Innovation for Sustainability (849N1)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

This module will explore the role innovation can play in sustainable development in industrialised and developing countries, including (but not limited to) its importance in mitigating and adapting to climate change. A number of key ideas will be used to provide a framework for learning. These include past and current theory on sustainability, growth and competitiveness (with specific reference to the role of technology), understanding and influencing directions of innovation, and the governance of socio-technical transitions. Specific topics will be explored within each key idea. Examples include: social and technical innovations in energy and resource use efficiency; economic and other policy instruments to promote such innovations; barriers to the diffusion of sustainable innovations; the role of innovative green niches in systems transformations; and the challenges of international co-ordination. These will be illustrated with reference to real world cases in the manufacturing, housing, agriculture and energy sectors. 

This module will enable you to:

  • articulate and utilise a working knowledge of issues concerning innovations and sustainability and to evaluate critically the main theoretical perspectives on innovation and the environment; 
  • apply concepts from innovation theory in analysing a range of contemporary environmental policy problems; 
  • research the innovation dimensions of a contemporary environmental problem using a mix of academic and policy literature, and 
  • demonstrate the understanding and intellectual skills identified above by means of clear and concise written work. 

Teaching

67%: Lecture
33%: Seminar

Assessment

20%: Coursework (Essay)
80%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 117 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.