Sustainability and Policy Processes: Issues in Agriculture, Environment and Health (930M9)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

This module provides an in-depth analysis of the relationship between knowledge, power, science and policy processes.

The first part of the module examines the historical and philosophical roots of key science policy debates in the agriculture, health, water and environment arenas. Using a case study approach, the focus is on understanding the dynamic interrelationships between local contexts and wider national and international policy processes influencing livelihood and sustainability outcomes.

In the second part of the module, small teams of 'consultants' are assigned an urgent science policy issue in development to investigate. Each team:

  • conducts (rapid) desk-based research
  • prepares a short consultancy report, complete with technical findings and policy recommendations
  • defends their report before a panel of expert 'decision-makers'.


100%: Seminar (Class)


100%: Coursework (Essay, Group submission (written))

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 44 hours of contact time and about 256 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 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.