module specification

LL6051 - Environmental Law (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Environmental Law
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
40 hours Guided independent study
80 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Research Project (2,500 - 3,000 words)
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday 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).


The module also aims to develop knowledge, research encourage good methodology in researching these topics.

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.

The module will include an overview of the legislative framework and policy considerations within a domestic and global context. This includes a consideration of UK 25 year environmental law plan.   LO 1 and 2

The emerging role of environmental principles including sustainable development, precautionary principle and environmental justice.  LO 1 and 2

Subject topics will include climate change and renewable energy, nature capital and conservation, the socio- political and economic aspects of environmental law and the Impact of non-state parties in environmental protection. Issues of environmental governance.  LO 1 and 2

The statutory regimes which regulate the pollution of land, air, water and domestic and international waste management.  LO 1 and 2

*University approach to sustainable development.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Learning & Teaching Strategy

Weekly 3 hour workshop. 

The sessions will introduce:

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 blackboard and IT resources;
Whole group questions and discussion.

Development of skills necessary to attain the module learning outcomes through:
Written and oral questions/answers designed to reinforce fundamental rules/principles/cases;
A range of step by step writing exercises;
IT tasks such as research of cases and statutes
Critical analysis
Legal writing

Blended Learning

Guidance on research sources and learning materials will be on blackboard  for use in directed private study and research preparation.

There will be required use of the professional legal databases, especially Westlaw and Lexis Library, for legal research as well as directed environmental websites

Opportunities for reflective learning/pdp

Each workshop 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 posted onto Weblearn.

As part of the course, students will write and present a research plan to the group, on which they will receive peer and tutor feedback. This feedforward will assist students in the completion of the summative assessment for the module.

Learning outcomes

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

2. Produce and present a well-structured research plan and detailed, critical report based on a topical environmental issue that evaluates and illustrates a contextual awareness of environmental law and interconnected policy considerations.

Assessment strategy

Research Project (2,500 – 3,000 words)

A critical research report on a chosen environmental topic, building on the formative presentation previously given. This will consist of a 2,500-3,000 word research paper that will demonstrate knowledge and contextualise principles of environmental law and policy related to a selected environmental topic.


Core Texts:
Bell, S. and McGillivray, D.  Environmental Law (OUP)

Other Texts:

Birnie, P., Boyle, A. and Redgwell, C (2018), International Law and The Environment, (OUP)

Sands, P (2018) Principles of International Environmental Law (Cambridge University Press)


Journal of Environmental Law
Law Quarterly Review


Electronic Databases:

Westlaw and Lexis Library