Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Environmental Pollution

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Environmental Management and Planning

DESCRIPTION Human activities (such as industrial production, transportation or economic growth) create a number of environmental pressures, which include the discarding of the by-products of these activities to one or more of the three major environmental compartments (air, water and land) leading to pollution of the impacted compartment.

This study-unit is aimed at introducing students to the major processes leading to the pollution of air, water (both fresh and marine) and terrestrial environments, as well the fate of the different pollutants in the respective environmental compartments.

Additionally, the students will learn about the implications arising from the presence of these polluting substances in air, water or soil and how professionals in the field plan and execute monitoring campaigns in order to keep the levels of these substances under check.

Students will also be introduced to the science of pollution data analysis in order to be able to interpret pollution data correctly with the use of modelling software. This study-unit will also introduce the techniques that are used in order to minimize pollutant emissions.

Study-Unit Aims:

This study-unit aims:

- To provide an understanding of the major processes leading to the emission of pollutants to air, water and land;
- To explain the available tools that are used to measure the levels of the main pollutants in the respective compartment;
- To introduce methods to analyze and interpret pollution data;
- To introduce analytical and thinking skills to the solution of environmental pollution problems.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Explain the origin of polluting substances in air, water and soil;
- Describe the behaviour and fate of the major pollutants in the different environmental compartments;
- Explain how pollutants are monitored in the different environmental media;
- Apply a range of techniques to model the behaviour of pollutants in the respective environmental compartment;
- Describe the basic techniques that could be employed to minimize the emission of polluting substances to the environment.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Communicate, effectively, concepts in pollution science;
- Plan a campaign for the monitoring of pollution in air, water and soil;
- Evaluate the strengths and limitations of the different monitoring and modelling techniques;
- Apply theoretical knowledge learnt throughout this study-unit to the interpretation of pollution data;
- Critically appraise pollution reduction strategies.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Harrison, R. M., Ed. (1999). Understanding our environment: an introduction to environmental chemistry and pollution, 2nd Ed. Royal Society of Chemistry. ISBN: 9780854045846.
- Tiwary, A. and Williams, I. (2018). Air pollution: measurement, modelling and mitigation, 4th Ed. CRC Press. ISBN: 9781498719452.
- Robert, S. M., James, R.C., Williams, P.L. (2015). Principles of toxicology: environmental and industrial applications, 3rd Ed. ISBN: 978047090791-7.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Computer Lab Session, Lecture & Practicum

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (1 Hour) SEM2 Yes 40%
Portfolio SEM2 Yes 60%
Important - Due to the COVID19 Pandemic the information regarding the method of assessment indicated above may have been changed. Further details have been provided by your F/I/C/S.

LECTURER/S Charles Galdies
Mark Scerri (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.