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Unit information: Contemporary Debates in Sustainability in 2020/21

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Unit name Contemporary Debates in Sustainability
Unit code LAWDM0128
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Layard
Open unit status Not open



Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Design which underpins all four interdisciplinary SWDTC MRes programmes.

School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


To critically assess contemporary theoretical and empirical debates in sustainability.

To provide an understanding of how a range of research methods can be integrated to examine environmental and sustainability issues. To develop an appreciation of the importance of pertinent inter-disciplinary thinking.

Intended learning outcomes

The learning objectives and outcomes include:

  • The ability to understand and analyse critically a range of issues in sustainability at multiple levels, The ability to understand and critically analyse sustainability from multiple disciplinary and conceptual perspectives
  • Wide knowledge and understanding of sustainability issues in different disciplines;
  • The ability to engage in constructive, critical discussion about theoretical and disciplinary perspectives on critical issues in sustainability;
  • The ability to write articulately, concisely and persuasively about issues in sustainability

Teaching details

Students will be able to choose sessions from seminars at partner institutions and online, in conversation with the pathway lead, and should attend at least five sessions. Two tutorials will be provided by the pathway lead to support seminar choice and encourage reflection. Students will also meet together for a day of shared teaching at one of the partner institutions during semester two.

Assessment Details

  • Summative Presentation (approx. 10 minutes) (15%) to be delivered at the shared teaching day
  • Summative 1 x 3.000 word assignment (85%)

Reading and References

As appropriate to seminars chosen, will be discussed with pathway lead