Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Economics


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • A Level Mathematics minimum grade A


  • Principles of Economics (ECON1011) OR Introduction to Economics (ECON1101)

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To facilitate students' understanding of evolving approaches to how economists analyse environmental issues as well as contribute to decision-making about the environment and intergenerational equity. Students will be made aware of the limitations of economic approaches in the real world.


  • A range of material is covered at an introductory level with emphasis on topics such as:
  • Economics of sustainability: intergenerational equity, discount rates, interdisciplinary approaches to environmental issues
  • Growth and the Environment: limits to economic growth and technology.
  • Green accounting and environmental indicators.
  • Welfare economics.
  • Environmental valuation.
  • Analytical tools, e.g. cost-benefit analysis, cost effectiveness and alternatives.
  • Economic efficiency and markets, market failure, externalities.
  • Instruments of pollution control policy: environmental standards, taxes, tradable permits.
  • Criteria for evaluating environmental policies.
  • Resource economics: renewable and non-renewable.
  • Energy economics.
  • Global environmental problems: Climate change, biodiversity loss, land use, world fisheries, urban-rural tensions.
  • Topics in the economics of sustainability and policy solutions.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understand how Economics can help to assess and solve environmental problems
  • Be able to formulate environmental policy recommendations
Subject-specific Skills:
  • How to use economic tools and mathematical and graphical analysis for the solution of environmental problems
Key Skills:
  • Written Communication. - e.g. through summative assessment.
  • Initiative e.g. by searching relevant literature and information in preparation for assessed work

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching is by lectures and seminars. Learning takes place through attendance at lectures, preparation for and participation in seminar classes, and private study.
  • Formative assessment is by one 3000-word long essay-based assignment in term 2; and a contribution to a group presentation.
  • Summative assessment is by means of a written examination to test students' knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 1 per week 2 hour 40
Revision Lecture 1 1 in term 3 2 hour 2
Seminars 7 2 in term 1, 5 in term 2 1 hour 7
Preparation and Reading 151
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One written examination 3 hours 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

One 3000-word long essay-based assignment in Term 2, and a contribution to a group presentation.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University