GV2GRO-Growth, Degrowth and Sustainability

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Giuseppe Feola

Email: g.feola@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The module will equip students with the skills to identify, analyse and evaluate i) the environmental and social issues generated by the pursuit of social prosperity through economic growth in a finite planet, and ii) alternative models for the sustainable pursuit of social prosperity.

Aims:
The module will equip students with the skills to identify, analyse and evaluate i) the environmental and social issues generated by the pursuit of social prosperity through economic growth in a finite planet, and ii) alternative models for the sustainable pursuit of social prosperity.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of this module it is expected that a student will be able to:
• Define and describe the key interrelationships between socio-economic systems and the environment
• Define and critically discuss the most common indicators of economic growth and social well-being
• Analyze the interplay of technology, affluence and population as determinants of environmental impact.
• Define and discuss the model of de-growth society.
• Critically analyze alternatives to a model of development based on economic growth
• Assess the presence of the different perspectives on economic growth, de-growth and sustainability issues in the current public discourse
• Independently articulate arguments relating to these issues in an examination.

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development of skills of critical reading and the presentation of arguments. This will be achieved principally through the lecture material, group discussion, and by students' carrying out the reading and discussions linked to each topic.

Outline content:
Historically, the pursuit of social well-being through economic growth has been closely tied to increasing consumption levels as well as increasing loads on the environment, which has resulted in several environmental problems (e.g. depletion of natural resources, climate change). Besides, it has become apparent that economic growth is only limitedly associated with social prosperity. As a consequence, different models of development and of structuring the relationship between economic and social systems and the environment have been proposed, among which green growth and de-growth. These alternative models address the issue of the pursuit of economic growth on a finite planet differently, but agree on the need for socio-technical change at different levels, including behavioural (e.g. consumption patterns), institutional (e.g. social norms and values), and technical change. The module will discuss key concepts and a range of theoretical approaches to addressing these issues. The topics covered by this module include: economic systems and the environment; indicators of social prosperity; population, resources and environment; de-growth; green growth.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will be taught through a mix of lecture, group work and discussion.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Practicals classes and workshops 4
Guided independent study 76
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
There will be two assignments to be handed-in during the module. The total word limit will be 3,000 words.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

- where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;

- where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
(Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    The resit will be a coursework assignment in late August /September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 29 August 2017

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