subject specific concepts relating to environmental standards and monitoring will be developed and assessed in coursework/ examinations
Team work Group working in laboratory practicals.


This module is at CQFW Level 5