Module code: ENGM055

Module Overview

In this module, students will develop essential knowledge of water chemistry, microbiology and chemical processes associated with water and wastewater treatment. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to apply the above knowledge in the practice of water and wastewater treatment in ENGM036 Wastewater Treatment, public health related topics in ENGM289 Global Challenges in Water and Health, and other environmental engineering applications.

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader

GUO Bing (Sust & CEE)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 101

Tutorial Hours: 16

Laboratory Hours: 9

Guided Learning: 8

Captured Content: 16

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Introduction to Chemical Principles

  • Chlorine demand

  • Turbidity, coagulation and flocculation

  • Hardness and softening

  • Chemical kinetics

  • Chemistry lab class

  • Introduction to Microbiology

  • Bacterial Cells

  • Bacterial Respiration

  • Microbial Growth, Isolation and Culture

  • Waterborne pathogens and pathogen indicators

  • Bacterial Inactivation

  • Microbes in treatment processes

  • Microbiology lab classes

This module is within the core subject of Environmental Engineering, and the thread of Health and Safety Risk Management (especially in the laboratory sessions).

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Coursework 1 10
Coursework Coursework 2 20
Examination Online Examination (Online Four Hours) 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • The knowledge and application of chemical principles and processes in water treatment through coursework (learning outcomes 1,2,3).

  • The description, interpretation and application of microbiological principles and processes through coursework (learning outcomes 1,2,4).

  • The knowledge and application of fundamental principles of chemistry and microbiology through an exam (learning outcomes 1-4).


  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Assignment 1, chemistry coursework [Learning outcomes 1,2,3]  

  • Assignment 2, microbiology coursework [Learning outcomes 1,2,4] 

  • Examination [Learning outcomes 1-4] 

  Formative assessment

  • Formative assessment will be through a range of exercises provided in the lecture notes and discussed in the tutorial sessions.



  • Students will receive written feedback on the coursework, and verbal feedback will be provided in the classroom.

Module aims

  • Introduce principles of chemistry and microbiology
  • Develop knowledge of the techniques employed to evaluate the performance of treatment processes utilised in water and wastewater treatment
  • Develop a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the water chemistry, microbiology and chemical processes associated with water and wastewater treatment

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Apply microbiological and chemical scientific principles and governing equations to water and wastewater treatment KC
002 Critically assess the importance of microbiological and chemical processes during the treatment of water and wastewater KC
003 Evaluate procedures employed to monitor chemical processes relevant to water and wastewater KCPT
004 Appraise the techniques used for the detection and enumeration of bacteria in water and wastewater KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

This module provides fundamental knowledge of chemistry and microbiology for the multi-disciplinary group of students. It provides a greater understanding of the topics covered in other MSc Water and Environmental Engineering modules.
The module is delivered principally by tutorials and captured content, and also includes laboratory work in chemical water treatment techniques and microbiological testing.

The learning and teaching methods include:

·         Microbiology captured content and tutorials

·         Chemistry captured content and tutorials

·         Coagulation and Chlorination laboratory class

·         Microbiological techniques laboratory classes

·         Directed and guided reading (including revision and preparation for lab classes)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM055

Other information

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience, in line with the Surrey Curriculum Framework. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:


Employability: In this module, students will be supported to develop a unique set of individual, interpersonal and professional skills in chemistry and microbiology applicable to water/wastewater engineering and environmental biotechnology. These skills will equip students to be employment ready for analytical and engineering jobs. The module will bring in speakers from industry to give talks on career development.


Sustainability: Students will recognise the social-environmental impact of water/wastewater engineering technologies and policies. Real-life case studies related to sustainability issues such as greenhouse gas emission, public health, and climate change will be discussed, and external speakers will give talks about sustainability in the water industry.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Water and Environmental Engineering MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Infrastructure Engineering and Management MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Civil Engineering MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Advanced Geotechnical Engineering MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Civil Engineering MEng 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Structural Engineering MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.