Surrey University Stag


Module code: ENGM061

Module Overview

The module provides study of the law relevant to environmental pollution.

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader

MALCOLM Rosalind (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: M200

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 115

Seminar Hours: 6

Tutorial Hours: 5

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Regulatory frameworks for environmental law at UK, EU and international level.

  • The civil courts: actions for damages

  • Criminal procedures and actions (roles of evidence, expert evidence, prosecuting and defending environmental claims, court-room scenario)

  • Enforcement and compliance (Environmental Liability Directive, water and waste laws)

  • Substantive pollution laws in outline at EU level e.g. water law, waste law, atmospheric pollution, biodiversity law, land use planning and environmental impact assessment.

  • Planning inquiries: practice and procedure, participative exercise.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate, in accordance with the Learning Outcomes, their acquired knowledge, critical awareness of the key principles and policies studied in this Module, their ability to evaluate and also to apply their acquired knowledge and critical awareness to the resolution of hypothetical legal problems. The assessment strategy also provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the way in which the legal system operates and how it deals with environmental pollution. The summative assessment for this module consists of a selection of case study critiques of legal problems and analysis of legal principle.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A coursework which will require the students to answer set questions.  They will have choice within the coursework as to which questions to select. (100% of module mark)

Formative assessment and feedback

  • The module takes place over an intensive week with extensive opportunity for feedback during the week. 

  • Advance reading is set and discussion takes place before and after the intensive week via Surrey Learn and individual email contact.

  • During the week small exercises are set for group discussion and feedback as preparation for the summative assessment

Module aims

  • To provide an understanding and critical awareness of the foundational principles of the legal system related to the protection of the environment in context
  • To identify and critically assess the framework of environmental law at UK, EU and international level
  • To critically assess the law relating to protection of land, air, waste, water and wildlife and biodiversity
  • To critically assess the role of law in solving problems of environmental pollution and in achieving compliance and enforcement.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the key characteristics of environmental law and be able to analyse and discuss in a reasoned and cogent manner the key principles of environmental law KC
002 Develop a critical awareness of the policy context for environmental law KCPT
003 Develop a critical understanding of the role of EU and international law in the operation of environmental law CPT
004 Be able to apply the principles of environmental law in order to propose and evaluate alternative solutions to practical fact based problems KCPT
005 Be able to present legal information effectively, according to accepted practice and convention PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide through seminars, court-room scenario exercises, use of videos and films, class exercises, a debate and a mock planning inquiry, an understanding of the way in which the legal system operates and how it deals with environmental pollution.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM061

Other information

The Centre for Environment and Sustainability is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

SustainabilityThis module develops critical legal thinking skills in the field of environmental law.  The environment is commonly considered to be one aspect in the problematic concept of sustainability although the module does not go beyond the study of law and the environment.  It approaches the study of this topic by examining the way in which law is constructed, applied, implemented and enforced. It covers procedural environmental law examining the sources of such law and the principles on which it may be based and applies them to substantive areas of environmental law such as water, waste, atmospheric pollution.  It approaches the core skill in this module of critical legal thinking by engaging in case studies, debates and moots.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Public Affairs MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Corporate Environmental Management MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Environmental Strategy MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Sustainable Development MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.