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Unit information: Environmental Impact Assessment in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Environmental Impact Assessment
Unit code EASC30060
Credit points 10
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Tim Elliott
Open unit status Not open

Successful completion of all mandatory units in years 1 and 2 of the Environmental Geoscience degree programme curriculum



School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


Students are introduced to the essentials of preparing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), including European and UK Legislation, history of the EIA process, content of an Environmental Statement, and obligate consultations. They areprovided with examples of major EIA projects and then assigned the task of individually researching and preparing an EIA for a fictional, but realistic, development in the Bristol area.

Students will be introduced to the use of the Multi-Agency Geographical Information for the Countryside (MAGIC) which is used to prepare an Environmental Constraints Plan. Accompanied by the unit lecturer, they will visit the site of the proposed development to conduct a field survey to verify the contents of their desk study and to compile additional environmental baseline data about the human environment, flora and fauna, soil, water, air, climate and the landscape, material assets and cultural heritage.

Following the site visit students are instructed in the preparation of an assessment matrix, mitigation design and non-technical summary. The exercise will culminate in the submission of their EIA, a hypothetical public meeting and a group feedback session.

Full details of the coursework assignments are provided via Blackboard.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will:

  • Possess a working knowledge of European and UK legislation governing the content and preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment.
  • Know the scope of and methods for consultations essential for preparation of an EIA.
  • Be able to access data from the Multi-Agency Geographical Information for the Countryside
  • Be equipped to conduct a desk study and field survey to compile baseline information about a project site.
  • Understand the structure and content, and be able to prepare an assessment matrix, mitigation design and non-technical summary for an EIA.

Teaching details

Lectures, fieldwork, role play exercise, practicals and independent study.

Assessment Details

100% course work (the final submitted Environmental Impact Assessment document)

Reading and References

Key information will be provided via Blackboard.

Further reading:

  • Design Manual for Roads and Bridges Volume 11: Environmental Assessment
  • Multi-Agency Geographical Information for the Countryside (MAGIC) Website