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: 2019/0

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, states 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 module will enable students to appreciate and critique different systems of planning as well as compare particular planning systems. It sets the context, history and development of planning in a given subject country or state and then explores 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; 

  • Analyse and compare different planning systems; 

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

  • Analyse 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:

  • Increased global awareness; 

  • Increased cross-cultural understanding; 

  • Appreciation of the diversity of planning challenges; 

  • Develop online discussion skills; 

  • Refine essay writing skills. 

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.? 

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

• Introduction: comparative planning and lesson drawing 

• Planning in India and the bottom-up planning 

• Planning in Ghana and land management 

• Planning in Sri Lanka and the dark-side of planning? 

• Planning in the Netherlands and water management 

• Planning in Ireland and post economic crises? 

• Planning in Japan and property rights 

• Planning in US and the management of Sustainability 

• Planning in China and regional planning 

• One-to-one tutorials on essay plan 

Global context:

This module is entirely situated within a global context. The lectures and assessments require students to develop global awareness. Speakers from national backgrounds that overlap with the content of the modules normally deliver the lectures. 

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 each week. The forums will discuss and debate the particular planning system and the themes/tools and techniques discussed within lectures, alongside prescribed readings.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 16 30
    Wider reading (directed) 12
    Other 12
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 6
    Essay preparation 20 80
    Reflection 3 1
Total hours by term 89 111 0
Total hours for module 200

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. One is summative and two are formative. Of the two formative assessments, one is assessed and contributes to the overall marks, while the other is assessed on a pass/fail basis.  

The summative assessment is an end-of-module essay. The guide length for the essay is 3750 words and is due by week 1 of spring term. The end-of-module essay carries 75% weight and the remainder of the module is assessed through the 25% formative assessment detailed below. 

Formative assessment methods:

The first formative assessment involves student contributions each week to the online discussion forum on Blackboard. Students are expected to engage in critical discussion of material presented in the scheduled lectures from week 2-5 and 7-10. Forums will remain open for posting until Monday 4:00 pm the week after a lecture. Contributions over 8 weeks will be assessed and will carry 25% weight in the overall assessment. 

The second formative assessment involves the production of an essay plan drawing on the directed and undirected readings and feedback received on the discussion board postings. The assessment will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis and will not contribute to the overall assessment. This will be due by the last week of term and will be discussed in one-to-one tutorial slots. A non-appearance in the tutorial slots or a fail in the essay plan will attract negative marks totalling a maximum of 5 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:

An overall mark of at least 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: 26 April 2019


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