Programme Specification for the 2019/0 academic year

MSc Sustainable Development

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMSc Sustainable Development Programme codePTS1GAEGAECL
Study mode(s)Full Time
Part Time
Academic year2019/0
Campus(es)Cornwall Campus
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

This programme offers you the opportunity to study sustainable development in an international, multi-disciplinary and holistic context. It provides a rigorous theoretical training in core issues surrounding sustainable development, and an opportunity to specialise in study of key areas, including environment and human health, climate change, energy policy and governance. A wide range of optional modules enables you to explore aspects of sustainable development from different disciplinary perspectives, with academics based in geography, politics, biosciences, health and the humanities. The programme provides a practical and problem-based approach to learning focused on both the academic study of sustainable development and the implementation of sustainability in a range of professional contexts. This is achieved through thorough intellectual grounding in academic work, training in research methods for sustainability and the opportunity to apply such knowledge and skills within community and work-based locations.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

This programme is designed to respond to the emerging sustainable development agenda, approaching the subject from a holistic and multi-disciplinary perspective. It offers a thorough grounding in the principles that underlie sustainability and the means by which to implement these in a range of international geographical settings.

The particular educational aims of the programme are to:

  • Provide you with a holistic perspective on sustainable development within a range of international contexts (thereby straddling conventional notions of ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ world);
  • Enable you to make links across disciplinary boundaries and professional sectors within sustainability, as well as related areas of climate change, energy policy and human geography, that seek to make explicit the cross-cutting nature of sustainability issues;
  • Develop a rigorous theoretical grounding in the principles of sustainable development and to assist you in appreciating the diverse debates concerning both the definition and measurement of sustainable development;
  • Develop a practice-based learning approach to sustainability, using a range of professional methods, such as work-based learning and contact with professionals during contact hours and through project and community-based assessments;
  • Provide a vibrant learning environment, which combines traditional forms of delivery (lectures, seminars and tutorials) with practice-based learning (work-placements, guest expert speakers and linked project work);
  • Assist you to make professional contacts with potential employers through both mixing with fellow students and also through contacts made during the programme;
  • Enable you to develop your career path throughout the programme through these means.

4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

www.exeter.ac.uk/geography/currentstudents/postgraduate/modules/cornwallcampus/

You may take optional modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

You are also permitted to take the five-credit module LESM910 Professional Development Experience in any year. Registration on this module is subject to a competitive application process. If taken, this module will not count towards progression or award calculation.

Stage 1


135 credits of compulsory modules, 45 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GEOM409 Dissertation 90Yes
GEOM407 Perspectives on Sustainable Development 15No
GEOM408 Transdisciplinary Methods for Sustainability Science 15No
HPDM083P Project Design 15No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
GeoP MSc SD opt 2019-0
BIOM4025 Statistical Modelling 15 No
GEOM403 Independent Work-based Learning 15 No
GEOM404 Policy and Governance for Sustainability 15 No
GEOM405 Democracy, Sustainability and Citizenship 15 No
GEOM406 Marine and Coastal Sustainability 15 No
GEOM247 Transforming Energy Systems 15 No
GEOM363B Themes in Climate Change 15 No
HPDM029 Nature, Health and Wellbeing 15 No
HPDM030 Environmental Science and Population Health 15 No
HUMM011 Heritage and Environmental Change 15 No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Compare and contrast the key principles and perspectives informing concepts of sustainable development in an international context
2. Demonstrate a coherent and systematic understanding of the underlying concepts and debates of various agencies working to realise key sustainability goals
3. Analyse, evaluate and review critically established and complex sustainability debates, policy issues and approaches, and consider alternatives
4. Exhibit critical and sensitive awareness of the holistic context and sometimes contested nature of sustainable development ideas and practices
5. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the evaluation and measurement of sustainability.
6. Use and evaluate different sources of information on sustainability
7. Conduct a piece of independent and rigorous research on a sustainability issue
8. Analyse critically data related to sustainability research

Lectures, seminars, discussion groups, oral presentations, poster presentations, practical and field skills, independent reading and synthesis.

ILOs 1-8: Dissertation module assessed via research proposal, literature review and main dissertation report, all containing relevant subject-specific context and content, data handling and evidence of primary research.

ILOs 1-6: Non-dissertation modules assess subject specific skills using a range of assessment methods, including: policy briefs; essays; learning diaries; presentations; posters; and discussion groups.

ILO 7: Assessed explicitly through the 90 credit Dissertation module.

ILO 8: Research training module contains assessment of data handling skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

9. Demonstrate a cross-disciplinary approach to learning
10. Create strategies for linking theoretical and policy debates, showing how academic theories of sustainability and development can inform policy and vice versa
11. Assess the implementation of specific policies and programmes
12. Apply a multi-methods approach to problem solving
13. Undertake research in a rigorous and ethically sound manner
14. Demonstrate a self-reflective approach to learning

Lectures, seminars, discussion groups, oral presentations, poster presentations, practical field skills, independent reading and synthesis.

ILOs 9-14: Dissertation module assessed via proposal, literature review and main dissertation report, all containing relevant core skills and knowledge.

ILOs 9-11: Non-dissertation modules assess subject specific skills using a mixture of assessments including: policy briefs; essays; learning diaries; presentations; posters; and discussion groups

ILO 12-13: All modules contain interdisciplinary emphasis and multi-method awareness in assessments. Scholarly rigour and ethical awareness are also promoted in all modules. Explicitly assessed during dissertation and research training modules.

ILO 14: Dissertation and research training modules assess self-reflection; other modules contain reflective group discussions.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

15. Write and communicate orally subject-based knowledge and academic and research skills effectively
16. Identify and solve problems
17. Organise and present effectively material and ideas in different formats
18. Manage deadlines and targets
19. Work effectively in a group
20. Work and learn independently

Lectures, seminars, discussion groups, oral presentations, poster presentations, practical and field skills, independent reading and synthesis.

ILOs 15-18, 20: Assessments in all modules designed to promote transferable skills, e.g. report writing, presentations, focus groups, posters.

ILO 19: Several modules include assessment of group work in form of group discussions, group presentations. Research training module includes group project.

7. Programme Regulations

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

You will be located in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES), Penryn campus where close working relationships are fostered. Your lead Department will be Geography, but you will be taught and supervised by staff from Geography, the Centre for Ecology and Conservation and the Environment and Sustainability Institute (all based in CLES, Penryn campus). You can expect reasonable access to all teaching staff through appointments and will in addition receive formative feedback from various discussion groups/in-lecture exercises throughout the delivery of each module and therefore receive essentially continuous feedback during the taught component of the programme. Project supervisors provide academic and tutorial support once students move on to the research (Dissertation) component of the course. In addition, the Programme Director will offerevery student a meeting each term with an academic who provides guidance and feedback on assessment performance. Student progress will be monitored and you can receive up-to-date records of the assessment, achievements and progress at any stage.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and studentsÂ’ learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(http://as.exeter.ac.uk/support/admin/staff/qualityassuranceandmonitoring/tqamanual/fullcontents/)

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

 

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of educational provision. The College documents the performance in each of its taught programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Programme Monitoring cycle:

  • Admissions, progression and completion data
  • In Year Analysis data
  • Previous monitoring report
  • Monitoring of core (and optional) modules
  • External examiner's reports and University and College responses (reported to SSLC)
  • Any Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body/accrediting body or other external reports
  • Consultation with employers and former students
  • Staff evaluation
  • Student evaluation
  • Programme aims

Subject areas are reviewed every four years through a periodic subject review scheme that includes external contributions. (http://admin.exeter.ac.uk/academic/tls/tqa/Part%209/9JREVISEDPSRSCHEME.pdf)

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

MSc Sustainable Development

19. UCAS Code

N/A

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits ECTS credits

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date

26/03/2012

Date of last revision

16/05/2019