GVMENVC-Environmental Consultancy

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Elizabeth Shaw

Email: e.j.shaw@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

A practical site investigation is undertaken on a former landfill. The results of the field sampling are used to develop a risk assessment of the site. The findings are presented to an expert panel under realistic conditions. The students benefit from a real life environment that provides genuine field experience that can be presented to future employers.


To teach the theory and application of techniques for contaminated site investigation and assessment with the subsequent presentation of the findings to clients.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students will produce a site investigation report at the conclusion of the module and collective presentation to a panel consisting of regulators and practitioners from the environment industry.

Additional outcomes:

Students will undertake an investigation on a real contaminated site and develop the associated planning and team working skills. 

Students will further develop statistical skills in data analysis and sampling design from taught modules.

Students will learn basic GIS skills and their use in presentation of spatial data.

Students will present their findings to environmental professionals providing an opportunity to develop the presentation skills developed in other modules. 


Outline content:

The module will commence with a series of lecture-demonstrations introducing the basic principles of GIS, sampling design and site investigation. In the second part of the module students will undertake a site investigation on a historic contaminated site determining heavy metal concentrations in soils, ground and surface waters. Tutorial support will be provided at fixed times within the module e.g. when students present their sampling design before its implementation. 

Lecture topics to be covered include: 

- Choice of effective techniques to represent graphs and maps. 

- GIS mapping for sampling plans and data presentation 

- Data input and capture. 

- Statistical techniques - one way ANOVA, mean value test 

- Soil and water analysis 

- Team working 

- Presentation to clients 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

A mixture of practicals, lectures and site visits will be used in this diverse module. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 12
Tutorials 12
Demonstration 12
Practicals classes and workshops 52
Fieldwork 12
Guided independent study 100
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Oral assessment and presentation 25
Set exercise 15

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall 

Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission of coursework in September 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Students will require sturdy footwear and waterproof clothing for understanding the site investigation


Last updated: 31 March 2017

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