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Last modified: 06 Aug 2020 12:35

Course Overview

Structured sessions provide background information about the origins and development of EIA, and how the process is implemented in the UK and elsewhere. Visiting speakers provide practitioner perspectives on the role of EIA in development decisions.
Workshop sessions focus on case studies providing insights into the issues that arise, as well as providing an opportunity to develop transferrable skills valued by employers, such as team-working, time-management, presentation and critical appraisal.
Through an EIA report you investigate a proposed development in depth to identify likely environmental effects, judge their significance, and propose how they should be assessed and mitigated.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Philip Smith

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5
  • One of BSc Biology or BSc Conservation Biology or BSc Zoology or BSc Animal Ecology or BSc Marine Biology or Bachelor Of Science In Animal Behaviour And Welfare or BSc Animal Behaviour or BSc Behavioural Biology or MSci Biological Sciences or BSc Biological Sciences (Honours) or BSc Plant and Soil Sciences or Bachelor Of Science In Environmental And Forest Management or BSc Ecology or BSc Wildlife Management or BSc Forestry or BSc Forest Sciences or BSc Environmental Science
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Course Description
Human activities affect the natural and human environment in a multitude of ways, varying in characteristics of effect, magnitude, spatial extent and timescale. In recent decades, concern about environmental damage in different parts of the world has led to public pressure on governments to regulate developers and others so as to minimise adverse environmental effects, while allowing economic activities to continue. High-level policies and principles have been expressed in international commitments to ‘sustainable development’, which are translated into more detailed national and sub-national legislation and guidance.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been developed as a critical component of the approach to achieving sustainable development. EIA originated in the United States of America and was subsequently adopted into the legislative frameworks of other countries, including member states of the European Union. It is therefore important to understand, apply and evaluate the EIA process.
The aim of the course is to provide training in policies, principles, methods and application of EIA in the United Kingdom, European Union and elsewhere in the world. The course also aims to foster balanced judgement of the strengths and weaknesses of EIA.
Learning outcomes
By the end of the course, you should be able to:
• explain the origins and development of EIA, including key policy drivers and statutes;
• describe the different stages of the EIA process, the types of activity involved, and main participants;
• explain the environmental effects of a selection of development types, taking account of the scientific evidence base;
• critically review impact identification, impact analysis, and proposed mitigation measures in case studies;
• describe the typical content and structure of EIA reports;
• explain the role of EIA in the development planning consent process;
• discuss the role of EIA in contributing to sustainable development, including its strengths and weaknesses;
• contribute effectively to the preparation and delivery of group presentations.
Employability information
In this course you will develop skills to enhance your employability; in particular, collection, appraisal and dispassionate analysis of evidence; working independently and as part of a team; effective communication in written and oral forms; an appreciation of the concepts of enterprise and societal regulation of business activities.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Field Course during University week31
  • 3 Seminars during University weeks 30, 32
  • 2 Seminars during University week31
  • 4 Seminars during University week33

More Information about Week Numbers

In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for courses may be subject to change. All updates for first-half session courses will be actioned no later than 1700 (GMT) on 18 September 2020. All updates for second half-session courses will be actioned in advance of second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

A group presentation or report on selected aspects of an EIA case study

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 100
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Coursework (100%), comprising a group presentation or report on selected aspects of an EIA case study, with group mark adjusted by peer assessment (30%) and an abbreviated version of an EIA Scoping Report (70%).

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Resit Assessments

Resubmission of failed elements

Assessment Type Summative Weighting
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome

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