Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module PSYC3657: Environmental Psychology and Sustainability

Department: Psychology

PSYC3657: Environmental Psychology and Sustainability

Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap 90 Location Durham


  • • 60 credits from Level 2 Psychology


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • In this module you will learn about environmental psychology and sustainability. Specifically, you will learn about psychological theories and approaches that have been used to understand pro-environmental behaviour and sustainability. You will have the opportunity to develop your research skills and apply the theoretical concepts to address contemporary challenges.


  • This module examines the psychological theories and approaches that have been used to understand pro-environmental behaviour and sustainability, and considers how they can be applied to encourage change in these areas
  • Topics may vary from year to year but indicative topics are: environmental identity, individual and collective pro-environmental behaviour, sustainability, cross-cultural considerations and privilege, applications to the design of behavioural science interventions
  • The module will also cover related conceptual and historical issues in psychology

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Detailed knowledge of environmental psychology and sustainability including current theory and evidence
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to review critically and consolidate understanding of a coherent body of psychological knowledge
  • Ability to apply the knowledge and design interventions to address current challenges
Key Skills:
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Good IT skills in word processing
  • Ability to work independently in scholarship and research within broad guidelines

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

  • Students' acquisition of detailed knowledge will be facilitated by lectures which will include (break-out) small group work, audio-visual materials, discussions and reading lists
  • The weekly lectures will be hands-on and will include elements of small group work and student-led discussions, which will enable students to learn independently, share experiences, and apply the knowledge acquired from the lecture content to contemporary challenges
  • These modes of teaching provide students with detailed knowledge of the key theories and the skills needed to evaluate different theoretical positions in light of current evidence
  • The summative assessment will assess students' detailed subject knowledge
  • An assessment of the range, recency and appropriateness of sources will be included in the overall assessment of the summative assessment
  • The use of group discussions / small group work will ensure that students are exposed to a range of different theoretical positions, and encouraged to understand their inter-relations
  • Lectures and small group work will also give students the opportunity to interpret and evaluate the significance of empirical work
  • The summative essay assesses students' acquired knowledge of theoretical principles and empirical studies and their ability to organise and synthesise them coherently and critically in written form in response to a set question

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
2 hours lectures 10 1 per week 2 hours 20
Preparation and Reading 80
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 2500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:


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