Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3255: Deliberating the Environmental Emergency: The Citizens' Assembly

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 30 ECTS Value 15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks) and term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Alice Moseley (Convenor)

Dr Lise Herman (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


Over the past few years, the environmental emergency has become a central concern for youth strikers, activists and the general public, concern which in turn has captured media attention and sparked political responses. New forms of democratic engagement are emerging, such as the citizens’ assembly – a ‘mini public’ - whereby lay citizens are invited to formulate policy recommendations to governments on issues of public controversy. These have been in existence for around 15 years and more recently been advocated by Extinction Rebellion in connection with the climate emergency. This module takes an experiential learning approach, in which you acquire skills and knowledge about deliberative public engagement – a form of participatory democracy – by taking part in a student-based citizens’ assembly and engaging in critical reflection of the process. Depending on COVID restrictions, we envision all or part of the module to take place online, including the Citizen Assembly. We will follow best practice established through other Citizen Assemblies currently taking place during the COVID pandemic. This unique experiential and transdisciplinary module will offer you tools to understand the scientific and political ramifications of this ongoing crisis. The module does not require any prior subject specific knowledge.

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