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The University of Southampton

SOES3008 Environmental and Engineering Geology

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply examples of environmental and engineering geology theory and practice to address environmental and waste management problems.
  • Integrate aspects of environmental geochemistry, environmental radioactivity and hydrogeology/hydrology to develop solutions to complex environmental or engineering problems
  • Apply fundamental radioactivity equations and concepts to assess environmental and human health consequences of nuclear industry discharges.
  • Develop strategies for working on multifactorial, multidisciplinary problems.


The module is concerned with a number of inter-related environmental geological issues that have not been encountered in other courses. Relevant introductory material is presented to ensure that a good understanding of the key issues can be gained by students having a background in any of the environmental sciences (geology, geophysics, Phy Geog, Env Sci) Several of the course topics are inter-related which increases the value of the learning outcomes. Additionally, several aspects introduce information on employability prospects. The course covers problems of urban geology, including water supply and pollution (hydrology and hydrogeology) and waste disposal (landfill and geology, EU Directives). It also includes the impact of metalliferous mining on the environment, aspects of natural and anthropogenic environmental radioactivity, the many issues relating to problems relating to nuclear site operations, incidents, decommissioning, waste discharges to the sea and nuclear waste disposal. The hydrogeology of the highly complex Sellafield nuclear site is used as a case study to consider the interaction of groundwater movements with geochemical dispersion (including radionuclide migration).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Formal Lectures: (24 x 45 minute Lectures): are concerned with theoretical background and case-studies relating to water resources, waste disposal, engineering, land remediation, radioactivity, environmental geochemistry and health. Approximately 2 Invited speakers make specialist contributions to the course. Practicals: 7 x 2 hour laboratory classes. Tutorial / group discussion: 2 hours A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

Completion of assessment task70
Guided independent study30
Practical classes and workshops14
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 40%
Essay 60%
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