This new PG programme is aimed at turning out effective environmental managers.

“E-waste is the fastest growing sector in the global waste industry. In 2007, India had generated 382,000 tons of e-waste. Apart from this India generates 188,500 tonnes per day of municipal solid waste (70 million ton annually), and the predicted increase by 2047 is 260 million tonnes per year,” says Dr. Margaret Bates, Professor of sustainable waste management, University of Northampton, U.K. Dr. Bates is a chartered waste management specialist and environmentalist, with 20 years of experience in the field.

The joint MSc degree in international environment management, in collaboration with the University of Madras was launched recently. The course has been specifically designed to meet the need and ever growing sustainability demands of developed and rapidly developing countries. “India needs expertise in waste management,” Dr Bates said.

Professor V. D. Swaminathan Director, Madras University’s University Students Advisory Bureau, University of Madras, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nick Petford, Vice-Chancellor and CEO of The University of Northampton, for knowledge transfer and joint award of the programme.

According to Prof. Jagannathan, department of Geography, University of Madras, this joint MSc course has been formulated keeping in mind the opportunity that candidates would get to develop the skills and knowledge at the postgraduate level enabling them to become effective environmental managers.

Prof. Nigel Freestone, head, department of Environmental Science, University of Northampton, said, the course will have strong industry interface. Prospective candidates who opt for this course are expected to be working in allied industry, consultancy and research lab to find solutions jointly. “We want the students to take up real-life problems for their research/thesis.” Participants, who exit the programme at different levels unable to continue the course, will get a certificate, diploma or Master’s degree, based on the number of credits they secure (total of 180 credits).

Distance learning

Delivered in a range of formats, the Master’s programme consists of three stages that take a minimum of one year to complete; however, candidates will have up to four years to complete the course. Within stages one and two, candidates will complete compulsory and optional modules as well as an individual research thesis. The course is assessed by tutor marked assignments and time constrained assignments. There are no formal examinations for this course. “It is a kind of distance-learning module. Blended learning making use of face-to-face classes, online, skype tutoring will be involved,” says Prof Jagannathan.