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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Sociology

Undergraduate Course: Sustainable Development 1a: Introducing Sustainable Development (SCIL08008)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummarySustainable Development 1A: Introducing Sustainable Development addresses the central problems facing us in the twenty-first century, which concern access to water, food, energy, shelter, as well as justice, in the context of a destabilising climate and degradation of environmental resources. The course debates principles, concepts, contexts, issues and applications of sustainable development from the perspective of different disciplines, and helps students situate themselves in these debates as well as reflect on their own stance.
Course description Open to all students, the course starts with a short history of the principles and background to the concept of "sustainable development", and proceeds to draw on insights from economic history and sociology, politics and international relations, social anthropology and human geography, to unravel the multiple issues and interpretations of sustainability, its politics, and its relevance. Students will learn to think critically about what sustainability means and how it can be applied. Students will be encouraged to examine from the lens of sustainability the challenges that contemporary societies are being confronted with from global to local levels. They will also be able to evaluate the changes that capitalist and industrial development and technological advancement have brought about to living patterns and the environment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 165 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Reflective diary (1700 words): 40%
Final Paper (2 x 1,000 word essays): 60%
Feedback Students receive formative feedback on their reflective diary and also feedback on the take-home paper. They are welcome to discuss feedback with their tutorial tutor, personal tutor or the course organiser.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate their knowledge of the history of the concept of "sustainable development", and the key principles upon which the concept is built.
  2. Critically appraise the ways in which sustainable development is applied, assessed and measured.
  3. Understand the key insights and contributions from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives on sustainable development
  4. Situate themselves in Sustainable Development related debates and develop their own stance
  5. Use basic analytical and presentation skills.
Reading List
Dresner, S. 2008. The Principles of Sustainability (second edition) London: Earthscan. (e-book)

Aronoff, K., Battistoni, A., Aldana Cohen, D., Riofrancos A (2019) A planet to win. Why we need a Green New Deal Verso

Jackson, T. 2017. Prosperity without growth: foundations for the economy of tomorrow 2nd ed., London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. (e-book)

Klein, N. 2015. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate. Penguin. (not an e-book through the library but currently less than £10 in Blackwells)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsSustainable Development
Course organiserDr Faye Wade
Course secretaryMr Brodie Hamilton
Tel: (0131 6)51 3139
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