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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 (10 credit version) (PGSP11133)

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) Credits10
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
High Demand Course? Yes
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  15
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 68 )
Additional Notes Due to limited space and resources students will not be permitted to audit (sit-in) on this course
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
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
Assessment Information
Group presentation and a 3500 word report.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Energy history and contemporary governance challenges- carbon reduction, energy security, economic development and affordability
Week 3: Structure, strategy, policy and regulation: the organisation and governance of energy provision
Week 4: Assessing and evaluating low carbon options - scenarios, pathways and energy system modelling
Week 5: Using energy: analysing and understanding changing consumption patterns and practices
Week 6: Debating controversies in energy technology - shale gas fracking, nuclear power, biofuels
Week 7: Sun, wind, sea: renewable energy sources and innovation systems
Week 8: Cities, communities and the low carbon energy transition
Week 9: Student presentations
Week 10: Student presentations
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list General course reading:
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
C Kuzemko, Energy Security-Climate Nexus: Institutional Change in the UK and Beyond, New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
T Foxon, Transition pathways for a UK low carbon electricity future, Energy Policy, 52, pp.10-24, 2013
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 organiserDr Ronan Bolton
Tel: (0131 6)50 6394
Course secretaryMiss Jodie Fleming
Tel: (0131 6)51 5066
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