Environmental Science & Sustainability (Dumfries Campus) BSc

Energy: Options For Sustainability DUMF2019

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

Energy, its production and consumption, is one of the biggest issues facing today's societies. This course aims to examine the issues facing energy production and use and the political responses to these issues. Once the context is established, the course will examine in some detail, a number of energy options and evaluate their feasibility. This will be achieved, in part, by visiting a number of energy power plants to discuss energy issues with industry professionals.


Each week: 2-hour lecture and 2 hour tutorial/workshop/project work, or all day field trip

Excluded Courses




Essay - 2000 words (30%)
Debate - Team debate on energy issues (30%)

Exam (40%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


As the debate involves teamwork and interaction with other students this is not available for reassessment

Course Aims

The aims of the course are to:

 - examine contemporary energy issues, including the current dependency on oil, energy policy and the environmental impacts of energy production and use;

 - outline the principles of energy and energy production, including the economics of energy and the technical considerations required for the transmission of electricity;

 - describe a range of renewable energy options for the future, including on- and off- shore wind generation, hydro schemes, solar energy and biomass, and to critique their viability in the context of technical, economic, social and environmental considerations;

 - provide students with the opportunity to debate energy issues with industry specialists.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

- describe the main principles of energy, energy production and electricity transmission;

- demonstrate an understanding of controls on energy generation by completing simple calculations of energy availability and transforming between different units

- complete an evaluation of the feasibility of a range of renewable energy options with reference to energy policy, economics, public engagement and environmental impacts;

- quantify and debate the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of energy production

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.