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Unit information: Contemporary Debates in Environment, Energy and Resilience in 2015/16

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Unit name Contemporary Debates in Environment, Energy and Resilience
Unit code LAWDM0108
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


To critically assess contemporary theoretical and empirical debates in environment, energy and resilience.

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

Unit specific skills:

  • Understand and communicate the complexities of defining and describing interdisciplinary research.
  • Appreciate the inherent and necessary interdisciplinarity of studying contemporary issues in environment, energy and resilience.
  • Demonstrate analytical and conceptual skills in their research design and written work.

Discipline specific skills:

  • Acquire relevant critical skills for the evaluation of evidence.
  • Acquire the ability to address interdisciplinary problems from a range of social science perspectives.
  • Understand the ethical aspects of interdisciplinary research.

Personal and key skills:

  • Develop good communications skills when presenting to an interdisciplinary audience.
  • Time management.
  • Written and oral communication
  • Lateral, critical and analytical reasoning
  • Planning and implementing applied research projects.

Teaching details

Students and supervisors will attend 20 one hour seminars from the I-SEE programmes, plus four stand alone one hour tutorials with supervisor.

Assessment Details

Summative 2 x 2500 word essays (100%)

Reading and References

In 2014 content will be based on a set of 10 seminars:presented as part of the Bath Institute for Sustainable Energy and The Environment (I-SEE) seminar series and seminars of the Bristol Cabot Institute. The I-SEE seminars are recorded and recordings are available to all three universities. The selection of seminars will be chosen by the supervisors in consultation with students from the relevant programme plus some from the seminar archives (where appropriate). Speakers include both leading academic researchers and policy makers. In subsequent years resources may be extended to include seminars run under the auspices of Bristols Cabot Institute and Exeters Centre for Energy and the Environment as appropriate.