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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Energy Policy and Politics (10 credit version) (PGSP11133)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryEnergy Policy and Politics (EPP) addresses the key social and technical issues influencing energy policies in the context of the global transition toward sustainable and lower carbon energy systems. It introduces a range of theoretical and analytical perspectives on energy issues, and covers a wide range of aspects of energy production, distribution and use.

EPP aims
- to help students participate in an effective and informed way in energy policy, business or research roles, whether as scientists, engineers or social scientists,
- to develop appropriate research, analytical and communication skills
- to increase students` awareness of appropriate sources of information and arguments about energy policy controversies or disputes, and their capabilities in critically appraising and using material from reliable sources
Course description EPP is a well-established and highly interdisciplinary course, attracting Masters and other postgraduate students from social sciences, engineering, geosciences and beyond. A distinctive feature of the course is the experience of working together in interdisciplinary groups on a national energy transition case study.
Teaching will be delivered as a mixture of live tutorials and seminars. From Week 4 onwards, group work will be carried out in the last hour of the live session.
For 20 credit students the group assignment counts as half of the course mark (the other half is based a 3500 word essay assignment). For 10 credit students the group assignment will be 100% of the course mark. Both assignments are submitted shortly after the end of the course.

- Week 1: Course Introduction and Overview
- Week 2: Energy Histories and System Change
- Week 3: Energy Justice and a Just Transition
- Week 4: Energy Futures and Scenarios
- Week 5: Scottish and UK Energy Policy
- Week 6: Energy Networks and Regulation
- Week 7: Energy and Development in the Global South
- Week 8: Energy Innovation and the Global Energy Transition
- Weeks 9 and 10: Country Case Study Group Presentations

The Course Organiser is Dr. Mark Winskel, a Senior Lecturer in the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS) Group in the School of Social and Political Sciences. A number of other UoE staff teach on EPP, all with interdisciplinary backgrounds on energy.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs none
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 68 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Due to limited space and resources students will not be permitted to audit (sit-in) on this course
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Group Assignment:
Presentation 30%

Policy Brief (2000 words) 70%
Feedback Guidance and advice will be offered throughout the course. The Course Organiser will provide written feedback on the group presentations which take place in the weeks prior to the report submission deadline. Students can also submit email feedback requests on the essay and group report plan
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have a substantive knowledge and understanding of a selection of policy and political issues in energy, and of the contending viewpoints and claims on these issues
  2. Can identify and characterise key approaches to understanding and evaluating energy issues, and identify advantages, problems and implications of these approaches
  3. Are familiar with a techniques and procedures used in energy policy analysis, decision-making and assessment and can critically evaluate contributions to the academic and public debates on energy issues, and decisions on them
  4. Can apply different approaches, concepts and techniques in analysing a new problem in energy policy, and in devising, evaluating and justifying policy options
  5. Develop their skills in finding and using arguments and information and in essay writing and seminar presentation
Reading List
There are no overall textbooks for Energy Policy and Politics - key and additional readings are listed for each week. Some of the readings we will discuss on the course are:

- Ahlborg, H., 2017. Towards a conceptualization of power in energy transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 25, pp.122-141.
- Bazilian, M., Bradshaw, M., Gabriel, J., Goldthau, A., Westphal, K., (2020). - Four scenarios of the energy transition: Drivers, consequences, and implications for geopolitics.- WIREs Climate Change 11
- Bradshaw, M. (2013) 'Sustainability, Climate Change and Transition in Global Energy' in Goldthau (ed.) The Handbook of Global Energy, John Wiley and Sons.
- Geels, F. W., et al. (2017) - The Socio-Technical Dynamics of Low-Carbon Transitions- Joule 1(3): 463-47
- International Energy Agency, 2021 'World Energy Outlook' Executive Summary and Global Energy Review, 2021, IEA, Paris.
- Jenkins, K., McCauley, D., Heffron, R., Stephan, H. and Rehner, R. (2016) -Energy justice: A conceptual review-, Energy Research and Social Science 11: 174-182
- Seto, K. C et al. (2016) -Carbon Lock-In: Types, Causes, and Policy Implications- Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 41: 425-52
- World Energy Council (WEC) (2021) World Energy Trilemma Index 2021, World Energy Council, London.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Ronan Bolton
Tel: (0131 6)50 6394
Course secretaryMrs Casey Behringer
Tel: (0131 6)50 2456
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