The development of a green economy, or an economy that is environmentally sustainable, has become a political and socio-economic imperative. It is highly inter-disciplinary, drawing from ecology, geography, social science, psychology and technology – and, in keeping with the ethos of the course, is studied by distance learning.
Key drivers include the need to reduce carbon emissions to minimise the risk of climate change, overexploitation of resources and widespread environmental degradation, which is eroding the natural capital on which human wellbeing depends. The transition to a green economy represents a substantial challenge to society, particularly in the current era of rapid environmental and socio-economic change.
This green economy course seeks to provide the scientific understanding on which the transition to a green economy can be based, including the principles of environmental sustainability and the societal responses required to implement these in practice.
This course is accredited by IEMA. This means as a student on Green Economy you will simultaneously receive free student membership at IEMA. Once you graduate you will also become a GradIEMA professional membership.
A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in a required subject. Required subject: Geography, Ecology, Environmental Science, Economics, Politics, Psychology or Sociology.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:
IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.
Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services: Examine the scientific principles for ecosystem services, how they link with ecosystem function and their relationships with biodiversity. Key ecosystem services that will be considered include food and water, regulating flood and disease control, cultural services such as spiritual, recreational, and cultural benefits, and nutrient cycling. You´ll explore how ecosystem services production can be measured and mapped, the distribution of beneficiaries, different approaches to valuation and potential links with the green economy. Key emerging issues include potential trade-offs between ecosystem services and between ecosystem services and biodiversity.
Carbon Management: Increasing concern about the potential impacts of global climate change, attributable primarily to human activities, has placed the issue of carbon management at the top of the international policy agenda. You´ll examine the science underpinning the process of climate change and how this might be addressed through adaptation and mitigation measures, based on an understanding of the global carbon cycle.
Environmental Law & Social Justice: Justice in a complex world, environmental policy and law decisions have implications for the environment and the people that live in and rely on it. In this unit we´ll explore the legal and policy dynamics and the factors that influence environmental social justice outcomes in environmental policy debates, and identify how social justice considerations can be incorporated more effectively into environmental policy.
Frontiers of Sustainability Science: Sustainability science has emerged in recent years as a new scientific discipline, at the interface between environmental science and sustainable development. Key objectives include understanding of the dynamics of human-environment systems, easing the design, execution and evaluation of practical interventions that promote sustainability in particular places and contexts, and improving links between research, innovation, policy and management. You´ll develop a detailed knowledge of sustainability science and advanced literature-based research, evaluation and reporting skills. You´ll also learn to use your knowledge to solve problems.
Green technology & Renewable Energy: In the context of global climate change and the consequent need to phase out using fossil fuels, developing renewable energy sources has become one of the main drivers of the green economy. Green technology developments can also improve efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while reducing the ecological footprint of human activities. However, such technologies can also have negative environmental impacts and become the focus of social concern. This unit examines environmental and social impacts of different technologies; to critically evaluate which approaches might truly be considered ‘green’. It will consider the main environmental, political and socio-economic drivers for the development of green technology, and examine how these challenges are being met through scientific and technological innovation.
Sustainable Development in Practice: Understand how the scientific principles for sustainable development can be executed in practice. You´ll consider the international policy for sustainable development, and evaluate the extent to which policy targets and goals have been achieved to identify any lessons that might be learned. This will include considering how sustainability can be measured, for example through using indicators. The practical execution of sustainable development´s principles will then be explored through a series of real-world case studies, relating to a variety of different locations and focusing on different economic sectors.
Research Project: An introduction to a range of academic skills essential for becoming a successful researcher in the modern research environment. You´ll learn transferable skills in designing a research project, developing the right methodology, writing a research proposal, collecting and analysing data and presenting your work at conferences and in scientific journals. The unit combines a variety of learning and teaching methods including lectures, workshops, computer-based learning, practical activities and small group work.
Extended Professional Placement: The placement offers you a workplace experience for developing your vocational skills and applying the theory and knowledge gained from other elements of the course. You´ll get an opportunity to gain individual professional experience through executing a practical project in a workplace environment. The placements could potentially be with any government, non-government or commercial organisation, and might typically include NGOs, government bodies, local councils, private companies, consultancies or community or research organisations.
Upon completion of this course you will enjoy a wide range of career opportunities, as an increasing number of organisations are taking an active interest in the green economy. Not only will this course equip you with subject expertise, but you will have a practical understanding of how to apply that knowledge to make a difference to businesses. This will give you extra marketability in the professional arena, providing you with a route into a successful and rewarding career.
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