REMP16-Urban Design and Sustainability

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: 2019/0

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:

Upon completion of this module, students should be able to: 

  • recognise the evolving concepts and principles of sustainability and urban design, and be able to contrast its different viewpoints and theoretical perspectives; 

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

  • construct an analytical framework through the use of an appropriate urban design vocabulary, and appraise the physical quality and functionality of places; 

  • list and explain the difference between monitoring and evaluation tools available in practice for delivering on sustainable urban design outcomes. 

Additional outcomes:

  • Engage in productive debate over competing standpoints; and 

  • Propose and defend evidence-based points of view. 

Outline content:

  • Origins of sustainability and urban design practice 

  • Fundamentals of sustainability and urban design: key debates 

  • Monitoring and evaluation of sustainable urban design 

  • Land, Food, Energy, Water and Health as factors in the substance, motives, roles and relevance of sustainable urban design in development planning practices

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is delivered using lectures, tutorials, group presentations, fieldwork and structured in-class discussions 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 2
Tutorials 1
Fieldwork 4
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 30 55
    Wider reading (directed) 10 40
    Preparation for presentations 5
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 10
    Essay preparation 20
    Reflection 3
Total hours by term 80 120 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Portfolio 20
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:
Not applicable.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

  • Group analysis of an urban place, consisting of the following pre-determined individual components for assessment (Autumn/Spring; 30%): 

  • Draft analytical framework (Autumn; Pass/Fail) – Week 12 

  • Final analytical framework and slides of analysis (Spring; 20%) – Week 22 

  • 15 min in-class presentation of urban analysis and findings (Spring; 10%) – Week 23-24 


  • Individual 3,500 word policy analysis (Spring; 70%) – Week 20 

  • Participation in policy analysis seminar and completion of related exercise (Autumn; Pass/Fail) – Weeks 9, 11 

Formative assessment methods:

  • Discussion of group draft analytical framework with module convenor (Pass/Fail) 

  • Participation in policy analysis seminar and completion of related exercise (Pass/Fail) 


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:

Group coursework will be reassessed by a method different from the original assignment. However individual contributions will be reassessed by the same method, subject to variation by the Examination Board where appropriate. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 30 April 2019


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