SPOL30220 Social Policy, Social Justice and the Environment

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module examines the economic, social and environmental challenges facing our society. Environmental issues include those associated with climate change but also other environmental problems (e.g. air and water pollution, flooding and drought, storm damage, biodiversity loss). Questions of environmental justice are explored. This includes examining the extent to which environmental costs and burdens are experienced by different groups. The module is particularly concerned with examining and addressing the needs of the most vulnerable groups in society, such as those on low incomes, those with a disability, certain ethnic minorities, young people and older people. The module explores a range of responses to social and environmental 'risks'. Much of the module focuses on developing more sustainable communities through a) housing, planning and land use; b) transport; c) employment; d) health; and e) education. The assignment for the module enables students to learn more about their own community and its sustainability by writing a profile of the area.. NB: THIS MODULE MAY ONLY BE AVAILABLE EVERY SECOND YEAR.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to: critically analyse the key concepts including sustainable communities; critique various responses to climate change and other environmental responses; assess the extent to which principles of sustainable development are reflected in Irish social policies and practices; demonstrate an understanding of different models of sustainable communities; and demonstrate skills in community profiling.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures; active/task based learning. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: End of semester assignment in which students write a community profile to assess the social and environmental sustainability of your community. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Presentation: Group presentation. Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale No



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

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

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