Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Environmental Education and Communication

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Centre for Environmental Education and Research

DESCRIPTION The unit is structured around the various communication tools available that can be used to influence pro environmental behaviour patterns and environmental perspectives. Fundamental communication principles will be explored for each tool in the formal, informal and non formal aspects of ESD. Various models of pro-environmental behaviour will be critically analysed. The unit will explore the use of the creative arts, innovative and traditional media in Environmental Education and Communication. Specific local and international case studies will be used to illustrate the principles and processes investigated.

Study-unit Aims

Students following this study-unit will:

• develop a deeper understanding of the role of various types of media in ESD;
• develop an awareness of the synergy of media and the formal, non formal and informal ESD;
• develop a critical and analytical understanding that socio-economic and political dimensions of environmental issues have a profound effect on the messages related to sustainable development;
• develop a critical and analytical understanding that effective environmental education communication can lead to attitude and behavioural change;
• be able to evaluate critically and analytically ESD projects; and
• evaluate the various media forms and their importance in developing citizens which are empowered to live in a sustainable way.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• identify and critically analyse the various media that can be effectively utilised in ESD;
• describe the complexity of environmental communication (arising from the interrelatedness of various components) at various levels of analysis; and
• broadly assess environmental media projects in terms of their main ESD principles underpinnings and link these components to the concept of sustainability.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• critically evaluate environmental information and environmental values campaigns and decide on their validity;
• evaluate local, regional and global media processes from different perspectives to highlight their complexity;
• identify and propose emergent media that can be effectively used to achieve sustainable resolutions of environmental issues;
• select different forms of communication to convey environmental information to a non-technical audience; and
• convey environmental information and environmental values to a non technical audience.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

• The following texts are being proposed as basic reference texts:

Fien, J., Yencken, D. & Sykes, H. (2000). Young people and the environment. An Asia Pacific Perspective. Kluwer Academic Publishers, London.

Mifsud M., (2011). ‘An investigation on the Environmental Knowledge, Attitudes and Behavior of Maltese Youth’. US China Education Review, ISBN: 978-960-466-060-5, ISSN: 1790-3859.

Mifsud M., (2011). ‘Maltese Youth and the Environment: A Qualitative Study’. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, ISBN: 978-960-466-060-5, ISSN: 1790-3859. 12,2, 110-128. [available online:]

UNCED, (1992). Agenda 21: Programme of Action for Sustainable Development. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. N.Y.: United Nations. [available online:]

Volk, T.L. & Cheak, M.J., (2003). The effects of an environmental education program on students, parents, and community. Journal of Environmental Education (34) 4: 12 -25. [available online:]

Online Resources:
• State of the Environment Report (2008):
• Sustainable Development Strategy Malta:
• UNESCO Teaching Material:

Further readings will be provided by the lecturers as part of the students' pack. These packs will provide students with current research papers on ESD.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Fieldwork

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%
Important - Due to the COVID19 Pandemic the information regarding the method of assessment indicated above may have been changed. Further details have been provided by your F/I/C/S.

LECTURER/S Vincent Caruana
Mark C. Mifsud

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.