Module Identifier BSM3430  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Dylan G Jones  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr John H R Gee, Dr Aileen R Smith, Dr Gareth W Griffith, Dr John Scullion, Dr John D Fish, Dr Robert J Wootton  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Day practicals involving discussion, synthesis and report writing: * Solar power, Wind and Wave energy 10% * Composting, Sewage and land use 10% * Waste management 10% * Innovation, technology and solutions for a greener future 10% * communicating sustainability 10%50%
Semester Assessment Targeted governmental report discussing the relevance of one of the above issues (2500 words)50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of the above assessments  100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will:


This module provides opportunity for skills training and experience in the practical aspects of sustainability. It is based part at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) site at Machynlleth and taught in conjunction with CAT. Six days of the module is residential and based at CAT using facilites on site. It is relevant to a wide audience including other Masters degree schemes within UWA. It will also be available as an open module for distance learning.

Brief description

This is a new module, which looks at the complexity of sustainable development. It starts by considering the problems of sustainability and then explores energy and resource use from the level of the individual up to global energy issues. Policy and trends in energy and resouce use are considered and a rational approach to the use of resouces is encouraged. The shift from pure environmentalism towards sustainable development and the importance of social justice and environmental economics is discussed. Specific solutions to resource use issues are then explored in more detail in the fields of energy, material use and water resources. Students will learn the potential and constraints of new and old technologies, and will consider the value of sustainable energy / natural resource use and the important related scientific issues. This module will also importantly provide students with enhanced confidence in the balanced and accurate communication of scientific issues.


The module covers the environmental impact of man's activities on land, air and water. The pressures that lead to these impacts are explored and the role of social and economic aspects is included to give students a holistic understanding of sustainable development. Societal and global solutions are considered and practical advice is provided to encourage environmental efficiency in the home and work-place. The module therefore provides excellent vocational skills which bridge the important gap between theory and practice in the environmental sciences. Grounding, practical exercises and research skills are provided via an intense six-day residentail component.

Students wil then research a topic from the course and produce a targeted 2500 word government-type report. Such a case study approach provides problem centred and solution-based learning.

Module Skills

Problem solving The practicals will all be solution-based with problem solving exercises, and reports involving synthesis.  
Research skills Students will be provided with an information research pack and will be expected to conduct extensive research prior to, and after, the residential course. They will be guided in research skills and will synthesise and accurate and concise targeted report.  
Communication Workshop activities will develop a high level of communication skills in the students taking this module. Subjects will be discussed in the form of scientific problems and solution. The module contributors will provide several lines of argument for discussion and the students will be expected to form and defend their views through group discussion (peer assessment). Students will be expected to submit assignments in line with the five-day time table.  
Improving own Learning and Performance The module demands self-learing prior to and after the practical somponent. STudnets will have to research and prepare material as part of the learning. This will involve a high level of project management on the students behalf.  
Team work The students will be involved in discussion groups, group practicals and exercises.  
Information Technology Accessing the web for sources.  
Application of Number A degree of numeracy and calculation will be required for the analysis and synthesis of data incorporated into the written research paper.  
Personal Development and Career planning The module provides the students wil excellent vocational skills and expertise that is directly relevant to the workplace. This includes practical and research skills experience. The students will also develop invaluable communication skills applicable to several possible careers within the UK. This module will also be offered to persons already in work as part of their staff development.  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Harland, E. (2002) Eco-renovation pp 242. Green books publications
Murray, R. (2002) Zero Waste Green pp 211. Environmental Trust publications
(2000) The Green office Manual 2nd Edition, page 306. Earthscan publications

Web Page/Sites


This module is at CQFW Level 7