Module Catalogue 2023/24

TCP1026 : Understanding Place: Methods and Perspectives

TCP1026 : Understanding Place: Methods and Perspectives

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ruth Raynor
  • Lecturer: Dr Georgiana Varna
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



This module aims to enable students to gain an understanding of a particular place (through case study work and the use and analysis of multiple sources of data). Students will develop an awareness of different places within Tyneside and beyond, and different methodologies used to construct various understandings of these, as well as the ways in which different knowledges can impact on the development of an area and their own perceptions of place. Through completing this module students will develop an understanding of the constructions of different places and through critical analysis of material will identify the key issues facing these places. Students will develop and critically analyse and synthesise a range of data and materials as well as develop reflexive skills required for professional and scholarly development. This module develops further the skills learned and issues considered by TCP1027 Shaping Towns and Cities.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module is designed to enhance students’ critical understandings of particular places and attendant issues that face different places (localities) within Newcastle, Tyne & Wear and beyond, how these have changes over time through students’ group studies of a given place and the studies collectively. The module is designed to introduce social science research knowledge and skills that will be built on in stage 2 (TCP2027) and prepare the student for undertaking an independent (supervised) research project on a topic selected by the student (TCP3099). Therefore, the module’s teaching and learning is provided through online lectures, group tutorials and dedicated discussion sessions on key dimensions of the multi layered concepts of place. This will include issues such as perceptions and experiences of place, urban design conceptions of place, sociological interpretations of place, feminist and post-colonial debates on place as well as sessions on the art of the survey or contemporary digital methods to capture complexities of place.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

• A good understanding of current national and international debates on space, place and methods of investigating these in various localities which are context sensitive
• A strong knowledge of current key themes and challenges that localities face in contemporary times, drawing from a multi-disciplinary and rich literature on ‘place’ and from a plethora of case studies, national and abroad;
• A clear grasp of adequate research methods, for understanding place beyond positivist planning and economics, with their weaknesses and strengths as well as the advantages of combining them and triangulating data for multi-layered understandings of spatial locations.

Intended Skill Outcomes

1. Students will learn to link theoretical discussions to current events and practical issues, and discern between reliable and unreliable knowledge sources;
2. Students will learn to plan and write a critically analytical essay on issues of place in relation to urbanism and planning as well as other cognate disciplines such as sociology, politics, urban design, planning history, data science.
3. Students will engage in critical thinking through debate and discussion in the (virtual) classroom.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00Lectures introducing creative and conceptual frameworks for understanding place.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1120:00120:00Collecting material and writing time focussed on group work and reflective commentaries.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading101:0010:00Engaging with set texts.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops122:0024:00Workshops for students to learn different practical methods and approaches for understanding place, and to develop their group work.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork112:0022:00Student led group work.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The Structured Guided Learning Activities provide a detailed explanation of the key issues and an examination of important literatures and methodological approaches in relation to the main theme of the project: place. The Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities provide support for discussions about the application of the theoretical and methodological concepts presented in the lecture material to current urban and global issues. The Guided Independent Study will enable students to both achieve the intended knowledge and skills outcomes identified for the module, as well as enabling to help them prepare for the creation of their assessment submission. There is opportunity for practical and group based learning, in a supported environment.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation2M35Short group presentation (10 minutes) providing a 'deep map' exploration of an allocated place in Tyne and Wear, drawing on chosen perspectives, and methods from the course.
Reflective log2M65This assessment reflects on the students individual contribution to the group project, drawing on their process, methods, perspectives as well as their learning from the group work. 2500 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assesment allows students to develop group working skills, and try out creative methodologies to support their understanding of 'place.' Individual reflective logs outweigh group assesment grades, to ensure that students can 'have a voice' in their own work.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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