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

Postgraduate Course: Ecological Economics Field Methods in Research and Practice (PGGE11237)

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
SummaryEcological Economics Fields Methods in Research and Practice constitutes the 4th compulsory course in the MSc programme. As such, its focus is on the completion of a team-based independent research project in the field, on the Ecological Economics study tour, related to Ecological Economics and sustainability. Field course locations may change for a variety of reasons, including security risks, increased costs or inability to access field locations. Any changes to the main destination of the field course will be announced as soon as possible
Course description The specific research questions addressed each year will vary depending on the needs of our collaborators on the ground. However, each iteration of Ecological Economics Field Methods in Research and Practice will have the following components because it seeks to implement Problem-based Learning (PBL):

1. Introduction to Problem/immersion in the relevant thematic area
2. Team-based scoping of problem and research planning
3. Study tour to field site where research is conducted
4. Analysis and communication of results

Through this experience, students gain first-hand experience applying both the concepts and methodologies studied during the taught component of the MSc in the real world. The team-based element means students will acquire experience working in teams to a high degree of professionalism and with
significant collective responsibility in a context relevant to their future employment. In turn, this gives students the opportunity develop a wide range of transferable skills related to inter-personal dynamics, research, and project management that will be useful not only in their individual dissertations but in their careers post-graduation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Foundations in Ecological Economics (PGGE11004) AND Environmental Valuation (PGGE11223)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Minor incidentals associated with travel and work in the field;
Health and safety related expenditures »100 GBP;
Incidentals while in the field (e.g. snacks, souvenirs)
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  49
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Fieldwork Hours 64, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 8, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 104 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 100%«br /»
«br /»
Self-reflection on experience - Individual - 20%«br /»
Participation / Professionalism - Individual - 10%«br /»
Proposal - Group* - 10%«br /»
Outputs - Group - 60%«br /»
- Report/Manuscript (20%) «br /»
- Presentation (20%)«br /»
- KTE document (20%)«br /»
«br /»
* Individual differentiation accomplished by auto-rating system of Oakley et al (2004) Turning Student Groups into Effective Teams«br /»
Feedback Students will receive informal feedback during the seminars on their grasping of the situation. Before going to the field, students will have at least 2 occasions where they will get feedback from trip leaders and their peers on their progress towards a research proposal. In the field there will be a high level of engagement with peers and trip leaders, and that is an environment very conducive to frequent and informal feedback. After returning from the field, students have to prepare their outputs. Approximately half way through the period of time they¿ll have to complete this, they will need to deliver a presentation. Feedback will be collected there that can inform the final submissions.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Apply an in depth understanding of Ecological Economics to sustainability problems
  2. Identify and design approaches to address these problems, to implement their approaches, and both analyse and communicate the results (and corresponding implications) from having done so.
  3. Through this process students will further hone their critical assessment and analysis skills, their communication and presentation skills, their research skills, their negotiation skills, and the proposal/writing skills.
Reading List
As the focus for the research project will change each year, depending on the circumstances of our on-the-ground partners, this will also change each year.

Each year, however, these papers/sources identified would serve the same function: to get students focused on the research area and to ensure that they have sufficient background from which they can build up their research proposals.

From the point of establishing a solid working baseline with the students, student teams will need to use their initiative to find the resources necessary to progress their ideas, just as in their dissertations (and just as in their dissertations, staff can provide guidance and pointers, but won¿t supply a fixed reading list either).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research skills
Negotiation skills
Proposal and report writing skills
Team-work in a professional environment
Communication and presentation skills
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Paula Novo Nunez
Tel: (0131) 535 4037
Course secretaryMrs Elspeth Martin
Tel: 0131 535 4198
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