Environmental management 2

This online module focuses on innovations in and the facilitation of environmental management concepts and practice. You will examine systems theories in detail and have the opportunity to investigate complex situations at domestic, organisational and community levels. Using London Heathrow Airport as a case study, you will gain different perspectives of environmental management situations, the views of stakeholders, how these are represented and the impact of these views for further action and innovation. This module is designed to follow and build on the ideas, tools and their uses introduced in Environmental management 1 (T219) and, like T219 includes some group work.

Course facts
About this course:
Course code T319
Credits 30
OU Level 3
SCQF level 10
FHEQ level 6
Course work includes:
2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

What you will study

This module engages with environmental management at three levels beginning with domestic issues in the household, before extending to look at the organisation and the wider community.

This will be based on a major case study of London Heathrow Airport, as the benefit of airports to a society are counter-balanced by the environmental concerns which airports present and recognise that they require some form of environmental management. The module provides you with the ability to model and explore the environmental concerns and dilemmas embodied by this ubiquitous transport form; discover some innovative environmental management ideas and practices; and develop your understanding and skills in these methods and techniques that will be relevant to your own context.

Using tools and techniques taken from both environmental management and systems thinking, you will progress through the following four-stage learning cycle in each of the three module blocks:

  • Reflecting – on a variety of environmental management situations
  • Connecting – our perspectives and ideas regarding different aspects of situations
  • Modelling – situations using a variety of conventional and innovative tools and techniques
  • Action – taking action to improve the situation.

This will encourage you to explore the means and methods by which environmental management thinking and approaches can be systemically applied in a number of contexts and themes.

Block 1

In this block you'll explore the concept of the 'environmental manager'; who they are and what they do. The theme of investigation is 'the household' and you will be engaged in a range of online activities exploring different perspectives on the role of the 'environmental manager' and how you 'manage' the environmental impact of your household. You will be introduced to a range of perspectives and will explore your own evolving role as an 'environmental manager' as a profession and as citizenship. The block introduces the case study which is explored in more depth in Blocks 2 and 3.

Block 2

This block uses the case study to focus on innovation by organisations in relation to environmental management. You will explore what an innovative organisation responding to environmental imperatives looks like and some drivers of innovative environmental management in organisations including: economics; leadership; learning; and public pressure. Using examples of organisational activities in airports, you will use systems techniques to make sense of the situations organisations face, how innovation relating to organisations and environmental management 'happens', as well as developing critical perspectives on organisations, their approaches and practices.

Block 3

The final block continues with the case study as you look at sustainability at the level of the group or community, and the usefulness of systems thinking in this context. You will apply the context of noise and air pollution from the perspectives of the community and those that surround it. You will see that environmental management engages with many perspectives and stakeholders. It is not a simple fix and it does not just involve technical processes.

Working online in a small group, you will tackle a complex environmental management issue. This will give you an understanding of the challenges of collaborative learning and helping other members of a group.

For the module as a whole, there are associated texts, interactive and personally challenging activities and a range of audio and video resource. This module offers insights and unique footage of airport life, including film clips from the Airport Live! BBC television series first aired in 2013.

If you are considering progressing to The engineering project (T452), this is one of the OU level 3 modules on which you could base your project topic. Normally, you should have completed one of these OU level 3 modules (or be currently studying one) before registering for the project module.

You will learn

By the end of the module you will be able understand and describe:

  • systems theories, tools and methods used and critically evaluate your own competence in using them
  • diverse environmental impacts at the level of the individual, organisation and community
  • a range of theories, tools and methods relating to systems and environmental management
  • the wide ranging policy implications involved in designing sustainable communities.

You will also be able to:

  • use systemic theories and methods to review and investigate complex environmental management situations
  • explain when and how to use systemic representations and where iteration is needed
  • select initial systems and other methods appropriate for helping learning and sense making
  • assess the worldviews of stakeholders within the case studies
  • use information and communication tools to gather, analyse and synthesise a variety of data and information
  • apply critical and reflective devices to assess, in a systemic manner, environmental activity.

Vocational relevance

You will find the module useful if you are, or want to be, engaged in environmental management within an organisation, consultancy or a local community. Studying this module can also benefit you in your home, work, or community as it will help you to understand and use some conventional ideas and practices for environmental management in a range of situations. In addition, the module will extend your knowledge and practical skills by introducing innovative systems approaches to environmental management.

Entry

This is an OU level 3 module. OU level 3 modules build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from studies at levels 1 and 2. They are intended only for students who have recent experience of higher education in a related subject.

The level 2 module Environmental management 1 (T219) would be ideal preparation.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

If you have a disability or additional requirement

The study material and assessment requires the production of written and visual material (in the form of diagrams and figures).

The module is delivered wholly online and makes use of a variety of online resources. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs.

Written transcripts of any audio components are available. Other alternative formats of the study materials, including electronic versions of the text, may be available in the future. Some electronic text may not be fully accessible using a screen reader.

Study materials

What's included

The materials for this module, with the exception of the printed Resource book, are delivered online.

Computing requirements

You will need a device with internet access to study this module as a web browser is used to access learning materials and activities. Any other computer-based activities you will need to carry out, such as word processing, using spreadsheets, taking part in online forums, and submitting files to the university for assessment, are specified in the module materials. If any additional software is needed for these tasks it will either be provided or is freely available. You may need administrative privileges to install software required for this module. Windows 10 S is not suitable as it restricts software installation to software available in the Windows Application Store.

Suitable devices are:

  • A Windows desktop or laptop running Windows 7 or later operating system
  • A Macintosh desktop or laptop running OS X 10.8 or later operating system.

Some software will not run on Linux, iOS or Android devices.

A netbook, tablet, smartphone or Linux computer that supports one of the browsers listed below may be suitable. However, these devices may not be suitable for some activities. If you intend to use one of these devices please ensure you have access to a suitable desktop or laptop device that uses the Windows or OS X operating system in case you are unable to carry out all activities on your mobile device.

Recent versions of the following browsers are suitable for carrying out web-based activities:

  • Safari
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Edge

Or Internet Explorer 9 and above.

Using a browser upgraded to the latest version will maximise security when accessing the internet.

Using company or library computers may prevent you accessing some internet materials or installing additional software.

To be able to talk and listen in our online discussions you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones.

Devices with small screens may make it difficult to view the material provided and carry out the activities. However, a device that has a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and also at least 768 pixels vertically should be adequate.

See our Skills for OU study website for further information about computing skills for study and educational deals for buying Microsoft Office software.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will be responsible for monitoring your progress, marking and commenting on your written work and whom you can contact for advice and guidance. The module online forum also provides opportunities for lively and informative discussion with other students, tutors and members of the module team.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

You must also submit the end-of-module assessment (EMA) online.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in October 2017. It starts once a year – in October.

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2021.