Education for a healthy future

Degree programme objectives

The objective is to educate students to understand the interactions between the environment and human health, incl. technological and legislative tools to regulate the negative health impacts of the environment and prepare professionals with an interdisciplinary knowledge of environmental and analytical chemistry, toxicology, pathophysiology, or epidemiology, who understand the nature of environmental problems and will contribute to their solution. Interdisciplinarity between chemistry, biology, biomedicine and biostatistics and emphasis on the chemical and biological nature of environmental problems and their impacts both in qualitative and quantitative terms makes this SP unique in the Czech Republic. Students will learn about the groups of environmental contaminants, their sources and behavior in the environment, the methods and techniques of their long-term monitoring and analysis, experimental (eco)toxicology and procedures to assess the impacts and environmental and health risks of toxic substances; and with methods of analysis and interpretation of data. In the second year of study, students can further profile by a choice of elective and optional courses. Within the curriculum, four profiles are prepared:

1) Analysis of chemical pollutants and human exposure;

2) Assessment of toxic effects of chemicals and related environmental and health risks;

3) Environmental protection, chemicals management and related environmental and health risks assessment;

4) Assessment of human exposure and its health impacts, and population data analysis.

SP emphasizes development of the students' theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the form of lectures, seminars, lab. courses, field exercises, excursions and internships in external organizations. Solving case studies further allows an independent problem analysis, hypothesis formulation, experiment planning and execution, interpretation and presentation of the results, and provide an opportunity for the team work. Specific knowledge and skills and soft-skills are gained during the two-year thesis, which has a pivotal role in the entire SP and includes work with scientific information and extensive experimental activities and data evaluation in one of actual scientific projects in the RECETOX centre. Students will present their work at weekly seminars, discuss with professionals in a scientific way and master critical thinking. They will also have an option to stay abroad at one of cooperating universities

They will be prepared for professional work and problem solving in the field of environmental pollution assessment and regulation and related impacts on environment, human and society in the country, and in the globalized world. It is suitable for graduates with a bachelor's degree in the biological, chemical, environmental, and also medical or biostatistical fields who are interested in the problems of environmental pollution and solving of environmental problems and reduce their negative health impacts. Excellent orientation in environmental, chemical, toxicological, biomedical and epidemiological problems and practical experience facilitates careers in research and technical teams in the private and public sectors. Students will work with state-of-the-art biomedical technologies and a number of foreign specialists involved in teaching. Thanks to their courses, students naturally improve their English, which helps them in the global labor market. They could follow-up with doctoral SP in environmental sciences, toxicology, ecotoxicology, environmental and analytical chemistry, epidemiology and related fields.

Study plans

Studies

  • Objectives

    The objective is to educate students to understand the interactions between the environment and human health, incl. technological and legislative tools to regulate the negative health impacts of the environment and prepare professionals with an interdisciplinary knowledge of environmental and analytical chemistry, toxicology, pathophysiology, or epidemiology, who understand the nature of environmental problems and will contribute to their solution. Interdisciplinarity between chemistry, biology, biomedicine and biostatistics and emphasis on the chemical and biological nature of environmental problems and their impacts both in qualitative and quantitative terms makes this SP unique in the Czech Republic. Students will learn about the groups of environmental contaminants, their sources and behavior in the environment, the methods and techniques of their long-term monitoring and analysis, experimental (eco)toxicology and procedures to assess the impacts and environmental and health risks of toxic substances; and with methods of analysis and interpretation of data. In the second year of study, students can further profile by a choice of elective and optional courses. Within the curriculum, four profiles are prepared:

    1) Analysis of chemical pollutants and human exposure;

    2) Assessment of toxic effects of chemicals and related environmental and health risks;

    3) Environmental protection, chemicals management and related environmental and health risks assessment;

    4) Assessment of human exposure and its health impacts, and population data analysis.

    SP emphasizes development of the students' theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the form of lectures, seminars, lab. courses, field exercises, excursions and internships in external organizations. Solving case studies further allows an independent problem analysis, hypothesis formulation, experiment planning and execution, interpretation and presentation of the results, and provide an opportunity for the team work. Specific knowledge and skills and soft-skills are gained during the two-year thesis, which has a pivotal role in the entire SP and includes work with scientific information and extensive experimental activities and data evaluation in one of actual scientific projects in the RECETOX centre. Students will present their work at weekly seminars, discuss with professionals in a scientific way and master critical thinking. They will also have an option to stay abroad at one of cooperating universities

    They will be prepared for professional work and problem solving in the field of environmental pollution assessment and regulation and related impacts on environment, human and society in the country, and in the globalized world. It is suitable for graduates with a bachelor's degree in the biological, chemical, environmental, and also medical or biostatistical fields who are interested in the problems of environmental pollution and solving of environmental problems and reduce their negative health impacts. Excellent orientation in environmental, chemical, toxicological, biomedical and epidemiological problems and practical experience facilitates careers in research and technical teams in the private and public sectors. Students will work with state-of-the-art biomedical technologies and a number of foreign specialists involved in teaching. Thanks to their courses, students naturally improve their English, which helps them in the global labor market. They could follow-up with doctoral SP in environmental sciences, toxicology, ecotoxicology, environmental and analytical chemistry, epidemiology and related fields.

  • Learning Outcomes

    After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:

    • use knowledge of the interdisciplinary of complex relationships between environment and organisms
    • apply sound theoretical and methodological knowledge of structure-activity relationships and the behavior of chemicals in the environment and in organisms, function of tissues and organs and mechanisms of toxicity of monitored substances
    • apply knowledge of the impact of human activities such as industry, agriculture, forestry, water management and human settlements, and how to reduce such impacts
    • apply knowledge of the properties and mechanisms of toxic effects of chemical compounds to which the human population is exposed, including experimental techniques to allow assessment of risks at individual, local, regional and global level
    • use instrumental skills in environmental analytical chemistry (gas and liquid chromatography, mass spectroscopy) and environmental toxicology
    • work with standard laboratory equipment, develop and optimize new analytical, bioanalytical and biological methods in accordance with the quality control system and safety regulations in the laboratory
    • combine the above-mentioned multidisciplinary knowledge and skills in analysis of complex environmental problems, assessing the impacts on humans and ecosystems, and searching of solutions on all levels from a subject or specie up to entire societies
    • use the knowledge and information from different technical sources (manuals, methodology) and the scientific literature in Czech and English, analyze, critically assess and synthesize the information into a publication
    • define the hypothesis, plan and execute environmental and toxicological laboratory experiments, take samples in the environment, prepare and analyze such samples, perform bioassays and other biological, toxicological and environ.-chemical experiments
    • analyze and interpret acquired data, confirm or revise the hypothesis, present and discuss the results, and communicate effectively with experts in the field
    • independently prepare technical and/or experiment documentation and dateset report, interpret data in the broader context of the field, including comparison with an apropriate mathematical model
  • Occupational Profiles of Graduates

    Graduates will have extensive interdisciplinary knowledge and practical skills in the field of pollutants, their behavior in the environment, (eco)toxicity, and impacts on human health and ecosystems. They focus on complex environmental issues, their contexts, causes, consequences and solutions. They are internationally successful and competitive professionals in the field of chemicals management, occurrence and fate in the environment and (eco)toxicology. In their professional career, they will apply an extensive knowledge of the environment and health, as well as a wide range of practical skills including dealing with scientific information, designing, planning and executing laboratory and field experiments, statistical analysis and presenting of the acquired data, and their supervision. They are able of critical thinking, creative independent and team-work and independent decision-making and to further develop their knowledge basis and skill-set through praxis and continuing education, and adapting to new challenges in the environmental field and seeking for innovative solutions.

    Students have the opportunity for their profiling in 1) analytical chemical of toxic substances in the environment and the organisms; 2) analysis of their negative biological effects; 3) risks assessment and the sustainable management of the environment; and 4) environmental epidemiology.

    They will be experts in evaluating the occurrence, behavior, effects and risks of chemicals in the environment in both the industrial and non-profit sectors, i.e. in water management, agriculture, food industry, health, science and research, local government, state administration and international organizations, at all places where dealing with chemicals, their regulation, waste management, environmental protection, environmental management, public health protection, prevention and related legislation.

    Graduates will be qualified to work in sampling of water, soil, air and their physical, chemical and biological analyses, including development of new analytical methods and lab. quality management; (eco)toxicological testing; assessment of the impact of chemicals on living organisms; conducting experiments and studies on environmental pollution and its impacts; development of expert opinions on toxic substances in the environment and their effects; control and management activities in this area; assessment and approval of pesticides, fertilizers and veterinary medicines; assessing impacts of industry, agriculture, transport and human settlements on the environment; preparing policies, strategies and legislation to protect the environment against toxic substances; assessing and eliminating environmental risks; evaluation and implementation of remediation of contaminated sites.

    Graduates are ready to hold positions as: Environmental Administration Specialist; Independent Consultant and Consultant in the Field of Environmental Pollution, Toxicology and Ecotoxicology; Ecologist; Specialist in Industrial Ecology; Environmental Manager; Ecological Specialist for Chemicals; Environmental Risk / Environmental Impact Assessor (EIA)/Product and Service Cycle Assessor (LCA); Employee of Sanitary Service and Inspection, Environmental Officer/Air, Water, Agricultural Land Protection/Waste Management/Public Health Protection; Executive or CEO or Inspector in these areas; Sampling Technician; Analyst; Quality Manager; Lab. Staff in Biological, Chemical or Environmental Research and Science.

  • Practical Training

    The Master study program Environment and Health has no obligatory long-term external practical work as it is an academic program, but a context of applied practice to the theoretical knowledge and practical skills is provided. A compulsory internship is provided within the frame of course E0100, Internship in the Environmental Practice. Within this course, students can choose from a range of possible internships at co-operative organizations (ČHMÚ, ÚKZÚZ, Českomoravský cement, SITA, Laboratoř Morava and others) or they can propose their own practice. This practice is 2-3 days long and the credit is given after a student’s report. Lectures by invited experts from various institutions are a regular part of seminars E1200, E2200, E3200, E4200 and other courses, such as E0270 and E0280. Invited experts usually present the given topic and also give an overview of the organization and its focus and their own role and responsibility.

  • Goals of Theses

    Within the master's thesis students have to show the ability to orientate themselves in the given topic, actively search, analyze and synthesize relevant information, experimentally work on the given problem, analyze and interpret the results, and finally report in the form of a scientific publication. The thesis should be written in a clear and logical way, in a stylistically functional and uniform style.

    The thesis has to include a literature search and a wider introduction to the topic. It is generally situated in the fields measurements, laboratory experiments, data interpretation and/or their mathematical modeling. It could be a work that evaluates data acquired or published by someone else in a new way. The requirement for the Master's thesis is the originality of the results, a significant contribution to the science and/or subsequent publication. The text should contain clear citations of the literature. In particular, the definitions, theses, published findings of others and their results, numerical data and adopted images have to be cited. A master's thesis should be based almost exclusively on peer-reviewed journals and other primary literature sources and contain at least 40 citations. The work length is at least 50 pages. Formal requirements are specified by the Dean's Decree 5/2014 (http://www.sci.muni.cz/NW/predpisy/od/OD-2014-05.pdf) and there is also available template (http://www.sci.muni.cz/NW/STUD/SablonyPraci/Sablona_word(docx).docx). Thesis could be submitted in Czech or English.

  • Access to Further Studies

    After fulfilling the conditions of admission, a graduate of the master's study program may continue in the doctoral study in any relevant field, at the Faculty of Science, or at other universities in the Czech Republic and abroad. Graduates are prepared particularly for the study programs focused on toxicology, ecotoxicology, environmental chemistry, environmental epidemiology etc.

  • Additional Information

Basic information

Type
Master's degree programme (following the Bachelor's one)
Profile
academic
Degree
Mgr.
Degree in Advanced Master's state examination
RNDr.
Length of studies
2 years
Language of instruction
Czech Czech

15
number of active students

Faculty of Science
Programme guaranteed by
Programme guarantor