ENVIRONMENTAL LAW IN ACTION (HE5) - 2025/6

Module code: LAW2049

Module Overview

This module will require students to engage and refine key skills developed in the first year of their degree and to apply those skills at a more advanced level. The key skills include legal research (including using digital research tools), case reading, critical thinking and analysis, precision in the use of language, effective and accurate communication, and time management.

This course aims to develop a knowledge of the principles of environmental law together with a critical awareness of societal context, legal policy, enforcement and jurisprudential issues which shape this area of law.

It will enable students to grasp the key characteristics of environmental law in action. They will be able to handle complex problems of pollution of the environment involving corporate and private interests. The contextual relationship between national environmental law, international law and European Union law will be understood.  They will also have an understanding of the issues for the protection of the environment in developing countries

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

MALCOLM Rosalind (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 44

Seminar Hours: 33

Guided Learning: 40

Captured Content: 33

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None  

Module content

Subjects:


  • Context of Environmental Law

  • Biodiversity and Wildlife

  • Town & Country Planning/Environmental Impact Assessment

  • Regulatory Regimes

  • Environmental Offences and Sanctions

  • Cleaning Up Past, Present and Future Pollution

  • Environmental Information and Public Participation and the Right to a Clean Environment

  • Using the Precautionary Principle

  • Providing Clean Water and Sanitation


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 3,000 WORD COURSEWORK 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

  The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate: that they have achieved the module learning outcomes and, by association, developed employability skills, digital capabilities, and resourcefulness and resilience in addition to the other stated module attributes.

  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • One 3000 word coursework (100% of module weightage) where students have to answer two questions (one each from two separate sections) designed to mirror the complex issues typical in environmental contexts.



  Formative assessment


  • Informal formative assessment consisting of tutor and peer feedback is conducted throughout the module during the case studies when students have the opportunity to engage in presenting their prepared debates or presentations or role plays in response to set tasks. Students will also be set one formal assessment prior to the final summative assessment. The formal formative assessment is intended to develop students’ research skills and to practise drafting key arguments for a research essay.



  Feedback


  • Informal tutor and peer feedback provided during seminars

  • Formal written feedback and indicative classification provided by tutors for formative assessment

  • Verbal feedback provided by a member of module teaching team by appointment for further clarification of feedback



 

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 the protection of land, water and wildlife and biodiversity
  • To critically assess the role of law in solving problems of environmental pollution

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the key characteristics of environmental law in action.  KC
002 Be able to handle complex problems of pollution of the environment involving corporate and private interests. KCPT
003 Have critical awareness of the policy context for environmental law CPT
004 Have critical understanding of the role of EU and international law in the operation of environmental law KCPT
005 Demonstrate an ability to analyse and discuss in a reasoned and cogent manner the principles of environmental law CT
006 Apply the principles of environmental law so as to be able to propose and evaluate alternative solutions to practical fact based problems CPT
007 Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in written and oral form T
008 Be able to present legal information effectively, according to accepted practice and convention CPT

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:

Ensure that students achieve the stated module learning outcomes and develop competencies through their learning that will enhance the University’s core educational objectives of employability, digital capabilities, global and cultural intelligence, and resourcefulness and resilience.
Introduce topics, with particular emphasis on key areas of the syllabus, through the use of case studies, debates, news clips, current affairs, TV programmes and films, and mock planning inquiries
Facilitate a more detailed study of the syllabus by directed independent study of selected legislation, case law and other texts and directed preparation of focussed seminar questions for debate, discussion, group and individual presentation or role play
Enhance students understanding and critical awareness by group discussion during seminars
Facilitate students research and study skills through the preparation of written formative coursework

Where the opportunity arises, engage with the essay, publication and mooting competitions run by the UK Environmental Law Association

The learning and teaching methods include:

Seminars (3 x 11 hours).  Seminars will take place in 3 hour blocks on a weekly basis.

Debates, group exercises, and role plays such as mock planning inquiries will form a key element of the teaching and learning strategy.  These will be set around case studies selected because of their local, national or international interest and topicality. The module starts with an opportunity for students to select their own case studies which will be presented to the class and then debated by the whole class.  Where relevant current topics (such as Conference of Parties negotiations or House of Commons Committee hearings) are taking place during the module these will be integrated as case studies on an ongoing basis.

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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW2049

Other information

Sustainability: Students will develop a critical understanding of the principles of environmental law and the wider context to identify areas for reform for future generations.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Students are exposed to national and international issues that cross cultures and communities.

Employability: Students will acquire and be assessed on skills that will be directly applicable to areas of professional practice and vocational training.

Digital Capabilities: Students’ digital capabilities will be developed through use of online content to support their learning and their engagement with University online learning platforms.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: The requirement for independent research in this module will develop students’ confidence and ability to develop as autonomous learners and to take ownership of their study.

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
Law LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Law and Technology Pathway) LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Philosophy, Politics and Law Pathway) LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Law, Environment and Sustainability Pathway) LLB (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.