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Unit information: Contemporary Debates in Sustainability in 2021/22

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 Dr. Pieraccini
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

Description including Unit Aims

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 Information

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 Information

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


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. LAWDM0128).

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.