COMP30840 Enviro-Tech Boot Camp

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module requires NO prior computer competency beyond that of ordinary familiarity and use of everyday computer tools and apps such as Powerpoint, Word and some social media sites.

Basic objective: Let's solve some real, global sustainability problems incorporating I.T, social media and the collective skill-set of UCD's undergraduates, through start-up projects using the campus as a proto-type development environment. Students can propose their projects or be assigned one.

Each project is undertaken typically by a group of 3-4 students. Students from non-Computer Science backgrounds, Arts, Business Studies, Law, Engineering etc are particularly encouraged to participate in order to diversify the skill-base of each group.

Students will use an agile strategy throughout their project development with weekly documented meetings producing goals and action points. Together with discussion groups, presentations and the interactive creativity style of the module will also enhance the Soft Skills: Leadership, Group Communications, Creativity, Problem solving, Adaptability, Networking and Presentation. These are skills applicable and invaluable to any degree discipline, and rated by most business organisations and academic institutes with equal importance to the quality of a graduate's degree.

An example of some of the projects from 2018-19 can be found at The website, and the UCD Sustainability Action Day 2019 is itself an example of one of the projects. Some of last year's projects have gained media publicity in Ireland and abroad.

This year some of the projects will have an international sustainability aspect to them through the assistance and collaboration of various corporations and organisations.

Projects will have poster displays at the 2020 UCD Sustainability Action Week.

Awards in various categories will be given to projects and individuals from the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges.

Teams of 3/4 persons identify, or are assigned an environmentally-related challenge or problem, in which they conduct a project to investigate, research and propose a solution using any combination of I.T and/or internet methods e.g. Java programming, Linkedin, Digital marketing etc. All projects will consider their proposed solution from an environmental, social, technical and business perspective so that its sustainability credentials can be assessed and understood.

An example project might be to investigate the feasibility of using solar panels and batteries in UCD as a means of charging lap-tops used on campus. The project would not require an actual prototype to be built, but the feasibility of such an approach would be investigated from a technical and business perspective. Another example, is a campus project to highlight the issue of use of plastics on campus and encourage recycling through a social media campaign and an incentive/rewards system involving mobile devices. One of the previous projects by a group of Art students, designed an award winning Blog site for Sustainable Fashion.

Since the time frame of the module would not facilitate a working prototype in many cases, in these scenarios it would suffice to present the foundations or architecture of the technical solution and business model structure based on market investigations.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students will:
1. Understand the principles of the United Nations SDGs (Sustainability Development Goals).
2. Comprehend the basic concepts of the Three Pillars of Sustainability.
3. Read and reviewed a comprehensive background to topics such as Climate Change, Environmental Sustainability, Recycling, Social Activism and Sustainable development.
4. Have a knowledge and contact list of local, national and international organaisations and agencies supporting sustainable action.
5. Have enhanced their soft skills.
6. Have developed a proof of concept, or working prototype that can be used for future funding or practically on campus or for the benefit of the wider community.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning




Small Group






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Soft Skill development, Presentations, Discussion Groups, Analytical reviews and Group dynamics. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

Although not essential, preference for the limited number of places on the course will be given to students who have completed the Enterprise, Innovation and Entrepreneurship module Comp 30390.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Group Sustainability Project: Each team will use an agile development strategy involving weekly meetings and documented actions. Teams will be allowed to be as free and creative as possible. Unspecified n/a Graded No


Presentation: Final Presentation/Demonstration of the group project deliverable (5). Each member will also submit an individual report on their work, ideas, conclusions and future developments (10). Unspecified n/a Graded No


Presentation: Presentation/Essay: A group presentation on their chosen sustainability topic and how some aspect of I.T will be a component in their solution (10) . Each member will also submit an essay (15). Unspecified n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be given within 2 weeks after each presentation and submission of reports/essays.

Suggested background and reference materials:

1. There is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years. Mike Berners-Lee. Cambridge University Press.

2. Drawdown The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. Paul Hawken. Penguin.

3. Climate Change:What Everyone Needs to Know. Joseph Romm. Oxford University Press.

4. What's Really Happening to Our Planet ? The Facts Simply Explained. Tony Juniper. DK, Penguin. Random House.

5. Sustainability:Essential for Business. Young & Dhanda. Sage Publications.

6. Sustainability Education: Perspectives and Practice Across Higher Education. Jones, Selby, Sterling. Earthscan.