NS7915: Environmental Policy


Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

NS7915: Environmental Policy

Module Title Environmental Policy
Module Code NS7915
Module Tutor Janet Dwyer
School School of Natural and Social Sciences
CAT Points 15
Level of Study 7
Brief Description

The module develops understanding of the manner in which governance and policy is made and implemented within the arena of the environment. It allows students to evaluate agreements, legislation and policies at national, European and international levels. There is a focus on understanding policy formulation, planning processes and implementation in respect of key natural and socio-cultural resources, as well as evaluating policies’ effectiveness. The course encourages students to think about alternative paradigms of good governance and responsible leadership, in the specific context of the current global environmental challenges. Students can choose topics for their assignment which reflect their own specific policy interests and which complement other module choices.

Indicative Syllabus

This module examines the environmental policy frameworks within the UK, within Europe and internationally with specific reference to:


1. Legislation (supranational and national) on protected areas, nature conservation, landscape, spatial planning and common property resources

2. Governance models and policies to address climate change mitigation and adaptation, including regional and spatial planning

3. Water resources planning and management – water quality, quantity and the avoidance of pollution

4. The integration of environmental considerations into other areas of policy, including energy and land use (agriculture and forestry);


In addition, the module will examine the hierarchical structure of policy design and implementation, and consider the most effective methods for policy monitoring and evaluation. Of particular relevance will be an understanding of how nation states interpret and implement supra-national agreements and obligations, with reference to international and EU legislation.

Learning Outcomes

A student passing this module should be able to:


1. Critically evaluate the legislative and decision making processes and implementation frameworks for policies within specific national and international contexts


2. Concisely discuss and analyse significant legislation in key environmental policy areas and understand the relevant associated policy issues in a local-national-global relational context


3. Develop a critical awareness of the important structural changes in relation to sustainability issues within policy over the past twenty-five years, with particular reference to the environment


4. Be able to evaluate the conflicts and synergies between socioeconomic development and environmental protection and enhancement in a variety of contexts and situations


5. Analyse and thoroughly evaluate key aspects of EU and UK legislation and planning that affect public and private sector organisations, using diagnostic approaches which can illuminate cause and effect relationships


6. Independently update and extend their own knowledge and analytical capability in respect of policy developments, using reliable electronic sources.

Learning and Teaching Activities Scheduled Contact Hours: 24
Independent Learning Hours: 126
Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 20% Coursework: Individual, standard written: 1000 words or equivalent
002: 80% Coursework: Individual, standard written: 3000 words or equivalent
Special Assessment Requirements None
Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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