MPlan Planning with Professional Placement / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Environmental Impact Assessment

Course unit fact file
Unit code PLAN40321
Credit rating 15
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Planning and Environmental Management
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  the 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 potential environmental impacts throughout  project development and execution, it can make an important contribution to sustainable development.


Explain and assess the  process, and underlying  principles and concepts, of  environmental impact assessment (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.

Learning outcomes

Discuss the stages and operation of EIA process

Discuss current trends in EIA

Conduct screening, scoping, report review stages of EIA

Analyse and synthesise previous research

Work effectively in groups.

Write reports

Make in-class presentations


 The EIA process
 History of EIA
 Alternatives in EIA
 Impact prediction
 Mitigation measures
 Preparing EIA reports
 Quality and Review of EIA reports
 Consultation and participation
 EIA and decision-making
 Monitoring and auditing
 The future for EIA 
 Practitioner's Views of EIA


Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and workshops: each element of the course unit will be covered within the lectures and several will also involve a workshop to allow discussion and application of knowledge and skills in small groups followed by plenary discussion

Knowledge and understanding

Discuss the stages and operation of EIA process

Discuss current trends in EIA

Intellectual skills

Evaluate the wider role of EIA in the context of sustainable planning

Discuss impact assessment concepts

Evaluate information to make decisions

Practical skills

Conduct  screening, seeping,  report   review stages of EIA

Write reports

Analyse and synthesise previous research

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Work effectively in groups.

Write reports

Make in-class presentations

Employability skills

Oral communication
Written communication

Assessment methods

Critical Essay
Length: 3000 words
Weighting: 100%
How and when feedback is provided: written feedback


Feedback methods

We will provide feedback throughout the module that is both formative (providing advice to guide you for your future work) and summative (where this will contribute to your overall mark).


Formative feedback will be given verbally through Q&A and discussion within lecture sessions and in workshops,together  with  written  comments as appropriate, and through the Blackboard Discussion Board.   Written formative  feedback will be  provided  on a voluntary  essay.   Written  summative feedback will be given on the essay.


The summative feedback for the essay will be given within 15 working days.

Recommended reading


Barker, A. and  Wood,  C. (1999) An evaluation of  EIA system  performance in eight  EU countries,

Environmental  impact Assessment Review 19, 387-404


Bond,A. (2000) Environmental Impact Assessment in the UK, Chandos,Oxford


Canter,L. (1996) Environmental  impact Assessment, McGraw Hill,New York,2"d edition


Department  of   the   Environment,  Transport    and  the   Regions  (2000)   Environmental  Impact

Assessment: a Guide to Procedures,Thomas Telford,Tonbridge


Department for  Transport,  Highways  Agency  (2012  updated)  Environmental Assessment,  Design

Manualfor Roads and Bridges,Volume 11,The Stationery  Office,London. 

Glasson,J. (1999) EIA: A SWOT Analysis, Planning Practice and Research 14, 363-375


Glasson, J., Therivel, R. and Chadwick, A. (2012) Introduction to Environmental Impact  Assessment,

Routledge,Abingdon, 4th edition


Holder,J. and McGillivray,D.(eds.) (2007) Taking Stock of Environmental Assessment- law, policy and practice, Routledge Cavendish,Abingdon.


Jha-Thakur, U. and Fischer, T.B. (2016)  25 years        of  the  UK EIA System:  strengths,  weaknesses, opportunities and threats Environmental impact Assessment Review 61: 19-26.


Jones, C., Wood, C. and Dipper, B. (1998) Environmental Assessment in the UK Planning Process: A Review of Practice,Town Planning Review 69,315-339.


Institute for Environmental Management & Assessment (2004) Guidelines for  Environmental Impact

Assessment, lEMA, Lincoln.


Lawrence, D.P. (2003) Environmental Impact Assessment: practical solutions to recurrent problems

Wiley-lnterscience, New York.


Lee, N. and George, C. (eds.) (2000) Environmental Assessment in  Developing and Transitional

Countries, Wiley,Chichester.


Morgan, R.K. (2012) Environmental impact assessment: the state of the art,Impact Assessment and

Project Appraisal30(1): 5-14.


Morris, P. and Therivel, R. (eds.) (2009) Methods of Environmental Impact Assessment, UCL Press, London,3"' edition.


Morrison-Saunders, A. and Arts,J. (eds.) (2004) Assessing Impact- Handbook of EIA and SEA Follow­

up, Earthscan, London.


Noble, B. (2006) Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment: a guide to principles and practice,



Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Practical classes & workshops 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 122

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Carys Jones Unit coordinator
Andrew Snow Unit coordinator

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