Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 20 Hours. 1 x 2 hour seminar per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment essay  3,000 words  50%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   exam  50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Identify the principal causes of the environmental crisis.
2. Distinguish between the traditional, sustainable development and ecological modernisation policy paradigms.
3. Describe and evaluate the traditional approach to environmental policy-making in Great Britain.
4. Identify the obstacles to achieving sustainable development and ecological modernisation in Britain.
5. Explain the processes of the politicisation of the environment in Britain.
6. Demonstrate ability to evaluate critically arguments concerning the greening of political parties in Britain.
7. Evaluate the utility of the concept of europeanisation as a conceptual tool for analysing the relationship between Britain and the EU in the field of environment policy.
8. Demonstrate through written work and in seminars an awareness and understanding of core theoretical concepts and exhibit the ability to apply those concepts to policy-making dilemmas.
9. Demonstrate through written work and in seminars knowledge of problems faced by policy-makers in key policy sectors such as energy, transport and GM foods.
10. Demonstrate through written work and in seminars knowledge of the relationship between different layers of government in the field of environment policy.
11. Evaluate the impact of europeanisation and devolution upon British environmental policy.

Brief description

The module will aim to provide students with an understanding of the policy challenges posed by environmental pollution and the ways in which British policy-makers have responded to those challenges.


This module adds to the Departmental provision in the area of British politics and policy-making. It complements existing provision in this area and allows interested students to gain specialist knowledge about the field of environmental policy-making in Britain, taking into account the impact of both EU membership and devolution upon environmental policy-making.


Seminar topics will include the following:

  • The environment as a policy problem.
  • The dirty man of Europe? The traditional paradigm in Britain.
  • This Common Inheritance ? Towards sustainable development?
  • New policy instruments and ecological modernization.
  • The party politicization of the environment.
  • The dirty main of Europe no longer? Evaluating the impact of EU membership upon British environmental policy.
  • Globalisation, europeanisation and localisation ? the dispersal of governance in environmental policy-making.
  • Policy and Pressure Groups Case Study 1: Transport Policy
  • Policy and Pressure Groups Case Study 2: Energy Policy
  • Policy and Pressure Groups Case Study 2: GMOs

Transferable skills

Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas. Throughout the module, students should practice and develop their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as self-management. In seminars students enhance and develop their analytical skills and practice listening, explaining and debating skills. Oral and written skills will be developed through seminar presentations, discussions and written assignments. Essay writing encourages students to practice independent research, writing and IT skills and the examination will test these skills under time constraint conditions. Personal initiative will be encouraged through the involvement of students in the selection of case studies for seminar discussion. Students will also be expected to work in groups, both in terms of seminar preparation and in seminar discussions. Transferable skills will be developed through the use of information technology, the use of various research resources and techniques, as well as the requirement to present work in a consistent and scholarly manner. Computer literacy will be facilitated by the extensive use of websites related to the topics covered in this module.


This module is at CQFW Level 7