RE3SUD-Sustainability and Urban Design

Module Provider: Real Estate and Planning
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Richard Nunes


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module provides an introductory level overview of basic urban design concepts and sustainability principles.


This module aims to provide students with an understanding of key aspects of the built and natural environment. In particular, it examines the nature, role and contemporary relevance of sustainable urban design and development. It covers the dimensions and constituents of urban design and planning approaches to the creation and maintenance of good places, with regard to the interests involved and the nature of the urban design and development planning processes. It aims to promote awareness of, and sensitivity to urban design, and strategic and local planning issues with implications for more socially and environmentally just development outcomes.

Assessable learning outcomes:

•    Examine the concept of sustainability and be aware of the different viewpoints and theoretical perspectives, which underpin it;

•    Discuss the evolving concepts and principles of urban design;

•    Discuss the substance, motives, roles and relevance of sustainable urban design;

•    Use an appropriate urban design vocabulary;

•    Identify, describe, appraise and communicate the design characteristics and qualities of places and spaces;

•    Discuss the functional, environmental, visual and social use aspects of urban design;

•    Outline the equal opportunity considerations in sustainable urban design including issues of disability and gender;

•    Recognise the value of sustainable urban design; and

•    Explore and evaluate the role of planning and development in delivering selected aspects of sustainable urban design.

Additional outcomes:

•    Develop Web-based learning skills, involving literature searching, research and case study exercises.


Outline content:

•    Origins of sustainability and urban design practice

•    Sustainability and urban design principles, and its value to everyday practice

•    Policy guidance and delivery of sustainable development, and its enforcement

•    Monitoring and evaluation through sustainability appraisal and design audit.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is delivered using illustrative lectures, workshops and seminars.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 17
Project Supervision 2 2
Practicals classes and workshops 3
Guided independent study 148 28
Total hours by term 170.00 30.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Portfolio 20
Oral assessment and presentation 20
Set exercise 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There are three components of assessment across the Autumn and Spring terms:

• Individual assessments of student contributions to an online discussion forum (Autumn; 20%) –Students are expected to engage in critical discussion of material presented in three guest lectures in Weeks 7, 8 and 9, and to contribute around 250-300 words to the discussion forum a day before each of the three scheduled guest lectures.

• Group analysis of sustainable urban design, consisting of pre-determined individual components for assessment:

          - Draft analytical framework (Autumn; 10%) – Week 12

          - 10 min in-class presentation of analysis/findings (Spring; 20%) – Week 22

• Individual 2,500 word essay (Spring; 50%) – Week 23

Formative assessment methods:

In-class assessment and discussion of group presentation

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy. 

Where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;

Where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.


The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:

You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A module mark of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:

The group analysis of sustainable urban design will be reassessed by a method different from the original assignment. However individual contributions to the discussion forum and the individual essay will be reassessed by the same method, subject to variation by the Examination Board where appropriate.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 20 September 2018


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