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Economics of Sustainable Development - ENV00030I

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Julia Touza-Montero
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

This course links both the theory and practice of economics with that of natural ecosystems. The programme aims to give students the opportunity to learn about the role that economics can play in the design and implementation of sustainable policies for ecosystem management.

On completion of this course, students will gain an understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of the environmental problems an appreciation of the interaction between ecology and economics; the means to develop expertise in the design and implementation of sustainable environmental policies.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

The aim of this module is to provide an understanding on the application of economic analysis to key topics in environmental sustainability and economic development, and to equip students with the knowledge and tools required to analyse and critically discuss the trade-offs between economic growth, social equity, and environmental sustainability. The module evaluates the relationship between macroeconomics policies, poverty and environment; the theory and measurements of sustainability beyond GDP; population-poverty-environment nexus; the effects of international trade and economic globalisation on the environment and development; the role of international environmental agreements; and green economy and climate change policies. Overall, this module will provide students interested in environmental economics and/or development economics a comprehensive introduction to these fields.

Module learning outcomes

After completing the module, you should be able to:

  • Apply core economic reasoning to applied topics in environmental sustainability.
  • Use insights from economic policy that can be used to address global environmental problems.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the socio-economic factors affecting the links between the macroeconomic environment and sustainable growth.

Present economic concepts and arguments that are relevant for development and poverty issues


Task Length % of module mark
2000 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
2000 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Four weeks turn-around time on write-up. Feedback is via a written feedback sheet showing comments by markers.

Indicative reading

There is no core textbook for the module. For the lectures dedicated articles and book chapters are to be read, which are indicated on lecture slides and the EARL within the VLE. An overview of most topics can be found in the reading list below.

  • Atkinson G., Dieztz S. and Neumayer E. (2014) Handbook of Sustainable Development. Edward Elgar. Second Edition.
  • Stiglitz J.E., Sen A., Fitoussi J.-P. (2009) Mis-measuring our lives. Why the GPD doesn't add up. New York: The New Press
  • Blewitt, J. (2014). Understanding Sustainable Development, Second Edition.Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN: 9780415707824.
  • Dresner, S. (2008). The Principles of Sustainability, Second Edition. Earthscan, London. ISBN: 9781844074969.
  • Robertson, M. (2014). Sustainability Principles and Practice. Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN: 9780415840187.
  • Hanley N., Shogren J.F., and White B. (2013)Introduction to Environmental Economics. Oxford University Press.
  • Goodstein E.S. and Polasky S. (2014) Economics and the Environment. Wiley.
  • Edwards-Jones G., Davies B., Hussain S. (2000). Ecological Economics . Blackwell.
  • Turner, Pearce & Bateman (1994) Environmental Economics. An Elementary Introduction. Harvester Wheatsheaf.
  • Pearce, D. and Turner, R.K. (1990) Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment. Harvester Wheatsheaf.
  • Faber, M, Manstetten, R. and Proops, J. (1996) Ecological Economics: Concepts and Methods. Edward Elgar.
  • Common, M. and Stagle, S. (2005) Ecological Economics: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press

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.