Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 2h lecture/seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Negotiation exercise  20%
Semester Assessment An essay of 3000 words  80%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should:

  • have aquired knowledge about the courts in England and Wales
  • have developed their abilities of comparative analysis of a range of compliance mechanisms
  • have a critical appreciation of principles which form the basis of much of the environmental legislation that students will come to study
  • know the processes through which law is created in England and Wales
  • be able to discuss the range of categories of law in England and Wales
  • be aware of the social changes in society that have influenced the development of environmental thinking.


The module will cover a number of different areas of law: processes; categories; legislative tools; theories and principles. It may appear that there is little to link some areas of law together, however, the assessment title is designed to draw in the various strands from each area.

In the law making process the very first stage must be the idea that something requires legislative action. Another part of teh module explores the evolution of teh way in which society has viewed environmentalism. Environmental legislation is usually based upon some founding principles; these are explored in the final part of the module, providing students with international, European and domestic examples of these principles. Once it is decided that action is required in the environmental field, thought must be given to the most appropiate means of achieving the desired result. Should the market be left to find the solution of should the legislator intervene with strictly enforceable targets? The module will explore the alternatives. If legislation is the method chosen, how does the executive get its ideas through Parliament and how will the Courts deal with it if it comes before them? The initial part of the module addresses these questions.

Brief description

Masters level module that introduces students to the legal system in England and Wales and focuses on environmental law.


The module aims to equip students with a science background with a basic understanding of aspects of the English Legal System to enable them to appreciate the framework in which environmental law operates. It will also provide students with knowledge about the theories and principles which underlie environmental law and policy and ways and means of creating laws that will achieve environmental goals.

Students may subsequently build on their knowledge in the second semester by choosing subject/topic specific modules from the Distance Learning postgrauate degree offered by the Department of Law.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will be encouraged to actively participate in the interactive aspects of the lectures. Their written communication skills will also be developed through the assessment.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students should throughout the duration of the course build upon their learning and performance. This will be facilitated through their own reading and research as well as exercises in lectures.
Information Technology Students will need to use IT resources for research and to produce their essays.
Personal Development and Career planning N/A
Problem solving Environmental legal problems will be used as examples in lectures and in interactive exercises. it is proposed that the assessment will also include aspects of problem solving.
Research skills Students will be expected to carry out research in addition to the reading that is assigned. Students will need to carry out further research in order to be able to complete the assessment.
Subject Specific Skills To think critically about the legal system and how this functions viv-a-vis environmental law and environmental protection.
Team work Will be developed where students work in group on class exercises.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Bell & McGillivray (2005) Environmental Law Primo search Birnie and Boyle (2002) International Law and the Environmental OUP Primo search Wolf and Stanley on Environmental Law Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7