REMP02-Planning Theory, Politics and Practice

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:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Gavin Parker


Summary module description:

This module provides students with an in-depth understanding of various conceptions of planning intervention in theoretical terms and relates this to the politics of planning in practice. The unique aspect of the module is the integration of theory and practice looking to apply different theoretical perspectives directly into practice-based examples, culminating in a debate and essay (60%). To ensure learning coverage is achieved in depth the module is also assessed 40% through examination.

Assessable learning outcomes:
After completing the module students should be able to:
•use conceptual frameworks to understand and analyse the planning process;
•critically evaluate these conceptions and the debates surrounding them;
•understand and assess the political context of planning;
•understand and assess the impact of theoretical/political ideas on planning practice;
•dissect a contemporary planning issue using theoretical ideas.

Additional outcomes:
The module will also develop Web-based learning skills involving literature searching, research, and case study exercises including group presentation and role-play.

Outline content:
The work is set out according to the major epistemological ideas that underpin the different conceptions of the planning process. After introducing the role and utility of theoretical ideas in understanding and changing planning practice, the lectures then explore a range of different 'models' which seek to understand and explain the nature of planning intervention in modern societies. In the spring term attention is turned towards the politics and practices of planning policy and related actors, while reflecting on the theoretical and conceptual elements covered in the first part of the module. This latter part of the module encourages students to think about how theory is and can be used to prepare and instigate better planning practice. This is embellished through the group project and presentation on this aspect of planning knowledge. The topics covered include:

  • Mapping planning theory
  • Rational comprehensive planning and the incrementalist critique of planning
  • The New-right critique of planning
  • The Marxist critique of planning
  • Post-Structuralist conceptions and critiques of planning
  • Role of the state, institutions and actors
  • Planning, politics and professional ethics
  • Environmental justice and human rights
  • Theory and the making of plans
  • Community planning and governance
  • Planners as networkers and facilitators

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is introduced in week 1 of the autumn term and then delivered using a combination of lectures, web-based learning and review tutorials. These mechanisms are supplemented by project-specific practicals which support student work in a role-play exercise. The University's Blackboard course information system is used to provide students with module material and structured web-based learning blocks that provide an intensive grounding in the subject areas.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Tutorials 10
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 40
Written assignment including essay 60

Other information on summative assessment:
One debate exercise and linked essay.

One examination.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:
Two hours.

Requirements for a pass:
The pass-mark for this module is 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Reassessment will be by the same method as for the module’s original assessment requirements, subject to variation by the Examination Board where appropriate.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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