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Unit information: Environmental Law in 2021/22

Unit name Environmental Law
Unit code LAWDM0013
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Pieraccini
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit explores the foundations of environmental law by critically examining key environmental concepts, institutions and regulatory approaches to protect the environment and promote sustainable development. Topics studied include sustainable development and environmental principles, direct (command and control) regulation and alternatives, adaptive management of natural resources and the role of different actors (from regulators, to NGOs to the Courts) in environmental decision-making. Selected environmental sectors, including climate change and biodiversity law, are analysed to provide concrete examples of the ways in which the various principles and approaches are operational. Adopting a multi-level governance perspective, examples are provided from international law, EU law and domestic law. A law-in-context approach will be endorsed reflecting on how the law is shaped and is shaping policy, politics and contributing to environmental justice.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, students are expected to:

  1. Critically identify and understand environmental law concepts, principles and approaches;
  2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the different styles of regulation used in environmental
  3. Demonstrate a law-in-context understanding environmental regulation;
  4. Demonstrate the capacity for in-depth critical analysis of legal provisions related to selected sectors under study

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Information

2 x summative assessments: 2 x coursework with a specified word count (50% each).

The assessments will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. LAWDM0013).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.