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CEG8003 : Public Policy: Infrastructure and Climate Change

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jaime Amezaga
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The primary aim is to develop an appreciation of sustainability issues focusing on climate change policies and infrastructure at global, international and local policy making levels, whilst enhancing analytical, communication and persuasion skills, and to demonstrate this in written and oral output.

The module provides an introduction to the different levels of public governance of climate change and how they affect the work of engineers. The module starts at the global level with UN organisations proceeding down to the European Union, national government and local government levels. Each of the topics is introduced by an interactive lecture presenting the key actors in each level and the main policy frameworks for climate change management and their interaction with sustainability. For each of the levels the students have to produce a short critical group report analysing a given question. The reports are discussed with the lecturer and the rest of the whole class in a debate format during a feedback session.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lecture topics

1. United Nations: Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change in Global Affairs

2. Public Policy and Strategic Management

3. European Union: Governance and Climate Change

4. UK Government, Infrastructure and Climate Change

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture92:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Individual submission (case study)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion211:0022:00Group coursework assessment (written exercises)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study310:0030:00Includes background reading and reading lecture notes for a full understanding of material.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The process of gaining specialist knowledge and understanding is initiated by lecture classes, and is continued through the production of two short papers (written communications) in small groups, which are subsequently debated and defended (oral skills) in tutorials. In this way, each student will develop the ability and confidence to rapidly capture knowledge on complex subject matter from published literature in a range of specialist fields such as environmental science, engineering, law, economics and policy in parallel to Civil Engineering, and to use this knowledge in support of conclusions drawn from systematic analysis in a concise group report. The purpose of the longer individual report produced for assessment is to further enhance these skills and allow more scope for the development of arguments of greater depth. The debate will introduce a sense of advocacy for a particular solution, which will have a multi-dimensional nature. The emphasis will be on producing convincing arguments for the chosen solution.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study1M56Individual work (case study - 21hrs effort).
Written exercise1M442 written exercises carried out in groups.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Examples of Groupwork:

CW1. Are the Millennium Development Goals an effective instrument for sustainable development?
CW2. Critical assessment of the EU climate change policies in relation to the Sustainable Development Strategy
CW3. The role of civil engineering companies in local sustainability

Group Coursework Assessment (written exercise): In the group courseworks we assess the capacity of the students to work in teams to produce well-presented short reports backed by information and showing critical thinking in topics that are relatively new to them in the area of public policy and sustainability. The deadlines are demanding to resemble normal professional working conditions. The assessment includes both the written report and the oral debate in the feedback session. (cwk 1-3 15%)

Group work task description: These items of coursework should be carried out by groups of 4-6 students, and should be 4 sides long plus references, using 1.5 spaced Times New Roman 11 point font. The group must carry out research of relevant literature (minimum 15 references including books, journals and webpages) on the topic given in the title and introduced in the relevant lecture (see the timetable provided). The format of the essay is free but should include executive summary, introduction, conclusions and references.

Following the submission of these coursework items, there will be 2 one-hour interactive feedback sessions for ½ of the class in each session, for which attendance is compulsory. Final mark of coursework will depend on individual participation in feedback session.

Individual Work:
Students undertake an individual case study on a topic selected in agreement with the lecturer within a given subject area, for example “Adaptation to and/or mitigation of climate change in the civil engineering sector”.

Individual Coursework Assessment (case study): In this coursework we assess the capacity of the student to analyse in depth a particular topic connecting engineering practice with the public governance of sustainability. Marking takes into account presentation, research backed by literature and critical analysis.

Individual coursework task description: This item of coursework should be carried out by individual students. It should be a 6 side report, using 1.5 spaced Times New Roman 11 point font. The report should cover some aspect of adaption to or mitigation of climate change in the civil engineering sector. The format of the essay is free but should include executive summary, introduction, conclusions and references. Marking will take into account presentation, information and critical analysis. The individual must carry out research of relevant literature on the topic given in the title, and draw it together in a balanced discussion.

This item of coursework contributes 55% towards the final module mark.

Reading Lists