SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMH225987
Module Leader Jim Baird
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Entry requirement to programme

Summary of Content

The rate at which society consumes materials continues unabated and there is a requirement to slow this consumption down and move towards more circular economies where materials and waste remain within the economy cycle for a long as possible. Professionals need to understand the opportunities available to prevent waste and reduce, re-use and recycle. The first part of the module focuses on resources consumption and an understanding of circular economy thinking towards a more sustainable society. The second part of the module will introduce students to life cycle assessment and making decisions about products and processes using life cycle analysis. The third part of the module introduces the political and regulatory framework that has been established across Europe for resource and waste management and the challenges for supporting a circular economy approach.


Sustainable Development What is encompasses and how its moral and ethical imperative needs to inform our global society. Society and Environment A global perspective of our environment and resources. Examining how our actions have consequences on resource use. Understanding resource exploitation and how this can be overcome. Focusing and explaining the link between environment and poverty. Conflicts and conflict resolution associated with natural resource management. Corporate social responsibility Examining the role of the private sector in the protection of our environment. Waste and resources as an environmental issue Definition and analysis of wastes, the European waste hierarchy, spatial variation of waste streams, collection systems, The management of particular waste streams (healthcare wastes, construction, agricultural, municipal). Global outlook on waste management in developed and developing countries. Markets for recycled materials include plastics. International treaties in the movement of waste. Circular Economy Developing a new paradigm for resource management in the 21st century, the five business models for circular success. Life Cycle Assessment Introduction to LCA concepts, embodied energy, associated emissions, software tools for LCA decision making

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to: 1. Understand current issues related to waste and resource management, including legislative social and economic aspects (MSc EM A1)2. Discuss critically our resources and how they are being used and/or being exploited (MSc CJ A6). 3. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles, approaches and tools to sustainable resource management (MSc CJ A8). 4. Describe the integrated nature of wastes management and current management techniques methods of disposal ( MSc EM A1, A3, A4);5. Critically appraise current codes of practice and regulatory framework including European Directives ( MSc EM A5, B2, B4, C4, D6);-6. Evaluate methodologies and propose appropriate techniques in relation to Life Cycle Assessment ( MSc EM A7, B2, B3, C4, D1, D2)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Learning and teaching strategies will be developed and implemented, appropriate to students' needs, to enable all students to participate fully in the module. This module will be taught as a series of lectures and seminars, with tutorial sessions to underpin the quantitative parts of the module. Visits to sites of interest and guest lecturers will be arranged as appropriate. All materials will be made available on GCULearn, and tutors will be available for consultation via e-mail, telephone and in person on campus.

Indicative Reading

Geissdoerfer, M., Savaget, P., Bocken, N.M.P. & Hultink, E.J. (2017). The Circular Economy - A new sustainability paradigm? Journal of Cleaner Production: 143, Pp 757-768. Randers, J, (2012) 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years, Chelsea Green Publishing ISBN 978-1603584210 Conroy, M., & Peterson, J. (2013). Decision making in natural resource management: a structured, adaptive approach. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Mebratu, D. (1998) . Sustainability and sustainable development. Environmental Impact Assessment Review: 18 , Issue: 6, Page: 493-520 Galbraith, J.K. (1958), The Affluent Society, Hinrichs, R (1996), Energy, its use and the Environment, Saunders College Publishing World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), UN Environment Programme Our Common Future (1987), World Commission on Environment and Development, Oxford Paperbacks Dresner, S., (2002) The Principles of Sustainability, Earthscan Publications Ltd Von Weizsacker, E, (1997), Factor Four, Earthscan Publications Integrated solid waste management, Tchobanoglous G, Theisen Hand Vigil S. McGraw Hill Int. Edn (1993) Hazardous waste management, LaGrega M, Buckingham P, and Evans J, McGraw-Hill, Int. Edn., (1994) A Circular Economy Handboo for Business ad Supply Chains, Weetman C and Page K (ISBN 079476753 Williams PT, Waste Treatment and Disposal, Wiley, 2005 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) : A guide to best practice Klopffer W Grahl B 2014 ISBN 9783527329861 - (Available online) Electronic Resources Encyclopaedia of Sustainable Development, Development Studies

Transferrable Skills

D1 Communicating effectively in appropriate formats, including among peers and with external agencies; D2 Applying appropriate analytical skills (including mathematical methods); D3 Using effectively a wide range of IT tools, including general software and specialist packages; D4 Working effectively as part of a team; D5 Demonstrating a professional approach to time-management; D6 Showing independence and initiative in research and other work situations.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 36.00
Practicals (FT) 12.00
Independent Learning (FT) 84.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Dept) 01 0.00 50.00 45% Time constrained test on waste and resource use
Coursework 0.00 50.00 45% Critical analysis of resource consumption