Applied Environmental Economics

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Eugenie Dugoua STC421D, Prof Susana Mourato STC.503 and Dr Sefi Roth STC.421A


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics. This course is available on the BA in Geography, BSc in Accounting and Finance, BSc in Economic History and Geography, BSc in Environment and Development, BSc in Geography with Economics and BSc in Psychological and Behavioural Science. 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.


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures, in-person lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures across Michaelmas Term and Lent Term.


This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term and Week 6 of Lent Term. 

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 summer exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words).

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
First 59.8
2:1 31.1
2:2 8.2
Third 0.5
Fail 0.5

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2019/20: 84

Average class size 2019/20: 17

Capped 2019/20: Yes (85)

Value: One 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