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Unit information: Natural Resources and Sustainability (Bath SP50227) in 2021/22

Unit name Natural Resources and Sustainability (Bath SP50227)
Unit code SPAIM0043
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Magnus Feldmann
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The unit aims to provide frameworks for critical analysis and assessment of the micro-foundations of sustainable development. It will review and evaluate concepts of sustainability and the sustainable livelihoods framework and consider how it can be expanded to encompass the broader issue of wellbeing. It will then consider the implications of this for policy in different cultural and political contexts.

The content of the unit is:

  • The sustainable livelihoods approach
  • Sustainable development
  • Sustainable livelihoods, development and conflict
  • (Case study) Sustainable rural livelihoods
  • (Case study) Sustainable urban livelihoods
  • (Case study) De-agrarianisation and livelihoods diversification
  • (Case study) Beyond the green revolution? Livelihoods and food security
  • (Case study) Community-based natural resource management.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Develop a systematic and critical understanding of the evolution of the concept of sustainability in development;
  • Develop an understanding of, and be able to critically evaluate, the sustainable livelihoods framework from its roots in concepts of entitlement and research on seasonality and vulnerability;
  • Reflect critically on a range of topical issues concerning natural resource extraction and management in the developing world;
  • Gain critical understanding of how heightened global demand for natural resources in developing countries is shaping local-level livelihood options and sustainability;
  • Review and investigate the implications of this for policy in different social, cultural and environmental contexts.

Teaching Information

As delivered by the teaching team at Bath University.

Assessment Information

This unit is assessed at the University of Bath, please refer to the unit information provided by this partner university for the current assessment information.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SPAIM0043).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.