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MA Education for a Sustainable Environment

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Dissertation: Education for a Sustainable Environment

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC79100
Credit rating 60
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

The dissertation must be completed as a single 12000 word, 60 credit dissertation, which may have an empirical, conceptual, evaluation, or professional focus. The following is indicative of these four possible foci.

  • a research project and report (building on the earlier completed ‘Planning and Piloting Research in Sustainability’ course unit) (Empirical);
  • theorising an aspect of sustainability education in a particular context, or more broadly (Conceptual);
  • an evaluation of the current state of sustainability education practice, policy and/or research in a particular setting (Evaluation);
  • a context-specific and/or client-based sustainability education project (Professional).

Aims

The aim of the dissertation element of the MA is for each individual student to engage in independent and in-depth study of one, or two closely related, aspect(s) of Education for a Sustainable Environment.

Learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Teaching and learning methods

During semester 1 and 2, all core course units will raise students’ awareness of how they each contribute to their overall professional and academic development, and thus also prepare them for the larger independent and in-depth dissertation element of the MA

Students will be allocated an individual dissertation supervisor during semester 2. In addition, they will be part of a dissertation supervision group, usually led by their allocated supervisor. Students will have six meetings focused on their dissertation, normally consisting of:

  • Three individual supervision meetings with their supervisor.
  • Three group supervision meetings.

Dissertation supervisors will offer feedback on an outline of students’ dissertation project, give advice on ethical approval processes where appropriate, and provide feedback on two substantive chapters of the final full length or two-part dissertation.

Students will also have at least three whole-programme meetings with their Programme Director(s) (or a nominated academic member of staff), addressing the academic and presentation requirements/expectations of their dissertation work and dissertation.  

Knowledge and understanding

  • knowledge and critical understanding of sustainability education research, theory, policy, practice and areas of debate.
  • advanced knowledge and deeper understanding of specialist issues in their chosen areas of study.
  • awareness of the importance of different contexts of sustainability education (e.g., educational, governmental, non-governmental and voluntary sectors), including also interactions between these sectors.
  • an understanding of the implications of the above for education and research in local and global contexts.

Intellectual skills

Depending on the focus of the dissertation project:

  • systemically explore issues related to sustainability education, as informed by research, theory, practice and current debates.
  • critically analyse and synthesise ideas from diverse sources (research, theory, practice and issues of debate).
  • explore, analyse, evaluate and critically reflect on aspects of professional practice in sustainability education.
  • systematically define, focus and explore issues of research interest or relevance to a past, current or future sustainability education context, and analyse and interpret findings through small scale empirical study.

Practical skills

Depending on the focus of the dissertation project:

  • realize in educational practice, sustainability values, understandings and an ethical stance.
  • create action learning spaces so that learners/communities have voice, participation and leadership in addressing sustainability related challenges.
  • analyse sustainability education needs within specific teaching, learning and training contexts.
  • evaluate, adapt and develop sustainability education curricula, syllabi, teaching activities, and learning materials.
  • use technological resources and technology-supported approaches to sustainability education and research
  • teaching, learning and training contexts.
  • evaluate, adapt and develop sustainability education curricula, syllabi, teaching activities, and learning materials.
  • use technological resources and technology-supported approaches to sustainability education and research.
  • design, plan and carry out research to inform sustainability education

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • new or enhanced skills in written academic presentation and information processing (on- and offline).
  • autonomy and enhanced metacognitive strategies with regard to study skills and further professional development and/or academic study.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Dissertation 100%

Feedback methods

In Turnitin, and normally within 30 working days of assignment submission

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Susan Brown Unit coordinator
Juurd Stelma Unit coordinator

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