APL2035 : Participation: Theories & Practice


Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to get you to:
a.       Develop a critical appreciation of the contexts for participation and the possibilities for action that these can create.
b.       Explore and understand the traditions of participation theories that can be drawn upon to promote engagement activity, considering methodologies, actors involved, organisational and delivery requirements that these might generate.
c.       Critically reflect on the value of one participatory approach or theme in its application to a chosen case study, considering the aims of the project the procedures used, the project outputs and the impact that it has generated in terms of it achieving its aims.
d.       Develop your skills of critical analysis of the narrative that supports a participatory approach, with a focus on one approach in particular.
e. Develop skills in preparing and designing participatory processes within the limitations of the project case study and any extension of it.
f. Reflect on the value of the chosen methodologies for a wider audience/ for wider architectural, planning or creative practice.

Themes and methods introduced will include amongst others: Collaborative planning, participatory design tools and techniques, participatory methods and the more than human world, participatory activist approach, etc.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Initial introductory lecture to module, to build up to the assignments and learning support.
•       3 to 5 lectures presenting the concepts relevant to the themes and approaches introduced.
•       Group tutorials for presentation of a chosen academic paper relating to one of the lectures, providing further depth in the theoretical underpinning of a participatory methodology it the discipline of architecture, planning, design or the arts.
•       Group tutorials to support a pilot project/ scenario methodology and its associated components required in delivering an relevant participatory process.
•       Presentation of findings.
•       Reflective and critical appreciation of the benefits and limitations of the methodologies presented and engaged with through the Urban Room pilot project.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials71:007:00Non- synchronous online. Pre-recorded lectures in blocks of 20/30 minutes (Phase 1)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:0080:00Students progress group work and individual research towards assessments, drawing on online material
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching62:0012:00Tutorials (Phase 2 + 3) PIP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching32:307:30Synchronous online group tutorial in preparation and presentation of academic paper (phase 1)
Guided Independent StudyProject work180:0080:00Group work to prepare towards academic paper presentation (Phase 1) + pilot study report (Phase 2)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk81:008:00Lectures, feedback on assignment and module talks. PIP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk110:305:30Module talks and Q&As. Synchronous online
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Initial lectures contextualise the theory that creates the framework for various participatory processes. Students will then choose one of the project themes that have emerged from the theory and will then undertake a close examination of its key principles with reference to an appropriate case study and relevant academic literature. Group research and pilot project, along with private study will promote an in-depth understanding of participatory processes and how different methodologies have been applied. Group workshops and tutorials will support the students through this learning to a point where they are able to share their findings through to group presentation and individual essay.

Should the public health situation not allow for present in person teaching, the core content will be delivered through pre-recorded content and synchronous sessions, including weekly live online module talks, tutorials and drop-ins. The pre-recorded lecture materials will be complemented by learning activities as well as synchronous Q&A sessions.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study2M20Group presentation showcasing learning from the case study and related academic literature, in front of peer audience.
Prof skill assessmnt2A40Group pilot study report that highlights the concerns of the City Actor and proposal for a participatory process 2000 words
Essay2A40Individual essay of 1,500 words that analyses the methodology used in the case study and the pilot project
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assignment One
Group presentation showcasing learning from the case study and related academic literature, in front of peer audience. Students need to demonstrate an understanding of participatory approaches and theories relevant to the case study, be able to unpack the key elements of the participatory process and reflect on the appropriateness and effectiveness of the approach.

Assignment Two
Group pilot study report that highlights the concerns of the City Actor and the recommended approach to engaging with them in addressing these concerns, drawing on learning to date (2000 words)

Assignment Three
An individual essay reflecting on the appropriate participation theory in the context of the case study and how it has been informed by the pilot study (1500 words).

Reading Lists