GEOG40860 Practical Environmental Assessment

Academic Year 2019/2020

Environmental assessment (or environmental impact assessment) is a mandatory requirement under European and global legislation. Its aim is to ensure that environmental considerations are integrated into planning and decision-making. It applies to spatial planning (e.g. land use, renewable or waste management planning) and to projects (e.g. power stations, incinerators, housing developments and wind farms). This module will introduce students to environmental assessment legislation, processes and practical implementation through lectures, workshops, set readings and research activities. In particular, it will:

• Introduce the students to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA), as well as other relevant associated legislation (e.g. Water Framework Directive, Flood Risk Directive, etc.)
• Clearly identify for the students commonalities and differences in legislative requirements, as well as to provide an overview on any legislation amendments/updates.
• Introduce the various practical steps to be undertaken in an environmental assessment (e.g. screening, scoping, alternatives, etc.), including public participation.
• Provide a range of methods and techniques to support environmental assessment processes; including an introduction to indicators.
• Provide real-life examples of environmental assessment across a range of scales (e.g. from national to local) and sectors (e.g. land use, energy, water, etc.)
• Examine current practice issues in environmental assessment and to present measures to promote good practice.
• Facilitate and encourage critical analysis of environmental impact assessment practice, techniques and outcomes.
• Support students in the acquisition of an understanding of environmental assessment requirements and impact assessment methods.
• Support students in group work for the acquisition of a shared knowledge and environmental report writing skills.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completing the module, including attendance at lectures, workshops, completion of readings and research activities, students will be able to:

• Discuss the legislative background and practice of environmental assessment and implementation.
• Outline the structure and content of environmental assessment processes and identify key practice issues associated with particular planning hierarchies and sectors.
• Critically debate the nature and significance of potential environmental impacts deriving from various sectors.
• Critically analyse and reflect on data and information provided by variety of sources to support environmental assessment.
• Discuss the roles of different actors (stakeholders, decision-makers and the general public) in undertaking environmental assessment, as well as in implementing the assessment outcomes.

Indicative Module Content:

Practical application of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA).

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Lectures

24

Specified Learning Activities

60

Autonomous Student Learning

80

Total

164

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module will be delivered through a combination of lectures, guest lectures, class debates and practical exercises.
Students will have the opportunity to learn from practitioners on current real-life applications and challenges in impact assessment, and be given access to recently published environmental reports for examination and debate.
Class-based exercises will facilitate peer-learning while developing group-work and communication skills. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

None

Learning Recommendations:

None


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Incompatibles:
GEOG30860 - Environmental Assessment

 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Scoping of issues - Opportunities Report Unspecified n/a Graded No

15

Assignment: Scoping of issues - Contraints Report Unspecified n/a Graded No

25

Assignment: Screening Opinion Unspecified n/a Graded No

20

Group Project: Scoping report Unspecified n/a Graded Yes

40


Carry forward of passed components
Yes
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Individual feedback will be provided on each submitted assignment via Brightspace post-assessment. This will be complemented with in-class feedback.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.  
Autumn
     
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Tues 11:00 - 12:50