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CE50216: Whole systems analysis: social, economic and policy aspects

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Chemical Engineering
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Exam (2 hour) (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: Aims:
* Ensure the student can appreciate the social, economic, cultural, ethical, regulatory and political context that modern engineers work within and be able to evaluate and assess (process) sustainability and make decisions based on these criteria.
* For the students to obtain an understanding of motivators and priorities of the different stakeholders they will work with in their future career.

Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this unit the student will be able to:
* Understand how effective policy to control environmental pollution is designed and implemented and critically evaluate it
* Prepare and critique an economic assessment: state the principle behind it and its limitations
* Explain the role of such aspects as business ethics, corporate power, governance and corporate social responsibility for technology implementations and resource extractions


* The ability to conceptualise complex systems and their interaction across environmental, social and economic dimensions (T,F,A)
* An awareness of the professional, ethical and social responsibilities of an engineer and their role in sustainable development (T,F,A)
* The ability to effectively communicate efficiency opportunities to key stakeholders and present the case for investment (T,F,A)
* The ability to deal with complex issues, solve problems and make decisions in the context of multiple criteria and stakeholders in a systematic and creative way (T,F,A)
* Initiative and personal responsibility in individual and group activities (F,A)
* The ability to understand different roles and work effectively in a team (F,A)
* An awareness of the competing constraints under which specialists in environmental engineering and sustainable chemical engineering operate (T,F,A)
* The ability to understand and integrate information (which may be inconsistent or incomplete) drawn from other disciplines (social sciences, legislation, environmental sciences/management and economics) (T,F,A)
* Communicate information effectively through oral presentation (T, F)
* The ability to recognise and develop group working skills (T, F)


* Economic concepts: current economical thinking, economic concepts such as utility, incentives, efficiency, market failure, property right, taxes, subsides, command and control, cap-and-trade, and soft policies.
* How policy is designed, implemented on national and international scale with a historical perspective.
* Cost benefit analysis and life cycle costing methodology, net present value, pay-back, rate of internal return and economic assessment tools and discount rate analysis.
* Risk management and assessment.
* Business ethics, corporate power, market psychology, governance and corporate social responsibility.
* Current developments and prospects, e.g. government policies and development of renewable energy sources
* What makes an effective oral presentation and group work and reflecting to improve performance.
* Tools for brainstorming, organizing information and multi-criteria decision making.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

CE50216 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Chemical Engineering


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
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