How I picked my unusual module: Introduction to Environmental Economics
At the end of first year, all first year chemists (don’t know about others) got an email from the undergraduate office regarding a business module that we could pick for second year. This module is indeed relevant because chemistry is very interdisciplinary and especially those who may be considering working in industry would benefit from an understanding of the business aspect of it, I’d imagine. I don’t really know what the business module specifically entails because I chose not to do it. I did, however, email our Director of Student Experience to ask if I could do a module in another subject and found out that you can do a module in any subject!
My first desire was to do the law module – LA366 Global Intellectual Law and Property. This is due to the possibility of becoming a patent attorney after completing my degree. After much emailing around, however, I found out that the module was oversubscribed. This was disappointing but given that I love learning about other disciplines, I was certain that I really wanted to do a module in another field and something greatly unrelated to science.
I knew I really enjoy politics and economics so I started checking out their webpages to see if I could find a module that I liked. As you can imagine, it seemed very technical and as someone who sometimes has to read the ‘The Market Mogul’ articles several times to understand them, I was not feeling very confident about studying a module outside of my (somewhat) comfortable world of chemistry. Nevertheless, I went for it and the EC138 module ‘Introduction to Environmental Economics’ sounded like just the module for me. With issues like air pollution, plastic waste, and climate change, we need to start caring for the health of the environment better. This module was 100% coursework, didn’t have any prerequisites and worth 15 CATS which indicated that the workload would be somewhat OK (at least I wouldn’t be drowning in fear).
In terms of how I did all the formal paperwork to get this beauty on my Tabula, here is the procedure:
- Requested the undergraduate office to send me an Unusual Module form
- Filled in the form.
- Needed signature of my personal tutor: discussed my first year results, motivation to do the module, and was warned to basically not screw up. My personal tutor signed it and also gave me tips and advice.
- Needed signature of the Student’s Chairman of the Department. She was very encouraging as well and signed it.
- Needed signature of the module organiser in the teaching department. This was probably the first time I stepped into the social sciences building and managed to get lost and then found the module leader. We discussed seminar sessions, content, scope and any prerequisites. I got the signature on my form.
- Submitted the form at the undergraduate office.
This all I did in a couple of hours so it is not too much work to get things organised. The module did take a while to appear on Moodle. In my year, the deadline for unusual module form submission was term 1 week 2 where I had begun my research into my module as soon as first year finished. Choosing economics was a last minute decision though because I was waiting for law module registration to open all summer only to miserably fail in September. But looking back, I am so happy with my choice considering how much I have enjoyed it. I am not too confident with the assessments because I don’t think I can write as well as the economists or formulate policies or indeed think like them. They have a different perception and they’ve had practice thinking like this all this time and I haven’t – my excuse if I fail. Nevertheless, I loved it and yes it meant more work but it was all worth it in the end!!
Everything in bold are the main criteria you may wish to consider before choosing an unusual module. Of course, all of them are subject to change therefore make sure to do your research.
Good luck with the upcoming exams and those who are finished, have a lovely time!