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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Baseline-and-Credit Methods and Applications (CMSE11363)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits15 ECTS Credits7.5
SummaryThe baseline-and-credit method is a highly flexible and widely used method for quantifying the change in emissions caused by projects, policies or any other form of climate change mitigation intervention. This method forms the basis for emission reduction project crediting, policy appraisal/evaluation, and results-based payments. The course aims to provide students with practical experience in using this method through the design and validation of an emission reduction project, e.g. Clean Development Mechanism project, using real-world data. Students will also come away from the course with an understanding of the broader applicability of the baseline-and-credit method.
Course description This course is intended to provide students with the relevant knowledge and skills to quantify and validate the emission reductions caused by projects, policies, or any other interventions aimed at climate change mitigation.

The course focuses on emission reduction project development, e.g. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) methodologies, but the lessons learned can be applied to any other type of intervention ranging from internal organisational carbon management to government policy. The CDM provides a useful starting point for exploring key concepts such as baselines, additionality, and emissions factors. The course is structured around weekly lectures, in which key concepts are introduced, followed by workshops in which the concepts are put into practice.

The course also involves a number of guest lectures to discuss cutting-edge developments in the use of baseline-and-credit methods. Guest lectures are arranged each year to provide up-to-date content, and may include organisations such as the World Bank, Gold Standard, Carbon Clear, and Plan Vivo.

1. Overview of baseline-and-credits methods
2. Emission reduction product development cycle
3. Methodologies
4. Baselines
5. Additionality
6. Quantifying emissions and reductions
7. Validation
8. Applications of baseline-and-credit methods to projects, policies and beyond
9. Recent developments under the Paris Agreement
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 150 ( Lecture Hours 10, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 3, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 117 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Report - validation report - 20%
Presentation - validation report - 10%
Report - final project design document - 40% (Peer assessment 20% of the 40%)
Essay - 30%

1. Validation report. This is a validation report of another group┐s draft Project Design Document (PDD), in compliance with the Clean Development Mechanism┐s Validation Rules and Procedures.

The assessment criteria are:

a. Correct identification of clarification requests (CL) and corrective action requests (CAR).
b. Completeness of identification of CLs and CARs.
c. Description of the steps taken to validate PDD (beyond just statement of CLs or CARs).
d. Precision of the CLs and CARs raised (i.e. it should be clear what action is required to close the CL or CAR).

2. Presentation of validation report (both oral and written). There is a 10 minute oral presentation of the report followed by 5 minutes of questions and answers, in addition to the written presentation of the report itself.

The assessment criteria are:

a. Clarity of the oral presentation.
b. Ability to provide detailed answers to questions.
c. Correct referencing of documents, and cross-referencing within the validation report.
d. Numbering of slides.
e. Consecutive numbering of CLs and CARs.

3. Final Project Design Document. This is the final version of the Project Design Document (incorporating the recommendations from the validation reports).

The assessment criteria are:

a. Correct selection of an applicable methodology.
b. Completeness of the description of the project.
c. Correct implementation of baseline identification procedure.
d. Correct demonstration of additionality.
e. Correct quantification of emission reductions.
f. Transparent referencing of sources and assumptions.
g. Adequately addressing the CLs and CARs from the validation report.
h. Correct use of forms, tools, and documentation.

4. Individual essay. Students select an essay topic from a list of options provided by the course organiser. The topics generally cover emerging or topical issues related to the development and application of baseline-and-credit methods.

The assessment criteria are:

a. The inclusion of critical discussion, i.e. the presentation of arguments for and against a position or methodological option.
b. Evidence of understanding the range of different baseline-and-credit standards and applications.
c. Clarity of the text, and prioritisation of the key points (given the limited word count).
d. Appropriate use of supporting references and evidence.

Feedback Students will be given formative feedback during the workshops from week 2 onwards, where the typical format will involve a short group presentation on an issue related to their group project. This is also a forum for 'feed-forward', as it will help with preparing the group project. In addition, each group will benefit from the feedback given by their peers as part of the group presentation (as it involves a validation audit of another group's project), again in time to use this feedback in preparing the final group project design document.

Summative feedback on assessments will be made available a maximum of 15 working days after the assessment completion. Students will also receive peer feedback through the peer assessment component.

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Recognise and describe a generic baseline-and-credit development cycle;
  2. Understand and apply the key concepts within baseline-and-credit methods to quantify the changes caused by a project, policy or other intervention.
  3. Critically discuss the different rules and procedures within major baseline-and-credit standards;
  4. Understand the range of applications for baseline-and-credit methods.
Reading List
A full weekly reading list is posted on Learn via an online Resource List.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding
After completing this course, students should have:

* Detailed knowledge and understanding of the key stages in the development of an emission reduction project.
* Detailed knowledge of the key concepts and terms associated with baseline-and-credit methods.
* An understanding of the broad applicability of baseline-and-credit methods.

Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding
After completing this course, students should be able to:

* Prepare the necessary documentation for an emission reduction project and be able to take it through the key stages of the project cycle.
* Undertake the validation of a project design document.
* Quantify the change in emissions caused by an emission reduction project policy or other intervention.
* Assess the additionality of an intervention or emissions outcome.

Cognitive Skills
After completing this course, students should be able to:

* Critically evaluate project design documents.
* Make informed judgements based on the application of a procedure or methodology
* Offer creative solutions and insights to complex issues.

Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills
After completing this course, students should be able to:

* Communicate technical, conceptual and critical information clearly and concisely.
* Develop emission factors and apply them to activity data to calculate greenhouse gas emissions.
* Co-operate with others from different professional, educational and cultural backgrounds to produce group analysis and present the results of group work.
* Understand, speak and write the language of carbon offsetting, results-based payments, and baseline-and-credit methods.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Matthew Brander
Tel: (0131 6)51 5547
Course secretaryMiss Yvonne Stewart
Tel: (0131 6)51 5333
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