With increasing recognition of the impact of a world living beyond its means, sustainable development is one of the most challenging and rapidly growing areas in both the public and private sectors. This course trains future leaders, thinkers and change-makers using action-based, experiential learning.
How does the programme provide content to ensure students achieve an understanding of a reasonably diverse set of perspectives on understanding economies?
A range of economic models and perspectives are explicitly taught including orthodox, market-based ecnomics alongside heterodox models such as ecological economics, humanistic economics and post-scarcity economics.
How does the programme ensure students understand the interaction between economic and ecological systems?
Across all taught modules, students are required to understand and evaluate the delicate balance that is required for sustainable economic growth and ecological improvement. Through classical models of environmental valuation, students begin to comprehend the value of the environment to the economy and their inherent interconnectedness, and then in their exploration of alternative models, start to critically evaluate the impact that our past ways of thinking have had, and how we can potentially move forward towards a happy, healthy economy on a thriving planet.
How does the programme ensure students understand how to critically explore real-world evidence, both qualitative and quantitative?
Students are presented with a range of evidence, both quantitative and qualitative, to support the content taught on the course, both directly in economics and across other subject areas. Students then undergo rigourous training in both quantitative and qualitative methods so that they can contribute to the knowledge in their chosen area of interest.
What pedagogical approaches does the programme use to ensure that students examine the historical context, assumptions and values in all economic thinking?
Our course is firmly rooted in the concepts of education for sustainable development, and we take a balanced yet critical viewpoint on the world around us and the uncomfortable truths of the past. We challenge students to think in systems, anticipate possible, probable and undesirable futures, understand the norms that underlie their behaviours and those of others, think strategically and critically, become self-aware and integrate their problem solving skills into real-world action.
In addition to our highly interactive, participative hands-on lectures, we challenge students to apply knowledge and skills and appreciate different perspectives through policy-making simulations, case study exercises and online discussion boards. Throughout our assessment, students work directly with community and business organisations to undertake projects in community development and social change, and undertake 2-3 work placements with organisations in a range of sectors and activities to experience knowledge in action.
How does the department ensure that the teaching culture and capacity to deliver economic pluralism are continually improving?
We are committed to continous improvement in our programme which involves regular comprehensive reviews of our teaching and content, with feedback welcome from students at all point of the year. Our staff are subject matter experts and thought-leaders in the area of sustainable development who are always undertaking new research and building learning networks of fellow sustainability professionals.
Queen's University Belfast
Leadership for Sustainable Development