The University of Southampton
Courses

ENVS3018 Environmental Management Research Project

Module Overview

The Environmental Management Research Project is a learning experience that enables you to carry out professional research within a placement organisation and bring together information, concepts and key skills gained during your undergraduate career culminating in the submission of your final year practical independent research project and professional development portfolio (PDP). The module preparation takes place in semester 1 of the final (third) year of the programme, in parallel with ENVS3017 ‘The Sustainability Professional’. The module placement within an external partner organisation takes place from the start of February in Semester 2 until mid April lasting a total of 10 weeks. Students will complete the practical independent research project in partnership with the placement organisation, and might have the opportunity to continue working with the organisation (subject to satisfactory outcomes and a position being available) upon completion of the course. Projects will be designed in partnership between students, the programme coordinator, and the placement organisation. The projects will be developed in line with the interests and career aspirations of the student. They will have a strong focus on the professional and academic environmental science and management skills and understanding developed through the programme. All project students will be assigned a dedicated member of the Environmental Sciences academic staff as Supervisor. However, cross curricular links are encouraged and you may be Co-supervised by an academic from the School of Management or from other areas including Biology, Geography, Oceanography, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering and Demography. You will be required to maintain close and regular contact with your supervisory team throughout the placement period. Support materials will be placed on Blackboard, our student learning interface, and supported by dedicated unit documentation, which you will receive at module launch. The documentation will include advice on project planning, execution, analysis, and general professional conduct whilst working within the placement organisation. Additional support materials will be provided relating to the skills necessary to complete the research project successfully, including advice on writing, and on milestones, important key dates, and deliverables. You will also be required to submit a ‘Professional Development Portfolio’ (PDP) analysing the development of your professional skills through the placement. You will be supported through this process by the module lead. You will be issued with documentation on PDP production, milestones, skills development and monitoring, reporting, analysis, and general professional conduct.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The primary aim of this module is to produce graduates who are skilled and employable environmental professionals capable of contributing to a green and sustainable economy. This is supported by the following secondary aims: 1. To understand the application of environmental science and management in the professional environment 2. To apply understanding and practical skills in environmental science and management to the execution of a professionally focused research project 3. To produce and submit a research project to the standard required of a professional organisation or client 4. To understand the personal and professional knowledge, skills, understanding and expertise necessary to become an environmental professional 5. To produce and submit a ‘Professional Development Portfolio’ (PDP) articulating and evaluating the progressive development of your professional skills

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The need for both a multi-disciplinary and an interdisciplinary approach in advancing knowledge and understanding of Earth systems, drawing, as appropriate, from the natural and the social sciences.
  • The processes which shape the natural world at different temporal and spatial scales and their influence on and by human activities.
  • The terminology, nomenclature and classification systems used in environmental science.
  • Methods of acquiring, interpreting and analysing environmental science information with a critical understanding of the appropriate contexts for their use.
  • Issues concerning the availability and sustainability of resources, for example, the different value sets relating to the Earth's resources as commodities and/or heritage.
  • The contribution of environmental science to debate on environmental issues and how knowledge of these forms the basis for informed concern about the Earth and its people.
  • The contribution of environmental science to the development of knowledge of the world we live in.
  • The applicability of environmental science to the world of work.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Recognising and using subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles.
  • Analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, including prior research.
  • Collecting and integrating several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses.
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to complex and multidimensional problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts.
  • Recognising the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for professional codes of conduct.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (eg textual, numerical, verbal, graphical).
  • Developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (eg working independently, time management and organisation skills).
  • Identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development.
  • Developing an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.
  • Communicating appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical forms.
  • Appreciating issues of sample selection, accuracy, precision and uncertainty during collection, recording and analysis of data in the field and laboratory.
  • Preparing, processing, interpreting and presenting data, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques and packages including geographic information systems.
  • Solving numerical problems using computer and non-computer-based techniques.
  • Using the internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information.
  • Identifying individual and collective goals and responsibilities and performing in a manner appropriate to these roles.
  • Recognising and respecting the views and opinions of other team members.
  • Evaluating performance as an individual and a team member.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Planning, conducting, and reporting on environmental investigations, including the use of secondary data.
  • Collecting, recording and analysing data using appropriate techniques in the field and laboratory.
  • Undertaking field and laboratory investigations in a responsible and safe manner, paying due attention to risk assessment, rights of access, relevant health and safety regulations, and sensitivity to the impact of investigations on the environment and stakeholders.
  • Referencing work in an appropriate manner.

Syllabus

This module does not have a prescribed syllabus. The learning experience is delivered via execution of a research project, guided by input from the supervisors within the university and the placement organisation. Semester 1 of year 3 will feature a small number of full module and individual student support sessions. After the module launch you will be required to begin negotiations with the module lead to agree upon the correct organisation for your placement. You will then be required to develop a suitable project with the module lead, placement organisation, and your supervisor(s) if different from the module lead. The individual student project and placement development meetings will centre on the conditions of placement, project design, acquisition of data or information, mapping approaches to data interpretation and analysis, project management, and project submission. The aim is to ensure that the placement, project and methodologies are well founded and appropriate, and to identify risks associated with intended work. Initial discussions will require you to formulate and submit a formal Placement and Project Proposal including a dedicated Risk Assessment (completed in partnership with the placement organisation). Throughout this period you will gain access to dedicated module group sessions on establishing your area of expertise, literature skills, time management, professional expectations, workplace and field safety, risk assessment, report production & requirements, PDP production and requirements. Once the placement and project is established you will maintain close contact with the module lead and your supervisor(s) (if different from the module lead) leading to the submission, towards the end of term 1, of a Project Development Report detailing the result of a literature review, on the focus of your project, supported by a full project management plan and risk assessment. In semester 2 of your final year you will be guided by your supervisor in the development and delivery of a PowerPoint presentation, summarising a significant strand of your project, and the final written dissertation. You will also be required to deliver a PDP presentation on the professional development outcomes of your placement to the staff and students on the module.

Special Features

For students with specials needs, an individual assessment with be made and appropriate arrangements made to ensure they are enabled to benefit from the exercise or an equivalent experience. The module lead will visit the placement organisation and any planned field sites to ensure the student needs are fully met and no risks are in place.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module will be delivered via individual student support in the development and execution of the research project and PDP, guided by input from the module lead and supervisor(s) (if different from the module lead). Lecture sessions will take place on the following topics: - Establishing your field of expertise - Literature skills - Time management - Professional expectations - Workplace and field safety - Risk assessment - Report production & requirements (double session) - PDP production and requirements (double session) The first formal contact session with the Module Lead will take place in Semester 1 of year 3, in advance of the placement and project work which take place in Semester 2.Each of these sessions will take place in semester 1 so you are fully prepared in advance of beginning your placement.

TypeHours
Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Wider reading or practice20
Project supervision18
Completion of assessment task180
Placement Hours350
Tutorial6
Lecture6
Total study time600

Resources & Reading list

Resources. Student access to Laboratory Facilities (Physical/Chemical/Biological) with technical assistance available commensurate with undergraduate work in the Environmental Sciences, if appropriate for the project and not available in the placement organisation. Appropriate field equipment in working order with technical maintenance, preparation and assistance commensurate with undergraduate work in the Environmental Sciences, if appropriate for the project and not available in the placement organisation.

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio 20%
Presentation 5%
Presentation 5%
Project report 60%
Project report 10%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio 25%
Project report 75%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite modules: ENVS1005 Quantitative Methods ENVS1006 Environmental Science: Research and Applications ENVS1007 Environmental Field Techniques and Applications ENVS2006 Environmental Impact Assessment ENVS2007 Environmental Pollution ENVS3013 Environmental Law and Management ENVS3017 The Sustainability Professional

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