MSc Environmental Impact Assessment & Management

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
EIA Project

Course unit fact file
Unit code PLAN60452
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This module will provide you with practical experience of undertaking elements of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process for a project based in the Greater Manchester area. It develops practical knowledge and skills in relation to project design and planning and undertaking environmental impact assessment.  Each student is to provide advice to a client organisation that has land holdings in the Greater Manchester area and seeks to take forward medium- to large- scale, mixed-use development of a particular site.




  1. To provide experience in undertaking the early stages of an EIA to provide advice to a client.
  2. To provide experience in site evaluation, project development and approaches to impact assessment.
  3. To enable students to develop self-learning capabilities and to demonstrate them in small group sessions
  4. To provide experience in writing reports relating to the preliminary stages of EIA.
  5. To gain experience in project management and team work.
  6. To present work, using a variety of means, to an appropriate professional standard.




There are three sections to this course unit based around three assignments.  The context for any development proposals is the core strategy prepared by the relevant local authority, which will guide the analysis of constraints relating to the site and potential alternatives for future development, followed by the approach to assessing the impacts of the alternative(s) identified. The brief consists of two stages: Site analysis and development of potential development options, and Identification of key impacts and outlining an approach to their assessment.

Students work initially in a group collecting and analysing data about their ‘site’, and following presentation of the outputs, move forward as an individual to focus on key impacts and the provision of guidance to the ‘notional’ client.

Teaching and learning methods

Introductory lectures to each stage, 

Bespoke GIS for EIA session

Workshops with practitioners on assessing various impact types

Weekly drop-in sessions (group)

Initially you will work in small groups to undertake research on the site and gather relevant materials, data, etc., for the group presentation on key site features and potential options for development. Following the group presentation, you will work as individuals, and draw on the presentation and your own further analysis to explore potential impacts and their assessment. 

Knowledge and understanding

Understand some of the practice-based challenges in EIA

Intellectual skills

Undertake research and data aquisition relevant to the context of a project

Practical skills

Present work to a professional standard in bot written and verbal formats

Prepare written reports in detail relating to the EIA process

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Work effectively as a member of a group in producing work

Overcome challenges, both as a member of a team and as an individual through appropriate team management


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 30%
Report 40%
Oral assessment/presentation 30%

Group presentation (10 minutes) 30% weighting

Group presentation (15 minutes) 30% weighting

Individual Report (1000 words) 40% weighting

Feedback methods

Feedback on submitted work is provided within 15 working days via Turnitin

Recommended reading

Indicative Reading List

Glasson, J., Therivel, R. and Chadwick, A. (2019) Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment, Routledge, Abingdon, 5th edition.

Landscape Institute/Institute of Environmental Assessment (2013) Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment third edition, Routledge, London. Full text available online through University Library.

Morris, P. and Therivel, R. (eds.) (2018) Methods of Environmental Impact Assessment, UCL Press, London, 4th edition

Online resources

Communities and Local Government, UK:

You should explore issues relating to planning policy, guidance, etc.

Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 No. 571

Department of Transport (nd) Environmental Assessment Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, Volume 11 (updated), HMSO, London.

European Commission:

European Commission (2001) Guidance on EIA: EIS Review, Directorate General for Environment, EC, Brussels:

European Commission (2001) Guidance on EIA: Scoping, Directorate General for Environment, EC, Brussels:

European Commission (2001) Guidance on EIA: Screening, Directorate General for Environment, EC, Brussels:

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Fieldwork 3
Lectures 3
Practical classes & workshops 14
Independent study hours
Independent study 130

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Andrew Snow Unit coordinator

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