GY465      Half Unit
Concepts in Environmental Regulation

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Meredith Whitten and Dr Nora Sylvander


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 Regional And Urban Planning Studies, 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 GY420 Environmental Regulation: Implementing Policy or GY475 Issues in Environmental Governance.

Course content

This course provides critical insights into the nature, dynamics and practice of environmental regulation. It considers the rationale for policy intervention and the influence of different interest groups on environmental policy making. The course proceeds to examine the characteristics, design and performance of different policy instruments, together with the various influences governing policy implementation processes.


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

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

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

Formative coursework

Students are expected to prepare one piece of formative coursework in the Michaelmas Term: feedback will be provided..

Indicative reading

While there is no one single text that covers all aspects of the course, you are welcome 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.


Coursework (100%, 3500 words) in the LT.

The summative assignment will be a policy brief with critical reflection (3500 words).

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 46.5
Merit 48.8
Pass 4.7
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: 16

Average class size 2020/21: 4

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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