SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHH123977
Module Leader Karin Helwig
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module gives students knowledge of and insight into international and UK water policy in a wider policy context. Students will investigate how water policy applied to planning and industry and what role underlying concepts and perspectives play in this. It aims to encourage students to explore a range of water related issues and how they are addressed by water policy; to evaluate objectives of different stakeholders and how they are reflected in policy, to understand structures of government and management approaches as applicable to water issues, and to evaluate the legitimacy of policy and decision making.


Key water issues on a range of scales Climate change and the water cycle The Water Framework Directive and River Basin Management Planning Introduction to aquatic ecology Water Chemistry: key parameters and micropollutants Groundwater Ecotoxicity and antibiotic resistance Flooding Policy development and policy instruments in the water context Globalisation and transboundary issues Scarcity and abstraction Ecosystem Services Approach Water related risks and costs Current debates

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the student should be able to:Discuss water quality in a range of contexts, including impacts on the aquatic environment, human health and wellbeing and economies Discuss water issues, including flooding and scarcity, in the global context of climate changeUnderstand priorities, policy objectives and structures of governance at a range of governance levelsDemonstrate a sound understanding of the Water Framework Directive and other key UK legislation and policyCritically reflect on water policy and strategyIdentify underlying concepts, perspectives, objectives in policy Identify a range of policy instruments and understand how they are used in water policyEvaluate legitimacy and effectiveness of water policy

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module includes a variety of teaching and learning methods. Students will learn to find their way round water policy in the UK by guided independent learning. They will be introduced to concepts and perspectives via lectures and explore these further in tutorials and group discussions. They will be encouraged to present and defend a critical view or analysis in front of their peers. The module draws on experience from the department's research experience in a broad range of water related projects with practical examples of issues faced by policy makers. The coursework allows the student to deepen their learning and understanding, and enhance their capacity for critical thinking. Learning and teaching strategies will be developed and implemented, appropriate to students' needs, to enable all students to participate fully in the programme.

Indicative Reading

Selected journal articles EU, UK and Scottish Policy and Legislation documents Gabriele Gramelsberger & Johann Feichter (Eds) 2011 Climate change and Policy - the calculability of climate change and the challenge of uncertainty (available electronically) T. Juniper (2013) What has nature ever done for us?

Transferrable Skills

Critical thinking Policy analysis Stakeholder analysis Knowledge and understanding in the context of the subject Independent working Planning, monitoring, reviewing and evaluation of own learning Communication skills, written, oral and listening

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Independent Learning (FT) 124.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 3.00 50.00 35% Exams Office exam
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 35% 2000 word essay. Topic to be handed out in class.