Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Introduction to Environmental Law and Environmental Impact Assessment
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Environmental law & EIA essay  Question aligned to lecture content & learning outcomes. To be based on a critical evaluation of the principles underpinning environmental law through time, focussed on a national setting of the student's choice. 2000 Words  60%
Semester Assessment Seminar Presentation  Exploring the success/failures of an environmental law 'compliance mechanism' through the presentation of an EIA case study (different case studies will be picked/allocated across groups). 20 Minutes  40%
Supplementary Assessment Seminar Presentation - Resit  Students must take elements of assessment that are equivalent to those that led to failure of the module 20 Minutes  40%
Supplementary Assessment Environmental law & EIA essay - Resit  Essay resubmission - Students must take elements of assessment that are equivalent to those that led to failure of the module 2000 Words  60%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Effectively communicate knowledge about the key issues relating to environmental law and EIA.

2. Compare a range of compliance mechanisms in environmental law and different approaches to EIA.

3. Describe the court system and processes through which law is created in England and Wales.

4. Critically appreciate the principles which form the basis of much of the environmental legislation.

5. Analyse potential weaknesses in the EIA process.

6. Understand how EIA integrates into an environmental management framework at a national and international level.

7. Explain how changes in society have influenced environmental thinking.

Brief description

This module will introduce students to a number of different areas of law: processes; categories; legislative tools; theories and principles. The assessment is designed to draw in the various strands from each of these areas. It will also provide an understanding how the theory and practices employed in current Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) have developed. Seminars focus on skills that may be used in a professional capacity through case specific exercises.


To develop student understanding of how the legal system works in respect of the environment and of Environmental Impact Assessment procedures.


The module begins by introducing environmental impacts and how we predict, assess and mitigate when projects are undertaken. It considers how EIA fits within the overall environmental management framework. The nature of the EIA process is next considered including analysis, screening, scoping and the production of the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement). The role of the project co-ordinator in EIA will be discussed along with the importance of stakeholder and public participation different EIA methods. In addition, the EIA procedures that have been adopted around the world will be considered including the relationship between EIA and SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment).

A foundation for effective implementation of EIA and associated environmental protection approaches is environmental legislation. After considering environmental assessment we consider how legislative processes and how it operates to protect the environment and natural resources. To begin we consider the law making process and the principle that that something needs clear identity for it to be protectable by legislative action. Another part of the module explores the evolution of the way in which society has viewed environmentalism and need for environmental protection. Environmental legislation is usually based upon some founding principles; these are explored in the final part of the module, providing students with international, European and domestic examples of these principles. Once it is decided that action is required in the environmental field, thought must be given to the most appropriate means of achieving the desired result. Should the market be left to find the solution of should the legislator intervene with strictly enforceable targets? The module will explore all possible alternatives. However, if legislation is the method chosen, how does the executive get its ideas through Parliament and how will the Courts deal with it if it comes before them?

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Participating in the presentation exercise
Improving own Learning and Performance This will be achieved through completion of the essay and presentation assignments
Information Technology In production of the essay & presentation assignment
Personal Development and Career planning Teaching materials and associated activities in this module will consistently hold a strong applied context. If it can be arranged given the short preparation time allotted, the presentation assignment will include guest audience members from local environmental consultants/similar, to provide a more authentic 'workplace' presentation format (not just presenting to peers). Questions regarding future career options will be encouraged wherever guest industry specialists contribute.
Problem solving In addressing assignment briefs and reporting on these.
Research skills In developing the research context for the presentation and essay assignments. Also background reading for the assignments.
Subject Specific Skills Understanding of the legal system and the legal process in an environmental context. Evaluation of EIA procedures.
Team work This will be developed through peer-cooperation during the presentation exercise & unassessed team-based activities which will form part of the learning activity programme.


This module is at CQFW Level 7