Environmental Regulation: Implementing Policy

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Richard Perkins, Dr Michael Mason, Dr Meredith Whitten and Dr Eugenie Dugoua.


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 the AT, the course considers different rationales for environmental regulation and the influence of different interest groups over public environmental policy making. The course proceeds to examine the characteristics, design, and performance of different policy instruments, together with various factors impacting policy implementation processes. The WT component is designed to highlight key issues in environmental governance. A basic premise is that governing sustainability transitions requires us to consider environmental decision-making and action by an increasingly diverse set of actors – including private ones. The themes covered in the WT illustrate the challenges, approaches, and tools of environmental governance by these actors: governing technological change, corporate social responsibility, sustainable finance, civil regulation, and international negotiations.


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 Autumn Term and Winter Term.


This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Autumn Term and Winter Term.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to prepare one formative piece of coursework in the AT. In the WT, students are required to give one presentation on an agreed topic.

Indicative reading

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


  • Bell, S., McGillivray, D., Pedersen, O., Lees, E., and Stokes, E. (2017). Environmental Law (9th edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Carter, N. (2018). The Politics of the Environment: Ideas, Activism, Policy (3rd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Randall, A. (2011). Risk and Precaution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


  • Barrett, S. (2005). Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of Environmental Treaty-Making. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Blowfield, M. and A. Murray (2019). Corporate Responsibility: A Critical Introduction (4th edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cato, M.S., (2022). Sustainable Finance: Using the Power of Money to Change the World. Berlin: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer Cham.


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

The WT summative coursework will be a policy brief, based on the material taught in the AT.


Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 37.2
Merit 56.1
Pass 6.8
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Geography and Environment

Total students 2022/23: 40

Average class size 2022/23: 13

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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