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SCX8004 : Live Projects

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Alistair Ford
  • Owning School: School X
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 49 student places

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aim of the Live Projects module is to enable students to enhance their understanding of working in climate action and sustainability challenge areas, providing an opportunity for students to actively participate in interdisciplinary teams in a real-world setting. This will be achieved by building on and applying the knowledge and skills developed in Facing up to Climate Change (SCX8000), Professional Skills (SCX8002) and Leadership for Climate Change and Sustainability (SCX8005) to a project defined and developed in conjunction with a partner organisation.

By the end of the module students will have:

Understood the challenges and potential responses to climate change and sustainability in live, evolving contexts.

Explored how these challenges are being addressed by civic society, business and/or governmental organisations.

Understood the role of authoritative world-leading research in responding to the challenges.

Developed the skills required to work and provide leadership in multi-disciplinary / multi-sector teams and manage projects that respond to the challenges and at pace.

Clearly and impactfully communicated the outcomes of their project to a range of stakeholders.

Outline Of Syllabus

Live team-based projects are the central element of this module. The theme of the projects is set by external organisations; intellectually informed by leading researchers (invited into interim feedback / discussion sessions); and pedagogically framed by the ‘climate change fellows’ course team.

The module also sits alongside the ‘Facing up to Climate Change’, ‘Professional Skills’ and ‘Leadership for Climate Change and Sustainability’ modules, further supplementing their content with additional knowledge and case studies specific to the Live Project theme, alongside reinforcing project related skills.

The syllabus includes:

Module introduction

live project-based learning processes and timetable

the ‘clients’ and project theme

resources available and suggested reading

Project related skills

Team-working: challenges/opportunities of interdisciplinarity and building networks

Design thinking and role of creativity and critique

Project management and evaluative/feedback models

Successful communication to diverse audiences, ethical engagement and effective change-making

As noted above, this module works in conjunction with the Professional Skills module and the Leadership in Climate Change module, where skills development is supported for application in this module. Additional knowledge ‘packages’ specific to the Live Project themes on a case-by-case basis

Case studies related to the Live Project theme (from civil society, government, business, protest)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
CategoryActivityNumberLengthStudent HoursComment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities Lecture 12 1:00 12:00

Introduction, ethical research, project management, case studies, project briefing.

Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities Workshops 18 3:00 54:00 Working sessions with teams and PGRs / Module Team framing and circulating. To include communication skills practice, interim presentations and external panels.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities Small group teaching 9 2:00 18:00 Project Studio in learning labs for teams to work together on their projects, taught by module team
Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities Drop-in/surgery 4 1:00 4:00 Offered on request
Placement/Study Abroad Employer-based learning 4 2:00 8:00 Sponsor meetings arranged by students. In addition, industry / context personnel / relevant researcher at NU.
Guided Independent Study Student-led group activity 18 5:00 90:00 Student Led Working Session (hourly configuration/length can be changed at student group discretion)
Guided Independent Study Assessment preparation and completion 68 1:00 68:00 e.g. presentation preparation
Guided Independent Study Directed research and reading 125 1:00 125:00 N/A
Guided Independent Study Reflective learning activity 21 1:00 21:00 Ongoing project / interdisciplinarity/ networking documentation
Total 400:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will deliver foundational knowledge for project work e.g. ethics; interdisciplinary team-working and effective communication; principles of project management; project-relevant case studies. Project clients will be invited to give an introductory ‘pitch’ to students to brief on the live project at the outset of the module.

Clients' meetings will take place at key points in the project – context setting; brief writing; project supervisions, interim feedback etc.

Workshops support the live project by offering more structured yet discursive opportunities for groups to interact with support of knowledge and/or skills from the academic teaching team. They enable project teams to meet at scheduled junctures for project work with the opportunity of feedback or supervision from PGR/Module team.

Group tutorials are focused wholly on the live project and will be tutored/ monitored by teaching staff. The content of these sessions will be responsive to student needs.

Student-working sessions are self-organised by project groups, encouraging organisational and project management skills.

Directed research and reading will allow students from different disciplinary areas to develop knowledge and skills at their own pace.

Drop-ins will support the development of intrapersonal skills and reflection.

Reflective learning activity encourages students to regularly complete blog or journal entries about their project work to continuously build material for their final report and ensure that the report reflects the project process as a whole and not only the project outputs.

At the interim and final presentations the students will participate in discussion of the outcomes of other working parties in the presence of a panel of external mentors.

The project theme/themes will be defined initially by a client body made up of an external organisation. In the first semester of this module the students will work in teams to investigate the problem area, define the project aim, objectives and scope, approach and evaluation methods, alongside relevant networks and sources of expertise. At the conclusion of Semester 1 they will generate a clear brief which they will pitch to a panel of stakeholders (including clients, relevant researchers and the Climate Change Fellows). They will then progress to tackle their brief in the second semester of the module. Students will be encouraged throughout to link to the latest thinking and research within and beyond the university, whilst addressing real world challenges and practice.

The module will provide an opportunity for students to be coached in additional professional skills and to apply knowledge from the Professional Skills module alongside project-specific tutoring, developing appropriate forms of communication/presentation, alongside project management and problem resolution / design thinking approaches.

The module and its assessment will give students an authentic context in which they can demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of climate change and sustainability challenges as well as responses to those challenges. This will be in the context of climate action, whilst articulating their personal development with reference to interdisciplinarity, communication, personal strengths and professional skills.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
DescriptionSemesterWhen SetPercentageComment
Oral presentation 1 2 A 20 Final Group Presentation: Group presentation
Report 1 2 A 40 Final Group Report: Group project report
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
Report 2  2 A 20

Final Individual Report:

Individual project report

Research proposal 1 1 A 20

Team Project Proposal: Written project proposal and references defining the agreed work for semester 2 (group submission).

Formative Feedback

The Project Proposal (Sem 1) will include (max. 800 words per team member, excluding references):

Outline of a team project proposal, including aim and objectives, that responds to the project client’s theme and concerns.

Review of the wider project context and relevant case studies/references, evaluating the challenges and opportunities for climate action and sustainability in the context of the project theme.

A Gantt Chart setting out work packages, responsibilities, milestones and timelines, reflecting skills in planning projects within a defined timescale and resources.

Sources/references and relevant audiences


The Final Project Report (Sem 2) will report on the completed project set out in the project proposal and will include:

Project summary (max. 1500 words per team member) including the teams’:

revised project aim and objectives, demonstrating the ability to prioritise the challenges and opportunities for climate action and sustainability.

summary of project outcomes, demonstrating ability to identify and apply appropriate, verifiable knowledge, applying analytical skills with creativity and flexibility to solve problems and make evidence-based decisions.

implications and recommendations and any further references associated with outcomes.

critical reflection on project outcomes, to demonstrate creativity, flexibility, effective team-working and application of team assessment skills in the delivery of projects within given timescale and resources.

The individual report (Sem 2) will include:

Individual reflection from each team member on learning, contribution to project and where next? This will demonstrate application of self-assessment skills to drive improvement and development, and critical reflection on the challenges and possibilities of responsible leadership for more sustainable practice (max. 1500 words).


Students will also be assessed on a Final Group Presentation in terms of:

clarity, coherence, ingenuity and level of sophistication of argument embodied in the project.

accessibility of project’s argument and outcomes to the defined audience

evidence of multi- and inter-disciplinary outcomes

creativity of delivery (e.g. use of multimedia presentation delivery)