SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2F723967
Module Leader Karin Helwig
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module gives students experience and understanding of techniques of environmental assessment. The module also acknowledges the broadening nature of the assessment landscape to incorporate sustainability. The main teaching approach will be via case studies in order to explore the role that various assessment and appraisal tools can play in an environmental management contex


The role of assessment in environmental management Conceptual framework for sustainability assessment The assessment landscape and differences between objective and impact based assessments Strategic environmental assessment EIA and the planning system Best practice in EIA Screening and scoping as the main issues for identifying impacts Managing the production of an EIA Public participation and stakeholders in the EIA process Social and Economic Impact Assessment Environmental management systems - European and International standards Environmental auditing and quality Designing an environmental management system Building Environmental Assessments (BREEAM, LEED) Global assessments- Living Planet Index, Ecological Footprint, One Planet Living Framework Cradle to grave and life cycle analysis

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:Appraise the role of planning in the SEA and EIA processAppreciate the role of sustainability assessment and the wider assessment landscapeCritically appraise the role of SEA as a policy tool that aims to promote greater environmental protectionDemonstrate in-depth knowledge of the EIA process, from screening, scoping through to the creation of the EISCarry out a scoping exercise, and appraise practical implicationsAppreciate the importance of public participation in the EIA process and awareness of the different approaches that can be adopted to encourage thisDemonstrate understanding of the EMS process and appreciate how it can be a tool to promote more effective environmental management

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module includes a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures and seminars but concentrates on problem based learning and case studies. Practical exercises will allow students to develop the necessary skills for carrying out environmental assessments and appreciate their limitations. This will be developed through real life case studies and structured exercises.

Indicative Reading

Carroll, B. and Turpin T. (2009) Environmental Impact Assessment Handbook - Thomas Telford Bond A, Morrison-Saunders A, Howitt R. (2013) Sustainability Assessment: pluralism, practice and progress, Routledge, Oxon. Dalal-Clayton B., Sadler B. (2005) Strategic Environmental Assessment- a sourcebook and reference guide to international experience, Earthscan, London. Eccleston C.H. (2011) Environmental Impact Assessment- a guide to best professional practice, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, London. Glasson J., Therivel R., Chadwick A. (2013) Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment , 3 rd Edition, Routledge., Oxon. Gibson R.B. et al. (2005) Sustainability Assessment- criteria and processes, Earthscan, Routledge. Jones C. et al (2005) Strategic Environmental Assessment and Land Use Planning: an international evaluation, Earthscan. ISO14001 Environmental Systems Handbook, 2 nd edition K Whitelaw, Routledge 2004 Morrison-Saunders, A, Pope J, Bond A (2015) Handbook of Sustainability Assessment, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. Therivel R., (2013) Strategic Environmental Assessment in Action, Routledge, Oxon. Tinsley S and Pillai I (2006) Environmental Management Systems- understanding organisational drivers and barriers, Earthscan, Routledge, London. Sheldon C. and Yoxan M (2002) Installing Environmental Management Systems - Earthscan Wathern P. (2004) Environmental Impact Assessment- theory and practice, Routledge, London.

Transferrable Skills

Critical thinking and problem solving Knowledge and understanding in the context of the subject Independent working Practical skills relating to how to conduct the following assessments: EIA, SEA and EMS Communication skills: written, oral and listening

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 50.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 102.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 50.00 35% Critical appraisal of tools of environmental assessment (max 2,500 words)
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 35% EIA scoping study for a set planning context (max 2,500 words)