ENVP10010 Environment Change & Policy

Academic Year 2023/2024

The aim of this module is to introduce students to processes of environmental change and to explore how policy-makers have responded to these challenges. The module has three primary components: firstly, it will examine key environmental challenges facing society at a range of spatial scales. This will introduce you to a range of issues, from global environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss, to more local concerns such as environmental quality, land use change and various forms of pollution. Secondly, the module will consider the relationship between environment and society. This will include an exploration of the changing ways society has viewed or valued the environment and will also chart the emergence of environmentalism as a political force. Thirdly, the module will outline the policy response to environmental change. This component of the module will introduce students to the broad concept of sustainable development and will also provide an overview of various forms of policy instruments to address environmental challenges.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On the successful completion of the course, you should be able to:

Demonstrate an understanding of key environmental challenges at a range of spatial scales;
Outline the changing relationship between nature and society;
Describe and explain the rationale for environmental policy;
Examine the key instruments for environmental policy;
Begin to develop critical reading, presentation and writing skills.

Indicative Module Content:

Indicative Topics Covered
1. Sustainable Development
2. Human and Physical Environment
3. Ecosystem Services
4. River Management
5. Climate Change
6. Urban Environments
7. Transportation
8. Desertification
9. Deforestation
10. Energy
11. Waste Management
12. European Union Environmental Policy
13. Policy Formulation

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The key teaching and learning approaches used in this module include group work; traditional lectures; critical writing; workshops and student presentations. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
PEP30120 - Topics in Urban & Reg Planning

Env Change & Policy (GEOG10070), Environment Change & Policy (PEP10090)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Assessments linked to workshops Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Group Project: Group Project and presentation on topical environmental issue Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire: End-of-term online MCQ End of trimester MCQ n/a Graded No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire: Mid-term online MCQ Unspecified n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be delivered for each of the assignments. In-class feedback will be provided on the group presentations.

Baker, S. (2015), Sustainable Development. Routledge: London.

Brereton, F., Clinch, J. P., Ferreira, S., ; (2008) 'Happiness, geography and the environment'. Ecological Economics, 65 (2):386-396

Brereton, F., Bullock, C., Clinch, J.P. and Scott, M., (2011). “Rural change and individual well-being: the case of Ireland and rural quality of life”, European Urban and Regional Studies, Vol. 18(2): 203-207.

Convery et al, 2007. The Most Popular Tax in Europe, Environmental and Resource Economics, 38 (1):1-11.

Dunne, L and Clinch, P (2001), “A theory of the impediments to environmental tax reform”, Environmental Studies Research Series; ESRS/01/14, Dublin.

Gaffney, M and Harmon, C (2007), “Evidence-based policy making : getting the evidence, using the evidence & evaluating the outcomes”, Conference Proceedings of National Economic and Social Forum, NESF: Dublin, pp. 6-11.

Middleton, N. (2013). The Global Casino: An Introduction to Environmental Issues, Fifth Edition, Routledge, London.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Biodiversity synthesis. Washington DC, World Resources Institute.

MEA. Ecosystems and Human Well-being. Desertification Synthesis. USA. 2005.
Name Role
Dr Luke Kelleher Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Francesco Pilla Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 10:00 - 11:50