MSc Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction
Year of entry: 2024
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Course unit details:
Environmental Impact Assessment
|Unit level||FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) refers to the process of evaluating the likely significant environmental consequences of a proposed major development that may affect the natural and man-made environment before a development is given permission to proceed. EIA can contribute to the design of projects, as well as to the decision-making process on whether the project should proceed or not. It is a process that is undertaken worldwide by a wide range of jurisdictions and international organisations.
A key feature of EIA is its pro-active nature and, through the consideration and mitigation of poitential environmental impaccts throughout project development and execution, it can make an important contribution to sustainable development. However, the tool is at a key historical juncture. Its value in relation to the achievment of broader environmental goals is under scrutiny. It is crucial that academic and professional communities think carefully about its role within wider systems of environmental planning, management, and governance and are able to make a convincing, contemporary case for the tool.
• Explain and assess the process, and underlying principles and concepts, of EIA
• Explore the methods and techniques used in the stages of the EIA process.
• Evaluate the operation of EIA in the UK and other countries.
Teaching and learning methods
Series of asynchroonous and in-person interactive lectures.
Asynchronous recordings will be accessible from Monday of each week. These will introduce you to the topic of that week and require you to undertake an Individual Task and then meet in your groups to finalise a reponse to a Discussion Task. The response to the Discussion Task should then be uploaded to your Group Space by Friday of each week. Your responses will be used by staff members to inform the discussion in the synchronous session the following Tuesday. You will be introduced to this approach in more detail and have the opportunity to form groups during the 'Introduction to Module' lecture.
Knowledge and understanding
Discuss the stages and operation of EIA process
Discuss current trends in EIA
Evaluate the wider role of EIA in the context of sustainable planning
Discuss impact assessment concepts
Evaluate information to make decisions
Conduct screening, scoping, report review stages of EIA
Analyse and synthesise previous research
Transferable skills and personal qualities
Work effectively in groups.
|Written assignment (inc essay)||75%|
Individual Paragraph (200-250 words) 10% weighting
Group Statement (200-250 words) 15% weighting
Individual Essay (2,500 words) 75% weighting
Feedback on submitted work will be provided within 15 working days
Journals that often carry articles on EIA and SEA include:
• Environmental Impact Assessment Review
• Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal
• Journal of Environmental Assessment and Policy Management
• Journal of Environmental Planning and Management
• Journal of Environmental Management
Reading and references
Please consult the online reading list throughout the semester available on the Blackboard course page. We have collated 100+ relevant readings, the majority of which are accessible online either as downloadable pdfs or via the University library’s subscriptions. The core textbook and topic specific readings are both available here. You will be given direction as to relevant readings for individual and group tasks. We would also encourage you to engage with other readings on the reading list to gain a deeper understanding of each topic area. Please remember, to achieve the highest marks for your essay we expect you to have read and understood a wide range of literature to demonstrate knowledge and understanding. This will also aid your analytical skills which are also essential to essay-writing.
Glasson, J. and Therivel, R. (2019). Introduction to environmental impact assessment. New York, Routledge.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Andrew Snow||Unit coordinator|