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Master of Science in Environmental Science and Engineering

College of Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Study System
Thesis and Courses
Total Credit Hours
33 Cr. Hrs
2-4 Years
Fall & Spring
Sharjah Main Campus
Study Mode
Full Time and Part Time

Master of Science in Environmental Science and Engineering

The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering is introducing the MSc ESE Program to provide the opportunity for qualified graduates in different disciplines from science and engineering to advance their knowledge and skills in modern environmental perspectives and challenges. The intent is also to prepare students to engage in multidisciplinary fields with independent and collaborative research in academic, governmental, and industrial contexts. During this learning process, students will participate in knowledge generation and improvement, research synthesis, and knowledge/technology transfer. The Program is also intended to support the development of quality and relevant research, especially applied research in pertinent environmental fields to UAE and the region.


Program Objectives
The program aims to achieve the following goals:

  1. Demonstrate strong level of competencies to develop leadership roles in different professional environmental sciences and engineering organizations and projects.
  2. Contribute to the development of innovative research and technologies for solving environmental problems and able to pursue professional and academic career.
  3. Provide scientific advice for seniors working in policy development and decision making.
  4. Identify and address current and future environmental problems related to non-renewable resources within sustainable development framework.

Special Admission Requirements
To be admitted to the MSc ESE Program, candidates should fulfill the following requirements:

  • Must hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent from a recognized university with a CGPA of 3.00 out of 4.00 or above.
  • Students with a GPA of 2.50 to 2.99 may be admitted conditionally provided that they register for 6-9 credits hours in the first semester of their study and obtain an average grade of "B". Otherwise, they will be expelled from the program.
  • The undergraduate degree must be obtained in a major that qualifies the student to study the master program, particularly from the Colleges of Engineering, Science and Health Sciences. Students holding degrees in other majors may be admitted, subject to the conditional approval of the Program Management Committee.
  • Students in programs taught in English must obtain 550 on the TOEFL exam or 6 on IELTS.
  • Applicants shall satisfy all the other admission requirements stipulated by the College of Graduate Studies and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.


Program Structure & Requirements
The University of Sharjah has published and implemented a set of By-Laws that govern all aspects of graduate studies at the University. These By-Laws are published to define the rights and obligations for the faculty, staff and students, and organize the teaching process. Some of these requirements are presented below:

  1. Passing all courses required for graduation in the study plan.
  2. Completing all the other requirements of the study plan.
  3. Accumulating an average GPA of 3.0 or more (on a 4-point scale).

Students whose GPAs fall below 3.00 are subject to academic probation in accordance with the University By-laws. The By-laws provide appropriate procedures, actions, and decisions to deal with students on academic probation.

The MSc ESE Program requires successful completion of courses and thesis. In total, the Program requires completion of 33 credit hours (24 credit hours of graduate-level courses and 9 credit hours for the thesis). The Program is comprised of two major tracks:

  1. Environmental Engineering Track
  2. Environmental Science Track

As shown in the table below, in addition to the thesis, the graduate courses in the curriculum cover three sets of requirements:

  1. General Compulsory Courses (courses taken by all students in the program);
  2. Track Compulsory Courses (courses taken by students in their respective track of the program); and
  3. Elective Courses (courses taken by students from a list of courses).
Requirements Credits
General Compulsory Courses 9
Track Compulsory Courses 9
Elective Courses 6
Thesis 9
Total 33

General Compulsory Courses (9 Credit Hours)
Students must take the General Compulsory Courses shown below.

Course # Course Title Credits Prerequisite
1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology 2 Graduate Standing
04015611 Advanced Environmental Statistics 3 Graduate Standing
0401564 Environmental Impact Assessment and Risk Analysis 3 1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology
1450522 Seminar in Environmental Science and Engineering 1 1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology

Track Compulsory Courses (9 Credit Hours)
Depending on their track, students must take three of the Track Compulsory Courses shown below. The specialized courses under each track are as follows:

Environmental Engineering Track: Compulsory Courses (9 Credit Hours)

Course # Course Title Credits
0401543 Water Resources Planning and Management 3
0401562 Wastewater Treatment and Reuse 3
0401565 Physiochemical Treatment Processes 3
0401566 Modeling and Simulation of Environmental Engineering Systems 3
04015612 Waste-to-Energy and Material Recovery 3
04015613 Environmental Sampling and Analysis 3
04015614 Air Quality and Pollution Control 3
04015615 Climate Change and the Environment 3
0401581 GIS and Remote Sensing for Environmental Studies 3

Environmental Science Track: Compulsory Courses (9 Credit Hours)

Course # Course Title Credits
1450523 Advanced Environmental Science 3
1450524 Sustainable Natural Resources Management 3
1420542 Advanced Environmental Chemistry 3
1420532 Environmental Toxicology 3
1450525 Environmental Biology 3
1450526 Marine Ecology 3

Elective Courses (6 Credit Hours)
Two elective courses must be completed with a total of 6 credit hours. Students should select appropriate courses to extend their knowledge of a particular area or to acquire additional knowledge necessary for their research topic. The student would refer to his/her thesis supervisor (or the program coordinator if a thesis supervisor is yet to be selected) to assist in selecting the appropriate elective courses. The elective courses are selected from any of the following:

  • Environmental Engineering basket (for the Environmental Science Track)
  • Environmental Science basket (for the Environmental Engineering Track)
  • Other relevant graduate courses (subject to approval of the thesis supervisor or the program coordinator), including:
- MSc in Civil Engineering
- MSc in Environmental Health
- MSc in Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing
- MSc in Biotechnology
- MSc in Chemistry

Thesis Courses (9 Credit Hours)
A student in the MSc ESE Program must successfully complete a thesis as a requirement for graduation and it has to go through rigorous procedures to ensure originality and quality.

Course Description

1450521                Advanced Environmental Research Methodology                                    (3-0:2)
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing            

This course is designed as an in-depth exploration of how to collect and analyze scientific data to help postgraduate students arrive at a workable thesis plan and to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of the resources available to them to pursue it. It covers the thesis as a type of writing, project planning, time management, information retrieval, and professional skills required to successfully carry out scientific research.


04015611             Advanced Environmental Statistics                                                                               (3-0:3)
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing            

This course provides students with an understanding of the principles and applications of statistics in different fields of environmental and engineering sciences. The course covers main statistical principles. The course also provides students with concept of hypothesis testing and tests of significance. The applications of the course will be through covering topics such as graphic presentation, descriptive measures of central tendency, dispersion, inferential statistics and hypothesis testing, analysis and inference of linear correlation coefficient and slope of regression line.


0401564                Environmental Impact Assessment and Risk Analysis                             (3-0:3)
Prerequisite: 1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology    

Introduction to environmental law - local, regional and international requirements,  Environmental planning and policy,  Introduction to risk analysis - human and environmental health,  Concept of the environment and project impacts,  Environmental quality and pollution,  Evaluation of alternative project proposals,  Framework for environmental impact assessment,  Impact assessment and analysis, Practical examples and case studies.


1450522                Seminar in Environmental Science and Engineering                                (1-0:1)
Prerequisite: 1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology    

The seminar is intended to help student develop research strategies and build strong communication and problem-solving skills. Student is required to attend seminars delivered by faculty members, visitors, and other graduate students. Student must submit a term report on the seminars they attended. Student is also required to present at least one seminar on his/her proposed research topic.


0401543                Water Resources Management and Planning                                             (3-0:3)

Prerequisite:  0401446 Hydraulics Engineering and Design (or equivalent); 0401305 Computational Methods in Civil Engineering (or equivalent); 1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology

Evaluation criteria. Hydrologic input analysis. Demand analysis. Deterministic elements of system planning. System management. Large-scale system analysis. Regional planning. Applications. Policy issues.


0401562                Wastewater Treatment and Reuse                                                                 (3-0:3)
Prerequisite: 0401345 Introduction to Environmental Engineering (or equivalent); 1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology

This course covers the conventional and advanced wastewater treatment processes, including nitrogen and phosphorus removal. The theoretical principles of wastewater treatment, especially the biochemical aspects, and their applications in the design and analysis of wastewater and sludge treatment systems are emphasized. Regulations and economics are considered in the analysis and the design. The course emphasizes wastewater reuse especially in arid regions. The topics cover the current professional practice and latest developments in the field.


0401565                Physiochemical Treatment Processes                                                           (3-0:3)
Prerequisite: 0401345 Introduction to Environmental Engineering (or equivalent); 1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology

The course covers the theories, principles and engineering applications of physical and chemical treatment processes used in water and wastewater treatment.  The contents enable students to understand, analyze and apply the theories and principles to plan and design treatment schemes to remove concerned pollutants from waters and wastewaters.  Topics include: principles of process engineering, including mass balance, reaction kinetics, and reactor engineering; coagulation and flocculation; gravity separation; filtration; gas transfer and aeration; adsorption; ion exchange; and oxidation-reduction.


0401566                Modeling and Simulation of Environmental Engineering Systems      (3-0:3)
Prerequisite: 0401305 Computational Methods in Civil Engineering (or equivalent) ; 1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology

This course introduces the fundamentals of widely used soft computing methods and artificial intelligence techniques with focus on applications to environmental processes. The course discusses modeling, design and simulation of engineering systems using fuzzy logic, artificial neural networks, hybrid neuro-fuzzy methods, and evolutionary computing techniques (e.g., genetic algorithms). The course gives hands-on experience on modeling and simulation software.


04015612             Waste-to-Energy and Material Recovery                                                      (3-0:3)
Prerequisite: 0401345 Introduction to Environmental Engineering (or equivalent); 1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology

This course introduces the fundamentals of waste to energy conversion and material recovery. The covered waste-to-energy processes include: bioreactor landfills, anaerobic digestion, incineration, gasification, pyrolysis, and other state-of-the-art methods. The potential hazards/uses of byproducts, economics, and social implications of those technologies are discussed. The course covers also various material recovery processes and recycling opportunities & challenges.


04015613             Environmental Sampling and Analysis                                                        (3-0:3)
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing            

This course introduces the theory, methodology, application, and instrumentation used in planning, sampling, and analysis of environmental contaminants in water, air, and soils, and biota. Students will acquire knowledge and engage in designing and conducting valid environmental sampling plans, field methods for data collection, operation of sampling equipment and analytical instruments, as well as recording and interpretation of field and laboratory data. Quality control and quality assurance policies and procedures in environmental sampling and analysis are emphasized.


04015614             Air Quality and Pollution Control                                                                 (3-0:3)
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing            

This course covers the fundamentals of air quality and pollution control. Topics covered include: air pollution sources, public and environmental impacts, measurements, emission estimates, and monitoring methods. The course discusses the meteorological processes, transformations of pollutants in the atmosphere, global atmospheric changes, dispersion modeling, indoor air quality modelling and control, as well as air pollution control technologies and future trends.


04015615             Climate Change and the Environment                                                         (3-0:3)
Prerequisite:         1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology    

Increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases since the industrial revolution are changing climate in dramatic ways. Climate change is now multidisciplinary issue confronting many disciplines, from architecture, engineering and business through to environmental science, public health, law, economics and policy. This course will cover the basics of climate change science, and it will explore the mitigation and adaptation options to climate change. In particular, there will be an intensive examination of how climate change and its impacts on the environment can be identified and managed.


0401581                GIS and Remote Sensing for Environmental Studies                                (3-0:3)
Prerequisite:   1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology    

Emphasizes on define the features of environmental problems and conduct environmental investigations in geospatial context, integrated utilization of spatial (GIS) data alongside remote sensing technologies and simulation models for better understanding and managing the natural environment. The course will identify environmental information content of optical multi-spectral, hyper-spectral, thermal and radar remotely sensed data to specify appropriate type of data for use in different environmental investigations.


1450523                Advanced Environmental Science                                                                 (3-0:3)
Prerequisite:         1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology    

The course describes the main basic concepts of environmental science biology, geology, chemistry and engineering. The course covers some advanced characters and functions of the ecosystems, as components, functions, stability and productivity. The dynamic and demographic attributes of both natural and human populations are covered. It will also describe different applied environmental aspects including biodiversity, preserving biological resources, pest and weed controls, agro-ecosystems, and urban environments. Several case studies from the local environment of the UAE will be represented.


1450524                 Sustainable Natural Resources Management                                             (3-0:3)
Prerequisite:         1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology    

This course provides a comprehensive overview of conceptual and applied information on natural resources such as water, land, and living organisms. It also includes ecological and evolutionary concepts for conserving and utilizing natural resources and environmental quality. This course also defines and presents problems associated with the use/misuse of our natural resources and how to sustainably manage and conserve them. The role of modern technologies as means of exploring, improving, and utilizing natural resources will be addressed. Students will be encouraged and challenged to propose new creative environmentally sustainable solutions.


1450525                Environmental Biology                                                                                    (3-0:3)
Prerequisite:         1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology; General Biology; General Microbiology

This course introduces environmental processes and the influence of human population growth and activities upon them. It also introduces the fundamental features of environmental microorganisms and an understanding of their diverse roles in natural, polluted, and engineered environments. The significance of biology in environmental pollution control, specifically in water quality control, wastewater treatment, solid waste composting, air quality and pollution control, bioremediation, and production of energy is also discussed.


1450526                Marine Ecology                                                                                                  (3-0:3)
Prerequisite:         1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology; General Biology

This course provides an advanced understanding of the ecological processes that determine the structure and dynamics of populations and communities in marine ecosystems. Ecological roles of varying marine living organisms are highlighted. Marine ecosystems such as estuaries, intertidal zones, continental shelves and neritic zones, the open and deep oceans, the polar seas, as well as coral reefs and artificial reefs are studied. Major emphasis is placed on the human intervention in the marine environment as well as marine conservation measures.


1420532                Environmental Toxicology                                                                                             (3-0:3)
Prerequisite: 1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology; General Chemistry (or equivalent); Knowledge of Organic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry            

The course will introduce the student to the field of Environmental Toxicology where concept of toxicology is applied to environmental problems. It will focus on the general properties of persistent and/or toxic chemicals commonly found in water, air and living organisms. The course will also cover applications of chemical concepts in the definition and solution of pollution problems. It will also deal with the major classes of pollutants, their fate in the environment, their disposition in organisms, and the mechanisms of their toxicity.


1420542                Advanced Environmental Chemistry                                                           (3-0:3)
Prerequisite: 1450521 Advanced Environmental Research Methodology; General Chemistry (or equivalent); Knowledge of Organic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry            

In this course students will use the fundamental principles of chemistry to gain in-depth understanding of the source, fate, and reactivity of compounds in natural and polluted environments. Also involves a study of the Earth atmosphere, water, and soil chemistry as well as the associated air, water, and soil pollution. Chemistry topics include atomic, molecular, ionic and radical structures, stoichiometry and equilibrium. Specific topics may include the greenhouse effect, climate change, fossil fuels, renewable energy technologies, and toxic organic compounds like pesticides and dioxins.


0401595                ESE Master Thesis                                                                                              (0-0:9)
Prerequisite: Completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours                     

The student has to undertake and complete an independent experimental-oriented and/or theoretical research topic under the supervision of a faculty member. The thesis work should provide the student with in-depth perceptive of a particular research problem in his/her chosen field of specialization.  It is anticipated that the student be able to carry out his research independently under the direction of his/her supervisor.