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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

Module Aims

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

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • 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
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • 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.


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)

Wider reading or practice10
Completion of assessment task80
Preparation for scheduled sessions30
Practical classes and workshops6
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

CARVER, J J (2013). The Challenges and Opportunities for Mega-Infrastructure Projects and Archaeology. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology, [S.l.]. ,23 , pp. 18.

Howard, P (2007). Archaeological Surveying and Mapping: Recording and Depicting the Landscape. 

Barker, P. (1982). Techniques of Archaeological Excavation. 

Bewley, R., Donoghue, D., Gaffney, V., van Leusen, M., Wise, A. (1998). Archiving Aerial Photography and Remote Sensing Data: A Guide to Good Practice. 

Department of the Environment 1994, PPG 15 Planning Policy Guidance: Planning and the Historic Environment. Department of the Environment.. 

Richards, J. and Robinson, D. (2000). Digital Archives from Excavation and Fieldwork: Guide to Good Practice. 

Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment.. 

Rippon, S. (2004). Historic Landscape Analysis: Deciphering the Countryside. 

Hunter, J. and Ralston, I. (1993). Archaeological Resource Management in the UK: An Introduction. 

Department of the Environment 1994, PPG 16 Planning Policy Guidance: Planning and the Historic Environment. Department of the Environment.. 

Aston, M. (1985). Interpreting the Landscape: Landscape Archaeology in Local Studies. 


Assessment Strategy

This module allows for two modes of assessment; formative and summative. Formative feedback will be used to aid your learning throughout the module via feedback on a blog you will create. Here you will be able to aggregate journal articles, case studies and pose questions. The summative assessment will take the form of a desk based assessment for a terrestrial development. You will be given a project brief and the necessary data to make an assessment. Your first summative assessment will be in the form of an interview where you will outline your initial thoughts on the project. The second assessment will be your written report (following feedback from the interview). This assessment has been designed to directly follow current practice in industry, helping to improve your employability skills.


Module blog


MethodPercentage contribution
Desk-based assessment  (4000 words) 75%
Project meeting 25%


MethodPercentage contribution
Desk-based assessment  (4000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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