Successful environmental policy depends on the ability of its makers to bring together scientific information, analytical thinking and an awareness of the legal, social and political realities of environmental regulation. This course has been designed to provide an intensive training in the relevant economic and legal concepts and techniques to equip you with the tools that will help you successfully design, implement and assess environmental policy in a variety of settings.
MPhil courses offered by the Department of Land Economy share common aims. These are:
i) to enable students of a high calibre to pursue their education at an advanced applied level drawing on the primary disciplines of economics, planning and environmental policy, with additional specialisms in finance and law;
ii) to provide students with opportunities both to build on and develop material which they may have studied at undergraduate level as well as to broaden their knowledge base;
iii) to equip students with the necessary skills to pursue careers at a high level in a range of areas, including business and finance, civil service, public service, property professions, environmental agencies and organisations, national/international agencies and further study;
iv) to provide opportunities for education in a multidisciplinary environment so as to advance the understanding of cognate disciplines and their applications;
v) to provide opportunities for learning with colleagues from different social, economic and legal systems;
vi) to provide students with appropriate skills and experience to enable them to use information and resources critically and to equip them with the means to undertake their own research;
vii) to provide an educational environment with a strong research ethos that brings together students from a wide variety of backgrounds and fosters an international approach to common problems.
On completion of the course, students will have acquired the following skills:
i) Knowledge and understanding of the subject matter of the various components of their course.
ii) Intellectual skills: the ability to study steadily, assimilate issues and large amounts of literature swiftly, evaluate countervailing positions and to produce succinct arguments to tight deadlines and to engage with those with whom they disagree. Particular methodologies used include: data evaluation, case evaluation, legal analysis, textual analysis, the convergence of theory and empirical data and advanced critical evaluation.
iii) Practical skills: identification and use of bibliographic materials, via libraries and electronically; taking notes effectively, thorough IT skills.
iv) Transferable skills: the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing; to work to deadlines and under pressure; to manage time; to set priorities; to formulate an argument; to work independently and with initiative; basic IT skills (email, data analysis and internet use); critical analysis; to present material in a seminar context; skills of analysis and interpretation; self-discipline, self-direction; and respect for other views. The ability to develop and present a major piece of written work.
v) Research skills: the ability to locate, utilise and organise a wide range of materials independently, on paper and electronically. The ability to assess and evaluate such material, to develop and pursue a critique of existing material. The ability to develop, structure and sustain a line of argument. The establishment of relationships with researchers in related areas. The ethical use of research material.
vi) Communication skills: the ability to marshal arguments and present them succinctly and lucidly. The ability to effectively criticise the views of others powerfully but fairly. The presentation of written material in a persuasive and coherent manner.
vii) Interpersonal skills: the ability to work with others in seminars and smaller groups towards common goals. The ability to share research data ethically. The ability to respect the views of others and to acknowledge deficiencies in one's own argument.
Candidates study a total of eight modules, some of which are compulsory and complete a dissertation of not more than 12,000 words. Taught modules may be assessed by either written examination or coursework or by a combination of assessment formats.
The modules offered for this course are confirmed on an annual basis but may include: - Quantitative research methods I - Mixed research methods - Fundamentals of environmental economics - International environmental law I - Environmental values - Environmental policy assessment and evaluation - International environmental law II - Energy and climate change - Rural environment: property, planning and policy - Economic development and land use policies - Climate change policy and land development
Plus optional modules from other taught MPhil courses offered by the Department of Land Economy.
Feedback and guidance is given to assist students in developing and drafting the dissertation research project. Feedback sessions are arranged by module leaders following examinations.
A dissertation of between 10,000 to 12,000 words.
Assessment of subject modules varies and includes written examinations, individual and group project work. Some modules may be assessed in more than one format.
Assessment of subject modules varies, written examinations are used for some modules, these will normally be two-hour papers.
Approval of an application to continue to the PhD degree will depend on three criteria:
1. Availability of a supervisor 2. The approval by the Degree Committee of a research proposal 3. The achievement of a minimum overall mark and minimum dissertation mark in the MPhil examination as prescribed by the Degree Committee in any offer of admission.
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