Environmental Sustainability-An Introduction - HECO3040

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2021 to 2022.


Economic growth and consumerism are threatening our planet and the future of human kind. This module provides a comprehensive introduction to environmental sustainability, using a strongly interdisciplinary approach based on environmental science and economics. In Part 1, we define environmental sustainability and explain how environmental sustainability can be assessed in relation to renewable resources, non-renewable resources and pollution. We consider the main threats to environmental sustainability such as climate change, pollution and resource exploitation and how they arise from the economic-environmental system. In Part 2, we explore environmental threats and issues in more detail focusing on issues such as species extinction, deforestation, climate change, and fossil fuel burning. Throughout Part 2 we actively consider potential solutions to current global economic and environmental crises for example, through the development of green technology, renewable energy, resource efficiency, recycling of materials, and green infrastructure.



Contributes to BA Environmental Social Sciences; BSc Wildlife Conservation; BSc Human Ecology

Method of assessment

Exam (50%) Coursework (50%)

Essay (25%)
Group Report (15%)
Group Presentation (10%)

Indicative reading

Common, M and Stagl, S. (2005) Ecological Economics: An introduction. 1st Ed. Cambridge University Press (Main Text)
Botkin, D.B. and Keller E.A. (2003) Environmental Science 4th Edition. Wiley.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module students will understand:
• The relationship between the environment and economy.
• The fundamentals of economic theory with reference to the use and management of natural resources.
• The distinctive characteristics of natural resources from an economic perspective and how this impacts on their conservation and management.
• The role of government intervention in promoting sustainable management of natural resources.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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