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TCP1028 : Disciplinary and professional perspectives on planning

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Abigail Schoneboom
  • Co-Module Leader: Professor Geoff Vigar
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module explores what planning is today and in the near future. In Semester 1 it focuses on planning as a discipline and outlines its potential to tackle the key urban challenges of the Twenty-First Century in the UK and beyond. It explores planning as a profession, situating it within the social sciences while mapping its connections to other disciplines e.g. geography, architecture, surveying, engineering and the arts. In Semester 2 the module considers specialism within planning and the different avenues for being of being employed as a planner.

Outline Of Syllabus

In semester 1 (10 credits), the module focuses on planning’s role in managing urban change in the UK particularly. It then critically examines planning’s role in tackling key grand challenges such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It explores planning and how it sits alongside other environmental professionals in delivering change to place, with an introduction to the different specialisms within planning itself. A case study development site will be explored in more depth to understand how these environmental professionals (Planning being one of them) alongside other planning specialists coordinate their expertise to deliver development consortia. An examination of a current development and its planning application will support students’ learning and create the context for the first assignment.

In semester 2 (10 credits), the module will investigate professional perspectives on planning through a lecture/workshop series, exploring professionalism itself and the knowledge and skills that planners need and use. A directed programme of interactions with plans and planners, and skill-development sessions will allow students to complete their second assignment, the Reflective Logbook.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1128:00128:00assessment preparation and completion: Additional reading, links to podcast
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00Synchronous session with 20 minute sections: presentation, short readings and discussion. In Person
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading241:0024:00Lecture materials: Planning media articles on professional viewpoints
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Synchronous, mostly located in semester 2, the workshops explore the concepts introduced - PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork110:0010:00Site visit to consider professional viewpoints. Day field trip in Semester 2. Present in person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00Present in person.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will deliver key concepts.
Small group teaching (mostly semester 2) will provide students with opportunities for discussion with academic staff and planning professionals on complex and contested issues. They will provide opportunities for short skill-based tasks and non-assessed exercises that can be used for giving feedback and as practice for the assessment submissions.
Structured Guided Learning offers alternative methods to explore and critique key concepts.
Structured Independent Study allows students to prepare for their assessment submission with tailored synchronous and non-synchronous materials.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M50The report will mimic a professional report submitted to a planning officer for a committee audience. 1500 words
Reflective log2M501500 words. The Reflective Logbook offers a continuous critical thinking process across the two modules
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The report will recreate a real-life process where professionals offer their professional expertise and judgement in relation to a proposed development on a local site.

The Reflective Logbook explores the student’s own reflections throughout the module, of the learning that has taken place and their alignment with the range of guest speakers and the professional values and skills explored on the module, and to consider their own personal development as they progress into Stage 2.

Reading Lists