Ecological Economics SRUC | University of Edinburgh - PEP - Promoting Economic Pluralism

Ecological Economics SRUC | University of Edinburgh

Are you interested in sustainability, distributional justice, and understanding the connections between economic and ecological systems? Then come study at the longest-running Ecological Economics master’s programme in the world! The programme is highly applied, and delivers a wide range of academic, technical, and transferable skills training.

How does the programme provide content to ensure students achieve an understanding of a reasonably diverse set of perspectives on understanding economies?

The programme establishes a foundation for understanding diverse perspectives within the compulsory conceptual course. Through lectures, readings, and discussion this course establishes 1) what key perspectives are within Ecological Economics, and 2) the theoretical and methodological implications of adopting any one perspective over another. The programme does so without prejudice, intentionally leaving space for students to develop their own positions. This is complemented by the hands-on methodological and research training provided in other courses. The programme emphasizes critical appraisal/synthesis, and consistently challenges students to expand their abilities to defend their own arguments. The programme also encourages students to pursue courses that help them to develop a comprehensive understanding of socio-ecological systems.

How does the programme ensure students understand the interaction between economic and ecological systems?

Ecological Economics as a field emphasizes that economic systems are embedded within social systems, which in turn are embedded within, dependent on, finite environmental systems. This is the heart of the Ecological Economics worldview, and it directly leads to a variety of insights that define the core tenets of the field. As such, the interaction between economic and ecological systems is a consistent point of emphasis within the programme. The compulsory conceptual course helps students to understand the implications of economies being embedded within nature. The applied courses use data from case studies (and a wide range of methods) that focus on these points of connection between ecological and economic systems. This increases students’ capacities to understand both the ecological and social aspects of complex systems. Ecological Economics as a field emphasizes that economic systems are embedded within social systems, which in turn are embedded within, dependent on, finite environmental systems. This is the heart of the Ecological Economics worldview, and it directly leads to a variety of insights that define the core tenets of the field. As such, the interaction between economic and ecological systems is a consistent point of emphasis within the programme. The compulsory conceptual course helps students to understand the implications of economies being embedded within nature. The applied courses use data from case studies (and a wide range of methods) that focus on these points of connection between ecological and economic systems. This increases students’ capacities to understand both the ecological and social aspects of complex systems.

How does the programme ensure students understand how to critically explore real-world evidence, both qualitative and quantitative?

The programme provides significant training in a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies that are relevant to Ecological Economics. Although the precise focus and pedagogy differs across each course within the programme, the methodological training uses data from real-world projects focused on different aspects of real-world sustainability problems embedded within specific, complex socio-ecological systems. As a part of the training provided, students complete at least 2 research projects under staff mentorship (one team-based and one individual). There is a strong emphasis on student-led project design, which enables students to pursue (within limits) specific skills, topics, and methodologies that interest them. Everyone gains experience with at least one form of in-person fieldwork (pandemic-permitting), and primary datThe programme provides significant training in a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies that are relevant to Ecological Economics. Although the precise focus and pedagogy differs across each course within the programme, the methodological training uses data from real-world projects focused on different aspects of real-world sustainability problems embedded within specific, complex socio-ecological systems. As a part of the training provided, students complete at least 2 research projects under staff mentorship (one team-based and one individual). There is a strong emphasis on student-led project design, which enables students to pursue (within limits) specific skills, topics, and methodologies that interest them. Everyone gains experience with at least one form of in-person fieldwork (pandemic-permitting), and primary dat

What pedagogical approaches does the programme use to ensure that students examine the historical context, assumptions and values in all economic thinking?

The programme emphasizes the importance of understanding context (including, but not limited to historical context), assumptions, and values in both principle and in practice. The principle that it is important for Ecological Economists to understand these things is established at the start of the programme and emphasized throughout the lectures, readings, and discussions in our conceptual course. This is reinforced in the assignments associated with this course.In order to feature the practice of actually examining context, assumptions, and values, the programme draws heavily on flipped-classroom pedagogies in other courses, including team-based learning and problem-based learning. These flipped-classroom pedagogies emphasize experiential learning. In turn, this enables us to make tangible for students the importance of these concepts.

How does the department ensure that the teaching culture and capacity to deliver economic pluralism are continually improving?

There is a core teaching and leadership team for the programme for whom delivering the programme is a formal (and significant) part of their daily responsibilities. Members of this team have been nominated for numerous teaching awards at the University of Edinburgh. The programme leadership:maintains a collegial environmentemphasizes peer & self-reflection encourages creativity in support of teaching engages with programme alumni supports professional development related to teaching and Ecological Economics The programme is embedded in a wider, interdisciplinary research and teaching group, and is one of several interdisciplinary MSc programmes situated within the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh. The School of GeoSciences leadership team reinforces the commitment to continual improvement and excellence in teaching. There is a core teaching and leadership team for the programme for whom delivering the programme is a formal (and significant) part of their daily responsibilities. Members of this team have been nominated for numerous teaching awards at the University of Edinburgh. The programme leadership:maintains a collegial environmentemphasizes peer & self-reflection encourages creativity in support of teaching engages with programme alumni supports professional development related to teaching and Ecological Economics The programme is embedded in a wider, interdisciplinary research and teaching group, and is one of several interdisciplinary MSc programmes situated within the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh. The School of GeoSciences leadership team reinforces the commitment to continual improvement and excellence in teaching.

Other information:

The programme maintains an active network of alumni, which students gain access to when they join the programme. This network is used to disseminate opportunities (e.g. jobs, PhD studentships), news, and to celebrate alumni accomplishments (e.g. publications, awards). Through participation in this network, students are also placing themselves in a position where they can inform future developments within the programme. Students who have specific questions about the programme and the extent to which it aligns with their interests and goals are encouraged to reach out to the programme. The Programme Director (Corinne.Baulcomb@sruc.ac.uk) and Deputy Programme Director (Paula.Novo@sruc.ac.uk) are happy to address questions from applicants or prospective applicants. The programme maintains an active network of alumni, which students gain access to when they join the programme. This network is used to disseminate opportunities (e.g. jobs, PhD studentships), news, and to celebrate alumni accomplishments (e.g. publications, awards). Through participation in this network, students are also placing themselves in a position where they can inform future developments within the programme. Students who have specific questions about the programme and the extent to which it aligns with their interests and goals are encouraged to reach out to the programme. The Programme Director (Corinne.Baulcomb@sruc.ac.uk) and Deputy Programme Director (Paula.Novo@sruc.ac.uk) are happy to address questions from applicants or prospective applicants.

Country:

UK

University:

SRUC & the University of Edinburgh

Course name:

Ecological Economics

Department/school:

Environment and Countryside

Course level:

Taught Masters

Course language:

English

Website:

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Ecological Economics SRUC | University of Edinburgh

Ecological Economics

Environment and Countryside