NAT-30001 - Grand Challenges in Society
Coordinator: Richard I Waller Room: WSF23A Tel: +44 1782 7 33179
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733615

Programme/Approved Electives for 2021/22


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations

This module is only available to students taking BSc Natural Sciences and BA liberal Arts

Description for 2021/22

Every day we are made aware of new challenges and issues that require innovative approaches to providing solutions. Over the coming decades we will have to meet the demands of an expanding global population, accommodate migration and population movements, increase production of more nutritious and safer food and ensure that competition for resources does not lead to further conflict between nations and regions. We will also have to deal with the effects and impact of climate change, provide safe and sustainable cities for future generations, confront bio­security issues
and contain deadly infectious diseases. These are just some examples of grand challenges which face local, national, regional and global communities.
They are beyond the scope of a single academic discipline and require creative and innovative interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration in order to discover possible solutions. Created for both Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences students, this module will give you the opportunity to participate in stimulating critical discussion and generate ideas with
others from a different discipline and with different approaches. Grand Challenges in Society is a 15 credit module which runs in three-week cycles across two semesters, in the final year of your degree. Outstanding speakers, invited to Keele as part of the Grand Challenges Lecture Series, will provide the stimulation and seminars and a group project provide the opportunity for you to reflect, analyse, comment, pursue and present your own ideas and solutions to the Grand Challenges in Society

This module aims to:
enable students to apply interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches to real world, societal issues;
facilitate engagement with complex questions, both regional and global in scale;
provide the opportunity for students to engage in critical group discussion;
allow students, through interdisciplinary collaboration, to analyse and consider creative solutions to 'Grand Challenges' in society;
provide a forum which allows students to cultivate the ability to communicate complex ideas and concepts to lay audiences.

Intended Learning Outcomes

apply an interdisciplinary perspective to analyse and interpret world/societal issues
: 1,2
apply reflection and critical skills to a wide range of issues: 1
convey complex ideas to lay audiences in a variety of forms: 2
communicate reflective and critical ideas through advanced written and oral presentation skills
: 1,2
work with others to discover creative, innovative solutions to complex issues: 2
use a variety of evidence ­based analytical approaches to solve problems: 2

Study hours

20 contact hours in the form of lectures and seminars
40 hr Independent study - Library research and wider reading
54 hrs Preparation for Assessment 1 (Critique)
18 hours Preparation for Assessment 2 (Group vlog)
18 hours Preparation for Assessment 3 (Wiki)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Critique weighted 60%
Critical review/commentary based on 4 of the 'Grand Challenges' lectures
Students will be required to provide an analysis/critical review of no more than 2000 words encompassing a selection of three or four out of the Grand Challenges lectures.

2: Oral Presentation weighted 20%
Group vlog
Short group vlog (equivalent to 500 words) based around the cross-disciplinary analysis and resolution of a specific grand challenge.

3: Exercise weighted 20%
Publication of a "wiki" of no more than 500 words that will be either a blog entry, a `think pieceż, reflective diary entry, or summary review of a lecture designed for a lay audience.