Environmental Assessment Theory


The aims of the component are to: Provide an introduction to theory on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Provide hands on experience for conducting essential components of EIA and SEA Use case studies to demonstrate how essential components are applied in practice             


A relevant bachelor degree, offering a critical academic attitude, as well as sufficient knowledge of the English language.

Learning Outcomes

After completing the component, attendees will be able to: Demonstrate a working knowledge of analytical methods relevant for environmental assessment decision making; Demonstrate a working knowledge of EIA and SEA procedures; Identify and include relevant qualitative as well as quantitative data in decision processes in a way that demonstrates an appreciation of the need to communicate issues such as uncertainty and quality; Demonstrate the ability to make sound judgments about the quality of scientific arguments and supporting evidence.              


The course covers both Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). The characteristics of both in practice are quite similar. Similarities and differences between EIA and SEA will be discussed throughout the course. The first course week will specifically elaborate on theory, process and basic methodology for EIA and SEA in the context of spatial planning or land use planning. In the second course week the theory and methodology will be applied in the context of two assignments. The written material for this course consists of scientific papers and chapters from book, together with hand-outs that will be provided during the course. These include background information on EIA, assessment procedures and material used in Europa and internationally and example cases.  

Content Delivery

This component is particular in its delivery as it combines learning through lectures and studying literature, as well as through students carrying out assignments taken from environmental assessment practice.   Throughout this component students will be required to: Follow theoretical introduction lectures Read literature Perform a range of different exercises Critically reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches and methods used throughout the course Make a written exam   The exam is individual, while the exercises are carried out in small groups or plenary during the lectures.  

Coursework And Assignment Details

The coursework in the first week consists of a variety of different activities. These include: A plenary group exercise that focuses at the assessment process for a local Transport Strategy in the UK or similar case. A group exercise on screening of some cases taken from EIA practice. A group exercise on scoping of some cases taken from EIA practice. A plenary group exercise where different examples of assessment matrices are discussed A group exercise on MCDM  techniques   The student grades are based on the written exam (100%).