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The University of Southampton

ENVS3013 Environmental Law and Management

Module Overview

This module will enable students to apply their understanding of environmental problems and assess potential solutions through the application of law, policy, and management. The lecture sessions will introduce and analyse the theoretical development and structure of a legislative and management theme, followed up with an assessment of the application the law and management through practical exercises and discussion of case studies. There will be a focus on what the legislation, policy and environmental management will mean to students when they are working with businesses, government (national and local), and the public after graduation. The over-riding philosophy of the module is to explore how the application of environmental management and enforcement of legislation can lead to positive environmental changes in the commercial and domestic sectors. The emphasis in this class will be on discussion and group exercises. Students will be encouraged to participate in debates at every opportunity as opposed to traditional lecture-based classes.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The need for both a multi-disciplinary and an interdisciplinary approach in advancing knowledge and understanding of Earth systems, drawing, as appropriate, from the natural and the social sciences
  • The terminology, nomenclature and classification systems used in environmental science
  • Issues concerning the availability and sustainability of resources, for example, the different value sets relating to the Earth's resources as commodities and/or heritage
  • The contribution of environmental science to debate on environmental issues and how knowledge of these forms the basis for informed concern about the Earth and its people
  • The contribution of environmental science to the development of knowledge of the world we live in
  • The applicability of environmental science to the world of work
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Recognising and using subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles
  • Analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, including prior research
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to complex and multidimensional problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts
  • Recognising the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for professional codes of conduct
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (e.g. textual, numerical, verbal, graphical)
  • Communicating appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical forms
  • Using the internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information
  • Identifying individual and collective goals and responsibilities and performing in a manner appropriate to these roles
  • Recognising and respecting the views and opinions of other team members
  • Evaluating performance as an individual and a team member
  • Developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (e.g. working independently, time management and organisation skills)
  • Identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development
  • Developing an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Planning, conducting, and reporting on environmental investigations, including the use of secondary data
  • Referencing work in an appropriate manner


This module opens with an introduction to and an explanation of basic legal concepts in relation to environmental management, but this module will not require a detailed academic understanding of law. The module will then progress to an investigation of environmental law in industry through the application of management techniques. The international standard ISO14001 will be the primary vehicle for this analysis, focusing on the development of policy statements, their application, and demonstration of legal compliance as a mechanism for the prevention of environmental or social harm. This will be followed by an investigation of the main international, national and local agreements that have shaped environmental law and policy, along with an introductory look at the key regulators, how they operate, and what penalties might arise for non-compliance. The law section of the module will investigate and interpret on a practitioners level the main themes of environmental law and policy. This will be broken down into the broad categories of atmosphere, waste, water, nature and land conservation. Whilst the content of the primary legislation and policy will be addressed, the emphasis will remain on what the regulations mean to the operation of companies and society and how they can lead to improved environmental performance on an industrial and societal level. Each theme will be explored to a higher level of scrutiny through the investigation of case studies. Students will be required to work in professional consultancy teams to develop and present an environmental policy statement to the board of directors of an organisation. The taught component of the module will then close with a wide scoping discussion session exploring the engagement of environmental policy and management in the public arena. The module content will address the following areas, supported by case study investigations: Introduction to Law & Policy Environmental Management Environmental Law Application of Environmental Law and Management Systems

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: - The lecture sessions will be delivered by the module lead plus guest speaker when appropriate - The case-study workshops facilitated by the module lead with contributions from assigned students. - Discussion seminar sessions facilitated by the module lead and led by assigned students. - The field visit session will involve the module coordinator and contributors guiding the students in groups around the operational site of an organisation to identify and analyse practices that require environmental regulation, and assess their compliance or level of noncompliance. - Directed theory reading. - Directed case study reading. - Individual and group assignments. - Private study. Learning activities include: - Attendance at and participation in lectures. - Participation in case-study workshops. The students will be divided into groups. Each group will be required to lead the discussions and analysis of the case studies in their pre-allocated session (e.g. waste law and management). - Participation in discussion seminars. All students will be given advance reading and expected to contribute to the discussion seminars - Debating techniques through engagement in the discussion seminars and the case-study workshops. - Participation in the identification and interpretation of environmental regulation compliance practices in an external organisation. - Professional consultancy team development and presentation. - Group-based research and presentations.

Completion of assessment task30
Wider reading or practice18
Practical classes and workshops6
Preparation for scheduled sessions8
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

ISO 14001 (2015). Environmental Management Systems- specification with guidance for use. 

Bell, McGillivray, Pederson, Lees and Stokes (2017). Environmental Law. 

All other useful information is web-based and links will be made available on the module blackboard site.. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Group Coursework 60%
Individual Coursework  () 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: ENVS2006


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

You will need to provide and wear your own suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source and costs will vary depending on your preference. You will be expected to purchase your own lunch and any additional refreshments. (clothing)

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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