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ECO2020 : Ecological Economics and Environmental Policy

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Matt Walker
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


To introduce the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of ecological and environmental economics and approaches to the economic analysis of environmental issues. Students will examine the economics of the biosphere, considering alternative schools of thought in which activity is either external or embedded in nature, with application to policymaking.

Outline Of Syllabus

An indicative list of topics that will be covered on this module is as follows: nature as an asset; market failure; common-pool resources; intertemporal fairness; limits to growth; sustainable development; environmental policy instruments (e.g., regulation, carbon pricing); optimal policy design; and global environmental problems (e.g., climate change and biodiversity loss).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture141:0014:00PiP lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion116:0016:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading133:0033:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Pip seminars. Seminars will be interactive and will allow students to apply their knowledge to discuss key concepts covered in the lectures and to analyze an environmental policy case study which will be examined in the assessment.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Pre-assessment clinic. Students are encouraged to discuss ideas and ask questions around the assessment.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study132:0032:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide a critical overview of key theoretical concepts and empirical evidence.

Seminars will be student-led and interactive to gain a deeper understanding of the methodological debates involved and the application of policy instruments.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2A1002,000 word take-home written exercise. Part A will be based on conceptual and theoretical underpinnings. Part B will be based on policy applications. Part C (10% of the overall mark) will be linked to seminar work.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MIn-class feedback during seminar activities. Written feedback on seminar group work. In-class feedback during pre-assessment clinic.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written exercise is designed to encourage independent study on a particular interaction between the economy and environment and enable application of theoretical concepts to practice. An environmental case study evaluated in one of the seminars will link directly into part of the assessment.

Reading Lists