Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code ENVS432
Coordinator Dr OJ Sykes
Geography and Planning
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 7 FHEQ First Semester 15


The aim of this module is to provide the context and conception of planning as a professional activity.  It examines the institutional perspective on planning activities in relation to politics and markets and explores different strands of theories on the nature and purposes of planning.
There are a number of specific objectives:
1. To provide a theoretical grounding on the nature and purposes of planning activities and planning practice;
2. To introduce planning as a political as well as an administrative and technical process;
3. To identify the range of different stakeholders involved in the planning process and their inter-relationships;
4. To relate theories about planning to more general social theories of the state, society and professional ethics;
5. To provide a conceptual framework for students to formulate their own professional value-systems and viewpoints.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) 1. appreciate a range of different theoretical backgrounds to planning, both historical and contemporary;

(LO2) 2 . understand the diversity of ideologies, values and cultures that form different theories in and of  planning;

(LO3) 3. understand the reasons why planning practitioners operate in the way they do;

(LO4) 4. have a rounded understanding of the institutional and political structures within which planning operates; and

(LO5) 5. develop the ability to formulate one's own professional values and attitudes.

(S1) Communication skills

(S2) Ethical awareness

(S3) Lifelong learning skills



The module is structured into seven broad areas:
1- Planning, politics and governance - The evolving multi-level governance context for planning from the UN to sub-national government scales.
2- The nature and purposes of planning and planning theory - Nature and purposes of developing planning theory and theories ‘of’, ‘in’ and ‘for’ planning
3- Planning as a technical and rational activity - From physical to procedural planning theories
4- Planning as a political-economic activity - Marxian and political economy views and neo-liberal theory
5- Planning as a pluralistic activity - Pluralism, advocacy, and communicative planning
6- Planning as a modern or postmodern activity - Modernist and post-modernist views of planning and their implications for planning theory and practice
7- Planning as a professional and ethical activity - Ethics, values and professionalism

Teaching and Learning Strategies

A combination of e-lectures, seminars and guided independent learning contributes to enabling students to meet the learning outcomes.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   4


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 126


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 2 There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Last  2 hours    50       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 1 There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :First  2500 words    50       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.