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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Energy Policy and Politics (20 credits) (PGSP11132)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPostgrad (School of Social and Political Studies) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course provides a broad introduction to social and policy issues in energy, with the emphasis on important current topics, particularly in resource use, technological innovation and environmental impacts. It covers a range of primary energy forms, conversion systems, domains of use, problems and controversies. It deploys and critically reflects on a variety of perspectives from social science disciplines and from interdisciplinary fields like science and technology studies. It focusses particularly on the knowledge claims made about current and future energy provision and the knowledge used in evaluating options and making decisions on energy and environment matters. It develops some familiarity and experience with techniques and procedures used in policy analysis and formulation, decision-making and assessment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs none
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
King's BuildingsLectureLecture Theatre 250, Joseph Black Building2-11 09:00 - 10:50
First Class First class information not currently available
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the course, students will have demonstrated through written work, oral presentations and other contributions in class, that they:
- have a substantive knowledge and understanding of a selection of important policy and social issues in energy, and of the contending viewpoints and claims on these issues;
- can identify and characterise key approaches from social science disciplines and from interdisciplinary fields like science and technology studies to understanding and evaluating energy issues, and identify advantages, problems and implications of these approaches;
- can critically evaluate contributions to the academic and public debates on energy issues, and decisions on them;
- can identify, deploy and evaluate a selection of techniques and procedures used in energy policy analysis, decision-making and assessment;
- can apply these understandings and skills, and deploy some of these approaches, concepts and techniques, in analysing a new problem in energy policy, and in devising, evaluating and justifying options for intervention;
- have developed their skills
- in finding and using arguments and information;
- in critically evaluating such material; and
- in essay writing and seminar presentation
Assessment Information
1,000 word exercises (25%); one presentation (25%) and a
2,000 word essay (50%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Coal, oil, gas: the economics and geopolitics of primary energy resources
Week 3: Structure, strategy, policy, regulation: the organisation and governance of energy provision
Week 4: New technologies: understanding innovation and adoption in energy systems
Week 5: Using energy: analysing and changing consumption patterns and practices
Week 6: Sun, wind, sea: renewable energy sources and technologies
Week 7: Debating and evaluating energy options and futures
Week 8: Environmental impacts
Week 9: Risks of energy systems
Week 10: From here to there: transitions to sustainability
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Recommended textbooks:
I Scrase & G MacKerron (eds.), Energy for the Future: a New Agenda, Palgrave, Basingstoke, 2009
C Mitchell, The Political Economy of Sustainable Energy, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2008
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern The first two hours of each class will be a mixture of lectures, exercises, open discussions of
readings, and other activities. Student presentations and other activities will be held in smaller
groups in the last hour. You will be able to choose on the day which presentations you attend.
Keywordsenergy, policy, politics, innovation
Course organiserMr Richard Bellingham
Course secretaryMiss Madina Howard
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
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