Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Drivers of the Bioeconomy
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Forum Posts  (1500 words)  25%
Semester Assessment Case Report  (2000 words)  30%
Semester Assessment Case Study  (2500 words)  45%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Discuss societal drivers that shape the bio-economy.

2. Appraise factors that make production viable.

3. Critically evaluate the restrictions and opportunities provided by global policies and economic trends.

4. Demonstrate a fundamental and practical knowledge of energy efficient, vertically integrated production pipelines.

5. Demonstrate an understanding of the approaches used to underpin and evaluate the bioeconomy e.g. LCA, green chemistry conversion processes.

Brief description

The biobased economy encompasses much more than our need to find renewable substitutes for oil in the face of climate change and the finite nature of fossil fuels. It is a global issue encompassing sustainability, food production, economic growth and public health. This module examines research into the societal drivers that shape the bio-economy and looks at what makes production viable. We will highlight the need for energy efficient, vertically integrated production pipelines. We will focus on global policies and economic trends and look at implications, regulations and opportunities that these provide for any biobased industry; and at the approaches used to underpin and evaluate them such as LCA and the application of green chemistry for efficient conversion processes.


The course will consist of a series of lectures and guided learning focused on:
• An introduction to the Bio-based economy
• How to shape the next level of European Bio-based Economy
• A roadmap to a thriving Industrial Biotechnology Sector
• Options for designing the political framework of the Bio-based Economy
• Developing a global bio-based policy initiative
• Life Cycle Analysis as a tool to steer bio-policy
• Cascading the use of wood products from biomass
• Sustainability Certification and Mass balance:
- Progress in standardisation of bio-based products
- Mass balance and minimum share
- Can ISSC PLUS certification be misleading?
• Bio-based economy: Market pull measures for bio-based products
• Bio-based Chemicals and Bioplastics – finding the right policy Balance
• Zero Carbon Britain, implications of a ZCB
• The future of UK carbon capture

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Numeracy will be demonstrated in the assessed case study task using real datasets to determine economic viability.
Communication Students will be expected to be able to express themselves appropriately in their assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Detailed feedback will be given for assignment work. This will be assessed through the feedback providing general guidance towards the student’s next assignment.
Information Technology Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication data bases and to use Blackboard for all aspects of the module.
Personal Development and Career planning This module will provide the students with the latest research into waste stream valorisation to help them to develop their business or provide the most up-to-date information/advice to their colleagues/clients in the biotech Industry.
Problem solving Problem based learning challenges alongside online forum posts will be used throughout the module to help develop and improve student’s problem solving skills.
Research skills Students will be required to undergo directed self-study, so will develop their literature research skills.
Subject Specific Skills Subject specific concepts relating to waste-stream valorisation will be developed and assessed throughout the module.
Team work Online assessments will require students to debate among themselves to develop a consensus of opinion.


This module is at CQFW Level 7