Pollutants and naturally occurring substances pose a potential risk of having an adverse impact on human health and the environment. The proper management of these risks requires scientifically-based decision making. Environmental assessment bridges the gap between scientific research and the use of science in decision-making, regulation, and environmental management. By understanding and evaluating the sources, fate, and effects of pollutants in the environment we can develop a scientific basis for assessing risks and thus support regulatory, enforcement, and remedial-action decisions.
The MSc program (EMAS) is designed to develop a sound and critical understanding of the processes and methodologies of Environment Management, to expose students to the range of public policy and social science considerations involved in environmental planning, sustainable development and resource decision-making, to enhance students' existing knowledge of the biogeophysical environment and provide students with a thorough understanding of GIS applied to environmental decision-making. It is directed towards individuals who hold an undergraduate degree in any relevant discipline in the social or physical sciences and are interested in developing or enhancing their knowledge and skills in the environmental field. Students will also be able to relate EMAS theory and practice during their internship, designed to provide opportunities for them to deepen their knowledge and extend their skills through direct application as EMAS practitioners in governmental, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), or private sector organizations.
- An in-depth understanding of the natural and human-induced forcing factors that are responsible for the rapid rates of environmental, and the types of governance and community based responses required to address the impacts, vulnerabilities and implications of these changes on physical, biological, social, economic and cultural environmental conditions. Professional development in the field of Environmental Assessment, Environmental Impact Statements, Environmental Management Plans and Environmental Management Systems for practitioners with practical skills in problem solving as related to adaptive environmental assessment and integrated management. Such skills will be acquired through a combination of face-to-face teaching and practical projects. Training sessions will utilise environmental simulation models to practice students in problem definition, data and information manipulation, management and application. These tools will be used to support the preparation of EMAS documents and with environmental management system/plan preparation.
- Environmental assessment and management practitioners with the theoretical understanding and practical tools to enable practitioners to more effectively integrate best practice environmental impact assessment tools and techniques with nationally and internationally endorsed environmental management systems. Such tools, techniques and systems are designed to mitigate unwanted effects and manage the outcomes of the implementation of project implantation in ways that ensure continuous improvement.
Skills will be acquired through a combination of lectures, readings, group discussions, practical projects and use of interactive modelling tools. Participants in the program will be assessed by a combination of individual and group project tasks.
On completion of courses under the MSc of EMAS participants in the professional development education and training program will be well equipped to meet existing and emerging professional challenges and be able to :
- follow international trends in environmental assessment and management
- better understand international and national obligations for environmental assessment and management
- use integrated adaptive assessment and management tools and techniques to achieve continuous improvement in environmental outcomes
- more effectively assess and manage complex industrial, infrastructure and urban development proposals using statutory and best practice processes and procedures