Environmental Impact Assessment


This module is designed to provide students with an overview of the theory and practice of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA). 

Through the study of a wide range of policies and academic literature students will explore the purpose and aims of EIA, the concept of associated assessment processes, the role of public participation within the EIA, the costs and benefits of undertaking an EIA and the strengths and limitations of this tool.

A key focus of the module is the development of practical skills involved in undertaking an EIA. Each stage of the process from formulation through to production of a final Environmental Impact Statement will be studied.

The module aims to prepare students for a range of workplaces including government departments, planning and project management agencies and specialist research and policy institutes. It will also aid students in the development of problem-solving skills.

Learning Outcomes

  1. To critically evaluate and interpret the history of EIA in Ireland and elsewhere.

  2. To discriminate between the requirements of National, European and International planning and environmental legislation and translate these into the requirements of EIA.

  3. To investigate and critically appraise the relationship between environmental protection and the practice of engineering, and the political context of environmental assessments.

  4. To identify and calculate the impact of EIAs on the planning process.

  5. To compare and contrast the strengths and limitations of EIAs as a tool for planning and environmental protection.

  6. To critically assess a project or development and justify an EIA or otherwise.

  7. To scope, design, organise and manage an EIA for a project or development.

  8. To critically appraise the impacts of a project or development on the environment, to design and categorise mitigation measures, and to plan and justify the monitoring required if planning permission is granted.

% Coursework 20%
% Final Exam 80%