Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 30 Hours.
Other Case Study. 5 x 3 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assignment:  50%
Semester Exam The format will involve students having to answer one question on SIA, one on RA and one on EHIA  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

On completion of the course the successful student will be familiar with the nature and key techniques associated with risk, health and social impact assessment. Students will also understand the relationship between these disciplines and the benefits which could be obtained from their integration. They will be able to indicate the data requirements and data sources for risk assessments and indicate the appropriate method to use in different circumstances. They will be able to discuss the various scenarios which lead to health problems as a result of developments projects. Finally, they will be aware of the need for and role of social impact assessment within an EIA. Students should be able to design appropriate questionnaire surveys or semi-structured interviews for SIA data collection.


To establish the link between environmental impact assessment and risk, health and social impact assessment and to familiarise students with i) the main concepts and techniques of probabilistic risk assessment; ii) the links between the environment and human health; iii) the theory and practice of Social Impact Assessment.


  • The relationship between EIA and Social, Risk and Environmental Health Impact Assessment
  • The common stages of procedures for each of these processes will be highlighted and the economic and time advantages of combining them all within the EIA process outlined. Differences between the processes will be highlighted. Legal requirements for risk, health and social impact assessment will be discussed.
  • Social Impact Assessment (SIA)
  • The nature of change in social systems is reviewed with respect to infrastructure provisions and impacts upon socio-economic and socio-cultural phenomena. Methods for carrying out social impact assessments are explained and the subjective nature of much of the required information outlined. Case studies of an open-cast mine site in the UK are used to illustrate social impacts in practice and training is given in both questionnaire survey techniques and semi-structured interviews.
  • Risk Assessment (RA)
  • The lecture series will consider how to measure risk and how to communicate risk. Background risk is introduced as a baseline against which to compare risk from a development. Major accidents are considered as case studies, using examples from the chemical, nuclear and aerospace industries. Techniques for calculating risk are introduced and their strengths and weaknesses outlined.
  • Environmental Health Impact Assessment (EHIA)
  • The basic concepts of environmental health impact assessment are set by reference to disease agents, environmental health factors, risk groups, epidemiology, dose response curves, standards and morbidity and mortality rates. The epidemiology of vector-borne diseases associated with major water-related projects in the tropics is used to underline the need to integrate health considerations into EIA. Current Health Impact Asssessment requirements in some Western countries will be described, including recent progress in the UK.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Aldrich, T and Griffith, J (1993) Environmental Epidemiology and Risk Assessment Van Nostrand Rheinhold Primo search Birley, M H (1995) The Health Impact Assessment of Development Projects HMSO Primo search British Medical Association (1998) Health and Environmental Impact Assessment - an integrated approach Earthscan Primo search Department of the Environment (1995) A Guide to Risk Assessment and Risk Management for Environmental Protection HMSO Primo search Morris,P and Therivel,R (eds) Methods of Environmental Impact Assessment pp 9-49 UCL Press Primo search Vanclay, F and Bronstein, D A (eds) (1995) Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Wiley Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7