THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2024/2025

Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Eco-Innovation for a Circular Economy (BUST10153)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course introduces key environmental sustainability theories, models and frameworks. This is a project-based course which provides students with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired throughout their business degree programme.
Students are supported in forming groups and choosing a case-study organisation whose current business model results in a detrimental environmental impact. Optional sectors to draw from include construction, fashion, automotive, food, agriculture, electronics and cosmetics.
Students work collaboratively within their groups to review the current business model of their chosen organisation with the purpose of identifying alternative practices which eliminate waste and pollution, promote the continual use of resources and reduce environmental impact.
The course adopts a flipped classroom delivery method, with course materials available online and 2 hours per week of facilitated seminars, workshops and group activities. Full semester delivery.

Course description Academic Description
The course introduces key environmental sustainability theories, models and frameworks. This is a project-based course which provides students with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills acquired throughout their business degree programme.
Drawing from case-study organisations and industries with a detrimental environmental impact, the course invites students to generate and select viable eco-innovations which work towards circularity and reduce environmental impact. It aims to develop inter-personal, analytical and presentation skills; to give detailed insights into the challenges and problems encountered by businesses wishing to adopt a more environmentally friendly approach and to gain practical knowledge of how environmental impact can be reduced with the adoption of more environmentally focused and sustainable business models.

Outline Content
Topic 1: The Problem: Resource Depletion, Pollution and Climate Change.
Topic 2: Circular Economy Theories (eg Cradle to Cradle Design Philosophy by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, Biomimicry by Janine Benyus and Regenerative Design by John Lyle)
Topic 3: Circular Business Models. (eg Circular Supply, Resource Recovery, Product Life Extension, Rental and Sharing Ownership and Product Service System Models)
Topic 4: Design Thinking (Tools to Analyse, Ideate and Develop Eco/Circular Innovations)
Topic 5: Materials: Designing for a Circular Economy
Topic 6: Circularity: Closing the Loop
Topic 7: Future of Eco-Innovations and Circular Economy Leadership.

Student Learning Experience
There will be a period of formal lectures and seminars at the start of the course. These will introduce key sustainability theories, models and frameworks with focus on Eco-innovation and the circular economy as a systems-based concept, aiming to design out waste and pollution.

The central part of the course involves student groups identifying an organisation (or widely adopted industry practice) with a linear make-use-dispose business model. The groups will undertake secondary research to map current practice, with the objective of generating ideas and solutions which could be adopted to reduce the company's environmental impact.

The final part, starting on Week 9 will conclude the project by providing workshops on presentation skills, report writing, cumulating with student video presentations, where the groups present their recommendations.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Business Honours entry
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have at least 4 Business courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, 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, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 170 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 40% Group Report - 20% peer moderated - 8000 words.
At the end of the group research project, each student group is expected to produce a report, the primary focus of which is to:
- Describe current organisational / industry practice for a relevant case study.
- Assess the current business model environmental impact.
- Make recommendations (with justifications) for the adoption of improved business practice with the primary focus of reducing environmental impact.
This must be a quality, typed and bound management report capable of professional dissemination of findings to the client. Ideally it should be informative but brief (8000 words).

10% Group Video Presentation - 20% peer moderated - 10 minutes
The written report will form the basis for a formal video presentation made by the group to the organisation / industry outlining their current practice, evidencing environmental impact, along with your recommendations for improvement and your justification. Each member of the team has to contribute to the presentation, which should follow the core structure of the report.

50% Individual Assignment
Relevant to the subject area.
Feedback Group feedback on the coursework and video presentation will be available on Learn within agreed deadlines.
Students will also be able to review their individual essay feedback electronically via Grademark on Learn, within agreed deadlines.

The final mark will be posted on Learn as soon as possible after the Boards of Examiners' Meeting.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Reflect upon and critically evaluate theories and concepts underpinning Eco-innovation and the Circular Economy.
  2. Critically evaluate and apply alternative business models and solutions for the reduction of environmental impact.
  3. Work collaboratively to gain detailed insights into the challenges and problems encountered by businesses wishing to adopt a more environmentally friendly approach.
Reading List
Indicative Reading List:
Skene, K., 2015. Sustainable Economics. Routledge.
R, W., 2019. The Circular Economy. Routledge.
Benton, D., 2015. The Guide to The Circular Economy Routledge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding
- Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of contemporary organisational disciplines; comprehend the role of business within the contemporary world; and critically evaluate and synthesise primary and secondary research and sources of evidence in order to make, and present, well informed and transparent organisation-related decisions, which have a positive global impact.
- Identify, define and analyse theoretical and applied business and management problems, and develop approaches, informed by an understanding of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques, to explore and solve them responsibly.

Cognitive Skills
- Understand how to manage and sustain successful individual and group relationships in order to achieve positive and responsible outcomes, in a range of virtual and face-to-face environments.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with Others
- Act with integrity, honesty and trust in all business stakeholder relationships, and apply ethical reasoning to effective decision making, problem solving and change management

Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding
- Work with a variety of organisations, their stakeholders, and the communities they serve -learning from them, and aiding them to achieve responsible, sustainable and enterprising solutions to complex problems.
- Apply creative, innovative, entrepreneurial, sustainable and responsible business solutions to address social, economic and environmental global challenges.

Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills
- Critically evaluate and present digital and other sources, research methods, data and information; discern their limitations, accuracy, validity, reliability and suitability; and apply responsibly in a wide variety of organisational contexts.
KeywordsNot entered
Contacts
Course organiserDr Agnessa Spanellis
Tel:
Email: aspanell@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Quinny Jiang
Tel:
Email: Quinny.Jiang@ed.ac.uk
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