MSc Environmental Impact Assessment & Management / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Appraisal and Auditing

Course unit fact file
Unit code PLAN60472
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
Offered by Planning and Environmental Management
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


• Outline and overview - distribution and explanation of problem based exercises.
• Methods for appraisal
o Cost-benefit analysis, social impact assessment, health impact assessment
o Integrating appraisal methods
• Environmental Auditing:
o audit types
o objectives and benefits
o conducting the audit
o case studies
o risk auditing
o workshop
• Environmental Management Systems
o Certification
o EMS planning and structure
o Workshop
o application and links to other environmental tools


1. To evaluate a current assessment and appraisal tools and their relationships to one another.
2. To develop a critical understanding of the uses and limitations of the main methods of socio-economic appraisal.
3. To review the various types of environmental audit in the context of other environmental management tools.
4. To understand the techniques, skills and indicators used by environmental auditors.

Teaching and learning methods

Appraisal: problem based learning, workshops, student presentations.

Auditing: lectures, workshops

Knowledge and understanding

demonstrate an understanding of the main methods of socio-economic appraisal, their application and relationships with other assessment methods;

Intellectual skills

indicate understanding of the basic concepts involved with the implementation of formalised environmental management systems and their application.

Practical skills

show a clear understanding of the process of conducting an environmental audit and appreciate some of the main audit criteria;

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Write reports; Prepare and deliver presentations; Work effectively in teams

Assessment methods

Task 1: Individual appraisal report
Length: 2000 words
Weighting: 50%

Task 2: Individual audit strategy and management plan
Length: 2000 words
Weighting: 50%

Feedback methods

Formative feedback will be given verbally through Q&A and discussion within lecture/workshop sessions, together with written comments as appropriate, and through the Blackboard Discussion Boards.
Written summative feedback will be given on the appraisal report and audit strategy and plan.

Recommended reading

Barton, H. and Bruder, N. (1995) A Guide to Local Environmental Auditing Earthscan, London.
Becker, H. and Vanclay, F. (eds.) (2003) The International Handbook of Social Impact Assessment: Conceptual and Methodological Advances Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham.
Edwards-Jones, G., Davies, B. and Hussain, S. (2000) Ecological Economics: an Introduction Blackwell Science, Oxford.
Hanley, N., Shogren, J. and White, B (2007) Introduction to Environmental Economics Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Hoggart, C. (2001) Environmental Auditing for the Non-specialist. Chandos, Oxford.
Perman, R., Yue Ma, McGilvray, J. and Common, M. (2003) Natural Resource and Environmental Economics 3rd Edition, Pearson Education, Harlow.
Sheldon, C. and Yoxon, M. (2006) Environmental Management Systems, EarthScan, London.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 26
Independent study hours
Independent study 124

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ian Mell Unit coordinator

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