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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton First semester 2011 (Day)
Sunway Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Elena Karataeva (Clayton); Dr Charles Clarke (Sunway)


This unit deals with the processes by which the potential environmental consequences of development proposals are evaluated. These can be highly contentious because of the conflicting interests of different stakeholders. The subject will examine the nature of the widely-adopted procedure of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and formulation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). It will also examine decision-making tools such as integrated assessment and those based on economics, such as cost-benefit analysis. Practical insight into these processes will be provided through case studies, a field trip and critical evaluation of EIA documentation.


On completion of this unit students will be able to: understand the social context of environmental decision making and its interdisciplinary and participatory nature; show familiarity with frameworks for evaluation of projects, plans, and policies including aspects of international, Commonwealth and State law; understand the development and operation of Environmental Impact Assessment both nationally and internationally; describe and understand approaches, including those based on economics, to valuing the environment and making decisions; critically review the EIS of a real development proposal; explore the nature of conflicts between environmental, social and economic interests in decisions; gain experience in communication processes associated with participatory environmental decision making.


Critical appraisal of an EIS document (1000 words): 20%
Report on site visit (1000 words): 20%
Oral presentation (15 mins): 20%
Written examination (2 hours): 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Elena Karataeva

Contact hours

2 hours of lectures and 2 hours of tutorial sessions per week