Global Change


Earth’s future population faces grand challenges including environmental change, pollution, food security, energy provision, conflicts, terrorism, emerging diseases, and changing demographics. This module enables students to develop perspectives on these challenges. Important ideas often transcend a single discipline or program. Students will be introduced to selected key challenges facing humankind, the overwhelming complexity of the problems and the need for interdisciplinary approaches to create solutions.


The aims of this module are to provide the student with : 1. An introduction to inter− and multi− disciplinary research 2. An introduction to challenges facing humankind 3.An understanding of contributions from diverse disciplines 4. Skills to make contributions to working in interdisciplinary teams

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Identify and describe examples of interdisciplinary research

2.  Identify interdisciplinary skills that are required to tackle grand challenges

3.  Communicate confidently to interdisciplinary groups orally and in writing

Indicative Content

1 Interdisciplinary research

Introductory lectures will discuss the definitions, methods, benefits, challenges, and drawbacks of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches and the role of public policy influencing research

2 Global Challenges

Challenges will be introduced from different disciplines. Indicative examples include: − Climate Change: causes and impact – Serious Games: science and application of visualization and games − Global Security − Valuing ecosystems: balancing policy, economics and environment − Contemporary challenges to healthy living − Food security: global threats and local needs – Energy Poverty – Space Travel

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The module will break down discipline boundaries and communication gaps by ensuring views from different disciplines are presented across lectures on global challenges. The first lectures will introduce examples of interdisciplinary research. Critical and creative thinking is promoted through the presentations and tutorials emphasising the skills necessary to recognise how each discipline can contribute to major questions securing our future. Experts from different disciplines will collectively design and deliver lecturing materials on each topic to ensure these are introduced from different perspectives and to stimulate interdisciplinary thinking. There will be tutorial sessions interspersed between the lectures to develop and practise interdisciplinary thinking. These tutorials will facilitate small multi−disciplinary groups so students are exposed to each other’s views and thinking. Each of the tutorials will be introduced recapping the key points from each lecture, and/or introducing sources or concepts in interdisciplinary reporting or collaborating. Throughout the module emphasis will be placed on developing student’s ability to recognise and present interdisciplinary research in spoken and written form. Students will engage with published interdisciplinary research and learn how to evaluate this in terms of the scientific methodology employed and the public policy goals. There will be an opportunity to develop an understanding of interdisciplinary concepts relevant to the research themes and develop an appreciation for this method of research.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 44
Independent 132

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/20 , and may be subject to change for future years.