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Online study

Business and Management

Environmental Economics


Environmental Economics is the study of the vital interplay between the economy and the natural environment, and the urgent need for sustainable development which will benefit both current and future generations. The course will explore Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations and how we embed these within business strategy and operations. 

This course is suited to:

Environmental Economics is aimed at students who are interested in learning more about the core ideas and philosophies underpinning the study of our natural environment and the economy. The course will review some key environmental issues which impact the achievement of sustainable development, including climate change, pollution, waste, resource depletion, deforestation and biodiversity.

The course is for experienced professionals who have a personal interest in this area, might want a career change or use as a precursor to further higher education. You do not need prior knowledge in economics. 

What will I learn?

This course will focus on the environmental aspect of the ESG metrics, by exploring key environmental issues and how addressing these issues should be incorporated into ESG-conscious business practices. By investigating into these issues, you will learn how to formulate sustainability strategies with a core focus on carbon footprint reduction, and to operationalise concepts such as “net zero”, circularity, and waste minimisation in organisational practices.

Learning outcomes

  • Critically reflect on how economists view and approach the environment
  • Evaluate the vast interdependence between the economy and the natural environment
  • Consider the 'Limits to Growth' hypothesis and whether it stands up to thorough academic scrutiny
  • Critically discuss sustainable development as a prerequisite for minimising the impacts of economic growth on resource use and waste assimilation sinks
  • Reflect on the contemporary environmental issues that inform Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics, with reference to climate change, pollution, resource depletion, waste, deforestation, and biodiversity
  • Interpret secondary data and published findings
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of environmental-related ESG interventions
  • Synthesise relevant data to substantiate the need for ESG alignment
  • Display written and verbal communication skills
  • Carry out a critical evaluation of environmental policies.

How is the module assessed?

Assessments % Length/Duration
Open ended questions 0 120 words per week
Video presentation 30 10 – 15 minutes
Individual report 60 3000 words
Module reflection 10 500 words

For this course, you should expect to engage in structured learning activities for 10-15 hours per week on average, plus additional time spent on self-directed learning (such as further reading or preparing for assessments).

The course can be completed in a maximum of 17 weeks. Typically, there are 10 weeks of taught content, and the final submission is in week 11. The rest of the time is made up for marking and feedback. 


Module staff

Dr Mario Du Preez

Dr Mario Du Preez
Lecturer (Education and Scholarship)

Entry Requirements

While there are no specific academic entry requirements, this course is delivered at Masters level so you’d usually have at least 2:2 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) OR relevant work experience related to the area of study.

Should you not have the relevant background described the University of Exeter cannot be held responsible for any failure to attain an award from this course.

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course.

The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2.

" The online learning platform at Exeter is great.

The platform lays out all the information simply and I find it useful that each week structures the learning into bitesize chunks. "


Online International Business student

 September 2024



Apply now

  •  12 weeks (plus assessment and feedback)
  •  10-15 hours per week on average
  •  30 Masters level credits