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

Postgraduate Course: Delivering the Circular Economy and the Bioeconomy (PGSP11624)

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
SummaryThis course introduces the concept of the circular economy and the role of the bioeconomy in delivering it for applications in agriculture, health, energy and manufacturing sectors. It teaches a total systems approach to managing the interactions across a broad range of components to deliver, where appropriate, a viable circular bioeconomy. It focuses on: the new scientific and technological developments that drive innovation in the circular bioeconomy; why and how they are being promoted by governments; how they are regulated and whether todays regulatory systems need to be better adapted to the needs of 21st century technologies; and how stakeholders and citizens views are taken into account.
Students will benefit from the experience of the lecturers in advising companies and policy makers about these issues, and from guest speakers with experience in industry and policy bodies, providing an ideal foundation for a career in these areas.
Course description This course introduces the concepts relevant to the circular economy and the bioeconomy and their combination as a circular bioeconomy. Societal, environmental and health priorities are driving these developments, from climate change and resource scarcity to the responsible development of health technologies. The concept of the circular economy means moving away from the old-style linear (take, make, dispose) economy to one that is based on waste minimization, re-use and re-cycling. Bringing together ideas from the circular economy and the bioeconomy, particularly building on innovation in the life sciences, can greatly magnify the benefits to society and the environment, but the complexity of the processes is also greatly increased. This course builds on the Innogen Institute total systems approach to understanding and managing the complex interactions involved in making the circular economy and the bioeconomy work well, separately and in combination.
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
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Acquire critical knowledge and understanding of key definitions, principle interdisciplinary and systemic theories and concepts relevant to the circular economy and the bioeconomy.
  2. Develop the ability to apply a range of specialist research techniques to understand how policy, regulatory regimes and governance function in sectors of the circular and bioeconomy.
  3. Apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to the problems and issues that affect the circular and bioeconomy.
  4. Gain advanced understanding of the skills needed to engage effectively with policy makers, company managers and stakeholder groups.
Reading List
Tait, J., Banda, G. and Watkins, A. (2018) Proportionate and Adaptive Governance of Innovative Technologies (PAGIT). Case Study: Responsible Governance of Innovative Technologies, Final Report. Innogen Institute Report to the British Standards Institution.

Ellen McArthur Foundation (2019) "Completing the Picture: how the circular economy tackles climate change",

Philp, J. and Winickoff, J. (2018) Realising the Circular Bioeconomy OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers, Nov. 2018, No 60.

Kate Raworth (2017) Doughnut Economics Seven ways to think like a 21st century economist.

RHC Neurotechnology regulation. Regulatory Horizons Council. November 2022
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Critical and reflective thinking
- Effective and influential contribution
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Joyce Tait
Tel: (0131 6)50 9174
Course secretaryMrs Casey Behringer
Tel: (0131 6)50 2456
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