- UCAS course code
- UCAS institution code
Year of entry: 2024
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Course unit details:
Strategic and Sustainable Decision Making
|Unit level||Level 4|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
This course unit develops knowledge and skills relating to a range of appraisal and assessment tools that are used to inform decisions in planning. It aims to explore a more holistic approach in decision-making, drawing on current thinking and practice, to ultimately use more environmentally sustainable approaches to planning and development. The experiences of a range of countries will be explored.
The unit uses lectures, workshops, directed study, and a field trip to develop familiarity with the various methods of appraisal and assessment. Students will be required to undertake preparatory reading and prepare in advance of the teaching sessions to maximise understanding, contribution and progression through the course content.
1. Consider the implications of delivering environmental sustainability through wider planning processes, focussing on the holistic assessment of projects and plans.
2. Explore a range of procedural tools and approaches suitable for holistic assessment.
3. Appreciate the many interpretations of assessment tools.
4. Explore and evaluate integration practice in the use of a range of tools.
Teaching and learning methods
Introductory lectures, including from key external speakers/practitioners.
Workshops - discussion and application of knowledge and skills in small groups followed by plenary discussion – synchronous and asynchronous.
Lessons from practice – synchronous and asynchronous.
Self-directed reading – synchronous and asynchronous.
Knowledge and understanding
- Understand and critically evaluate the importance of sustainable and strategic planning as an environmental policy goal
- Discuss current trends in incorporating environmental concerns in decision-making
- Outline the complex relationships between various environmental planning processes
- Debate and establish reasoned arguments for the selection and use of appropriate tool(s) in practice.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the effectiveness and performance requirements of a range of assessment tools.
- Formulate the application of relevant tools and methods in case study real-world situations.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Problem solving individually and in groups.
- Analysis and synthesis of multiple sources of information and research outputs.
- Prepare oral and written presentations
- Effective written communication of complex concepts to a specific audience.
Group based presentation (15 minutes) 25% weighting
Individual Report (2000 words) 75% weighting
Feedback on work submitted via Turnitin is provided within 15 working days
Sala, S; Ciuffo, B.; Nijkamp, P. (2015) A systemic framework for sustainability assessment,
Ecological economics 11: 119-314 DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.09.015
Kidd, S.A. and Fischer, T. () Towards Sustainability: Is Integrated Appraisal a Step in the Right Direction? Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 25-233-249
Scrase, J.Ivan. and Sheate, W.R. (2002) Integration and integrated approaches to assessment: what do they mean for the environment? Journal of environmental policy & planning 4: 275-294 DOI: 10.1002/jepp.117
Morrison-Saunders, A., Pope, J., Gunn, J.A.E., Bond, A., Retief, F. (2014) Strengthening impact assessment: a call for integration and focus Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 1-2-8 DOI: 10.1080/14615517.2013.872841
Marsden, S. (2008) Strategic environmental assessment in international and European law: a practitioner's guide Earthscan, London.
Runhaar, H. and Driessen, P. (2007), What makes strategic environmental assessment successful environmental assessment? The role of context in the contribution of SEA to decision-making, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 25(1): 2-14.
Sadler, B. and Dusik, J (2016) European and international experiences of strategic environmental assessment: recent progress and future prospects Routledge, London.
Therivel, R. (2004) Strategic Environmental Assessment in Action Earthscan, London.
Verheem, R. and Tonk, J, (2000) SEA: one concept, multiple forms, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 18: 177-182.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Practical classes & workshops||10|
|Independent study hours|
|Carys Jones||Unit coordinator|