GY465      Half Unit
Concepts in Environmental Regulation

This information is for the 2024/25 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Michael Mason, Dr Richard Perkins 


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 Regional And Urban Planning Studies, MSc in Regulation 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.

Course content

This course provides critical insights into the nature, dynamics and practice of environmental regulation. It 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.


15 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the AT.

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 Autumn Term.

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

Formative coursework

Students are expected to prepare one piece of formative coursework in the Autumn 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:


  • 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.


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

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

Student performance results

(2020/21 - 2022/23 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 34.5
Merit 53.4
Pass 12.1
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Geography and Environment

Total students 2023/24: 19

Average class size 2023/24: 7

Controlled access 2023/24: No

Value: Half 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