MPhil and PhD Programs in
Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM)

  • For the most updated PG course descriptions, please visit here .
  • Courses listed here will be offered based on resources available in each term and year. Details about course offerings in a particular term will be announced at course registration time.

Interdisciplinary Core Course List

ENVR 5290 Climate Change: Science, Policy and Management [3 credits]

This course prepares graduate students for the development of interdisciplinary research on environmental science, policy and management through a detailed investigation of climate change issues. Based on a review of the scientific research and models that have been developed through international cooperation, students will discuss relevant approaches of atmospheric and oceanographic science and the likely consequences in terms of climate change. In addition, the various technologies of mitigation and adaptation will be surveyed, leading to a discussion of appropriate policies for managing climate change at the global or national level.

ENVR 6060 Sustainability Economics [3 credits]

This course is designed to give students an interdisciplinary understanding on the concepts of sustainability, and its contemporary trend of development. The course will cover component concepts on sustainability, its implications from resource (renewable and non-renewable) exploitation; the strength of sustainability with respect to human made or natural capitals; the assessment for sustainability; and the inter-relationships between sustainability and business, governmental policy and human communities. Exclusion(s): SOSC 5620


SOSC 5620 Sustainable Development [3 credits]

This course is designed to give students an understanding of how government and business professionals formulate policies related to the foundations of sustainable development. The course begins with an exploration into the concept of prosperity and conventional view of development in the context of environmental limitations. From that basis we will consider the economic, political and social ramifications of sustainable development and investigate the need for rejuvenation and innovation. Previous Course Code(s): SOSC 562. Exclusion(s): SOSC 301E

SOSC 5770 Policy Analysis and Design for Sustainable Development [3 credits]

Sustainable development problems pose some of the greatest challenges for policy makers around the world, and effective policy design requires analysts with strong subject matter understanding, creativity, and the ability to incorporate diverse perspectives and approaches. The goal of this course is to advance students’ abilities to apply tools and methods, including analytical techniques and presentation skills, which are required for effective policy analysis and decision making in this area. Coursework in the course will be largely case based, and topical issues will be presented and mastered alongside different analytical skills and techniques. Co-list with: PPOL 5190. Exclusion(s): PPOL 5190. Background: Previous study of sustainable development and/or public policy at an undergraduate level; or professional experience in these areas.


Elective Course List

ENVR 5210 Environmental Microbiology [3 credits]

The course provides an introduction to the fundamental features of environmental microorganisms and an understanding of their roles in the functioning of our ecosystems and their importance to mankind. Previous Course Code(s): ENVR 521, AMCE 521.

ENVR 5250 Environmental Economics and Management [3 credits]

The course is designed to introduce students to key contemporary concepts in environmental economics and equip them with the approaches in economics that are generally applied to analyze environmental problems and policies. Previous Course Code(s): ENVR 525.

ENVR 5260 Environmental Policy and Management [3 credits]

This course focuses both on how to make and how to study environmental policy and management. It will review major theories related to the formulation of environmental policies, including government regulation and economic incentives, and discuss the types of policy measures implemented in various public and business sectors. The discussion of environmental problems and policies will focus on examples that are relevant for Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland, but will also include the experience of other countries and the debate surrounding global environmental issues. Previous Course Code(s): ENVR 526.

ENVR 5310 Atmospheric Dynamics [3 credits]

The study of atmospheric motions is essential for a better understanding of the relevant meteorological phenomena. This course introduces the conservation laws for primitive equations and classical concepts in fluid dynamics, which will allow students to gain physical insight into the fundamental nature of atmospheric motions. This course is suitable for students who require the foundation of fluid dynamics for advanced study in meteorology, oceanography, atmospheric and climate sciences. Previous Course Code(s): ENVR 6040G.

ENVR 5320 Environmental Data Analysis [3 credits]

This course is designed for students at the start of their postgraduate studies. The course will provide students with knowledge in understanding and using statistical methods in environmental science and applications. Probability distributions, parametric tests of significance against non-parametric tests, Monte Carlo methods, Principal Component Analysis, etc. will be taught in the course facilitated by extensive use of real world problems as example. Background: Fundamental knowledge of the statistic concepts and experience in using at least one data analysis tool such as excel, python or Matlab.

ENVR 5330 Environmental Geographical Information System [3 credits]

This course will cover a broad spectrum of concepts and practices in Geographical Information System (GIS). It starts with the fundamental concepts and elements in geographic science and technology. Spatial data modeling and integration methods will then be discussed followed by various geospatial analysis approaches for both vector and raster data. Cartographic principles, spatial relationships, projection and coordinate systems will be discussed in-depth. During the course, students will be introduced to contemporary GIS software and apply GIS technology support local and regional environmental planning and management. Exclusion(s): EVSM 5240.

ENVR 5340 Fundamentals of Sustainability Science and Technology [3 credits]

The course is intended to link the interaction between the human and natural environment, focusing on how the anthropogenic activities have altered the natural environment and provide an overview on the emerging science and technology of sustainability. The course will identify the impacts associated with resource consumption and environmental pollution, and present the quantitative tools necessary for assessing environmental impacts and design for sustainability. At the end of the course, the students should be cognizant of the concept of sustainability, the metrics of sustainability and be able to use the principles of sustainable engineering in their respective field of practice. Previous Course Code(s): ENVR 6040J. Background: Some engineering knowledge will be a plus while not a specific requirement.

ENVR 5410 Atmospheric Chemistry [3 credits]

A fundamental introduction to the physical and chemical processes determining the composition of the atmosphere and its implications for climate, ecosystems, and human welfare. Atmospheric transport and transformation. Stratospheric ozone. Oxidizing power of the atmosphere. Regional air pollution: aerosols, smog, and acid rain. Nitrogen, oxygen, carbon, sulfur geochemical cycles. Climate and the greenhouse effect. Co-List with: CHEM 5410. Exclusion(s): CHEM 5410. Background: Basic knowledge of physical chemistry.

ENVR 6040 Special Topics in Environmental Science [1-4 credits]

Offerings are announced each term, if deemed necessary, to cover emerging topics in environmental science not covered in the present curriculum.

ENVR 6050 Introduction to Oceanography [3 credits]

An introduction to the fundamentals of physical, chemical, geological, geochemical, and biological oceanography. It unveils the mystery of the oceans including the formation of the continents, oceanic circulation, and formation of precious minerals in the deep oceans; discovers ocean resources from phytoplankton to fish. The course will lay the foundation for sustainable use of the oceans and discuss human threats such as global warming, overfishing, and coastal pollution. Previous Course Code(s): ENVR 605, AMCE 605. Background: second year Science or Engineering.

ENVR 6090 Special Topics in Environmental Management [1-4 credits]

Offerings are announced each term, if deemed necessary, to cover emerging topics in environmental management not covered in the present curriculum.

EVSM 5270 Environmental Law [3 credits]

The course will provide students with the basic legal concepts which include the hierarchy of courts in Hong Kong, the difference between civil and criminal proceedings and their possible redresses or remedies available from the courts. Some important provisions of the basic environmental legislation in Hong Kong, environmental prosecution policy of Hong Kong and how to instigate a judicial review against a ministerial decision relating to the environment will also be covered in the course. Previous Course Code(s): EVSM 527.

EVSM 5280 Introduction to Atmospheric Aerosols [3 credits]

Atmospheric aerosols, also known as, airborne particulate matter, are important air pollutants affecting our health, visibility, and global climate change. This course aims to provide a survey of the physical and chemical properties, the source identification, the atmospheric transformation, the sampling of atmospheric aerosols, and the determination of their chemical compositions.

EVSM 6070 Environmental Impact Assessment [4 credits]

Introduction to environmental impact assessment (EIA) and the EIA process in Hong Kong. The components of an EIA report including air, noise, water, waste management, environmental risk, ecological impact, and socio-economic impact assessments will be analyzed. Environmental law, environmental management and the importance of public participation will also be discussed. Case studies from Hong Kong will be used and comparison with EIA in Mainland China will be made. Previous Course Code(s): EVSM 607, ENVR 607, AMCE 607. Exclusion(s): ENVS 5116.

RMBI 4000B Environmental Risk Management [3 credits]

This course is designed to provide students an overview of environmental risk management regarding climate change, energy use, chemical toxicology, waste disposal, water and air pollution to human health and the environment. It focuses on the fundamental concepts of risk management and the impacts of environment risk to a corporate. It will cover the topics of types of environmental risks, risk management standards and guidelines, environment risk management strategies and implementation methods, and case studies.