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Unit information: Natural Resources and Sustainability (Bath SP50227) in 2015/16

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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 Professor. Henderson
Open unit status Not open




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


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 details

As delivered by the teaching team at Bath University.

Assessment Details

100% coursework

Reading and References

As directed by the teaching team.