BSc Environmental Mgt. (4 yr)

Bhutan's First and Only A+ Accredited Institution      Inspiring Education in Bhutan

The BSc Environmental Management (EM) programme provides the theoretical knowledge along with practical skills that future leaders will need in order to help create and maintain sustainable societies in Bhutan and beyond. Some of the critical issues any development practitioners and leaders must work to address include: management of scarce natural resources, pollution and waste management, climate change, and population growth. At the same time, the programme aims to inculcate the opportunities and benefits that can arise from the sustainable management of natural resources and innovative eco-friendly practices.

EM students will gain a core foundation in natural and social sciences, economics and humanities, as well as business and policy, with environmentally-focused coursework in these areas. The programme will instil students with the notion that integrative and interdisciplinary approaches are vital for environmental management and sustainable socio-economic development. Some basic science is also included, because those who will set serve as leaders for the current environmental challenges must have some understanding of natural science. The programme graduates should be the translators between the hard science and the policies and practices that the government, organizations, or businesses implement. Through the programme, some of the specific areas students will be learning about include conservation biology, GIS, forest and wildlife management, urban ecology, natural resource policy, watershed management, impact assessment, waste and hazards management, urban environmental management, basic weather and climate studies, and other areas related to natural resources management. The programme also covers topics such as environmental ethics and values, environmental economics, and the importance of social capital.

The programme will help provide Bhutan with home-grown undergraduates in the field of environment conservation and management. The programme is developed in the view of current professional gaps in this discipline with the ultimate aim to enhance Bhutan’s capacity to achieve a sustainable society. Using an integrative approach, students will learn how to develop local solutions that are sustainable and ethical at larger, and global scales. Local environmental issues such as land-use change and planning, conservation biology, energy use, climate change, renewable resource management, and community-based management of resources will be addressed. Field measurements and field skills are important components of this course, and help students internalize and deepen their understanding of theoretical concepts.

The programme also allows students some opportunity for specialization in a subject of their interest related to environmental management through research methods training and an independent project. Students may thus develop independent study and research skills and the ability to present logical, scientific and cogent arguments on a range of environmental and population science and/or management issues, and use these skills as a basis for lifelong learning. In addition to the discipline-specific topics, the core competencies included in the curriculum are intended to give students at RTC a very strong foundation in important lifelong skills such as personal development and analytical skills.

EM graduates will be prepared for careers in a variety of diverse fields, including environmental compliance at government, corporate and industrial bodies, environmental consulting, non-governmental environmental advocacy, or public policy. EM graduates are expected to apply their knowledge and skills to infuse innovative ideas into planning processes, help resolve crucial environmental issues and provide leadership in decision-making and strategy formation. They will also be well educated in ethics and communication, and should be able to understand the implications of their decisions on environmental matters and effectively communicate these, as well as what actions to take. Graduates may also consider the course an appropriate grounding for higher studies (Master’s degrees) in fields such as Environmental Management, Sustainable Development, or Natural Resources Management. Graduates could also pursue a school teaching career in environmental studies.

Specific Objectives

Upon successful completion of the programme, graduates should be able to:

1.    Analyse environmental issues to identify their scientific, social, ethical, political, and economic aspects.

2.    Identify and describe population factors and the anthropogenic connections to, and impacts on, the physical and biological factors that make up the environment.

3.    Discuss, compare the relative advantages of, and implement the methods and instruments that can be used to analyse environmental issues when taking into account their multidisciplinary nature, complexity, and the many actors involved.

4.    Analyse the different environmental ethics, values, and worldviews that exist globally.

5.    Conduct basic field studies in natural settings.

6.    Analyse the status of water resources in Bhutan, their importance, major issues, and approaches to managing them.

7.    Contribute in evaluating the underlying policy frameworks, planning processes, and implementation of development activities in Bhutan.

8.    Assist in planning and performing impact assessment studies for new developmental activities.

9.    Adapt to, assimilate, and use new information and tools as part of a continuous learning process.

10.  Apply the tools and recognize the capabilities of GIS applications for environmental management.

11.  Effectively communicate well-reasoned positions on environmental and other issues.

12.  Work effectively in teams as well as lead them.

13.  Propose and conduct relevant research projects.


Curriculum Structure and Map

All modules shown are 12-credit modules except for RSP 301, which comprises 24 credits. Core competencies modules are shown in grey.




ENV 101

Introduction to the Environment

ECL 101

Principles of Ecology

ENV 102

Population, Development, and Environment

EAP 101

English for Academic Purposes I

PRD 101

Personal Development


CLM 101

Introduction to Climate and Weather Studies

ENM 101

Energy Resources and Materials Management

STS 101

Applied Statistics

EAP 102

English for Academic Purposes II

IPS 101

IT and Basic Problem Solving



BDC 201

Biodiversity Conservation and Management I

ENM 201

Water Resources  Management

ETH 201

Environmental Ethics

GIS 201

Geographic Information Sciences I

ANS 101

Analytical Skills


BDC 202

Biodiversity Conservation and Management II

EEC 201

Environmental Economics

ENM 202

Agriculture and Land Management

GIS 202 Geographic Information Sciences II

DZG 101

Dzongkha Comm.



ENM 301

Environmental Hazards Management

ENM 302

Urban Environmental Management

ENM 303

Environmental Impact Assessment

RSP 301

Research Project I


ENM 304

Waste Management

BES 301

Bhutanese Economy and Social Capital

ECL 301

Restoration Ecology

ENM 305

Frontiers in Env. Mgt. and Sus. Dev.

RSP 302

Research Project II

There are no elective modules in this programme. Twenty-four modules are environment / technical skills modules (RSP 301 is counted as two for this purpose) and the other six are core competency modules.

Classification/breakdown of curriculum into broad component categories

CategoryModules% of curriculum

Core environment subject modules

ENV 101, ECL 101, ENV 102, CLM 101, ENM 101, BDC 201, ENM 201, ETH 201, BDC 202, EEC 201,

ENM 202, ENM 301, ENM 302, ENM 303, ENM 304, BES 301, ECL 301, ENM 305

18/30 = 60%

Technical and research skills development related to environment

STS 101, GIS 201, GIS 202, RSP 301 (x2), RSP 302

6/30 = 20%

Core competencies

EAP 101, EAP 102, PRD 101, IPS 101, DZG 101, ANS 101

6/30 = 20%



Based on the cumulated theory/practical components from each module’s teaching-learning approach (credit hours expected for either component) and assessment scheme, the overall theory: practical ratio for the 24 environment-related & technical modules of the programme (excluding the 6 core competencies modules; RSP 301 is counted as 2) is conservatively estimated to be approximately 69:31 as highlighted below. Accounting for the more active aspects of classroom learning for each module, data-analysis based activities, and practical self-directed student activities, would result in a greater practical weight.

ModuleThr. %Prac. %Practical components

ENV 101 Introduction to the Environment



·  Field trip to a nearby site that highlights an emerging environmental issue in Bhutan.

ECL 101 Ecology



·  Field trip from Lobesa to Dochula (dry subtropical to alpine zones) to see and learn various ecosystems intact and degradation and to observe biodiversity in various type of forests.

·  Data collection on flora and fauna and ecosystems in RTC compound.

ENV 102 Population, Development, and Environment



·  Preparing country profiles.

CLM 101 Introduction to Climate and Weather Studies



·  Reading and recording meteorological instruments and maintaining them regularly.

·  Learning to locate reliable sources of current weather observation and making forecasts.

ENM 101 Energy Resources and Materials Management



·  Short field visits in the locality to gain exposure to various kinds energy usage patterns in Bhutan accompanied by short response/reflection; field trips to briquette factory in Thimphu, and a mining site in Bjemina or Genekha.

STS 101 Applied Statistics



·  Apply Excel or SPSS package in IT labs to analyse data, apply statistical analyses, and interpret results.

BDC 201 Biodiversity Conservation and Management I



·  Field trip to National Biodiversity Centre to see gene bank, demonstration of seed selection for storage in gene bank.

·  Identification of (and determination of the uses of) prominent plants and animals using appropriate tools and instruments in and around the College.

·  Field study for learning forest management through good silvicultural practices (FMU).

·  Field study to identify birds available in a particular place (in and around college campus and out of college).

·  Block-week trip to Nobding and back or equivalent areas, shared with other modules in this semester, for biodiversity observations and measurements.

ENM 201 Water Resources Management



·  Measuring water quality using testing kits.

·  Study visits to see and learn about watershed management (Wochu in Paro or Lingmetechu in Bajo).

·  Data collection on water in urban and rural areas (comparative study).

·  Visit to a hydropower project as part of the block-week field trip shared with other modules in this semester.

ETH 201 Environmental Ethics



·  Research on local beliefs and ways of thinking about the natural environment, in the context of major themes in philosophy and ethics and global worldviews.

·  Case study on different approaches for conservation and management of environment: ecofeminism, animal rights, environmental aesthetics, religious approaches, etc.

GIS 201 and GIS 202 Geographic Information Sciences I and II



·  Substantial work using ArcGIS in the computer laboratory as well as field work on ground truthing and field measurements with the use of GPS.

BDC 202 Biodiversity Conservation and Management II



·  Visit to Royal Botanical Garden to study plants and to identify pros and cons of Royal Botanical garden establishment.

·  Forest biodiversity measurement work.

·  Apiculture work.

·  Making herbarium specimens.

·  Field visit RNR-RDC Yusipang to understand the system of research under RNR sector in Bhutan; see and know the uses and importance of medicinal plants in Bhutan.

·  Field trip particularly to any kind of protected area for ecotourism development in Bhutan as part of block-week study tour shared with other modules in this semester.

EEC 201 Environmental Economics



·  Data collection of economic development of communities and how it is helping to conserve and protect the environment and ecosystems.

ENM 202 Agriculture and Land Management



·  Soil tests using testing kits.

·  Visit to National Mushroom Centre. 

·  Block-week field visits including various agro-ecological zones to see crop growth patterns and systems (agroforestry, social forestry, farm forestry, piggery, dairy farming); agro-industry to see food production procedures and management practices; visit to see and learn the names and importance of pasture (e.g. Yusipang, Bjemina).

ENM 301 Environmental Hazard Management



·  Basic air quality testing, including dust records using dust sampler machine and other testing kits.

·  Basic survey pertaining to hazard occurrence and preparedness, or mitigation measures.

ENM 302 Urban Environmental Management



·  Study visit around Thimphu for observations on urban planning and impacts of the urbanization.

·  Information collection on storms, floods, urban heat, changes in species and pathogens (comparative study between towns and villages).

ENM 303 Environmental Impact Assessment



·  Application of EIA and Sustainable Development Principles to projects - Exercises on NEC’s eight sectoral EA guidelines in RTC campus and nearby areas.

ENM 304 Waste Management



·  Block-day study tour: Memelakha land fill, sewerage treatment in Babesa, hospital, VAST, Greener Way.

·  Data collection and project on organic waste production from CFM, Chhubachu

BES 301 Bhutanese Economy and Social Capital



·  Conduct small-scale research to understand that social capital is an integral part for conserving various ecosystems for sustainable socio-economic growth in Bhutan, e.g. data collection and writing on household welfare (from nearby villages)

ECL 301 Restoration Ecology



·  Independent small-group field visits to areas related to: riparian zone, invasive species, rangeland management, and forest fire management.

ENM 305 Frontiers in Env. Mgt. and Sus. Dev.




RSP 301 Research Project I



·  Writing/ designing research proposal

·  Research administration- selection of topic, tentative work plan, research code of conduct- ethics

RSP 302 Research Project II



·  Completion of independent research projects and write up of the research report; research presentations and thesis defence




(weighted average out of 24 x 12-credit modules)


Recommended books for 1st semester modules:

ENV 101 

Miller, G.T., and Spoolman, S.E. (2014). Environmental Science 14th Ed. New Delhi: Cengage Learning.

ENV 101

Berg, L., Hager M., Hassenzahl, D. (2011). Visualizing Environmental Science 3rd Ed. John Wiley & Sons.

ENV 101

Botkin, D.B. & Keller, E.A. (2011). Environmental Science, 8th Ed. John Wiley & Sons.

ENV 101

Cunningham, W.P., and Cunningham, M.A. (2012). Environmental Science: A Global Concern, 12th Ed. McGraw Hill.

ENV 101

De, A.K. and De, A.K. (2005). Environmental Studies, 2nd Ed. New Delhi: New Age Intl Ltd.

ENV 101

Enger, E.D. and Smith, B.F. (2010). Environmental Science, 12th Ed. McGraw-Hill.

ENV 101

Nolan, P. And Lenski, H. (2011). Human Societies: An Introduction to Macrosociology, 11th Ed. London: Paradigm Publishers.

ENV 101

Wright, R.T., Boorse, D.F. (2011). Environmental Science, 11th ed. New Delhi: PHI Learning Pvt Ltd.

ECL 112

Odum, E., Barrick, M., and Barrett, G.W. (2005). Fundamentals of Ecology, 5th Ed. Brooks/Cole.

ECL 112

Begon, M, Townsend, C.R. and Harper, JL. (2005) Ecology: From Individual to Ecosystems, 4th Edition, Wiley-Black, USA.

ENV 102

Sharma, R.K. (2004). Demography and Population Problems. Atlantic.

ENV 102

Tyson, T (2010). Population and development: The demographic Transition. London, Zed Books.

ENV 102

Jhingan, M.L. (2014). The Economics of Development and Planning, 40th Ed. Vrinda Publications, P. Ltd., India.

PRD  101  

Covey, Stephen. R. (2013). The 7 habits of highly effective people. Simon & Schuster; Anniversary Edition ed.

PRD 101

De Bono, Edward. (2009). Think! Before It’s Too Late. Ebury Publishing.

PRD 101

De Bono, Edward. (1999). New Thinking for the New Millennium. New Millennium Entertainment.

EAP 101

Thaine, C. and McCarthy, M. (2014). Cambridge Academic English – An integrated skills course for EAP: B1+ (Intermediate) Student’s Book. Delhi: Cambridge University Press.

EAP 101

Thaine, C. and McCarthy, M. (2014). Cambridge Academic English – An integrated skills course for EAP: B1+ (Intermediate) Teacher’s Manual. Delhi: Cambridge University Press.