Core Course

Core Course Director: Dr Bill Sheate

The Core Course is arranged on a modular basis to present a progressively more complex and in-depth understanding of the natural and human environment and their interaction. The Core Course is highly interdisciplinary, providing an essential breadth of understanding across environmental technology and policy issues, as well as a precursor to the specialist options in the second term. The course comprises six core modules (each of c.20 hours):

In addition there are small-group seminars, weekly environmental policy seminars and a transferable skills module which covers a range of personal, practical and analytical skills training. Uniquely, the MSc course includes an innovative Relaxation and Resilience programme (10 hrs) run over the course of the whole year, including three sessions in the Core Course.  This programme is run by Bill Sheate for the Department in his capacity (part-time) as a private therapist.

The Core Course emphasises contemporary policy debates through a number of cross-cutting themes: climate change and energy, international development, sustainability and health, and biodiversity.

Core Course Learning Outcomes:

  • Be able to appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability
  • Be able to examine critically the breadth of subjects covered
  • Be able to integrate and apply knowledge across disciplines with confidence
  • Be able to understand the fundamental principles of ecology, environmental law, environmental economics, environmental policy and management, environmental pollution and control, and quantitative/qualitative research skills and uncertainty
  • Be confident to engage in group learning and communication
  • Be a skilled and confident problem solver, independently and as part of a team, able to project manage and make a contribution
  • Be confident and efficient in acquiring and applying new skills and knowledge 

The Core Course is assessed using a combination of written and online assessments, and examinations.