Environmental Regulation: Implementing Policy

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Eugenie Dugoua, Dr Nora Sylvander, Dr Michael Mason and Dr Meredith Whitten


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation and MSc in Environmental Policy, Technology and Health (Environmental Policy and Regulation) (LSE and Peking University). This course is available on the MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change, MSc in Environmental Policy, Technology and Health (Environment and Development) (LSE and Peking University), MSc in Environmental Policy, Technology and Health (Environmental Economics and Climate Change) (LSE and Peking University), MSc in Local Economic Development, MSc in Regulation, MSc in Risk and Finance and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). 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.

This course cannot be taken with GY465 Concepts in Environmental Regulation or GY475 Issues in Environmental Governance.  

Course content

This course provides critical insights into the characteristics, processes and evolving dynamics of environmental policy, regulation and governance. In MT, the course considers the rationale for public policy intervention, and the factors that shape the influence of different interest groups over government policy making. It proceeds to examine the nature, design and performance of different policy instruments, together with the various influences governing policy implementation processes. In LT, the course highlights key themes in environmental regulation informed by the concept of multi-level governance. This concept suggests new alignments and forms of regulation within and across state borders: the themes chosen to explore this concept include governing technological change, international negotiations, governance beyond the state, and different rationalities of regulation (science, ethics and justice).


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 seminars and lectures across both Michaelmas Term and Lent Term.


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

Formative coursework

Students are expected to prepare one formative piece of coursework in the MT: feedback will be provided. In the LT, students are required to give one presentation on an agreed topic: feedback will be provided.

Indicative reading

While there is no one single text that covers all aspects of the course, you are encouraged to consult the following:


  • J Holder and M Lee (2007) Environmental Protection Law and Policy (2nd edition), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press;
  • N Carter (2018) The Politics of the Environment: Ideas, Activism, Policy (3rd edition), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press;
  • S Bell, D McGillivray, O Pedersen, E Lees and E Stokes (2017) Environmental Law (9th edition), Oxford: Oxford University Press.


  • A Gupta and M Mason (eds.) (2014) Transparency in Global Environmental Governance, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press;
  • A Randall (2011) Risk and Precaution, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press;
  • S Barrett (2005) Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of Environmental Treaty-Making, Oxford: Oxford University Press;
  • S Piattoni (2010) The Theory of Multi-level Governance, Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Coursework (50%, 3500 words) in the LT.
Take-home assessment (50%) in the ST.

The LT summative coursework will be a policy brief with critical reflection, based on the material taught in the MT.


Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 40.2
Merit 51.3
Pass 8.5
Fail 0

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 63

Average class size 2020/21: 16

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication