Sustainability and Behaviour Change

Master of Science | PG Diploma | PG Certificate

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It is becoming clear that major systemic, political and societal changes are necessary to move towards true sustainability to address the serious consequences of environmental and climatic change.

Get to grips with sustainability and behaviour change theories at all levels: personal, organisational, community, institutional and governmental, drawing on theories of behavioural science and social and systems models.

Key areas of study

Studying Sustainability and Behaviour Change will enable you to:

  • Explore behaviour change through case studies from across the world
  • Focus on cities, governance structures and policy, and interventions at community and individual level
  • Examine the role of public perceptions of environmental risk management and attitudes to behaviour change;
  • Learn about the skills required to facilitate the necessary behavioural changes through successful communication and engagement strategies
  • Develop your own skills in leadership and communication

Modules

When studying this course as an MSc you will need to study the 30 credit Sustainability and Adaptation: Concepts and Planning module plus 3 additional core modules and 3 optional modules before undertaking a dissertation.  Please click on the module descriptions below for information about each module.

Core Modules

Sustainability and Adaptation: Concepts and Planning

This two-part 30-credit core module takes place in September and November and must be taken at the beginning of your course, no matter which route you take through your studies.

In part one, we will contextualise sustainability and transformational adaptation in view of current environmental changes, exploring the interconnectedness of the factors involved.

There will be an in-depth look at the wider implications of transformational adaptation on social structures, land use, trade, resource management, energy provision, governance, health and economic systems through a critical exploration of the primary considerations related to sustainability and environmental change.

In part two, you will experience transformational adaptation planning through a facilitated self-reflective practical team exercise, and form a deep appreciation and holistic understanding of adaptation transformation planning.

You will develop the skills and knowledge needed to assess risks and make informed decisions, despite the uncertainties that come with a changing climate.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by the University of East London: EV7102 - Sustainability and Adaptation Concepts and Planning UEL

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University: 7501CATSCI -Sustainability and Adaptation Concepts and Planning LJMU

Theoretical Approaches to Transformational Social Change

The aim of this module is to support you in developing your ability to:

  1. Critically analyse the theories of behavioural and societal change relevant to transformational adaptations to environmental challenges.
  2. Examine behaviour change theories drawing upon behavioural science, social and systems models.
  3. Evaluate the different roles and motivations of individuals, organisations, communities, Governments and society in driving social change for sustainability.
  4. Investigate the means by which we can evaluate behaviour and social change
  5. Analyse the practical application of different theoretical approaches to promote sustainable behaviour and transformational adaptation.

This module will comprise a series of lectures, supported by interactive seminars and workshops. Lectures will draw on a broad variety of theoretical and applied topics with a wide use of interdisciplinary case studies throughout.  Workshop sessions will be used to develop group work and analytical skills.

This module is assessed via:

70% Coursework: Essay (2000 words)
30% Coursework: Case Study Analysis (1000 words or equivalent)

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University  7512CATSCI Theoretical approaches to transformational social change

This is a 15 credit module.

Communicating Transformational Social Change

The aim of this module is to develop your ability to:

  1. Examine the role of communication and engagement strategies in relation to public perceptions of risk and supporting behaviour change towards a more sustainable society.
  2. Critically appraise historical successes in communication and engagement within transformational social behavioural change
  3. Evaluate modern communication strategies available for addressing current environmental challenges
  4. Increase ability to foster behavioural change towards sustainability and transformational adaptation.

This module will comprise a series of lectures, supported by interactive seminars and workshops. Lectures will draw on a broad variety of theoretical and applied topics with a wide use of interdisciplinary case studies throughout. Workshop sessions will be used to develop group work and analytical skills.

This module is assessed via 100% Communication of behaviour change intervention (3000 words equivalence). The submission can adopt any appropriate written or visual communication strategy such as a video, blog or report.

This is a 15 credit module.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University  7515CATSCI Communicating Transformational Social Change

Environmental Politics and Economics

The aim of this module is to develop an informed understanding of the complexity of political and economic opinions, perspectives, constraints and interactions that influence environmental policy and action, from international to local levels.

You will investigate how these factors affect attitudes towards, and actions related to, environmental change, sustainability and transformational adaptation planning and policy.

A mixture of lectures, seminar sessions and debates will provide a thorough understanding of historical political and economic transformations in order that you can critically and systematically appraise the influences on and potential outcomes of the transformations required to deliver sustainability and adaptation.

You will develop a discerning and detailed knowledge of the complexities, interrelationships and interactions that exist between politics, economics and other social sciences so that you can contextualise them with reference to environmental sustainability and adaptation planning.

This is a 15 credit module.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by the University of East London: EV7104 - Environmental Politics and Economics UEL

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University 7502CATSCI - Environmental Politics and Economics LJMU

What’s it like to study at CAT? Read more about the teaching and learning experience.

MSc Dissertation

The dissertation involves designing, investigating, and presenting an extended and independently conceived piece of research on a topic of your choosing within a field of study relevant to your course.

This will help you to develop skills in: research methods; data collection and analysis; interpreting results in relation to existing knowledge; self-reflection on research processes; subject-based practical skills; evaluating methodologies; analysis; conclusions; and relevance.

Teaching and learning is by tutorial-supported work on the preparation of this major item of academic discourse. After an initial seminar group meeting involving other students, tuition is mainly on an individual basis.

This is a 60 credit module.

Read more about the dissertation module for courses awarded by the University of East London:  EV7101 - Dissertation Module UEL

Read more about the dissertation module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University 7500CATSCI - Dissertation LJMU

What’s it like to study at CAT? Read more about the teaching and learning experience.

Optional Modules

Buildings and People

This module aims for students to:

  1. Synthesise an understanding of the conceptual aspects and appreciate the complex nature of the inter relationships that exist between occupant comfort, energy flows in buildings and energy efficient building design.
  2. Apply the above in practice and define how they relate to adaptation and sustainability in the built environment.
  3. Develop a systematic, holistic, multidisciplinary and analytical approach to the critical appraisal of energy efficient design, heat flows, and provision of thermal comfort with respect to the demands of climate change adaptation and the principles of sustainability.

This is a 15 point module.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University 7511CATSCI _Buildings and People

Cities and Communities

This module helps develop your knowledge of current research and discourse concerning adaptation planning and sustainability of cities and communities, and their place in current and future environmental contexts.

You will develop a thorough understanding of key elements, infrastructures, maintenance issues, energy budgets, material flows, waste disposal, transportation, and the social dynamics that underlie the development and management of communities and cities.

Following a critical assessment of the complex factors that influence the provision of sustainability and adaptation planning within urban and community focused environments, you will be able to recognise and rationalise the prospects for innovative research and practice for city and community regeneration in the built environment.

This is a 15 credit module.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by the University of East London: EV7105 - Cities and Communities UEL

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University: 7504CATSCI - Cities and Communities LJMU

Energy Provision

This module takes an in-depth look at the technological and behaviour change aspects of transforming our energy systems to help address climate change and other urgent environmental challenges.

We explore the technological aspects, functioning and practical considerations of different technologies for reducing energy demand and providing more energy via sustainable sources; and investigate resource potential (and limitations), maintenance needs, associated carbon emissions and the environmental impacts of the available renewable energy technologies.

You will develop a critical understanding of the primary need for energy use reduction and how energy distribution constraints, storage, supply and demand management, efficiency improvements, market drivers, planning processes, social and cultural aspects, governmental policy and financial support mechanisms can all affect the uptake of low impact energy systems.

You will comparatively appraise the above in a holistic, objective and self-reflective manner.

This is a 15 credit module.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by the University of East London: EV7108 - Energy Provision UEL

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University 7505CATSCI - Energy Provision LJMU

What’s it like to study at CAT? Read more about the teaching and learning experience.

Sustainable Materials in the Built Environment

This module involves a systematic evaluation of the environmental impacts and the wider social and health implications of building materials, looking at the use, performance and usability of different materials.

You will gain a thorough appreciation of how environmentally sustainable materials offer creative opportunities for the use and development of high quality, healthy, effective, and long lasting products that can enhance rather than damage ecosystems.

You will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of different materials, and look at how to use sustainable options in the most effective ways.

We explore issues around the availability, cost, physical properties, construction methods and general perceptions of environmentally responsive materials, looking at ease of use, mainstream acceptance, design limitations, logistical considerations, and economic viability.
Students joining us on-site for the study week get hands-on experience with sustainable building materials in this highly practical module, working with rammed earth, cob, hemp and lime, timber and straw bales.

This is a 15 credit module.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by the University of East London: EV7110 - Sustainable Materials in the Built Environment UEL (36 downloads)

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University 7507CATSCI - Sustainable Materials in the Built Environment LJMU (120 downloads)

What’s it like to study at CAT? Read more about the teaching and learning experience.

 

Food Production and Consumption

This module takes an in-depth look at global and local trends in food production, trends in diet and health, and the impact of food production on the environment including climate change.

We explore how food can be produced sustainably, looking at the role of consumer behaviour, economics, technology and legislation.
You will study the complex interplay between global and local food markets, vertical integration of agriculture, consumer diets and health, ‘food sovereignty’, the impact of machinery and transportation, economics, labour and environmental externalities on the sustainable production of food.

You will critically evaluate how current markets, policies and consumer behaviour could be transformed to ensure greater sustainability in food production and resource use.

This is a 15 credit module.

Find out more about this module: 7503CATSCI - Food Production and Consumption LJMU

What’s it like to study at CAT? Read more about the teaching and learning experience.

Applied Project

This project is designed to deepen your knowledge and understanding of a specialist subject within your chosen field of study.

It involves you in analysing complex evidence generated through the Applied Project, and in developing critical responses to existing theoretical discourses, methodologies or practices within your chosen subject.

This is a practical student-led project and report that will include statistical analyses of ongoing projects. It may take the form of, for example, a case study scenario exercise or a design, fabrication, experimentation and testing exercise.

This is a 15 credit module.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by the University of East London: EV7111 - Applied Project UEL

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University 7508CATSCI - Applied Project LJMU

Work-based Project

Based on a project that you are undertaking in practice, for example in your workplace or community, this module allows you to deepen your knowledge and understanding of a specialist subject within your chosen field of study.

You will undertake analysis of complex evidence and develop critical responses to existing theoretical discourses, methodologies or practices within the chosen specialist area.

This is a 15 credit module.

Read more about this module for courses awarded by the University of East London: EV7112 - Work Based Project UEL

Read more about this module for courses awarded by Liverpool John Moores University 7509CATSCI - Work-based Project LJMU

Entry Requirements

  • We ask for a Bachelor’s degree or knowledge and skills equivalent to degree standard.
  • IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required for applicants whose first language is not English.

Fees and Funding

The cost of studying one of our full MSc courses is £6,650 for UK/EEA residents or £7,950 for internationals. Please visit our Fees and Funding page to see the tuition fees, additional fees and funding opportunities.

Why Study at CAT?

Benefit from over 40 years’ sustainability experience

CAT is a world-leading eco-centre and a pioneer in researching and teaching practical solutions for sustainability, with over 40 years’ experience in low-impact building, energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable food production, natural resources management and more.

Immersive Learning

The taught eight-week modules offer an immersive learning experience through lectures, talks, seminars and workshops delivered by our expert in-house staff, with specialist insights from visiting lecturers from industry and academia.

Practical sessions are part of the programme of module teaching weeks at CAT, allowing you to get hands-on with sustainable building materials and energy efficiency.

Many modules are shared with our other postgraduate courses, providing you with a rich learning experience with your peers.

Flexible study options allow you to choose the level and mode of study that suits you, helping you fit your studies around other commitments. Full-time study at MSc level will allow you to complete the course in 18 months. This course can also be studied part-time and by distance.

Interested in studying this course? Join us for our next open day, contact us for more information or apply today.

 

This course is created and delivered by CAT and is validated by Liverpool John Moores University

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Open Days

Graduate School open days offer an authentic flavour of what it’s like to learn on our postgraduate sustainability courses. Informative and inspiring, there’s time to chat with current students and our lecturers to find out if studying with CAT is right for you.

Apply now

Applications are now closed for 2019/20. Begin your application today for 2020/21 to take the next step in making sustainable change or contact us if you need more information.