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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE5370M Indoor and Urban Air Quality

15 creditsClass Size: 70

Module manager: Dr Marco-Felipe King

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module introduces sources, dispersion and health and environmental impacts of a range of airborne contaminants, including microorganisms, in the urban and indoor environments. Students will gain an understanding of the issues of poor air quality, the regulatory environment, approaches to analysing exposure and risk, and operational and engineering approaches to controlling and mitigating impacts.


On completion of this module students will be able to:

- Describe the health and environmental impacts of poor air quality and have an awareness of the supporting evidence for the impact of a range of pollutants;
- Have an understanding of WHO, EU and UK guidance and regulation on outdoor and indoor air quality, and the rationale behind it;
- Explain the mechanisms for dispersion and exposure to airborne pollutants and carry out relevant calculations;
- Understand how to assess IAQ problems and have experience of how sensor data can be used to evaluate indoor environments;
- Understand the principles of ventilation and the relationship this has to comfort, air quality and energy;
- Understand the challenge of airborne disease transmission and the factors that influence risk;
- Evaluate potential solutions to dealing with air quality problems and the feasibility of application to different scenarios.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students will have:

1. A comprehensive understanding of the underpinning scientific theory to describe sources of indoor and outdoor contaminants and mechanisms for transport
2. An understanding of engineering solutions such as ventilation and air cleaning technology, and an ability to apply analysis methods to describe the fate of contaminants in air and the potential influence of engineering technologies.
3. A critical awareness of the health and environmental impacts of indoor and urban air pollution, the current research evidence that is informing these challenges and an understanding of the process by which this evidence is collected and its uncertainties.
4. An understanding of the cross-disciplinary nature of indoor and urban air quality, the current and future challenges in developed and developing countries, and the ability to evaluate solutions that account for technical and social/economic aspects.
5. An ability to analyse data from experimental measurements and/or models to assess risk, investigate the performance of new engineering solutions (such as air cleaning and disinfection devices for airborne infection control), and make judgements about the quality of the data and the level of confidence that can be drawn.
6. An understanding of the regulatory requirements around indoor and outdoor air quality, the evidence that underpins them and the professional role of engineers in supporting the design and implementation of solutions
7. An understanding of the relationships between air quality and sustainable development, and technical solutions that address both health and environmental issues in both developed and developing country context. .
8. Ability to work as a team to conduct in depth research into a particular challenge in indoor and urban air quality, and identify challenges, evidence and solutions to the issue. This will involve determining team responsibilities and coordinating information
9. Ability to work as a team to develop and deliver a coherent oral presentation and a technical report.

Skills outcomes
- Research Skills;
- Team Working;
- Skills in data analysis, mathematical modelling and risk analysis.


- Types of pollutants and evidence for their impact;
- Dispersion and deposition of pollutants;
- Aerosol mechanics.

- WHO guidelines;
- EU/UK regulation.

- Air quality and transport;
- Air quality, weather and climate;
- Solutions through urban design.

- Challenges in different countries/environments;
- Measuring and modelling indoor environmental conditions;
- Ventilation;
- Investigating IAQ;
- Engineering solutions.

- Introduction to aerobiology and airborne infection;
- Modelling airborne infection risk;
- Control strategies and technologies.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning28.0016.00
Private study hours96.00
Total Contact hours54.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Reading research papers, guidance and policy documents, group and individual work to prepare assessed seminars, revision for exam.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will get opportunity for feedback on their preparation for the group presentation in a consultation session, where they will be able to share their plans with staff prior to the final presentation. They will receive verbal and written feedback after the assessed presentation. A revision class will support exam preparation.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PresentationGroup research presentation & short group report30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

Re-sit - 100% online time-limited assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Open Book exam3 hr 00 mins70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

Re-sit - 100% open book exam.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 16/08/2023 08:40:17


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