Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Managing Environmental Change in Practice
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Abstracts  (Maximum of 400 words per workshop abstract)  20%
Semester Assessment Research White Paper  (To be peer-reviewed and debated during the final seminar)  80%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed / non-submitted coursework components only if the overall module mark is a fail  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

Summarise the key issues and debates for a range of stakeholders that work within the field of environmental change

Evaluate the key issues that emerge within and between different areas of expertise and their respective theories, practices, and policies

Synthesise and communicate solutions to real-world problems using written reports and through debate/discussion

Implement and evaluate different research methodologies to address real-world issues and generate viable solutions

Brief description

This module will consist of 6 workshops delivered by the external speakers. Each will last 4 hours, allowing time for discussion and interaction with the speakers and staff following the workshop. Indicative themes for the workshops include energy production strategies for the UK, flood planning and insurance, and managing land to reduce CO2 emissions. In any one year, contributors to the workshops will be chosen to ensure a diverse range of perspectives and issues are covered. Module staff will work to set up the workshops and facilitate the discussion and interaction with the speaker. This will be done using focus groups and semi-structured interview techniques allowing the students to engage and interact with the external speaker and fellow students in different ways. Care will be taken to direct discussions to ensure that any emergent themes, trade-offs and knowledge gaps are highlighted. The theme for the White Paper assignment will emerge from these discussions and the student-led seminar following the workshops. An example theme suitable for the White Paper assignment may be 'making decisions about uncertain science' or 'integrating expertise into policy'.


Summary Module Structure with Indicative Workshop Speakers and Topics

1) Lecture
Introduction to the module, workshop themes, and integrating practice with theory

2) Workshop: Professor Sandra Brown (Winrock International, IPCC author) The REDD initiatives and C accounting in forests.

3) Workshop: Aon Benfield Insurance
The cost of natural hazards in the UK and changing insurance policy

4) Workshop: Natural Resources Wales
Flood forecasting, warning, and public education / outreach

5) Workshop: Ceredigion County Council
Land use planning and coastal erosion

6) Workshop: Centre for Alternative Technology
Zero Carbon Britain?

7) Workshop: CAFOD
Climate change initiatives in Africa with extreme physical, social, and political contexts

8) Lecture
Staff-facilitated student discussions will establish the theme for the White Paper (and assignment 2). Topics and issues raised by the workshops will be linked to relevant contextual theory. Outline what is required of the White Paper.

9) Debate
Seminar for the white paper peer review, and discussion about the best solution to propose for implementations

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number This skill may become an aspect of the assignment depending on the problem the students have to address, however, it will not be a focal skill to the assignment. Students will however, be encouraged to review the financial implications of the problem, as well as the uncertainties and how these can be considered.
Communication Written communication is encouraged using the abstracts and final paper to be submitted (in the format of an academic publication). Oral communication is encouraged during the workshops and the final seminar during the peer review process and debate.
Improving own Learning and Performance The problem-based, student-led learning nature of the module requires the students to develop an informed opinion on contentious issues. Guidance for self-directed readings and information will be provided by the module co-ordinator and the expert workshop leaders.
Information Technology Students will be expected to engage with traditional and more modern IT including social media, blogs, and other information sources such as Twitter. On-line journals, websites, policy / development reports, and presentations will also be necessary, with the module co-ordinator providing guidance on good sources.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving The entire module and assessment revolves around problem based approaches, including addressing real world problems, and the issues that emerge from having to negotiate a number of different potential solutions and establishing their merits
Research skills As part of the course students will be required to undertake a significant amount of independent research for the white paper.
Subject Specific Skills This module develops the skills used in problem solving, including synthesising, evaluating, and creating effective solutions. Debating skills and negotiation will help prepare students for the workplace. Students will obtain and develop skills that are highly employable as well as engaging with topical issues related to environmental and climatic change. They will develop an understanding and appreciation of the key themes, policies, targets and debates that they will encounter in the workplace. This module is a useful exercise to mimic real life problems that will assist for positions in environmental consultancies, NGOs, business, or government.
Team work The final seminar (paper review and debate) will involve team work in order to discuss, debate, and negotiate the best solution to the problem proposed as part of the assessment.


This module is at CQFW Level 7