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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Foundations in Ecological Economics (PGGE11004)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the principles of economics and how they might be applied to environmental and resource-use issues. The course should appeal to students who would like to obtain a grounding in economics from first principles so as to assist in decision-making and problem-solving. This course assumes no prior knowledge of economics.
Course description The purpose of this course is to provide students with a comprehensive introduction to ecological economics. This includes an examination of key ideas and concepts from Ecological Economics, important debates within the field, the application of Ecological Economics ideas and concepts to sustainability problems.

No prior knowledge of either ecosystems or economics (either mainstream or heterodox) is assumed, though students will need to be prepared to engage with new concepts from these various fields. This course should appeal to students who would like to develop their abilities to analyse and critically appraise the ways in which the economy and the environment interact in the context of sustainability problems. As such, the course will strongly emphasise student discussion and peer-to-peer learning.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements There is a cap of 5 on the number of non Ecological Economics, students please contact the Student Experience Team ( for available space.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 44, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 152 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) A1 Ecological Economics primer (30%); A2 EE presentation (20%); A3 Final EE challenge (50%)

Feedback Assessment Marking
Unless expressely stated otherwise, all assignments must be submitted through TurnItIn (an online plagiarism detection software). Any suspected plagiarism cases will be reported to the School of GeoSciences academic misconduct officer
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Obtain a solid understanding of the key concepts in ecological economics, and how they relate to each other.
  2. Acquire a critical understanding of the consequences of economic activity occurring on a finite planet, and Be introduced to the social and political dimensions of ecological economics
  3. Gain experience in rapid evidence assessment involving interdisciplinary source material
  4. Be able to analyse complex systems underpinning sustainability problems using a range of information/data sources (including the environmental, economic, social, and governance components)
  5. Be able to apply concepts and ideas from Ecological Economics in the context of real-world sustainability problems
Reading List
Reading in this course will take three general forms:
1. Material that is assigned to you to read by the course organiser,
2. Material that you have found in the process of undertaking research in order to complete a task or assignment for the course.
3. Material that is referenced by the course organiser (or a peer) that you choose to read as a part of your professional development and out of particular interest in a topic area.
Assigned Readings
Readings that are specifically assigned to you by the course organiser in any given week must be read before coming to the next session. Most of the assigned reading will be made available to you on Learn and will take the form of academic (peer-reviewed) journal articles. However, there are two sources you need to acquire yourself. Affordable paperback and ebook (including Kindle) versions are readily available:

Raworth, Kate. 2018. Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist. Random House Press.
Meadows, Donella H., and Diana Wright. 2009. Thinking in Systems: A Primer. Earthscan Ltd.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsFoundations in Ecological Economics,Ecological Economics,Socio-Ecological systems,Sustainability
Course organiserMs Corinne Baulcomb
Tel: 0131 535 4031
Course secretaryMiss Lydia Hall
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