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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE3771 Sustainable Futures

10 creditsClass Size: 70

Module manager: Milena Buchs

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Candidates should have completed either GEOG1065 or SOEE1110


GEOG1065Nature, Society and Environment
SOEE1110Sustainable Development

Module replaces


This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module acts as a culmination of the three years of the degree programme, and gets students to bring together ideas and approaches from across all three years of their studies, to see how they fit together. It also gets students to look forwards, to see what sustainability challenges might be emerging in the future, how they might be solved, particularly how the issues covered in their degree might interact in helping or hindering to tackle such challenges.


On completion of this module, students should be able to ...
-To outline the general challenges for creating sustainable futures
-To explore the complexities and interdisciplinary challenges to sustainability in several key areas
-To present current cutting edge research and outline the interactions between upcoming challenges in sustainability in future years and decades

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module, students will be able to
-Understand the key challenges to creating sustainable societies at a range of spatial and temporal scales
-Have a synoptic view of the challenges within sustainability, how they might interact, and how these can be approached from a variety of disciplinary perspectives
-Have a knowledge of cutting edge research in sustainability
-Critically analyse tensions and synergies between forthcoming issues in sustainability and their possible solutions
-Critically analyse academic literature in an advanced manner
Skills outcomes
Advanced independent critical thought

Skills outcomes
Advanced independent critical thought


Part one of this module covers the broad general challenges to creating sustainable societies, such as the need for interdisciplinary thinking, complexity and wicked problems, challenges of working across spatial and temporal scales. Part two explores challenges to sustainability in particular themed areas, such as agriculture, energy, cities. This draws on current research conducted within the school to explore current and future challenges in depth. In addition, students will be encouraged to engage with broader research related activities taking place within the school, such as departmental seminars. Overall, the module encourages students to think across their three years of study, and to engage with current research and future issues.

Teaching methods

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

Private study

Students will be expected to conduct their own reading, both following the reading list and independently.
In addition, students will be expected to form their own tutorial discussion groups to discuss the issues raised within classes. Staff will facilitate this by providing VLE resources to help groups form, and by providing questions for discussion within groups at the end of each lecture.
Students will be encouraged to attend departmental seminars as part of the module.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will have the opportunity to discuss their essay plans in small groups and one-on-one with the module leader

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Because of the synoptic nature of this module, an open essay question will enable students to choose two or three challenges to sustainable futures for in-depth and critical examination of possible solutions to them, as well as synergies and tensions between them.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 08/05/2018


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