Postgraduate Module Descriptor


SOC3117: Environments in Public

This module descriptor refers to the 2020/1 academic year.

Module Aims

This module aims to introduce environmentalism and sustainability as developing processes of public communication, campaigning and social change since the mid-20th C. In so doing, it aims to introduce key scientific, philosophical and theoretical debates on the environment, alongside real-world developments in environmental governance. It will equip students with the key skills to help critically evaluate scientific and political claims about environmental issues made in mass media coverage and the wider contemporary public sphere. The primary context will be the UK and the European Union, but with a perspective that is mindful of global environmental debates.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. demonstrate a critical understanding of the origins and development of contemporary environmentalism.
2. critique and evaluate how environmental issues have been framed in public and policy arenas
3. critically analyse the roles and perspectives of multiple actors and positions in environmental controversies.
4. display knowledge of the complexities of environmental governance across multiple sectors and scales.
5. evaluate critically public initiatives to tackle environmental problems
6. recognise the difficulties of achieving meaningful environmental debates and collective decisions about action
Discipline-Specific Skills7. think critically, analyse debates and present coherent arguments about socio-environmental issues
8. critically evaluate the effectiveness of and barriers to environmental action.
9. investigate, analyse and understand processes of contestation in the modern public sphere via lobbying, mass media, public engagement and policy formation.
Personal and Key Skills10. evaluate ideas and contemporary public debates.
11. demonstrate critical media literacy skills – search for, contextualize and evaluate mass media content
12. present written material in a clear, coherent and accessible manner
13. learn how to work effectively in a group to produce a short film or podcast and evaluate others’ performance.
14. contribute productively and co-operatively to group discussions