Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Pollution in the Arctic (UNIS)
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 5 Hours   Written exercises  In-Course Assessment: 
Semester Assessment Field excursion report and term project report  Continuous Assessment: 
Supplementary Exam Two-hour examination and 5,000 word report 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the following aspects of pollution in High Arctic regions:

  • Current and potential pollution problems in the High Arctic
  • The risk to the environment from pollution by the mining industry in Arctic areas
  • The risk to the environment from radioactive pollutants and persistent organic pollutants in Arctic areas
  • Methods of local waste handling, and techniques for managing oil spillages in Arctic areas
  • The general environmental effects of pollutants in Arctic areas


This module is one of four suitable for students registered for BSc honours degrees in Environmental Earth Science and Geography, offered by UNIS in Svalbard. UNIS is a University on the High-Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, currently under Norwegian sovereignty. UNIS was established in 1993 by the four universities in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Tomso to offer university level courses and to perform research relevant to its High Arctic location. The intention of this module is to provide level 3 students with the opportunity to undertake one semester of study overseas at UNIS within an international community of students and staff, in an exciting and challenging environment.


Despite its remoteness, certain Arctic areas are subjected to substantial contamination due partly to the exploitation of coal, oil and gas reserves. This module addresses current and potential pollution problems, environmental effects and possible remediation techniques in Arctic areas. Topics covered include those relating to pollution in the Arctic, including pollution from the mining industry, radioactive pollutants, persistent organic pollutnts, local waste handling, and oil spillage.


This module is at CQFW Level 6