ESC-30056 - Ecotoxicology and Risk Assessment
Coordinator: Ian Oliver Tel: +44 1782 7 34956
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733615

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

Ecotoxicology and Risk Assessment provides in-depth knowledge and understanding of principles and practises that crucially underpin many environmental monitoring, regulation and assessment regimes. Upon successful completion of this module students will have the skills to conduct ecotoxicology protocols, construct and interpret dose response curves, source and evaluate ecotoxicology data and generate risk assessment reports.

To provide a detailed understanding of ecotoxicology principles and practises and the science that underpins the discipline. To provide an in-depth understanding of how ecotoxicology data, once generated, is used to carry out environmental risk assessments and to generate environmental quality standards (EQS) that are critically important in environmental monitoring and assessment regimes.

Intended Learning Outcomes

critically assess and explain in detail a variety of ecotoxicology protocols and the scientific principles that underpin them: 2
understand, construct and interpret dose response curves depicting biological responses to an applied stress: 1,2
describe and comment on the ethical principles that guide ecotoxicology practises: 2
source, compile and critically evaluate ecotoxicity data: 1
use compiled ecotox data to conduct an environmental risk assessment and communicate the outcomes via a risk assessment report: 1

Study hours

8h lectures
8h computer based practical sessions
9h laboratory based practical sessions
4h discussion workshops
121h directed and private study, including set reading and assessment preparation.

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Report weighted 70%
2500 word Risk Assessment Report
Risk assessment report (~2500 words) based on evaluation and use of ecotoxicity data sourced from the literature.

2: Group Report weighted 30%
Research plan
In small groups (~4) Students must devise a set of experiments to determine ecotoxicity thresholds for a selected chemical (students select a chemical from a list). Students must describe and justify the experimental protocols they will use, including quality control measures and dose verification analysis, as well as describe how resulting data will be evaluated statistically to calculate ecotoxicity endpoints (e.g. No Observed Effects Concentrations). The research plan is presented in a ~2000 word report. All students within a group receive the same mark.