Courses Catalogue


ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Environmental Science
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: School of Natural and Applied Sciences
STATUS: Elective
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

This course introduces students to the field of environmental toxicology and teaches them practical skills in pollution sampling techniques and their application to the study of environmental assessment. This course enables students to develop a detailed knowledge of ecotoxicological principles. It prepares them to utilise ecological sampling techniques in the field to solve applied ecotoxicological problems and in preparing critical scientific reviews, specifically in important areas of ecotoxicology. It further offers advanced subjects in aquatic ecotoxicology, including bioaccumulation, trophic transfer of contaminants, quantitative methods including multivariate statistics and mechanistic modelling, effects of environmental contaminants, specific pollution challenges, and in vitro methods.


To introduce the scopes, concepts, and methods of the study of ecotoxicology. The course further introduces the students’ to the knowledge and skills that allow an overall assessment of the fate of foreign chemicals in the environment and of their effects on different biological organisation levels. To that end, the conceptual framework introduced during the course in toxicology will be further developed and used.


By the end of this course, the student should be able to:

  • Describe sources and fates of chemicals in the environment
  • Present and explain mechanisms for adverse effects of chemicals
  • Estimate the risk for adverse effects of a chemical on different biological organisation levels based on knowledge about the toxicity, degradability, and bioavailability of the chemical
  • Retrieve and critically evaluate toxicological information from different sources (internet-based databases, hand books, scientific articles)
  • Analysis the scope of ecotoxicology study and identify major classes of pollutants;
  • assess the major concepts in ecotoxicology study, such as the entry and fate, bioaccumulation and bioavailability;
  • Evaluate the ecological and biological responses of pollutants at different levels;
  • Apply the principle and knowledge of ecotoxicology in conducting ecotoxicology research, such as the kinetic modelling, biomonitoring, toxicity testing, biomarkers and toxicity mechanisms study.
  • Independently carry out, and present orally and in writing, environmental risk assessment of chemicals

A doctoral student completing the course is expected to:

  • Critically evaluate and interpret scientific data, information, and lab results write and clearly present key aspects of fundamental toxicology and the discipline’s relevancy to real-world issues
  • Utilize scientific literature and databases to identify information needed to understand and effectively communicate aspects of toxicology
  • Master a broad set of knowledge concerning the fundamentals in the basic areas of toxicology
  • Demonstrate an understanding of legal, regulatory, and ethical considerations relating to toxicology within the broader societal context
  • Demonstrate an understanding of and the ability to apply the scientific method in gaining technical expertise and lab skills