Global Opportunities

TCP1020 : Environment and Sustainability

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


1. Develop an understanding of the “environment”, looking in particular at the physical, biological and social environments.
2. Understand and synthesise competing views and underlying assumptions in environmental policy planning debates within the wider context of sustainability.
3. Understand and become conversant with a wide array of tools and techniques in use and developed in the field of environmental planning and management.
4. Develop an awareness of today’s environmental challenges and threats, and an understanding of the current global debates.
5. Develop creative thinking and visioning, i.e. thinking outside the box, problem formulation and research and communication skills.

The module aims to introduce participants to key environmental issues and processes within the overall context of sustainable development, from the perspective of planning. The underlying principle of the module is that the “environment” must be taken into account in policy planning for sustainable development to ensure participatory and accountable decision-making in managing change and development, whilst preserving and enhancing environmental values and resources.

Outline Of Syllabus

The course commences with a deconstruction of the terms “environment” and “sustainability”. Within this context the changing relationship between society and the environment is analysed and the existing threats that the physical, biological and social environments are facing are presented. Subsequently, how planning can promote sustainable development is discussed, and environmental planning and management tools and techniques are introduced, particularly focussing on strategic and project level environmental assessment. Finally, whether sustainable development represents a solution to the existing environmental threats and to the global environmental challenge, is explored.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00PiP lectures. If public health situation does not allow PiP lectures, will revert to 20/21 outline
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00Writing-up of written exercise
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading331:0033:00Reading lists provided for each topic in support of learning and assessment
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities81:008:00Selected readings and activities related to content covered
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion71:007:00Structured discussion with guiding questions relating to content delivered each week
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module will be delivered via both, scheduled and structured learning activities. These include present in person lectures which will provide students with weekly contact with the module leader and with their peers, and an opportunity to ask questions, seek clarifications or expand on the discussions in an informal manner. During these sessions the portfolio of guided structured learning activities for each session will be explained, including how they relate to the module learning outcomes. They include selected readings and participation to non-synchronous discussion boards.

The lectures covering different topics aim to provide a conceptual background for understanding the environment and sustainable development, and the role of planning in managing (environmental) change for sustainable development. The readings provide students with the opportunity to develop a more in-depth understanding of environmental and sustainability debates within the context of policy- and plan-making, and of the challenges in doing so. The non-synchronous online discussion boards provide students with the opportunity to discuss further the complex issues explored in the lectures and in the selected readings in a structured way, to critically reflect on the interactions and tensions between the different dimensions of sustainable development, and their implications on environmental planning – with the support of independent reading. All activities aim to support and guide students in the preparation for assessed coursework.

Should the public health situation not allow for present in person teaching, lectures will be reduced from 11 to 9, and core content will be delivered through pre-recorded content blocks, two per session of 15-30 minutes each with weekly live online module talks and drop-ins. The pre-recorded lecture materials will be complemented by learning activities which will provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the recorded material covered and explore more in-depth the topics covered by reading a selected paper, which will then be discussed as a cohort in a non-synchronous online discussion board facilitated by the module leader. The discussions will be guided by questions, based on the readings and activities given. The sessions will be recorded, and made available for those that are unable to attend.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1002000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment by essay is designed to test the student's ability to assemble and synthesise appropriate information to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of environmental systems and sustainable development and their relationship to planning practice.

Reading Lists