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Introduction to Environment, Economics & Ecology - ENV00008C

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Marco Sakai
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19
    • See module specification for other years: 2017-18

Module summary

Sustainability economists believe that practical solutions to pressing environmental challenges, like climate change, require new interdisciplinary approaches that allow a more complete understanding of the complex interactions between economic, social and ecological systems. During the autumn term, students participate in seminars where they are introduced to a range of important contemporary sustainable research issues. Students can thus appreciate environmental problems in a holistic manner by locating issues in their wider environmental, social, economic and political context. Building upon these concepts, students are introduced during the spring term to the fields of ecological and environmental economics, as well as to some of the main concepts and theories related to the ecology-economy nexus. The second part of the module places an emphasis on practice, offering students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and examine real-life problems from micro and macro approaches. Students are taught how to operate a number of analytical tools used broadly in the academic literature, enabling them to distinguish the contexts in which each of these techniques can be applied, as well as to recognise their specific strengths and limitations. In addition, students develop their numerical and analytical capabilities, while they learn to identify possible policy interventions to address diverse environmental sustainability problems.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19 to Summer Term 2018-19

Module aims

The key objective of the second part of the module is to introduce students with little or no prior exposure to economics to the main theories and principles that are important to understand the interrelationships between economic, social and ecological systems. Moreover, the module seeks to:

- allow students to critically comprehend the divide between environmental and ecological economics, and to operate some of the analytical tools used commonly in each of these fields.

- introduce students to appropriate research methods used in the fields of environmental and ecological economics from both macro- and micro- perspectives.

- develop the student’s research skills, as well as their analytical and quantitative abilities


Module learning outcomes

By making a strong emphasis on practice, the student will gain an ability to examine the interactions between the economy, society and the environment with the use of several analytical tools. In specific terms, the student will acquire skills in preparing, processing, interpreting and presenting secondary data, as well as in analysing and synthesising this information critically. Furthermore, students will be able to grasp the main characteristic of some broadly used analytical tools and techniques (e.g. cost-benefit analysis and IPAT), and learn how to solve numerical problems using different computer based techniques.

Module content

Key topics in this module include, Environment-Economy Nexus, Sustainability Economics, Ecological Macroeconomics, Introduction to Cost-Benefit Analysis.


Task Length % of module mark
2000 word essay
N/A 45
2000 word research proposal
N/A 45
Contribution & Participation
N/A 10

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
3000 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Formative feedback on essay plan and annotated bibliography within 2 weeks of submission. On-going formative feedback in tutorials on for example, understanding and critical ability. Summative feedback on assessed work within 4 weeks of submission

Indicative reading

Daly, H. E. and Farley, J. (2011) Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications, 2nd ed., Island Press, Washington, DC, chapters 1 to 3.


The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.