Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
Mutually Exclusive
ES30310 module is not available to students taking a Law Degree
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 22 Hours.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   100%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   2 hour written examination 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should:-

  • have gained a basic knowledge of the workings of the UK legal system and its relationship to European and international law;
  • have gained a selected knowledge of the substantive legal framework that governs the regulation of the built and natural environment in the UK;
  • have gained a selected knowledge of the Environmental Impact Assessment procedures that allows anticipated impacts on the built and natural environment to be considered;
  • be able to detail the relationships between the conceptual frameworks that underpin environmental law and some of the resulting statute and case law;
  • be able to demonstrate their ability to critically analyse the substance, structures and application of environmental law and Environmental Impact Assessments;
  • be able to situate their knowledge of the legal rules and principles of UK environmental law within a wider legal and social context;
  • be able, where appropriate, to appreciate comparative approaches to the regulation of the environment;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the difficulties that arise in translating environmental and scientific issues into legal rules and principles.


This module aims to introduce students to selected aspects of the legal rules and principles governing the regulation in the UK of the built and natural environment. It also considers Environmental Impact Assessment which allows the prediction of likely damage to the built and natural environment due to proposed developments to be taken into account in decision making.

In addition to gaining knowledge of substantive UK environmental law, the module will examine some of the underlying policy issues related to environmental protection. Students will be expected to develop critical perspectives on substantive legal issues by considering the complex social, economic and political context in which these rules and principles exist. Because the course is delivered solely by 22 x 1 hour lectures, students will be expected to develop a deeper understanding of the subject, and the issues it raises, through independent learning and research that builds upon the recommended readings provided.


  1. Law - Habitual Normative Behaviour, Legal Principles and Hierarchies of Rules
  2. Elements of the UK Legal System in its Social and Legal Context
  3. The Sources and Principles of Environmental Law
  4. Nuisance and The Historical Failure of Common Law to Protect the Environment
  5. Introduction to Institutional Arrangements, Environmental policies and Principles
  6. The Range of Legal Techniques Used in Environmental Law
  7. Pollution on Land
  8. Water Pollution
  9. Air Pollution
  10. Assessing the Effectiveness of Law in Terrestrial Habitat Conservation
  11. Approaches to the Conservation of the Marine Environment, and the Problems Encountered
  12. Planning law and environmental impact assessment
  13. Explaining the value of Environmental Impact Assessment
  14. Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment
  15. EIA in the UK - the difference between an ideal process and EIA regulations
  16. EIA - deciding whether it is necessary?
  17. EIA - deciding what issues should be covered?
  18. The Environmental Impact Statement
  19. Maintaining quality in Environmental Impact Assessment
  20. EIA methods - how can you do it?
  21. EIA outside the UK
  22. Strategic Environmental Assessment - the impacts of policies, plans and programmes

Reading List

John Alder & David Wilkinson (1999) Environmental Law and Ethics Macmillan Primo search John Glasson, Riki Therivel & Andrew Chadwick (1999) Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment UCL Press Primo search John McEldowney and Sharon McEldowney (2001) Environmental Law & Regulation Blackstone Press Primo search Stuart Bell & Donald McGillivray (2000) Ball & Bell on environmental law: the law and policy relating to the protection of the environment Blackstone Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6