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Self-funded Undergraduate Programmes

Bachelor of Social Sciences (Honours) in Environment and Resources Management
環境及資源管理社會科學學士 (榮譽) 學位課程

Major Core Courses (36 units)

Global Environmental Issues* [ERMT2005] (3 units)
This course aims to provide an introduction to global environmental issues for students with or without a science background. Special emphasis will be placed on the evaluation of the impacts of human activities on the environment and the examination of solutions to environmental problems.

Physical Geography [ERMT2015] (3 units)
This course aims to introduce the major geological and geomorphological processes that contribute to formation of various landforms and natural geographical features. The first part of this course introduces tectonic processes that contribute to the development of Earth’s major relief features, and the processes of weathering, erosion and deposition with regard to landform development especially in Hong Kong. The second part introduces climatology with emphases on the formation of major climatic regions. This is followed by a comprehensive analysis of the development and characteristics of soils and vegetation on the Earth’s surface. Emphasis is placed on their distribution, soil-plant interactions and their significance in human’s use of land.

Anthropogenic Climate Change and Society [ERMT3005] (3 units)
This course provides students with a broad perspective of the topic of climate change, with an emphasis of the natural and anthropogenic causes of climate changes and its socio-economic consequences. The central theme is to illustrate the determinants of global climate, the ways in which human activities affect global climate, how environment and human societies are affected by climate change, and the approaches and efforts that have been adopted to minimize anthropogenic climate change.

Natural Resources Management [ERMT3015] (3 units)
This course aims to introduce students to the problems associated with the use or misuse of our natural resources and current management practices associated with the conservation of natural resources. This course aims to introduce a wide spectrum of practices specific to particular habitat, wildlife and energy resources management. In addition, emphasis will be placed on the review and discussion of current programs and issues in natural resources management in Hong Kong and other countries. This course also provides students with an opportunity to investigate and formulate solutions to the problems in natural resources management.

Research Methods and Statistics [ERMT3025] (3 units)
This course aims to introduce students to experimental design and statistical data analysis at an elementary to intermediate level, with an emphasis on practical applications of statistical methods to experimental and observational data in biology, ecology and environmental sciences. Students will explore the process by which scientists formulate research questions, set null hypotheses, design experiments, collect data and apply statistics to test the hypotheses.

Geo-environmental and Ecological Field Study [ERMT3035] (3 units)
This course aims to provide students with hand-on experiences of the local environment and its associated biological communities. In addition to introducing the geological, geographical, ecological and biological features of major habitats of Hong Kong, this course will introduce students to the basic techniques in the collection of geographical data and in the sampling and analyzing of major biological communities and their applications in the local context. In addition to lectures, the course will be conducted mainly through field surveys carried out in the countryside of Hong Kong.

Laboratory Environmental Analysis [ERMT3055] (3 units)
This course aims to familiarise students with background knowledge related to detection and quantification techniques commonly used in environmental analyses. The lectures will inform students about the use of instrumentation and techniques in the biological, chemical and physical analysis of the environment. The laboratory exercises and field survey are designed to enhance, augment and reinforce the lecture series and explore the process of conducting environmental assessments.

Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology [ERMT3065] (3 units)
This course will focus on the ecology of terrestrial habitats and aquatic habitats of streams, rivers, wetlands and lakes. The first part of this course will introduce terrestrial ecology at population and community level, with emphasis on the role of local ecological processes in modifying the terrestrial ecology of the tropics, especially tropical East Asia, and an overview of patterns and processes on a global scale. The second part introduces sciences of freshwater habitats by integrating the physical and biological components of rivers and lakes and their drainage basins, and introducing the impacts of human influences on these habitats at local and regional scales.

Environmental Impact Assessment and Management [ERMT4005] (3 units)
The course aims to develop an understanding of environmental impact assessment (EIA) and the EIA process in Hong Kong. Emphasis will be placed on the requirements and components of an EIA report including air, noise, water, waste management, environmental risk, ecological impact, and socio-economic impact assessments. In addition, the course examines environmental law, environmental management and the importance of public participation. Case studies in Hong Kong will be used as comparison with EIA in other regions (e.g. Mainland China).

Honours Project I [ERMT4008] (3 units)
The Honours Project is an extensive piece of work that aims to develop students’ ability to work independently. As such, a major objective is to develop a variety of practical skills relevant to Environment and Resources Management and which are of particular value to employers. It is also intended that the project should enhance a student’s confidence to work by himself/herself.

Honours Project II [ERMT4009] (3 units)
The Honours Project is an extensive piece of work that aims to develop students’ ability to work independently. As such, a major objective is to develop a variety of practical skills relevant to Environment and Resources Management and which are of particular value to employers. It is also intended that the project should enhance a student’s confidence to work by himself/herself.

Advanced Topics in Environmental Planning and Management [ERMT4015] (3 units)
Environmental management has evolved from a popular movement to a profession, demanding complex analytical and decision-making skills. These skills are essential to the development and implementation of policies about the impacts of human activity on the natural environment. Scientific, legal, administrative and political factors shaping these policies and public attitudes are critical components of environmental management and planning. Consequently, this course aims to provide students with an understanding of the principles behind planning, public administration and political approaches that are important for the protection of environmental resources in urban and natural environmental contexts. This course aims to develop 1) student abilities in measuring air and water quality, water supply safety, environmentally sensitive natural resources, and solid and hazardous wastes; 2) an understanding of global and transnational problems, such as global warming, ozone depletion and acid rain, and energy usage; and 3) abilities to critically assess environmental policy and management issues.

Major Elective Courses (27 units)

Tourism and Sustainability [ERMT2105] (3 units)
The course will explore the fraught relationship between tourism and sustainability. It will investigate the sustainability impacts of different forms of tourism. Students will be able to critically analyze the relationship tourists have with the environment.

Environmental Biotechnology [ERMT3105] (3 units)
This course aims to develop students’ understanding of current biotechnological approaches and technologies. The focus will be on microbes and/or other organisms used to: 1) improve environmental quality; 2) prevent discharge of pollutants; 3) clean up contaminated environments; 4) renew resources; and 5) generate valuable products for human society.

Environmental Pollution and Toxicology [ERMT3115] (3 units)
The course aims to examine and evaluate the causes, effects and solutions to land, air, water and noise pollution in Hong Kong. This course provides students with the fundamental principles and techniques in the assessment of environmental toxicology, as well the skills need to apply these principles and techniques in toxicology. The laboratory exercises in this course provide students with hands-on experience about the basic techniques and experimental procedures used in ecotoxicology.

Internship for Environment and Resources Management [ERMT3125] (3 units)
The course is designed to help students to connect their academic studies to real world applications for environmentally focused work. The internship is intended to be flexible, designed to meet students’ needs and interests while affording opportunities for practical hands-on experience in a variety of environmental fields. Such experience will also assist the student in developing a strategy for employment. Students are required to achieve a deep understanding of the service nature and daily operations of an attached organization through observation, training, interactions with staff members, and practice. Students are required to work at a partner organization for up to 200 hours and to attend pre-internship workshops and sharing seminars. Students will need to submit weekly journal, or keep similar notes, for a final report developed from their activities, the role of the attached organization and the relevance of scientific knowledge to their work.

Urban Development and Environment [ERMT3145] (3 units)
Urban development is among the most pervasive and ubiquitous forms of land cover change. Thus, urbanization poses significant challenges to many organisms, including humans. This course will focus on the global urbanization and urban developmental impacts on the 1) patterns of abundance and distribution of organisms in urban ecosystems; 2) the interactions among organisms in the urban environment; 3) the interactions between humans (and societies) and nature in urban environments; and 4) some aspects of urban planning as it relates to ecology and the environment.

Environment and Resources Management Field Camp [ERMT3155] (3 units)
ERMT2015 Physical Geography
The objective of this course is to further consolidate environmental and geographical studies of students through direct experience and appreciation of the physical and human geography of a location outside Hong Kong. The course also aims to develop a wide range of fieldwork skills, including geographical data collection, field observation and description, and to develop students’ abilities to critically assess “real-world” problems. A third objective is to enable students to make comparative studies between Hong Kong and overseas regions.

Environmental Health and Policy [ERMT3165] (3 units)
This course aims to examine a wide range of topics in environmental health, including climate, clean air, water, waste, built environment, and food. Emphasis will be placed on the social, legal, and political contexts, both domestically and internationally, concerning the design and implementation of environmental health policy.

Biodiversity and Conservation [ERMT4105] (3 units)
ERMT3065 Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology
This course aims to introduce students to the need for biodiversity conservation and its implementation. Threats to biodiversity will be introduced and discussed with a basic overview of relevant ecological and population genetic processes. Biodiversity conservation at species, population and community levels will be introduced and discussed, with an emphasis on the interplay of socio-economic, political, and cultural factors. Students will be introduced to the principles of biodiversity conservation through lectures, group discussions, field visits, and reflective essays.

Energy Audit and Carbon Management [ERMT4115] (3 units)
ERMT2005 Global Environmental Issues
This course focuses on the quantification of energy usage and the management of greenhouse gas emissions. It explores basic concepts and models in energy auditing and carbon management. Hands-on experience and field study are provided to help students to develop basic skills in energy and carbon auditing, including survey instrumentations used, measurement standards and protocols.

Environmental Law, Policy and Ethics [ERMT4125] (3 units)
This course aims to help students to develop knowledge of laws, policies and ethics related to environmental protection. The course will analyze the relationship between economic growth, environmental justice and sustainable development, and evaluate different theories concerning environmental ethics and their implications for legislation and public policy formulation in relation to the environment. Students will learn how to analyze different environmental issues and problems in both Hong Kong and overseas, consider the application of legislation and policy options in response to these issues and problems, and become competent in dealing with environmental management in Hong Kong.

Green Industry and Business Management [ERMT4135] (3 units)
This course introduces various conflicting ideas regarding economic development and environmental degradation, and whether the technological advances hold the key to saving the environment. It aims to examine the roles of business sectors and that of the general public in reducing the burden on the natural environment and in achieving a sustainable environment, by adopting best international practices. The implications of adopting new management approaches in terms of profits and for the environment will also be reviewed. The course will introduce the possibilities and practices related to the greening of business management at all stages - from production inception to the final product, It will also include the basic concepts of the life-cycle analysis. In addition to learning fundamental concepts and principles, students will study a wide spectrum of literature, case studies and government reports, and will be trained to analyse cases of special environmental interest in order to develop independent thinking.

Integrated Waste Management [ERMT4145] (3 units)
This course aims to provide students with a broad awareness of the framework of solid waste management and related issues. Particular attention is focused on the concepts of source reduction and waste reduction programs in the SAR.

Restoration Ecology and Habitat Management [ERMT4155] (3 units)
ERMT3065 Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology
This course is a broad overview of the interdisciplinary topic of ecological restoration and habitat management. Students will be introduced to the rapidly expanding discipline of restoring degraded ecosystems through lectures, group discussions, field visits, restoration plans, and reflective essays. The course will focus on ecological theory and how to apply theory to the implementation of restoration and habitat management; philosophical debates concerning restoration and habitat management; societal influences on restoration decision making; and restoration planning and implementation strategies.

The Pearl River Delta: An Environmental Survey [ERMT4165] (3 units)
This course aims to introduce students to the perspectives and knowledge needed to understand the growing socio-economic and environmental interactions within the Pearl River Delta (PRD) Region (including Hong Kong and Macau). Emphasis will be placed on providing experiential learning experience to evaluate the socio-economic development and its impact on the environment of the PRD. Field-based study in selected sites will provide opportunities for students to explore the environmental issues involved in the development of PRD.

Environmental Data Analytics [ERMT4175] (3 units)
This course aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the potentials and challenges of tackling environmental issues using big data analytics. It also aims to equip students with the skills to perform environmental data analytics, such as data mining, statistical analysis, data visualization.

General Education Capstone Course (3 units)

Sustainable Community Energy Planning* [GCAP3815] (3 units)
Energy is not only essential to economic and social development but also links to environmental issues such as air pollution, destruction of ecosystem, and anthropogenic climate change. This course aims to enhance students’ understanding of the principles and practices of sustainable energy planning in the context of emerging global and local challenges, and encourage students to think critically about the future of energy production and consumption from a community perspective. This course adopts an interdisciplinary approach consisting of different perspectives: technological, environmental, social, economic, legal, and policy. This course features project-based experiential learning where students work in teams to develop a sustainable community energy development plan that includes: (1) formulating community vision and goals; (2) developing community energy baseline; (3) identifying Energy efficiency and conservation opportunities; (4) identifying renewable energy opportunities; (5) formulating an action plan to achieve the desired objectives and goals.