Study Abroad and Exchanges



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.

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.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. What is understood by the “environment”, “sustainability” and “environmental planning”?
2. Physical, biological and social environments – existing threats.
3. Humans and their environments – a changing relationship.
4. Promoting environmental sustainability through planning.
5. Tools and approaches: sustainability planning.
6. Tools and approaches: Integrated and adaptive environmental management.
7. Tools and approaches: Introduction to impact assessment techniques, key terms and concepts.
8. Role playing exercise - balancing trade-offs
9. Understanding human behaviour/ responses and the environment
10. Sustainability – a solution? Conclusions, overview and looking forward.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion125:0025:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading125:0025:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study126:0026:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module will be delivered through lectures in class. As the nature of the course is relevant to everyday life, thus providing the potential for healthy debates and student engagement, part of each class will be dedicated to group discussions. These may take inspiration from the news and events portrayed in the international and national media, or from student suggestions and presentations. Students are expected to participate actively in class discussions, attend class and proactively suggest topics for class and group discussions. Class and group discussions are considered a key component of the module, as in planning practice it is often the lack of communication between professionals and stakeholders that hinders effective environmental policy and planning solutions.

The overall module delivery modes through lectures, discussions and presentations aim to assist students in the development of critical reflective and applied knowledge and skills. Furthermore, they aim to emphasise the link between the concepts, issues and techniques for environmental and sustainability planning introduced in class, and the “real world”.

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

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