Module Identifier RS34620  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Mr Charles J Falzon  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   22 Hours 22 x 1 hour  
  Practical   60 Hours Practicals / Field Days. 6-day residential field course  
  Lecture   22 Hours 22 X 1 hour lectures  
  Other   60 Hours Residential study tour to a selected European region  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours Examination Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4  50%
Semester Assessment Assignment based on study tour Outcomes assessed: 4, 5  50%
Supplementary Exam2 Hours Students who fail this module will be required to re-take the element(s) that resulted in the failure   

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Describe the key stages in the development of the EU

2. Describe the structures and functions of the key institutions, and evaluate the extent of their powers

3. Identify and analyse the main environmentally-linked policy areas and relevant legislation and initiatives

4. Describe the link between such policy areas and their application at national and local levels, including national laws and regional schemes

5. Describe the how the EU seeks to support regions in addressing their environmental and social/cultural priorities

Brief description

This module describes and discusses the rationale and development of the European Union, and the structure and functions of its key institutions. Key social and economic policy areas with an impact on the environment will be discussed, including agriculture, fisheries, nature conservation and rural development.
It also examines some challenging themes including State of the Environment reporting, EIA, external programmes and enlargement of the EU. Some of the main social, economic and environmental initiatives are described, as are the processes of creating and implementing environmental law. The module also discusses how individuals, key institutions and governmental/non-governmental organisations can influence policy and law.

A one-week study tour to a European region serves as an introduction to the issues, and provides a 'real world' comparison to approaches in Wales. This takes place during the summer vacation immediately prior to the commencement of the third year.


Most people are unaware of the extent to which the European Union has influenced member states in developing their national legislation and policy frameworks, especially in the context of biodiversity and environmental conservation. The purpose of this module is to raise awareness and an understanding of the development and the scope of the European dimension in natural resource management.

Transferable skills

1. Independent project work
The assignment requires each student to complete an individual report based on his/her analysis of the issues raised during the study tour.

2. IT and information handling
The module relies heavily on a number of important websites as sources of information. These sites are complex and require careful consideration of the plethora of data available. One of the teaching sessions comprises a web search exercise as part of information gathering. The assignment must be word-processed.

3. Writing in an academic context
Students are expected to produce literate, well-reasoned arguments, based on analysis of issues raised by assignment and exam questions. An element of the assignment and examination marks will reflect the extent to which students structure their writing, and its style.

7. Self-management
The demands of this module are such that students are required to follow up issues in their time in order to grasp some of the issues. The assignment must be delivered within a given timescale.

Reading Lists

Anderson and Lieferink (1997) European environmental policy: the pioneers
Bell and McGillivray (2000) Environmental Law Blackstone
Gillies D (1999) A guide to EC environmental law Earthscan
Holder J (1997) The impact of EC environmental law in the UK

Web Page/Sites EU home page EU institutions Introduction to the EU Structural Funding Structural Funding Interreg LIFE Rural/Regional affairs Institutions/background European Court of Justice Birds Directive Habitats Directive State of the environment reporting Agricultural policy Agenda 2000 Nature Conservation policy Common Fisheries policy Enlargement of the EU


This module is at CQFW Level 6