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Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment Using Spatial Decision Suppor

Degree type
Language of education
English (100%)
6 weeks
Tuition fee EU/EEA
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Tuition fee Non EU/EEA
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Education type
Start of program
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Application deadline
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Type of institution
Research University

Program description

This course provides opportunity to integrate a multidisciplinary assessment of spatial policies, plans & projects. Hands-on experience with real EIA & SEA projects will be a major part of it.

Decision making in a complex world: the request for (training in) SEA is growing rapidly worldwide and techniques to visually illustrate and assess the implications of spatial decisions are much in demand.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a systematic procedure established to evaluate the impacts of proposed projects. Although by now EIA is acknowledged and legally embedded in most countries, practice has shown that EIA often occurs too late in the planning process.

Since the Nineties SEA for policies, plans and programmes evolved. The key principles of SEA and EIA are the involvement of relevant stakeholders, a transparent and adaptive planning process, consideration of alternatives, and using the best possible information for decision and policy making.

EIA and SEA therefore improve both the (spatial) planning process and the information used in this process. In this course, you will explore how GIS, models and spatial decision support systems can be used to help to identify and structure the problem(s), find and compare possible solutions.

In this course you will work with a set of modern techniques and tools to provide geo-information as a basis for environmental assessment of policies, plans or projects. You will learn the basic principles, procedures and steps in EIA and SEA and their interaction with the planning process. You will acknowledge the importance of stakeholder involvement and value environmental assessment methods, including biodiversity modelling and methods to assess and value ecosystem services. You will explore how GIS is applied in the environmental assessment process. You will develop and assess alternatives and scenarios using indicators and metrics. You will apply spatial decision support tools for site selection and vulnerability and risk assessment.

Instruction modes
The general approach of the course is task based learning which blends theory and practice. The study load is 20 to 24 hours per week. All materials including (most of) the software will be provided online in ITC's digital learning environment Blackboard. For convenient offline study most materials will be sent on a CD-Rom. We will use email for individual communication and a discussion board in Blackboard for group communication

EIA; SEA; stakeholder involvement; impact assessment methods & tools; scenario analysis and optimization; ecosystem services assessment; economic valuation; spatial decision support tools and spatial multi-criteria evaluation.

About the University of Twente

The University of Twente focuses on the development of technology and its impact on people and society. It offers bachelor, master and postgraduate programs in the field of Technology, Behavioral and Social Sciences. University of Twente students are always encouraged to look beyond the boundaries of their own field and establish links with other disciplines.

High tech, human touch. This is what characterizes the University of Twente. Some 3,300 scientists and other professionals working together on cutting-edge research, innovations with real-world relevance and inspiring education for more than 9,000 students. The enterprising university encourages students to develop an entrepreneurial spirit and is a partner of Knowledge Park Twente.

More information about the University of Twente

Admission requirements

Previous education

BSc level. Basic knowledge in GIS and modelling.

Language requirements

IELTS overall band: 5.5, TOEFL computer based: 173, TOEFL internet based: 61, TOEFL paper based: 500, CAE: C1, CPE: C2


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