Postgraduate taught 

Civil Engineering MSc

Reclamation of Contaminated Land 5 ENG5275

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Sustainable land management requires development on land previously used for industrial purposes, and therefore an understanding of the various aspects of the reclamation of contaminated land is critical to Civil Engineers. This course introduces UK policies on contaminated land reclamation, the scientific and technological principles of site investigation and assessment for contaminated land and the various remediation technologies, with emphasis on new sustainable approaches.


Two lectures per week

Excluded Courses





70% Examination

24% Group project

6% Group presentation

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to develop fundamental understanding of contaminated land, mechanisms of contaminant migration and the approaches to reclamation of contaminated land, including legislation, site investigation, risk assessment approaches and remediation strategies.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ State UK policies and regulations on contaminated land;

■ Explain what physico-chemical factors affect the fate of contaminants in the environment;

■ Identify the various classes of contaminants and recognise the differences in their chemistry and their implications for remediation choice;

■ Identify pollutant linkages (source, pathway, receptor) and their significance for risk assessment approaches;

■ Design a site investigation plan for contaminated land and construct a conceptual site model;

■ List the possible remediation approaches;

■ Compare the various remediation techniques (physical, chemical and biological) and relate them to various types of contamination;

■ Reflect on sustainability issues in land management.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must attend the degree examination and submit at least 75% by weight of the other components of the course's summative assessment.


Students must attend the timetabled laboratory classes.


Students should attend at least 75% of the timetabled classes of the course.


Note that these are minimum requirements: good students will achieve far higher participation/submission rates.  Any student who misses an assessment or a significant number of classes because of illness or other good cause should report this by completing a MyCampus absence report.