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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Understanding Environment and Development (PGGE11187)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to examine the relationship between the process of development and environmental change through its unique focus on the following:
- Environment and development issues as framed within the context of market globalisation, environmental regulation challenges and socio-political asymmetries
- Critical attention to issues of access, justice, participation, politics, capitalism, colonialism and consumerism
- The role of different actors (state, civil society, social movements) and the importance of scale and global interconnectedness, particularly when assessing approaches to sustainable development.

There is no simple, single meaning of development or sustainable development and we will examine what these can mean in different contexts. It will require a review of the ideological and conceptual basis of environment and development. The sessions will be organised around a number of cross-cutting themes, such as socio-ecology, governance, natural resources, adaptation and resilience. Within these themes we explore issues such as environmental justice, biodiversity conservation, nature reserves, community participation, ecosystem services, urban environments, water politics, climate change, and indigenous environmental knowledge.

Each week, a formal lecture will be followed by in-depth consideration of a particular case-study on themes and regions of the world. This will allow us to explore the meaning and relevance of debates introduced during the lectures and to connect realities on the ground. Through group discussion and presentations, we consider how issues of environment and development can be taken forward in the future. Guest lecturers will make a vital contribution to the course, drawing on their own research and experience in the field of environment and development.
Course description This is one of two core courses on the MSc in Environment and Development and combines explicitly environmental questions with those of development. It will provide vital knowledge, analytical skills and exposure to critical scholarship on core issues.

This course will help you to explore the relationships between socio-economic demands, institutional arrangements and public policies related to environment and development.
It introduces theories of environment and development ranging from community-based natural resource management, conservation and environmental protection, land grabs, the roles of the state. Particular attention will be given to resource management, social movements, political ecology and post-colonial approaches.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  51
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Course assessment will involve two tasks:
1. Group presentation and essay - Presentation 15 minutes, Essay length: 1,500 words, Deadline: week 9, Mark allocation: worth 40%
2. An individual essay - Essay length: 2,500 words, Deadline: week 11, Mark allocation: worth 60%

Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. expand students knowledge of current theoretical debates on environment-development issues
  2. explore the intersections of social justice issues with the quest for economic growth
  3. gain an overview of the key theories of environment and development in circulation today
  4. critically evaluate and differentiate approaches to environment-development questions from a variety of perspectives
  5. apply theories of development to specific examples and understand how the model of development used is relevant to the environmental issues that emerge in that particular case
Reading List
Adams, W. M. (2001) Green Development. Environment and sustainability in a development world (3rd Edition). London, Routledge
Harvey, D. (1996) Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference. Cambridge, MA, Blackwell
O'Lear, S. (2010) Environmental Politics. Scale and Power. University of Kansas
Peet, R. Hintz, J. & Moore, S.A. (2010) Environment and Society. Wiley-Blackwell
Peet, R. & M. Watts (2004) Liberation Ecologies: Environment, Development and Social Movements. 2nd edition. London, Routledge

Robbins, P. (2004) Political Ecology. A Critical Introduction. Malden, MA, Blackwell
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsEnvironment, Development, Society
Course organiserDr Antonio Ioris
Tel: (0131 6)51 9090
Course secretaryMrs Karolina Galera
Tel: (0131 6)50 2572
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