module specification

LL6051 - Environmental Law (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Environmental Law
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
114 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Project 100%   A critical research project report on an approved environmental topic chosen by the student.
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

Environmental Law covers a wide range of concepts. It includes a consideration of the protection of natural resources through the traditional aspects of law but also through a range of principles and policy considerations.

Increasingly, the effectiveness of environmental protection requires a consideration of the impact of business, not only as part of the problem of environmental degradation, but also as part of the solution to the future protection of exhaustible natural resources.

Students will be able to explore a range of selected contemporary environmental issues including climate change and renewable energy. Issues of sustainable development are underpinned by aspects of environmental justice and will be considered from domestic and global perspectives.

Overall, the module will aim to contextualise environmental law within the wider constructs of socio-economic and ethical considerations.

This module aims to facilitate a critical approach to an understanding of environmental regulation and the policy through the exploration of contemporary issues at all levels of law and policy making (including the domestic, European and international).
There are many career opportunities within the environmental field including work as an environmental lawyer (public or private practice), public policy advisor, working within government agencies e.g. DEFRA or the Environmental Agency or for NGO’s such as Friends of the Earth.


The syllabus will be influenced by contemporary environmental issues and topics of interest selected for the research paper.

Introduction  LO1, LO2 and LO3
• An overview of the legislative framework and policy considerations within a domestic and global context
• UK 25-year environmental law plan

The emerging role of environmental principles  LO1, LO2 and LO3
• Sustainable development
• The precautionary principle
• Environmental justice

Contemporary issues in environmental law  LO1, LO2 and LO3
• Climate change
• Renewable energy
• Nature capital and conservation
• The socio- political and economic aspects of environmental law
• Impact of non-state parties in environmental protection
• Issues of environmental governance

The statutory regimes  LO1, LO2 and LO3
• Pollution of land, air, water
• Domestic and international waste management

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Learning and Teaching Strategy

Weekly two-hour lecture and one-hour seminar. 

The lecture will be used for:

• Dissemination of knowledge through an overview of each topic with detailed guidance on appropriate aspects;
• An introduction to relevant academic literature;
• Guidance on learning strategies;
• Use of WebLearn and IT resources;
• Whole group questions and discussion.

The seminar will be used for the development of skills necessary to attain the module learning outcomes through:

• Written and oral questions/answers designed to reinforce fundamental rules, principles and cases;
• A range of step-by-step analytical exercises;
• Problem solving;
• IT tasks, such as research of cases and statutes;
• Legal writing.

Blended Learning

All learning materials, previous examination questions and sample Q/A’s will be on WebLearn for use in directed private study.

Student engagement will be encouraged in both lectures and seminars through weekly use of WebLearn for access to all of the above materials.

There will be required use of the professional legal databases, especially Westlaw and Lexis Library, for legal research.

Opportunities for reflective learning/pdp

Each weekly seminar will contain space for students to reflect on what they have learnt in relation to the overall syllabus. There will be frequent feedback opportunities structured into the timetable and a range of sample answers posted onto WebLearn.


Students’ Study Responsibilities

The need for attendance, punctuality, preparation and engagement will be emphasised with particular reference to written and IT research, problem-solving, team-work, discussion, debate and critical awareness of the subject.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge on which to base a systematic evaluation of the key principles of environmental law and policy.

2. Demonstrate the ability to engage in effective research methods and methodology in relation to issues of environmental law.

3. Produce a critical report based on a topical environmental issue, that evaluates and illustrates a contextual awareness of environmental law and interconnected policy considerations.