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

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

Postgraduate Course: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Environment (PGGE11286)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAn interdisciplinary course that exposes students to alternative approaches and ways of understanding and researching environmental issues and problems.
Course description In understanding and managing environmental issues and problems, not only is a scientific understanding required, but increasingly also an understanding from alternate perspectives. This course will provide students with an opportunity to explore a range of alternate approaches, examine the nature of the evidence or output from these approaches, and integrate the different information sources together.
The course starts with an introduction to the nature and importance of interdisciplinarity, and an exploration of the application to ¿wicked problems¿. There are a series of sessions introducing students to different types of thinking, including critical (convergent) thinking, creative (divergent) thinking, and systems thinking. There are also a number of sessions focusing on the perspectives and tools of different disciplines in relation to the environment, from art and psychology to economics and philosophy. Most of these sessions involve an expert guest speaker sharing their learning.
Each session involves diverse pre-learning from listening to music to analysing papers, which will form the basis of plenary discussions. Each session also ends with group work, including debates, workshops and systems mapping. Throughout, students will consider the interconnections and differences between disciplines, the nature of thinking and evidence involved in different disciplines, and how these can be synthesised to provide solutions to complex environmental issues.

An example course timetable is (please note this may vary year to year):
- Why interdisciplinary matters
- A psychological approach to the environment
- A philosophical approach to the environment
- Creative thinking workshop
- An artistic approach to the environment
- A legal approach to the environment
- Critical thinking workshop
- An economic approach to the environment
- A political approach to the environment
- Systems thinking workshop
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 30, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment 1: 50% critical essay on the role of interdisciplinarity in providing potential solutions to a wicked problem. The problem will be chosen by the student with guidance from the course organiser. The 50% will be comprised of 30% for the written component of the essay (max 2000 words), and 20% from a live oral defence of the arguments in the essay (max 10 minutes).


Assessment 2: 50% Creative brief, ¿recasting¿ a topic studied in the course to support interdisciplinary team understanding. This will be a creative piece of communication, designed to explain understanding of a piece of learning from another discipline, accompanied by a 2 page reflective document explaining the creative decisions taken and the impact of the process.
Feedback Continual feedback will be supplied through feedback to the class debates/discussions
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Be aware of how different disciplines and approaches can help us understand environmental issues and problems
  2. Understand the nature of evidence arising from different disciplines and approaches to the environment
  3. Be able to critically assess and synthesis such evidence to enable better understanding and communication of such issues
Reading List
There is no single text appropriate for this course, but readings (highlighted as essential or additional) will be issued for each topic
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research skills
Interdisciplinary skills including critiquing evidence
Teamwork skills
Essay and research brief writing
Communication and presentation skills
Course organiserDr Hannah Grist
Course secretaryMs Jennifer Gumbrell
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