Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Sustainable Development and the EU

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT European Studies

DESCRIPTION In an increasingly globalised world, the notion of sustainability has become progressively more important. Almost half of the world population lives in poverty and sustainability issues are becoming gradually more interdependent, particularly in the relations between developed and developing nations.

The subject of sustainable development has acquired a much broader meaning than economic development. It now consists of many aspects, including social, political, cultural, environmental and ethical.

This study-unit will focus on political-economic tools to understand, among other issues, theories and concepts of sustainable development, the international dimension and the engagement of the international community, as well as the role played by the EU to foster sustainable development and its Mediterranean dimension. Sustainable consumption and production patterns, along with the different measurements of sustainability will also be analysed. In addition, the importance of promoting education for sustainable development, together with the role of governments and civil societies in advancing sustainable development will be tackled. Finally, specific case studies and best practice, as well as future sustainability challenges in connection with the Millennium Development Goals will be addressed.

Study-unit Aims

The objective of the study-unit is to provide Bachelor of European Studies students with a solid theoretical background to understand the basic principles of economic and policy aspects of Sustainable Development, as well as its dynamics within the EU. Students will learn to understand how the interactions between economy, society and environment take place. As well as providing a critical analysis of these outcomes, it will also provide them with a particular focus on the application to EU policy and dynamics.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Define sustainable development;
- Identify and present the origins and content of the EU’s sustainable development strategy;
- Describe key sustainable development actions being implemented at the global and local level;
- Define and contextualise the concept of Sustainable Use and Management of Resources (SUMR);
- Assess opportunities and challenges in implementing sustainable development education;
- Identify theoretical and practical aspects of designing and implementing sustainable development strategies at the governmental level;
- Understand the role of the EU and the role of the main International Organisations in the context of sustainable development.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Explain the main features that characterise sustainable development dynamics;
- Analyse today's debate on sustainable development with improved political and economic analytical tools;
- Present key cases and people in the promotion of sustainable development practice;
- Identify the impact of climate changes on sustainability;
- Identify key sustainability issues and contextualise them within the MDGs.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Pallemaerts, M., and Azmanova, A., 2006. The European Union and Sustainable Development. VUBPRESS Brussels University Press.

Baker, S., 2006. Sustainable Development. Taylor & Francis Ltd.

Rogers, P.P., Jalal, K.F., Boyd, J.A., 2008. An introduction to sustainable development. Earthscan: London.

Perman, R., Common, M., Mcgilvray, J., and Ma, Y., 2003. Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, 3/E. Financial Times Press.

Meadows, D.H., Meadows, D.L., Randers, J., and Behrens III, W.W., 1972. The Limits to Growth. New York: Universe Books.

Additional sources and material will be made available through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE or Moodle) of the University of Malta.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Blended Learning and Fieldwork

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Classwork SEM2 No 30%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 70%

LECTURER/S Andreas Kotelis

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.