GY455      Half Unit
Economic Appraisal and Valuation

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Simon Dietz PEL.10.01D, Prof Susana Mourato S503 and Dr Eugenie Dugoua S421D


This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MPhil/PhD in Accounting, MSc in City Design and Social Science, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change, MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation, MSc in Local Economic Development, MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies, MSc in Risk and Finance, MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

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 concerned with the foundations and practical use of applied economics in the context of project appraisal and policy evaluation. Course content will be drawn from the following. Introduction to economic aspects of project appraisal and cost-benefit analysis. Efficiency, equity and distributional concerns. Measurement of costs and benefits with a specific emphasis on practical methods to value non-market goods and services. The use of appraisal and evaluation in policy processes. The application of project appraisal and policy evaluation methods to policy sectors such as transport, health and the environment. Seminars and lectures will focus on applied case studies and the tools involved in the appraisal of projects. Examples particularly from environmental, health, development and transport policy in the developed and developing world.


12 hours of lectures and 8 hours of seminars in the LT.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists will be provided to support each course component. Emphasis will be placed on texts, case study material and state-of-the-art contributions to, for example, the literature on non-market valuation. For an overview and introduction to the main issues covered by the course, students may wish to consult the following: G Atkinson and S Mourato, "Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Environment", OECD Environment Working Paper No. 97; G Atkinson et al. (2018) Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Environment: Further Developments and Uses, 2018; AE Boardman et al, Cost-Benefit Analysis: Concepts and Practice, 2018 (chapters 1 and 2). 


Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the LT.

A 4000 word essay linked to real-life examples of economic appraisal and valuation

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 27.2
Merit 49.8
Pass 21.4
Fail 1.6

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2018/19: 100

Average class size 2018/19: 20

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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