Growth, Degrowth and Sustainability

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Growth, Degrowth and Sustainability

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Studies, Environmental Sustainability

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations

    Upper

    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

    5
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
    Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
    Level:5
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Pre-requisites:
    Non-modular pre-requisites:
    Co-requisites:
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7

    Summary module description:
    The module will equip students with the skills to identify, analyse and evaluate i) the environmental and social issues generated by the pursuit of social prosperity through economic growth in a finite planet, and ii) alternative models for the sustainable pursuit of social prosperity.

    Aims:
    The module will equip students with the skills to identify, analyse and evaluate i) the environmental and social issues generated by the pursuit of social prosperity through economic growth in a finite planet, and ii) alternative models for the sustainable pursuit of social prosperity.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    On completion of this module it is expected that a student will be able to:
    ? Define and describe the key interrelationships between socio-economic systems and the environment
    ? Define and critically discuss the most common indicators of economic growth and social well-being
    ? Analyze the interplay of technology, affluence and population as determinants of environmental impact.
    ? Define and discuss the model of de-growth society.
    ? Critically analyze alternatives to a model of development based on economic growth
    ? Assess the presence of the different perspectives on economic growth, de-growth and sustainability issues in the current public discourse
    ? Independently articulate arguments relating to these issues in an examination.

    Additional outcomes:
    The module also aims to encourage the development of skills of critical reading and the presentation of arguments. This will be achieved principally through the lecture material, group discussion, and by students' carrying out the reading and discussions linked to each topic.

    Outline content:
    Historically, the pursuit of social well-being through economic growth has been closely tied to increasing consumption levels as well as increasing loads on the environment, which has resulted in several environmental problems (e.g. depletion of natural resources, climate change). Besides, it has become apparent that economic growth is only limitedly associated with social prosperity. As a consequence, different models of development and of structuring the relationship between economic and social systems and the environment have been proposed, among which green growth and de-growth. These alternative models address the issue of the pursuit of economic growth on a finite planet differently, but agree on the need for socio-technical change at different levels, including behavioural (e.g. consumption patterns), institutional (e.g. social norms and values), and technical change. The module will discuss key concepts and a range of theoretical approaches to addressing these issues. The topics covered by this module include: economic systems and the environment; indicators of social prosperity; population, resources and environment; de-growth; green growth.

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    The module will be taught through a mix of lecture, group work and discussion.

    Contact hours:
    Lectures 20
    Practicals classes and workshops 4
    Guided independent study 76
    Total hours by term 100

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Written assignment including essay 100

    Other information on summative assessment:
    There will be two assignments to be handed-in during the module. The total word limit will be 3,000 words.

    Length of examination:
    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    The resit will be a coursework assignment in late August /September

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.