Policy and Governance for Sustainability

Module titlePolicy and Governance for Sustainability
Module codeGEOM404
Academic year2019/0
Credits15
Module staff

Dr Bridget Woodman (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

10

Number students taking module (anticipated)

15

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

What tools do politicians and society more generally have to address key sustainability problems? Are the tools effective, and what might be done to improve their performance?

This module sets out academic and real-world approaches to policy and governance. It will examine the problems associated with designing and implementing effective measures to address sustainability issues in a world characterised by increasing globalisation and complex socio-technical systems. Lectures will focus on key problems with energy systems, while workshops will address broader sustainability issues.

This is a multi-disciplinary module using elements from policy studies, economics and political economy, history, transition theory and innovation studies.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of the module is to enhance your understanding of governance and policy in an increasingly complex world, and to develop your own solutions for improving sustainability. The module will introduce a variety of academic and expert approaches to governance, policy-making and policy implementation. These will draw on a number of academic disciplines. It will provide examples of major theories and approaches and how they are applied in a real world context. The content of the lectures will focus on issues related to energy (and climate change), while broader questions will be discussed in the workshops.

In addition, the lectures and workshops will introduce you to relevant academic and professional skills which can be utilised in professions linked to sustainability – particularly the governance and policy aspects. These include the ability to:

  • Work as part of a team and independently
  • Identify problems and present recommendations for change
  • Organise and present material and ideas effectively in different formats
  • Manage deadlines and targets
  • Critically reflect on your performance
  • Design and lead a workshop or seminar based on defined learning outcomes

The workshops will operate on the basis of ‘active learning’, which will encourage you to set your own learning agendas in a way that reflects your personal interests in the broader area of sustainability.

The module will draw on contemporary research on policy and governance and the importance of these to changing unsustainable practices in socio-technical systems. This includes issues such as the design and operation of emissions trading schemes, the deployment of renewable energy technologies, and innovation in energy market design to allow new technologies and practices to emerge. Student-led workshops will focus on broader contemporary issues related to sustainability. You will learn about how to analyse policy and governance measures, evaluate their efficacy, and put forward concrete recommendations to improve them.

The assessments for the module are designed to enhance your skills in delivering information in a way that you may be expected to do as actors within the sustainable development debate.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe in detail some of the main academic and real world approaches to governance and policy
  • 2. Illustrate systematically the key concepts relevant to governance and policy
  • 3. Explain critically the key issues in governance and policy when thinking about changing complex socio-technical systems
  • 4. Solve problems relevant to governance and policy

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Synthesise material from a broad range of academic and non-academic sources
  • 6. Analyse and critically evaluate essential facts and theory relevant to governance and policy for sustainability
  • 7. Demonstrate a self-reflective approach to learning

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Work as part of a team and independently
  • 9. Identify problems and present recommendations for change
  • 10. Organise and present material and ideas effectively in different formats
  • 11. Manage deadlines and targets
  • 12. Critically reflect on your performance
  • 13. Design and lead a workshop or seminar based on defined learning outcomes

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Each week will have a specific theme which will be outlined in the lecture. The second weekly session will be a student-led and designed workshop based on the principles of active learning and building on the content in that week’s lecture. These sessions are intended to allow you to explore specific aspects of your choice within each theme.

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • What is governance
  • Key actors and stakeholders
  • Policy making and implementation
  • Policy mechanisms
  • Regulation
  • The importance of institutions
  • Understanding system change

The content of the lectures will mostly focus on energy aspects of the issue being discussed. However, student-led workshops will give you the opportunity to explore other sustainability issues in more detail.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
301200

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching15Lectures and class-based discussion (10 x 1.5 hours)
Scheduled learning and teaching15Student-led and designed workshops on a specific theme (10 x 1.5 hours)
Guided independent study120Additional research, reading and preparation for workshops and module assessments

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Workshop design and delivery90 minutesAllPeer review and oral feedback at the end of the session
Participation in workshopsWorkshopAllOral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
10000

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Campaign plan403 sides A4AllWritten
Report603000 wordsAllWritten

Re-assessment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Campaign planCampaign planAllAugust ref/def
ReportReportAllAugust ref/def

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to re-submit the original assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Adger, WN and Jordan A (eds) 2009 Governing Sustainability Cambridge: CUP
  • Keeley J and Scoones I, 2003 Understanding Environmental Policy Processes. Earthscan
  • Jackson, T. (2009) Prosperity without Growth. Earthscan: London
  • Dryzek, J. S., 2005. The Politics of the Earth Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Hill, M. and Varone, F. (2017), The Public Policy Process, London, Routledge

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Sustainable development, governance, policy-making, regulation, energy policy and governance, system transitions, low carbon energy

Credit value15
Module ECTS

7.5

Module pre-requisites

None

Module co-requisites

None

NQF level (module)

7

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

14/02/2019

Last revision date

14/02/2019