Applied Environmental Economics

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Susana Mourato STC.503 and Dr Sefi Roth STC.421A


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Environment and Development and BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics. This course is available on the BA in Geography and BSc in Geography with Economics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

The number of students that can be accommodated is limited. If the course is over-subscribed, places will be allocated at the Department’s discretion and a waiting list may be created. For further details, please contact your relevant Programme Coordinator.

Course content

This course is an introduction to economic principles in the analysis of environmental change and natural resource use, and in designing appropriate policy responses. The first part of the course largely covers the concepts and tools of environmental economics, while the second part applies these concepts and tools to specific challenges for real world policy-making. Topics to be covered include: the evaluation of regulatory and market based instruments in controlling pollution; moral suasion and voluntary regulation; economics of natural resource use; economic growth, the environment and sustainable development; cost-benefit analysis and environmental valuation; economics of biodiversity and ecosystem services conservation; climate change economics; health and the environment; behavioural and happiness economics and the environment.


15 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 15 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce non-assessed coursework throughout the year that will include at least one essay and a series of quizzes, and may be asked to give class presentations.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists will be provided to support each course component. For an overview and introduction to the main issues covered by the course students may wish to consult the following: N Hanley and EB Barbier, Pricing Nature: Cost-Benefit Analysis and Environmental Policy, 2009; J Kahn, The Economic Approach to Environmental and Natural Resources, 3rd ed. 2005; B Field and M Field, Environmental Economics, 6th ed. 2012; DW Pearce, G Atkinson and S Mourato, Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Environment: Recent Developments, 2006; E Neumayer, Weak Versus Strong Sustainability: Exploring the Limits of Two Opposing Paradigms, 4th Edition, 2013.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words).

Student performance results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
First 42
2:1 42.5
2:2 12.7
Third 1.7
Fail 1.1

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2016/17: 84

Average class size 2016/17: 17

Capped 2016/17: Yes (85)

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills

Course survey results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 41%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)