Module code: ENG1094

Module Overview

This module introduces basic macro and micro economic theory. Students are then introduced to environmental economics - the allocation of environmental resources under conditions of scarcity and market failure. The module also introduces students to ecological economics – that is an economics grounded in ecological realities - and situates these in the context of current debates about economics and sustainable development.


This module builds on the concepts of national development, economic and social progress, and economic welfare which were covered in the An Unequal Planet module and strengthens students’ understanding of how the economy functions and interacts with the environment.


This module is taught on an intensive basis, with classes running over a three / four week period. This intensive teaching format facilitates learning by allowing the student to really focus on the module content. It also assists with cohort development as students work closely together on collaborative tasks that develop their understanding of sustainable development challenges.

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

  • The definition of economics and rational behaviour,

  • Concepts of demand, supply, market equilibrium and economic efficiency

  • The competitive firm

  • Measuring economic welfare

  • The relationship between the environment and the economy

  • The different forms of capital (manufactured, financial, social, human and natural) and their interdependencies

  • Sources of market failure: Unintended consequences and the presence of externalities

  • Cost-benefit analysis

  • Economics of natural resources

  • The challenge of achieving a sustainable prosperity in a world of environmental limits

  • Growth theory and the dilemma of growth in advanced and developing economies

  • Corporate responsibility, corporate sustainability and sustainable business

  • Sustainable business models underpinning the transition to a sustainable economy

  • The benefits and opportunities companies can achieve in moving beyond compliance

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test Online Scheduled Summative Class Test (30 minutes) 40
Coursework Short answer questions 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the basic economic principles in Micro- and Macroeconomics and how these principles explain the allocation of scarce resources and consumption decisions. The assessment strategy provides students with the opportunity to reflect on current debates in economics and sustainable development, and the relationship between the environment and the economy.


The summative assessment for this module consists of:
- An online quiz worth 40% of the module mark.

- A coursework consisting of short answer questions worth 60% of the module mark 

Formative assessment and feedback:

Students receive verbal feedback during lectures. There are also seminar sessions during which exercises will be set relating to the lecture material. Students will receive verbal feedback and guidance on how these answers could be improved.


There will be a formative online quiz early in the module. This formative quiz will be similar in format to the online summative quiz held later in the module and will allow students to familiarise themselves with the nature of these assessments. Feedback will be provided on the individual questions as far as possible.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to core elements of economic theory
  • Introduce students to environmental economics
  • Introduce students to ecological economics
  • Provide an overview of key debates relating to the relationship between the economy and the environment

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain the nature of economics and rational maximisation CK
002 Explain how markets can help allocate scarce resources KC
003 Understand the principle of economic efficiency and why markets fail with regards to environmental issues KCPT
004 Acquire critical knowledge of valuation techniques used to measure benefits of policies or environmental damages KCPT
005 Familiarize with economic models concerning extraction of natural resources with sustainability KCPT
006 Understand the principle of economic efficiency and why markets fail with regards to environmental issues KCPT
007 Understand the dilemma of growth and engage in debates about sustainability CP
008 Understand the concepts of corporate responsibility, corporate sustainability and sustainable business K

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:

  • Enhance students’ understanding of the prevalence of economic problems, resource allocation and decision making in everyday circumstances.


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures and class discussions (11 hours)

  • Captured content (11 hours)

  • Seminars (11 hours)

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: ENG1094

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, in line with the Surrey Curriculum Framework. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Sustainability: Understanding how the economy functions and interacts with the environment is core knowledge required for understanding sustainable development. In this module students develop their knowledge of economics and the relationship between the environment, society and the economy. Students learn the importance of sustainability practitioners achieving a balance between economic, social and environmental needs.   

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Environment and Sustainability BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2025/6 academic year.