Skip to main content

Unit information: Environmental Law in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Environmental Law
Unit code LAWD30123
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Pieraccini
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)


Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one
School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Unit Information

This unit provides an opportunity for students to obtain an overview of the concepts used by law when tackling environmental issues, the sources of environmental law and the relative merits of deploying different legal tools. Students will consider environmental law primarily in the British and EU contexts; will consider a variety of regulatory approaches and enforcement issues from a theoretical and practical perspective and will look at a number of sectors to ground the various issues in empirical realities.

Although the emphasis is on EU law and national law, some sectors demand a consideration of international law aspects (climate change law).

Your learning on this unit

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  1. Identify, explain and critically discuss key environmental legal principles, environmental regulatory approaches and theoretical perspectives as well as the law related to selected environmental sectors (e.g. climate change, nature conservation, water pollution).
  2. Employ key environmental regulation concepts and theoretical insights to the analysis of environmental statutes and case law.
  3. Critically analyse environmental law through an in-depth discussion of the environmental sector(s) in question and provide a comparison of different environmental regimes and/or jurisdictions, where appropriate.
  4. Articulate general principles of environmental law through a synthesis of the law and reference to theories of environmental law.
  5. Provide a critical argument to evaluate the role of environmental law in the protection of the natural environment and prevention/mitigation of pollution.

How you will learn

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

How you will be assessed

1 x summative assessment: coursework with a specified word count (100%)

The assessment 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. LAWD30123).

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.