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TCP8942 : Reflexive Practitioner (MPlan version)

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Geoff Vigar
  • Lecturer: Dr Zan Gunn, Dr Abigail Schoneboom, Dr Andrew Law
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


•       to critically discuss ethics and their relation to planning practice drawing on students’ recent planning experiences;
•       to review ideas about responsibility, professional duty and professionalism, with particular regard to planning;
•       to review key issues affecting work in planning and architecture;
•       to critically review the ways in which planners contribute their knowledge, skills and values in different contexts;
•       to critically review the institutional roles in which planning is practised.

The Reflexive Practitioner for MPlan is a Final Year PGT Module which links planning practice, as an example of broader professional practice, to theoretical concepts of ethics and professionalism in a real-world context, drawing on their recently gained planning experiences.

In this module students learn about responsibility, about differences between reflection and reflexion, between morals and ethics, between the right and the good as applied in a variety of circumstances, reflecting on their own differing experiences of practice gained through their placement.

By increasing our understanding of our own (and other actors’) views on the ethics of different types of behaviour in different situations, we may be able to become better human beings and better professionals.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction – reflective and reflexive; morals and ethics. Epistemology – knowledge, fact and value.
The changing nature of planning
Planner’s identity: missionaries or chameleons? Planners and their clients
Professional Codes of Conduct

Workshops on contemporary planning issues arising out of student’s practice experience –inc. reflection on issues of Climate Change and Social Justice

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion173:0073:00Students reading and working on their assignment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops102:0020:00PIP Space to reflect on planning practice, the system, the processes, the profession
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion15:005:00Some online sessions to inform the workshop sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00Assignment support
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Structured lecture sessions will use c.20 minute presentations alongside films and other media artefacts to convey knowledge of the field. Real world examples of ethical dilemmas in planning, attendance at a planning committee and contributions from planners will explore the practical application of theories in practice. Asynchronous debates in contemporary planning issues will be seeded and given momentum.
Academic readings support and develop material from the structured sessions

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1001 X essay (2,500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The theoretical nature of the material and the need for students to demonstrate discursively the complexities of ethical planning dilemmas makes an essay the obvious and best choice given their need to demonstrate: an understanding of relevant theories; an ability to connect theory and practice; an ability to make insightful, analytical comment; and, that they can construct logical argument

Reading Lists