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Module

TCP8956 : Environmental Assessment

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Paola Gazzola
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

This module aims to provide insight into the principles, concepts and practice of environmental assessment (EA), emphasising its potential as a decision-making support tool for planning for sustainable development. It considers environmental assessment as a “family” of tools, which can take different forms in response to legal requirements, to the need to address impacts on different environmental receptors (e.g. landscape, health, water, habitats, health) and to emerging environmental challenges.

Set within the EU context, the module will examine the understanding and application of environmental assessment (particularly Environmental Impact Assessment-EIA and Strategic Environmental Assessment-SEA) and sustainability appraisal techniques within the UK’s policy-, plan- and project-making development system, and consider evidence of their effectiveness by reviewing examples from practice.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module covers a broad range of topics within the wider scope of environmental assessment, which are explored through lectures materials, class discussions and exercises. The topics explored in the module include:

What is environmental assessment and what is it for:
Origins and evolution of environmental assessment
Principles and concepts of environmental assessment

How does environmental assessment work:
Role of environmental assessment in the planning and decision-making process
Current legal and policy frameworks for environmental assessment, including EIA and SEA and their differences
Key stages of the environmental assessment procedure and techniques for environmental assessment practice

Examples of other forms of environmental assessment:
For example, landscape and visual impact assessment (LVIA) and landscape character assessment (LCA), appropriate assessment (AA) or habitats regulation assessment (HRA); and health impact assessment (HIA)

Environmental assessment in practice:
Issues of effectiveness and of quality.
Future directions and trends in environmental assessment

A more detailed syllabus of the module outline with weekly topics and student learning activities, will be included in the module brief.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials160:308:0016 blocks of recorded content of 15-30 minutes each, over 8 teaching weeks
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00Writing up of written exercise
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading371:0037:00Reading lists provided for each topic in support of learning and assessment
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities111:0011:00Selected readings and activities related to content covered
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00Interactive cohort session with breakout groups to discuss future directions for environmental asses
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion61:006:00Structured discussion with guiding questions relating to content delivered each week
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion10:300:30Structured discussion with guiding questions relating to content delivered each week
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Tutorial support towards learning and assessment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk60:202:00Meet the students and explain activities. Written instructions are provided for those unable to atte
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk20:150:30Meet the students and explain activities. Written instructions are provided for those unable to atte
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Conclusions, Q&A and feedback. Session will also be recorded for those unable to attend
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module will be delivered via both, scheduled and structured learning activities. These include synchronous module introduction talks which will provide students with weekly live contact with the module leader and with their peers, and an opportunity to ask questions, seek clarifications or expand on the discussions in an informal manner. The talks also aim to explain the portfolio of guided structured learning activities for each session, and how they relate to the module learning outcomes. Written instructions will be provided for those that are unable to attend the synchronous introductory talks. Lecture materials will be provided in recorded content blocks, two per session of 15-30 minutes each. The recorded lecture materials are complemented by learning activities which provide students with the opportunity to reflect on the material covered and explore more in-depth the topics covered by reading a selected paper, which will then be discussed as a cohort in a non-synchronous online discussion board facilitated by the module leader. The discussions will be guided by questions, based on the readings and activities given. The conclusions to the module require a more interactive approach and will therefore be delivered through a module talk, and unpacked further through a workshop. The sessions will be recorded, and made available for those that are unable to attend.

The lecture materials covering different topics aim to provide a conceptual background for understanding the environment and sustainable development, and the role of planning in managing (environmental) change for sustainable development. The readings provide students with the opportunity to develop a more in-depth understanding of environmental assessment, in both theory and practice. The non-synchronous online discussion boards provide students with the opportunity to discuss further the complex issues explored in the lecture materials and in the selected readings in a structured way. All activities aim to support and guide students in the preparation for assessed coursework. Surgeries/drop-ins will be offered throughout the module to assist further with coursework preparation.

There are no present in person hours delivered within tcp8956. Tcp 8956's present in person hours will be added to tcp8097's present in person hours, and delivered by tcp8097. Both modules are core and compulsory for students on the MPlan Green Infrastructure and Landscape planning route.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M100Critical review of an environmental statement or report using quality review packages. 2500 words (excluding bibliography)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The aim of the assignment is to critically review the quality of an environmental statement/report using existing environmental assessment review packages and establish whether it is of satisfactory quality in terms of the framework adopted, the quality and completeness of the information provided and the acceptability of the judgement based on the environmental assessment findings.

Reading Lists

Timetable