SUST10020 Sustainability Challenges

Academic Year 2023/2024

Building on GEOG 10150 Introduction to sustainability, this module focuses on three selected sustainability challenges and explores them in more detail. The focal challenges are Energy and Climate, Future Cities and Water. Each will be analysed from the perspectives of each of the three dimensions of sustainability: environment, economy and society. They will be considered from the perspectives of individuals, communities, regions, nations and at a global scale. The emphasis will be on interdisciplinary approaches to developing strategies and solutions and the module will involve group work in interdisciplinary teams, drawing on input and guidance from a range of relevant experts.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

• Explain the broad nature of selected sustainability challenges and the factors that underpin them
• Articulate the interplay between the dimensions of sustainability: environment, economy, society
• Evaluate the role of different disciplines in understanding and addressing sustainability challenges
• Work as part of an interdisciplinary team to develop solutions to sustainability challenges

Indicative Module Content:

The course will be built around independent working by teams of students with varied disciplinary interests to address the sustainability challenges specified in the course outline. There will be 24 one hour sessions in Active Learning Environments over the twelve weeks in the semester. In the first two weeks, the sessions will be primarily instructor-led, providing explanation of the module and approaches to be used and background to the key concepts and approaches to addressing sustainability challenges. Teams will be established and work plans developed. Each focal challenge will then be addressed in turn over a three week period. After guest lectures on each topic, sessions will be primarily built around team-based activity with advice and input from instructors from different disciplines. Groups will need to work towards a report on each challenge and a presentation on one of them and everyone will participate in class discussions and debates. In the final week, the group as a whole will review the activities and outcomes and reflect critically on approaches to identifying and addressing sustainability challenges.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning




Small Group




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Learning will be primarily based on interdisciplinary team-work to explore and address sustainability challenges. All contact hours will be in Active Learning Environments, enabling group-based engagement guided by input from academic staff and tutors. These sessions will be supplemented by some introductory lectures and an end of semester review and discussion. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

GEOG 10150 Introduction to Sustainability provides essential background material for this module

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
GEOG10150 - Introduction to Sustainability, SUST10010 - Introduction to Sustainability

Sustainability Challenges (SCI10060)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Attendance: Each student to be graded on engagement and contribution to group work. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Group Project: A group report to be submitted for each of three focal sustainability challenges during the semester. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Presentation: Group presentation to be made in relation to one of three sustainability challenges. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded 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, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Oral individual and group feedback in classes. Peer assessment of presentations. Written feedback on group reports and presentations.

Name Role
Dr Serena Sgarzi Lecturer / Co-Lecturer