Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE1112 Sustainable Development

10 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Damian Howells

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications


Module replaces

This is a major module change to SOEE1111 which was a 20 credit module taught over 2 semesters.

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Where have our current concerns about the environment come from? What are some of the barriers we have to overcome to achieve its aims? How and why do concerns about the environment differ between and within different groups (e.g. scientists, the public, politicians, NGOs, indigenous communities)? What are the links between the environment and the political arena? How are people both causing and addressing environmental problems across the globe? Is environmental sustainability compatible with globalisation and economic development? This module looks at questions such as these, drawing on both theoretical and applied debates. Case studies used to illustrate these concepts include human health and its links to changing environmental management in central Asia, water resource management in China and Mixed Ability Sport. We draw on staff research and environmental policy approaches to provide a rounded analysis of contemporary sustainability debates at local, national and international levels.


Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:

1. understand and critique debates around the 'three pillars of sustainable development': economic development, social development and environmental protection.
2. be aware of the need for, and barriers to, interdisciplinary study of environmental problems to account for their social and economic dimensions.
3. be able to apply general theories to a range of international social, cultural, economic and environmental contexts and research case studies.
4. have an improved ability to synthesise different views on environmental issues in a written form.

Skills outcomes
The module places considerable emphasis on:
recognising and using subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles;
analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, including prior research;
applying knowledge and understanding to address familiar and unfamiliar problems;
receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (eg textual numerical, verbal, graphical).

The module places moderate emphasis on:
collecting and integrating several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses;
recognising the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for professional codes of conduct;
planning, conducting and reporting on investigations, including the use of secondary data;
communicating appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical form;
using the Internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information;

The module places some emphasis on:
developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (eg working independently, time management and organisation skills);
developing an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.


1. Sustainability science approaches 're-thinking science'
2. Different stakeholder perspectives on environmental issues and their management
3. Participatory approaches in sustainable development research
4. Interdisciplinary approaches to social and environmental analysis
5. Economic dimensions of sustainable development - 'Sustainable Livelihoods' approaches, evolving development relations, introduction to 'Resource Curse' theories
6. Global policy frameworks - World Summit on Sustainable Development outputs, Millennium Development Goals and UN Conventions on Climate Change, Desertification and Biodiversity.
7. Scientific controversy and uncertainty.
8. Research case studies and perspectives from across the globe

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours80.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

2 hours reading per lecture (40 hours)
Preparation for assignment (40 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Regular interactions with lecturer during lectures, weekly office hours.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 word essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 11/08/2021 15:11:48


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019