REMDISS30-Spatial Planning Dissertation

Module Provider: Real Estate and Planning
Number of credits: 30 [15 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Richard Nunes


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module brings together teaching and learning across the programme, incorporating taught and assessed research methods.?


This Spatial Planning Dissertation module provides a vehicle for an independent study of a chosen area of planning practice.? Depending on the student's interest, this study requires students to select a relevant topic or issue in their programme area for further research and analysis. They will also be specifically required to agree a research programme with their allocated supervisor, applying skills and knowledge acquired on the programme to their project in an integrated manner. Students will be expected to present the findings of their research in a fully referenced dissertation that is supported by appropriate statistical, qualitative and/or illustrative data.

Assessable learning outcomes:

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

  • provide an introduction, setting out topic, motivation and approach, and guiding the reader as to the content of the substantive chapters to come; 

  • establish a conceptual/theoretical context and provide a review of the work already done in the particular field; 

  • present an analys is of the research material including, if appropriate, the relevant quantitative and statistical data; 

  • put forward a discussion of the findings leading to conclusions and implications for policy and research. 

Additional outcomes:

Students will develop an understanding of the research process and the main challenges encountered in undertaking an independent study. Skills regarding the application of a theoretical model to practical questions, and the preparation and production of the study will be improved. 

Outline content:


  • Week 13 –Why research – with introduction to dissertation modules 

  • Week 14 – Introduction to qualitative methods 

  • Week 15 – Introduction to quantitative methods


  • Week 20 – Literature review, res earch questions, and case study selection 

  • Week 21 – Document and discourse analysis

  • Week 22 – Survey design, including empirical sampling 

  • Week 23 – Interviews and focus groups

  • Week 24 – Academic misconduct, research ethics clearance and data management

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The contact time for the dissertation consists of one introductory lecture and practical classes on research methods in the Autumn term, and one to one supervision over the Spring and Summer terms. Students are: 

  • Expected to participate in lectures and practical classes, and to work independently on their research project; 

  • Encouraged to apply the skills learned duri ng these sessions to the development of a final dissertation. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 6 5
Practicals classes and workshops 5
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 14 50
    Carry-out research project 20 100
    Dissertation writing 100
Total hours by term 20 80 200
Total hours for module 300

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

  • Dissertation with a word guide of 8,000 words – Submission will be on Thursday, 02 September 2021. 

Formative assessment methods:

  • Regular supervisory meetings during the Spring and Summer terms. 

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 the 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):

Printing and Binding

Travel, accommodation and subsistence

Last updated: 27 August 2020


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