Local-Global Innovation (Cornwall Research Seminar Series)

Module description

The University’s sustainability and circular economy research activity, defined in the very broadest sense, encompasses in excess of 200 research staff, working across many of our campuses, centres and institutes. This activity generates approximately a third of our research income across all disciplines.

At the forefront of this work is the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) on the Penryn campus: a £30 million interdisciplinary centre, pioneering research to provide solutions to problems of environmental change.

The Exeter Centre for Circular Economy (ECCE) has recently been established to carry out world-leading research in the field of circular economy, working closely together with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

By drawing on the specific expertise and strengths of the ESI and ECCE, and employing the Collaboratory methodology, which unites stakeholders to solve local or global problems, you will experiment with systemic approaches to collective social and environmental problem solving.  You will gain access to this lecture series and the latest research discoveries explained to you by the researchers working on live projects based on the Penryn and Streatham campuses and beyond. This module offers a unique opportunity for you to gain first hand access to cutting edge research which is working to solve sustainability challenges in the fields of science, technology, climate change, resource management and medicine.

This module will also prepare you for your dissertation, helping you to gain vital research insights and learn about research methodologies.

Full module specification

Module title:Local-Global Innovation (Cornwall Research Seminar Series)
Module code:BEP3040
Module level:3
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Steffen Boehm - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

In this module you will discover what it takes to conduct research within the sustainability and circular economy area and discuss local and global impacting research with leading academics from a range of disciplines.

You will attend a bi-weekly series of Local-Global Innovation seminars with an alternating focus between speakers and research paper discussions, and covering such topics as: Climate Change, Sustainable Futures, Humanities and Social Sciences, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Food Security and Land Research, Environment and Human Health, Earth Systems and Environmental Science.

Following each seminar you will then write short abstracts on the presented research, which will allow you to fine-tune your communication skills and increase your depth of understanding of the latest circular economy and sustainability research.

You will learn how to evaluate, synthesise and communicate cutting edge research to a wider audience. Writing clear, accurate and understandable summaries of long documents is frequently important in the workplace and this module provides a platform during which to develop this skill.


ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. read and discuss current research papers
  • 2. describe the breadth of research in sustainability and circular economy in the context of social and/or technological innovation
  • 3. explain the different approaches, the questions they address, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of the approach

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. categorise sub-disciplines of sustainability and circular economy, and analyse relevant facts and theory
  • 5. analyse and evaluate independently a range of research-informed literature and synthesise research-informed examples from the literature into written work
  • 6. identify and implement, with limited guidance, appropriate methodologies and theories for solving a range of complex problems in sustainability and circular economy
  • 7. with minimal guidance, deploy established techniques of analysis, practical investigation, and enquiry within sustainability and circular economy
  • 8. describe and evaluate in detail approaches to our understanding of sustainability with reference to primary literature, reviews and research articles

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. devise and sustain a logical and reasoned argument with sound, convincing conclusions
  • 10. communicate coherent arguments, evidence and conclusions using a variety of formats/media in a manner appropriate to the intended audience
  • 11. analyse and evaluate appropriate data and complete a range of research-like tasks with very limited guidance
  • 12. evaluate own strengths and weaknesses in relation to graduate-level professional and practical skills, and act autonomously to develop new areas of skills as necessary
  • 13. critically reflect on learning experiences and evaluate personal achievements

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 11Lectures/Seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 5Workshops
Independent Study 134Additional research, reading and preparation for module assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Discussion and Q&As during lectures/seminarsOngoing throughout the module AllOral feedback
Abstract one – trial500 words trial abstract1-4, 6, 8-13Written and Verbal feedback from tutor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Coursework: Abstract one 20500 words1-4,6,8-13Written and verbal feedback from tutor
Coursework: Abstract two30500 words1-4,6,8-13Written and verbal feedback from tutor and peers
Practical 40Research Poster, presentation and discussion4, 5, 7, 9- 12Written and Verbal
Contribution to discussion 10Evidence of contribution throughout the module3Peer

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Coursework: Abstract oneCoursework: Abstract one (20%)1-4,6,8-13July/August assessment period
Coursework: Abstract twoCoursework: Abstract two (30%)1-4,6,8-13July/August assessment period
Practical Practical (40%)4, 5, 7, 9- 12July/August assessment period
Contribution to discussionReflective Essay (10%)1-13July/August assessment period

Re-assessment notes

A student if deferred via a single component will be reassessed in that component only.

Syllabus plan

You will attend a bi-weekly series of Local-Global Innovation seminars.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core texts:

Muff K., (2014) The Collaboratory: A Co-Creative Stakeholder Engagement Process for Solving Complex Problems

Visser W., (2014) The Age of Responsibility: CSR 2.0 and the New DNA of Business

Additional reading material (primary literature/review articles) will be provided by seminar speakers after their talk and uploaded to ELE.



Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

As provided and recommended during classes and via ELE

Origin date


Last revision date