REMP19-Comparative International Planning Studies

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 Angelique Chettiparambil Rajan


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The appreciation of issues and approaches to spatial planning in different countries, regions or provinces is an important part of learning and understanding the different contexts in which planning has evolved and the different tools, techniques and impacts of planning in these contexts. This module provides such an opportunity at postgraduate level. The module also introduces different themes that planning is often concerned with and discusses how planning might make a difference in particular thematic areas.


The aim of this module is to compare planning practices and systems worldwide and draw lessons from such comparisons. The comparison of issues and approaches to spatial planning in different countries, regions or provinces is an important part of learning and understanding the different contexts in which planning has evolved and the different tools, techniques and impacts of planning in these contexts. The module will enable students to appreciate and critique different systems of planning as well as draw generic lessons from such comparisons. It aims to set the context, history and development of planning in a given subject country or state and then explore the key powers and limitations of that system through an examination of particular themes/tools/techniques that operate in that system. This provides the opportunity to develop a global view of how planning is applied and the advantages and problems of each system set against its political, economic and social context. By also discussing different themes in planning, the module allows for an appreciation of the versatility of planning in contributing to resolving various economic, social, environmental and cultural issues.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • Apply the theory of lesson drawing

  • Apply theories of policy transfer

  • Interpret and compare different planning systems;

  • Judge the historic, cultural and political constraints and enablers that shape different planning systems;

  • Describe how particular tools/techniques and themes operate within a particular context.

  • Evaluate the scope for cross cultural learning with regard to particular themes/tools/techniques.

Additional outcomes:

Development of online discussion skills, essay writing skills and cross-cultural understanding.

Outline content:

The lectures will be delivered by a combination of University of Reading staff and guest lecturers who are experts on different planning approaches across the world. The initial session will be lecture based and will set the scene by explaining the theory and practice of comparative studies and lesson drawing. This will be followed by lectures on the planning system in different countries and presentation of specific themes/tools/techniques that are illustrated through case studies from the countries being studied. The final session will draw together what has been learned while providing guidance for assessment.

The following list is indicative. Given the nature of the module aim, the content may alter from year to year. The core aims and outcomes will however be maintained:

  • Introduction: comparative planning and lesson drawing

  • Planning in India and the bottom-up approach

  • Planning in Denmark and competitiveness

  • Planning in Sri Lanka and the delivery of housing

  • Planning in the Netherlands and land management

  • Planning in Ireland and post economic crisis

  • Planning in Germany and neighbourhood regeneration

  • Planning in the US and the management of sustainability

  • Planning in Italy and regional planning

  • Tutorials on essay plan

Global context:

The entire module is appropriate for a global context

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The teaching and learning method for the module will be one of blended learning. This will involve a mixture of 2 hours of case study based lectures each week supplemented by student contributions to an online discussion forum that will be moderated by the module leader/teaching assistant each week. The forum will discuss and debate the particular planning system and the themes/tools and techniques discussed in that week in the lectures.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Tutorials 2
Practicals classes and workshops 16
Guided independent study 164
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 75
Set exercise 25

Summative assessment- Examinations:
Not applicable.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There are three components of assessment. The first involves assessment of student contributions each week to the online discussion forum on blackboard. Students are expected to engage in critical discussion of material presented in the lectures from week 2-9 and contribute around 250-300 words to the discussion forum a day before the scheduled lecture each week. The contributions over the 8 weeks will be assessed and will carry 25% weight in the overall assessment. The second assessment involves the production of an essay plan that entails a pass/fail outcome. This will be due by the last week of term and will be discussed in one-to-one tutorials. Upon securing a pass, the student can progress towards the third assessment which involves writing an essay of around 3750 words based upon the essay plan. This essay will carry 75% weight and will be due by the first week of the spring term.

Formative assessment methods:

Discussion Board inputs across 8 weeks which contribute to overall module marks and individual face-to-face tutorials on essay plan for the final summative assignment which do not contribute to overall module marks.

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:

Assessment 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):

Last updated: 31 July 2018


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