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

Postgraduate Course: Applied Carbon Methods (PGGE11209)

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 Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course has been created specifically for the MSc in Carbon Management, reflecting the cross-disciplinary nature of the programme and the wide range of research projects may be undertaken. This is an applied course, with the focus centred on research design, methods, and techniques most commonly used in Carbon Management. It is intended to provide an opportunity to develop fundamental research skills useful for both dissertations and future careers in the areas of carbon and climate change.
Course description All research projects face the same set of core research design issues. These are defining the research question and problem specifying concepts and theory operationalization and measurement selecting cases and observations controlling for alternative explanations and drawing theoretical conclusions from the empirical analysis - Gschwend and Schimmelfennig 2007

This course reflects the cross-disciplinary nature of the programme and the wide range of research projects and reading that may be undertaken now and in the future. Its applied nature centres on developing skills to craft an appropriate design for any research problem whether academic or professional. It includes an introduction to a selection of methods and data analysis techniques applicable to Carbon Management - this selection is not exhaustive. In addition, in partnership with the Carbon Trust, there is an external consulting project with a local small/medium-sized company or SME. Development of these fundamental research and problem-solving skills will be useful for both the MSc dissertation and future careers in a wide range of areas.

The delivery format of ACM is a mix of blended and more traditional post-graduate seminars, depending upon which is most appropriate for a given weekly session. The blended format sessions will have pre-recorded video lectures to present theory and classroom-based workshops where that theory is more fully discussed and practiced. The traditional sessions will typically have preparatory reading and classroom-based discussion. Active participation is expected and preparation is required to maximise the utility of this course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation (PGGE11126) AND Business and Climate Change (ECNM11033) AND Carbon Economics (ECNM11034)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students MUST have passed at least 2 of the pre-requisite courses.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 60%: Carbon Audit
40%: Research Proposal
Feedback Continual formative feedback is provided during the seminars and workshops.

Specific formative feedback on a draft version of the carbon audit assessment will be provided by a member of the Carbon Trust in conjunction with the Course Organiser.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify potential research topics and define relevant research questions,
  2. Critically evaluate literature in a given field,
  3. Design a research project appropriate for identified topic and questions
  4. Prepare a written research proposal for that project, and
  5. Present findings of research in a target-audience appropriate manner
Reading List
Full details of materials for this course are contained within its Resource List, organised by weekly lectures.

There are two core texts for this course, which may be purchased in hard-copy or electronic format. Alternatively, there are limited numbers of copies in the Library system.

de Vaus, David (2001). Research Design in Social Research, SAGE Publications.

Creswell, John (2013). Research Design. SAGE Publications.

In advance of the start of the course, students are expected to have read the following texts:

de Vaus, David (2009). Research Design in Social Research, Ch 1-3, SAGE Publications.

White, Patrick (2009). Developing Research Questions: A Guide for Social Scientists, Palgrave MacMillan.

Booth, Wayne, et al (2008). The Craft of Research, U of Chicago Press.

Raff, Jennifer (2013). How to read and understand a scientific paper: A guide for non-scientists. [Available online at:]
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserMr Stephen Porter
Tel: (0131 6)51 4545
Course secretaryMrs Karolina Galera
Tel: (0131 6)50 2572
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