The University of Southampton
HumanitiesPostgraduate study

ARCH6128 Cultural Heritage within Environmental Impact Assessment

Module Overview

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a process required in many countries to predict the consequences of proposed projects (e.g. construction) or policies (e.g. ground water management).  This includes assessing the impact on cultural heritage assets.  Within this module you will learn the methods used to evaluate heritage sites and landscapes using desk based approaches including Geographical information Systems, Computer Aided Design, historical maps, national archives and remote sensing.  The module will include detailed discussion of the requirements of the EIA process, standards adhered to and the roles of consultants, regulators and contractors within this process. 

Aims and Objectives


  • To introduce you to the process behind EIA for cultural heritage and to train you to carry out the process yourself.

Learning outcomes:

  • To understand the rationale behind EIA
  • To be cognisant of the workflows associated with EIA for heritage management
  • To be able to produce a desk based assessment (DBA) of a particular site or landscape drawing on library research, grey literature, historic maps and documents, air photographs and other archived materials.

Transferrable skills and employability:

  • Knowledge of EIA process applicable to a range of fields in many countries
  • Experience of assessment process and report production to stated deadlines
  • Accessing archives and assimilating data
  • GIS and CAD skills


The module is delivered through a combination of lectures, workshops, fieldtrips, computer based practicals and individual study. The topics covered in lectures will typically include:

  • Legislative frameworks
  • EIA requirements
  • What constitutes Heritage Assets
  • Methods for evaluation
  • Working with regulatory demands, professional ethics and developmental constraints.
  • Desk based assessment
  • Professional report writing
  • Case Studies

Special Features

This module includes seminars and discussions led by both members of industry and regulating bodies (English Heritage).  In addition fieldtrips will be held to relevant local projects when possible. 

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

  •  Lectures
  • Group Seminars
  • Computer based practicals
  • Student led panel interviews (client/regulator/consultant meeting simulation)

Resources and reading list

Aston, M. 1985, Interpreting the Landscape: Landscape Archaeology in Local Studies. Batsford. London.
Barker, P. 1982, Techniques of Archaeological Excavation. Batsford. London.
Bewley, R., Donoghue, D., Gaffney, V., van Leusen, M., Wise, A. 1998, Archiving Aerial Photography and Remote Sensing Data: A Guide to Good Practice. Archaeology Data Service.
CARVER, J J. The Challenges and Opportunities for Mega-Infrastructure Projects and Archaeology. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology, [S.l.], v. 23, p. Art. 18, oct. 2013. ISSN 2041-9015. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 May. 2014. doi:
Department of the Environment 1994, PPG 15 Planning Policy Guidance: Planning and the Historic Environment. Department of the Environment.
Department of the Environment 1994, PPG 16 Planning Policy Guidance: Planning and the Historic Environment. Department of the Environment.
Howard, P. 2007, Archaeological Surveying and Mapping: Recording and Depicting the Landscape. London; Routledge.
Hunter, J. and Ralston, I. 1993, Archaeological Resource Management in the UK: An Introduction. Alan Sutton.
Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment.
Richards, J. and Robinson, D. 2000, Digital Archives from Excavation and Fieldwork: Guide to Good Practice, Second Edition. Archaeology Data Service.
Rippon, S. 2004, Historic Landscape Analysis: Deciphering the Countryside. Council for British Archaeology


Assessment methods


Assessment Method

Include duration of exams, whether the assessment is formative or summative and whether there are any elements that must be passed for successful completion of the module.  


% contribution to final mark

Final assessment (√)

Individual module blog:  This will be your lab book in electronic form, allowing you to collate and comment on appropriate references and case studies.  Feedback will be given by the tutor throughout the module


0 (formative)


Contractor/Regulator/Consultant project meeting (presentation and interview).  Feedback will be given on the presentation and performance during the interview (10 minutes)




Desk based assessment  (4000 words)





Programmes in which this module is compulsory

MSc Business and Heritage Management

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