Optional (10 ECTS Credits) – Spring Term

Module Outline

The module is divided into two sections:

Section A entitled Understanding human rights, development and sustainable development will explore the historical development, linkages and frameworks of development, sustainable development and human rights. Students will be introduced to the historical developments and trends in development approaches, the human rights-based approach to development, key human rights frameworks and mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and an understanding Human rights and development of compliance measures. 

Section B entitled Resource Scarcity, Energy and Corporate Power focuses on the interconnected nature of the limits to growth, planetary boundaries and our continued reliance on fossil fuels, even to produce renewable energy, and how this impacts a sustainable development agenda. Students will also investigate the increasing role of the private sector in development and the attendant ‘externalities’ and social and environmental harms it produces. We will critically assess the tools for monitoring private sector respect for human rights, and evaluate voluntary and non-voluntary approaches. Finally, we will consider the merits of the proposed international crime of ecocide and its potential to facilitate sustainable development and greater respect for human rights.


5,000 word essay = 90% of the total grade.

Seminar participation = 10% of the total grade