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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 under the guidance of staff related to Ecological Economics and sustainability. In light of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the nature of this research project will have to be adapted to what is do-able during the course of semester 2 given whatever pandemic-related restrictions may exist. This means that the research project may be local, and/or it may involve online data collection. The final determination will be made closer to the time when it is clear what is actually feasible.
Course description The specific research question(s) addressed each year will be set by staff and will vary depending on the needs of our collaborators on the ground. Staff will also make the final judgements about the feasibility of project designs. However, each iteration of Ecological Economics Field Methods in Research and Practice will involve a significant component of student-led learning. This is achieved through a problem-based Learning (PBL) course structure that includes:
1. Introduction to Problem/immersion in the relevant thematic area
2. Team-based scoping of problem and research planning
3. Engagement with the context 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 to 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 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  55
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) The full mark for this course will be based on a series of three assessments, each of which relate to a different aspect of the course. Full details will be provided in the syllabus:
Research Proposal (40%)
Self-reflection (30%)
Final project (20%)
Professionalism (10%)
Feedback Groups of students will be mentored by a member of staff throughout the semester who will provide informal feedback to students on their grasping of the situation.
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. Further hone their critical assessment and analysis skills, their communication and presentation skills, their research skills, their negotiation skills, and their 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
Course URL
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 organiserMs Corinne Baulcomb
Tel: 0131 535 4031
Course secretaryMiss Lydia Hall
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