NPLK22000U Environmental Management in Europe

Volume 2023/2024

MSc Programme in Agriculture
MSc Programme in Environmental Science


Environmental Management in Europe is an interdisciplinary distance e-learning course offered by the University of Copenhagen with contributions from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna and the University of Hohenheim. It is open for MSc students from Denmark, other countries in the EU and the rest of the world.

The focus of the course is environmental management of natural resources (soil, water, biodiversity and climate) from a European perspective. The course will bring up how the European Union (EU) sets the policy frame for almost all environmental regulation in the member states, and how this frame determines both the possibilities and the limitations for carrying out environmental management and developing environmental solutions in the EU.

This course commences with an introduction to the e-learning platform used, and the overall concept of environmental management and current state of the European environment. Students will learn about environmental management theory and application, and how it incorporates environmental monitoring and assessment, areas of governance including EU environmental law, economic tools for environmental valuation and cost benefit analysis and EU environmental policy and lobbyism.

The course features different EU environmental policy initiatives related to soil, water, biodiversity and climate (e.g. European Green Deal, the Habitat Directive, the Water Framework Directive, and the Soil Framework Directive). The course details and analyses how these initiatives originated, and how they are interpreted and implemented from the EU level to the national, regional and local levels. The intertwined character of environmental, economic and social consequences of EU environmental policies are discussed, addressing the need for a combined systems approach and environmental policy integration.

This is a compulsory course for the “Environmental Science – soil, water & biodiversity” MSc Program ( It is also available for University of Copenhagen students in other MSc programs, and it is possible for students to take this as a single subject e-learning course from all over the world (i.e. as part of a continuing or professional education).


Note 1: In the beginning of the course all students will meet for one day to get to know each other, meet the teachers and learn about the online learning system. This introduction day is organised as blended online and onsite at one of the university campuses.

Note 2: Students may follow the course in the first or second year of their Master programme, e.g. as a part of the Basic Semester Package in the EnvEuro MSc programme in Environmental Science (

Learning Outcome

Learning Outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide a solid understanding of how environmental management in Europe is applied at different scales, from the EU level to the national, regional and local levels. Focus is on environmental management of soil, water, biodiversity and climate. The course addresses many different UN Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on SDG3 (good health and well being), SDG6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG13 (climate action) and SDG15 (life on land). After completing the course the student should be able to:



- Summarise the background, the fundamental principles and the managerial approaches embedded in EU environmental law

- Identify how different tools and resources for environmental management can be used to acquire knowledge about the state of the environment and solve environmental problems

- Describe how insight and skills in natural sciences are used together with economics, law and planning in contributing to contemporary environmental management

- Reflect how environmental ethics and sustainability concepts of different stakeholders affect actual environmental policy in the EU.



- Apply environmental management tools and resources to analyse environmental policy initiatives

- Compare the implementation of environmental policies in different EU member states

- Effectively identify, utilize and critically assess different forms of digital scientific information



- Cooperate and work independently with environmental management in the context of environmental policy

- Discuss how environmental management in Europe is applied at different scales, from the EU level to the national, regional and local levels

The learning resources consist of uploaded presentations with video and/or audio as well as selected scientific articles, reports and book chapters, which will be made available online.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
Internet based E-learning modules (E-modules), featuring topic-specific E-lessons with weekly deadlines. Each E-module is composed of an introduction to the E-module topic and multiple E-lessons featuring: 1) an introduction 2) learning objectives, 3) learning resources (which can be text, video and/or audio files and questionnaires), and 4) an online learning activity primarily in the form of a discussion. Teachers assist student learning by serving as E-moderators for the various E-lessons and give feedback to the students. Learning outcomes are assessed via formative feedback during the E-lessons by peers and teachers, as well as team assignment and individual assignments.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 35
  • Theory exercises
  • 40
  • E-Learning
  • 96
  • Project work
  • 35
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Individual feedback from the course teachers is provided as comments together with the assessment of individual assignments.

Collective feedback from the course teachers is provided as comments together with the assessment of team assignments.

Continuous feedback from the course teachers and peer feedback between students is given in the interactive online discussions that are running throughout the course.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
Students will be assessed on three individual written assignments comprising of approximately 2 pages each. The first two assignments need to be handed in at the end of the course, and the third written assignment need to be handed in the exam week.
The details regarding the written assignments and the deadline for handing in will be given in the start of the course.

Topics for the written assignments:
The first two individual assignments are focused on core environmental management (law, economics and policy).
The third individual assignment is based on the development of ecosystem management and will occur in the two last weeks of the course.

The final grade will be based on the content, quality and performance of the individual assignments. The grade is given with an equal weight of the three assignments.
Exam registration requirements

To be eligible for the exam, students must participate in a minimum 75% of weekly discussions from the online lessons, write a discussion summary, and actively contribute to a team assignment submitted as a 10 min video.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

Written assignment - all elements as in the ordinary exam.

All written assignments must be submitted 2 weeks before the re-examination. Team assignments must be submitted as individual assignments. 

Criteria for exam assesment

Please see the description of learning outcome