February 3, 2016

Various courses and modules, University of Surrey (since 2000)

  • Lecturers (alphabetical by last name: Kate Burningham, Jonathan Chenoweth, Ian Christie, Angela Druckman, Birgitta Gatersleben, Tim Jackson, Stephen Morse, Richard Murphy, Walter Wehrmeyer
  • MSc programmes on Sustainable Development, Corporate Environmental Management and Environmental Strategy, with modules:
    • FOUNDATIONS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (SDF)
    • SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: APPLICATIONS (SDA)
    • ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS (EE)
    • PSYCHOLOGY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (PSD)
    • LIFE CYCLE THINKING (LCT)
    • LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT (LCA)
  • Environmental Sociology programme:
    • EVERYDAY CONSUMPTION (EC)
  • A module introducing sustainability issues, available to all students across the University of Surrey (undergraduates and post graduates) regardless of discipline:
    • GLOBAL GRADUATE AWARD: SUSTAINABILITY (GGA) (since 2014)
  • Length and format / class size:
    • MSc modules: one week intensive course; 30-50 students
    • GGA: 16 lectures, plus 3 sessions on films related to sustainability; 40-80 students
  • Credits and evaluation:
    • MSc modules: evaluated through 2 assignments on average per course (essays, group work, short writing assignments)
    • GGA: individual assignment and group report
  • Learning outcomes: Detailed appreciation, understanding and capacity for critical investigation of sustainable development concepts and issues of practical implementation in a variety of sectors and contexts. Specifically:
    • SDF: fundamental issues in sustainability, including role of consumption in unsustainable change, ethical challenges, politics of SD
    • SDA: organisational strategies for SD in practice, including coverage of sustainable production and consumption
    • PSD: social psychology of consumption and behavioural change
    • EE: consumption and ecological macroeconomics
    • LCT and LCA: measuring consumption impacts; integrated approaches to assessment of product, process and value chain sustainability
    • EC: sociology of consumption, including sustainable consumption, global inequalities etc.
    • GGA: environmental, economic and social dimensions of SD, including household consumption and behavioural change
  • Existing course materials:
    • pre-reading packages (papers and briefings)
    • core reading: for example, S Baker (2016), Sustainable Development, Routledge: London; T Jackson (2009), Prosperity without Growth, Earthscan: London; P Jacques (2015), Sustainability: the basics, Routledge: London
  • Course materials needed: There is no comprehensive introductory textbook on sustainable consumption and behavioural change.
  • Student evaluation:
    • MSc modules: evaluated through 2 assignments on average per course (essays, group work, short writing assignments).
    • GGA: individual assignment and group report
  • Innovative approaches:
    • Use of films as basis for group discussion
    • Role-play exercises
    • Extensive range of senior guest speakers from business, public sector, civil society
    • Group research and presentation exercises
  • Course evaluation: Feedback is very positive, especially to the range of expert guest speakers engaged in the MSc modules and GGA course.

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