Surrey University Stag


Module code: ENGM067

Module Overview

This module introduces students to the intricacies of sustainable development (SD) when applied in real life contexts, covering areas within environmental management, strategy, industrial ecology, and more. Using case studies, the module will cover the challenges in the integration and implementation of sustainable development. Guest speakers offer their organizational and field experiences as cases exemplifying challenges, progress and effective practice in putting SD principles into practice in diverse sectors and places. This reinforces and brings to life the conceptual learning done in the module and in the earlier Foundations and Frontiers module (ENGM064). The SDA module develops the ideas covered in ENGM064 and will facilitate a deepened understanding and consolidation of corporate environmental management, socioeconomic and political issues, spanning the public, private, and ‘third’ (civil society) sectors. This module is one of the components required for Associate Membership of IEMA and IES.

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: F750

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 90

Lecture Hours: 35

Guided Learning: 15

Captured Content: 20

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The module will cover the following topics:

  • Summary of foundational issues in SD: origins, Brundtland, I=PAT equation, SD strategies and contested ideas

  • Frameworks and tools such as the Sustainable Livelihood Approach (SLA), earth observation/GIS, Terrafiniti framework

  • Sustainable production and consumption with a focus on fisheries and the oceans

  • Case studies of SD challenges, policies and management in areas such as mining, production of consumer goods, retailing, finance, health services

  • Communication and leadership issues in management for SD, including the role of the social media and performing arts

  • Case study of SD communications: CAFS, culture and the Arts

  • Issues in the design and implementation of SD policies

  • Analysis of key texts and discussion of films offering case studies

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to build on the topics covered in the module and give the students a chance to explore them in a context that they are especially interested in.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • Pre-module individual critical review (maximum 1000 words) of a corporate sustainability report (or similar document), or a critical review of a sustainability business film (25%)

  • Post-module individual written assignment (maximum 3000 words) from a supplied list of essay topics (75%)

  Formative assessment and feedback

  • Group work sessions in the module are used as the basis for offering students (in group and individually) feedback on their developing understanding of the issues covered.

  • The tutors make time available during the module for informal one-to-one or group discussions which offer formative feedback.

  • Following the intensive teaching week, for the post-module assignment students can prepare a draft essay plan and then make an appointment with the lecturer to discuss their essay plan and receive verbal feedback prior to submitting their coursework.

Module aims

  • To reinforce understanding of core issues in sustainable development
  • To deepen understanding of its application in a variety of contexts spanning the public, private and ¿third¿ (civil society) sectors
  • To enable critical analysis and exploration of challenges in putting sustainability into practice ¿ building on the theoretical and ethical basis for sustainable development (covered in the Foundations and Frontiers of Sustainable Development module)

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Be able to explain and reflect on core challenges in implementing and managing sustainable development in public and private sector organisations K
002 Be able to explain complex issues facing professionals in the integration of sustainable development in national and local development policies and plans, and in business KCPT
003 Engage in debates about the practical implementation and management of sustainable development policies and plans in business and governance KCP
004 Enhance teamworking skills for developing and implementing sustainability strategies in organisations PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

 The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

The module is designed to provide an introduction to the intricacies of implementation of sustainable development, including an awareness of some of the key issues being faced today in putting SD into practice. These include: pressures on finances; lack of a supportive policy environment; lack of incentives for action; challenges in rethinking core business aims and methods; etc. As the module is geared towards application rather than theory, a number of guest speakers from the public, private and ‘Third’ (civil society) sectors are invited to discuss some key issues that they face in making sustainability a reality in their own context. The exploration of professional experience across sectors is intended to make a valuable contribution to employability post-MSc. Students are expected to make the most of the opportunity to engage with senior professionals, and are encouraged to contribute fully to discussion, Q&A and group exercises. The guest speakers on the module value the opportunity to hear from our students – and may well wish to make contact with them for placements and other opportunities – and so active engagement by the student is encouraged throughout.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  1. Pre-course study involving the analysis of a sustainability report

  2. Lectures from module team and various guest lecturers from the public, private and ‘Third’ sectors.

  3. Group exercises

  4. Audio and video presentations

  5. Post-course study linked to main assessment

Item 1 = 30 hours

Items 2, 3, and 4 = 36 hours contact time in one week (Monday to Friday)

Item 5 = 84 hours


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM067

Other information

The Centre for Environment and Sustainability is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience, in line with the Surrey Curriculum Framework. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Global and cultural capabilities: This module highlights global challenges through case studies from expert practitioners who place their own work in a global context; the module also includes coverage of the cultural dimensions of SD. There is substantial coverage of challenges relating to sustainable development in the global South. Students are encouraged to bring their own experiences to bear in discussion with the guest speakers and to offer challenge too.

Sustainability: This module focuses on the challenges of implementing sustainable development in diverse sectors and types of organisation, and draws on expert practitioners in many areas of sustainability.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Renewable Energy Systems Engineering MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Corporate Environmental Management MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Environmental Strategy MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Sustainable Development MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.