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CEG8003 : Public Policy: Infrastructure and Climate Change

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Jaime Amezaga
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


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 introduces 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 ActivitiesLecture61:006:00Content required to frame module and coursework
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion148:0048:00Independent research and report
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:303:00Debate of group reports
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00Workshop on scenarios
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery20:301:00Questions about lecture material and coursework
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity220:0040:00Student-led research and reporting
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The process of gaining specialist knowledge and understanding is initiated by on-line material, and is continued through the production of two short papers (written communications) in small groups, which are subsequently debated and defended (oral skills) in workshops. 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 study1M70Individual work on a case study.
Written exercise1M302 written exercises carried out in groups.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Group Coursework (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. There is strong emphasis on the formative element. The groups receive detailed feedback on how to improve their performance in each of the exercises (cwk 1-2 30%).

Individual Coursework (Case study):
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”.

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. The student has to take into account the formative guidance of the previous exercise. This is the key summative assessment of the module.

Reading Lists