Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 x 2 hour lecture per week
Lecture 1 x 1 hour lecture per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Written examination  100%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Written examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Evaluate the application of economic principles to contemporary environmental policy issues

2. Discuss the causes of market failure relating to environmental issues;

3. Evaluate the effectiveness of a range of policy instruments for the environment;

4. Discuss and evaluate methodologies for environmental valuation;

5. Discuss the framework of rural policy in the United Kingdom and Western Europe;

Brief description

The module is designed to provide an introduction and comprehensive overview of concepts of rural and environmental economics and policy to students who are not specialists in economics. The module will be delivered through two parallel content streams: students will study both streams. The first stream will focus on economic theory that underlies rural and environmental policies, while the second stream will present further details on past and current policy interventions.

In the first stream, basic concepts in economic theory are introduced, so that understanding is developed of how markets are supposed to achieve economically efficient allocations and why, when they fail to do so, environmental degradation often results. The module then explores how governments might intervene to address environmental issues, and evaluates the effectiveness of a range of policy instruments including command-and-control instruments and incentive-based instruments. The module also explores why economists attach importance to the monetary valuation of environmental goods and services, and provides a critique of techniques for doing so. Finally, we explore how such values might be incorporated into cost-benefit analysis and policy appraisals.

In the second stream, details of both UK and EU rural and environmental policies are presented. First, a historical review of the origins of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are presented, followed by a discussion on the case for reforming the CAP. Other environmental policies are then introduced including nature conservation, and sustainable rural development policies.


Basic micro economic theory
Market failure and externalities
Policy instruments for the environment
Valuation of the environment
Policy appraisal

History of the Common Agricultural Policy
Reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy
Nature conservation policies
Sustainable rural development policies

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Analysis of economic principles require numerical skills
Communication Students will be required to write using appropriate economic terms and to communicate their understanding of economic concepts as they apply to rural issues.
Improving own Learning and Performance
Information Technology
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving Students will be required to apply economic principles to solve economic problems.
Research skills
Subject Specific Skills Economic principles applied to a rural context
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 5