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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5582M Tools and Techniques in Ecological Economics

15 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: Dr Anne Owen

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module aims to develop research skills to enable students to carry out quantitative research projects, which integrate environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability. Through lectures, seminars and computer exercises, the module will familiarise students with some of the most extensively used methods and research frameworks for the analysis of coupled socio-economic and environmental systems. The content of this module is relevant to some of the most innovative and cutting edge research in ecological economics, effectively paving the way towards a systematic understanding of sustainability. This module will cover both top-down macro-economic approaches and bottom-up social and technical approaches, providing students with a broad foundation for their future work and research. Applications include topics such as:•The dynamics of coupled economic, environmental and social systems (econometrics, panel analysis) or analysing emergent behaviour from the bottom-up simulation of socio-ecological systems (agent-based modelling).•Environmentally-Extended Input-Output analysis for the study of climate change mitigation in production or consumption•System dynamic modelling


This module aims to give students hand-on experience of analytical tools that can be applied to understand and research ways in which socioeconomic activity impacts the environment, and how this understanding can be used for projections and scenario building.
On successful completion of the module, students will have demonstrated the ability to apply and critically discuss a number of the most widely used tools in ecological and environmental economics to analyse interdependencies between environmental and economic systems.

Learning outcomes
Understanding of some of the most widely used economic and modelling frameworks for analysis of environmental impacts.
- understanding of the most important macro-economic methods to analyse the coupled dynamics of economic, environmental and social systems or understanding the basic concepts of agent-based modelling of socio-ecological systems
- understanding of the basis of models for assessment of economy wide environmental impacts of changes in patters of production and consumption
- understanding the basis of system dynamic modelling

Skills outcomes
- Improved quantitative research, data analysis and interpretation skills
- Ability to formulate hypotheses based on the main theories of environment-economy linkages
- Practical skills in applying different tools and techniques
- Familiarity with appropriate programming and modelling software
- Improved written communication.


Presentations, discussions and applications of the following frameworks for analysis:
- Environment-economy-society linkages: how to measure and model them or Agent-based modelling
- Input-Output analysis
- System Dynamic Modelling

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours126.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

-- Preparation for lectures, including assigned reading
- Completion of analysis introduced in seminars
- Wider reading for discussion of the results from analysis carried out in seminars
- Writing up of assignments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Monitoring of progress through discussion of applications in seminars
- Evaluation of performance and provision of feedback after each assignment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportProject report. 2000 words100.00
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: 30/06/2021 16:25:50


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