Air Pollution: Effects and Control

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Air Pollution: Effects and Control

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
    Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites:
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7

    Summary module description:
    This course examines the effects and control of air pollution, enabling students to understand the issues and give them a basis for evaluating the controversies. The module will cover the history of air pollution, the ?classical? air pollutants ? sulphur dioxide and smoke; nitrogen oxides and particulates; ozone and other secondary pollutants; carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases; acid rain; and indoor air pollution. It will also examine the management of air pollution: how decisions are made and what legislation is in force, and will include local site visits and liason with the Environmental Health Department of Reading Borough Council.

    The aims of this module are: ? To promote an understanding of the nature and effects of human-induced air pollution; ? To assess some current controversies on the effects of air pollutants and the appropriate control measures to be applied.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    On completion of this module, students will be expected to: ? Be able to give an account of the origins and effects of the major air pollutants; ? Know something of the history of air pollution; ? Understand the political and scientific basis for legislation affecting the control of air pollution in Europe and the USA; ? Be able to evaluate the evidence bearing on current controversies about air pollution; ? Know the major sources of data relating to air pollution.

    Additional outcomes:
    Students should improve their oral presentation skills through seminar presentations and group discussions. The module should help them develop their skills of critically assessing information derived from scientific papers, reports, web resources and the popular media. Students should also develop their IT skills through word processing, presentation software and (if they choose) data analysis. These are all positive contributions to their transferable skills profile.

    Outline content:
    Air pollution is a topic of considerable scientific, economic and political importance. This module should enable students to understand the issues and give them a basis for evaluating the controversies which should be useful in other areas as well.
    Topics covered will be:
    History of air pollution, concentrating on the UK;
    The origins and effects of:
    The ?classical? air pollutants ? sulphur dioxide and smoke;
    Nitrogen oxides and particulates;
    Ozone and other secondary pollutants;
    Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases;
    Acid rain;
    Indoor air pollution.
    Managing air pollution: how decisions are made and what legislation is in force;
    Air pollution controversies.
    Air Pollution and health.
    Sources of information about pollution.
    Pollution monitoring: visit to a monitoring site.

    Students will be expected to follow up the lectures with their own reading, using both conventional and internet sources. Students will be trained in the use of the peer-reviewed research literature, and encouraged to use it.

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    One three-hour session per week between Weeks 1 and 11 of the Autumn Term. The sessions include lectures followed by a discussion session. Adversarial student-led seminars are used to cover some of the issues, in which groups take an opposing viewpoint about an air pollution issue.

    Contact hours:
    Lectures 14
    Seminars 5
    Tutorials 10
    Project Supervision 8
    External visits 3
    Guided independent study 160

    Total hours by term 200

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Written exam 50
    Written assignment including essay 40
    Oral assessment and presentation 10

    Other information on summative assessment:
    One 2500-word essay is required on a choice of topic.
    Group adversarial seminars are used to cover some topics, which are assessed for presentation quality as well as content using the standard GES protocol. These are assessed (10%), each student getting the same mark subject to confirmation of each student making an adequate contribution.

    Formative assessment methods:
    A Blackboard quiz is provided. There is a seminar session where groups have to analyze a scientific paper related to air pollution and health, and if the time is available a scientific evidence-related roleplaying exercise is used to raise awareness of the issues relating to ecological effects of air pollutants.

    Length of examination:
    Two hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August/September

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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