Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2013/14 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE2370 Poverty, Environment and Sustainable Development

20 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Martin Dallimer

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2013/14

Module replaces


This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module provides an understanding of the basic needs of the world's poor, how their livelihoods are influenced by their natural resource access, how natural resource use practices affect the condition of soil, vegetation and water, and the knock-on implications of environmental degradation for the livelihoods of the poor. Particular reference is made to measures of poverty and environmental degradation.You will be expected to evaluate the findings of different methodological approaches to poverty and degradation assessments. In addition, the module offers scope for you to develop your own research project proposal on an integrated environment-sustainable development of your choice. This is linked to a series of case studies lectures based on staff experience on sustainable development projects in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Europe.


By the end of the module you should be able to:
- analyse the complex interrelationships between poverty and the natural environment, including cause/effect relationships, at the local scale of natural resource use, the national scale of policy-making, and the global scale of international political and economic relations;
- unpack discourses surrounding 'sustainability' and 'sustainable development', analysing how theoretical frameworks and implicit assumptions inform development strategies;
- critically evaluate sustainable development initiatives, exploring possible reasons for their successes or failures.

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;
- recognising the moral and ethnical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for professional codes of conduct;
- using the Internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information.

The module places moderate emphasis on:
- referencing work in an appropriate manner;
- communicating appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical form.

The module places some emphasis on:
- collecting and integrating several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses;
- receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (eg textual numerical, verbal, graphical).


- Political and economic dimensions of relationships between poverty and the natural environment at the global scale, including international development relations and multi-lateral environmental agreements;
- Definitions of ‘poverty’, 'sustainability' and 'sustainable development' and examination of the assumptions underlying them;
- Analysis of case studies of sustainable development initiatives at international, national and local levels, including environmental policy, community-based natural resource management, integrated conservation-development projects, and certification of environmentally and socially sustainable production.
- Philosophies and methodologies of programme evaluation, including participatory rural appraisal and action research.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning61.006.00
Independent Learning61.006.00
Private study hours163.00
Total Contact hours37.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

48 hours - background reading for seminars and completion of worksheets (16 x 3 hours)
38 hours - preparation for exam
37 hours - preparation for research paper
40 hours - background reading per lecture (20 x 2 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

MCQs and short answer questions to be answered following completion of various recommended readings; short answer problem-based questions to be completed on the VLE; construction of an online annotated bibliography to inform 2nd coursework assessment.

In addition to the summative assessment (essay, research proposal and exam), students must also complete and submit a minimum of 8 out of the 12 worksheets in order to pass the module.

The worksheets must be submitted the week after they have been set, eg if the worksheet is set in week 3, it must be submitted by the end of week 4.

Students will receive additional feedback on their summative assessments from the module manager during office hours.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Research Proposal2,000 word50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

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: 01/04/2014


Browse Other Catalogues

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

© Copyright Leeds 2019