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Unit (2019)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2019 academic year.

Economics of Sustainability (SUS305)

Organisational Unit Global Studies
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: W-internal, W-external
Description This intensive unit explores the interplay between economics and sustainability. Students will examine the explanatory power and policy impact of the dominant neoclassical economics paradigm in order to understand its benefits and limitations in relation to sustainability. The unit provides an overview of economic tools and techniques for dealing with sustainability problems and introduces alternative economic perspectives, which challenge economic orthodoxy.
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of the unit students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of existing economic perspectives as they pertain to sustainability
2. Analyse contemporary debates surrounding issues of sustainability and economic development
3. Engage in contemporary debates surrounding issues of sustainability and economic development; and
4. Communicate clearly both orally and in writing..
Timetabled Learning Activities 1 x 2 hr introductory lecture
5 x 2 hr lectures
5 x 2 hr workshops
1 x 2 hr synthesis lecture
Unit Learning Experiences After an initial two-hour introductory workshop, students have one week available to prepare for a five-day intensive seminar series the following week. This intensive phase is followed by weeks available for assignment completion, exam preparation and one final integration session. During the intensive unit delivery, students will have six hours face-to-face contact over a five-day period. Each day will comprise workshops, min-lectures and discussion fora.
Student participation, engagement and self-directed learning are central to this unit. Students are expected to actively engage with in-class and online discussions. Their ability to participate will critically depend on their level of preparation during the week leading up to the one-week intensive period. While students will have access to teaching staff during the entire winter term - due to the intensive nature of the unit - students are expected to learn independently as it relates to reading and writing tasks. In lieu of class participation, external students will work in groups on wiki discussions based on assigned topics and associated readings.

Communication with and among students will be facilitated through the Moodle website, which is integral to the running of this unit. Activities/facilities include:
* Echo recordings for lectures as well as custom desktop echo recordings for online students.
* Discussion boards widely utilized by all modes of enrolment.
* Reader made available electronically on unit website.
Announcements made on unit website.
Other Learning Experiences Mini lectures presented by guest speakers on select topics; recordings from relevant documentaries and television programs pertaining to economics and sustainability.
Assessment Class participation: 10%
Written assignment: 50%
Final exam: 40%
All assessment work goes beyond mere comprehension and reproduction of unit content. Students are required to critically engage with the unit content, which challenges assumptions and ways of thinking. Class activities and discussions serve the purpose of exploring the contested terrain of economics and sustainability. The written assignment asks students to develop a robust theoretical grounding and to translate and apply economic theory to current affairs and contemporary sustainability concerns.
Feedback to students will be provided electronically via audio-recorded feedback, electronic marking sheets/rubrics as well as face-to-face during classes.
Prerequisites Nil.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed STP205 Economics and Sustainability or SUS202 Economics and Sustainability may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Previously 2014: 'Economics and Sustainability'
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Animal Health (BSc) [New in 2015]
Animal Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Biological Sciences (BSc) [New in 2014]
Biomedical Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Chemistry (BSc) [New in 2014]
Clinical Laboratory Science (BSc) [New in 2015]
Conservation and Wildlife Biology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Crop and Pasture Science (BSc) [New in 2016]
Engineering Technology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Environmental Management and Sustainability (BSc) [New in 2014]
Environmental Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Forensic Biology and Toxicology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Genetics and Molecular Biology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Geography and Economics (HASS) Major Teaching Area (BEd(Sec)) [New in 2019]
Marine Biology (BSc) [New in 2017]
Marine Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Mathematics and Statistics (BSc) [New in 2014]
Mineral Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Physics and Nanotechnology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Sport and Health Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Sustainable Development (BA)
Appears in these Co-Majors Sustainable Development
Appears in these Minors Sustainable Development
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


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