Summary module description:

This distance learning module aims to encourage students to critically analyse what is meant by ‘sustainability’, and the various frameworks that can be used to assess the sustainability of a particular system. A series of topics will be introduced using online interactive exercises and discussion fora. 


To investigate in depth the issues associated with ensuring a system is ‘sustainable’, and develop means of assessing the sustainability of a system. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

  • critically evaluate the various definitions of the term ‘sustainability’

* select appropriate frameworks for the assessment of sustainability

* critically evaluate the sustainability of particular systems. 

Additional outcomes:

* use appropriate tools to identify reliable information and literature on a given topic

* communicate research findings clearly

Outline content:

Topics within this module include:

  • Definitions of sustainability and frameworks of assessment

  • Issues and scoping

  • Ethical measures of sustainability

  • Economic measures of sustainability

  • Environmental measures of sustainability

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Each topic will be introduced with some interactive online material.  There will be a series of online discussion fora and exercises.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Demonstration 30
Guided independent study 35
Total hours by term 65.00
Total hours for module 65.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

Other information on summative assessment:

There is no assessment of this module

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 18 August 2017

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