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 ENVS420
Coordinator Mrs SU Fischer
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 focus on the theory and practice of urban design as the principal means of delivering quality and sustainable urban environment. It builds on students’ basic design skills to achieve an understanding of character and quality, the key components of urban form and the main theories of urban design. It also deals with the influence of the property market and the participants in the development process on the character and quality of the urban fabric to enable students to develop their own sustainable approach to urban design practice.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Understand how city form is shapedand transformed by socio-cultural, economic, political and ecological factors;

(LO2) Have a more in-depth knowledge of the nature ofpeople-environmental relations,  the idea of place, as well as the role ofurban designers in shaping urban form;

(LO3) Be aware of and understand the current debate onsustainable and desirable urban design practice;

(LO4) Build on previous knowledge of urban design anddesign and presentation techniques;

(LO5) Develop the ability to research and present anurban design topic, including a case study.

(S1) Problem solving skills

(S2) Commercial awareness

(S3) Teamwork

(S4) Organisational skills

(S5) Communication skills

(S6) IT skills

(S7) Lifelong learning skills



The delivery of this module will be based on a combination of methods. E-lectures complemented by guided reading (available online through library) will be used to introduce students to topics outlined below. Students will be encouraged to make site visits and review precedents, where possible under social distancing regulations, to build up their knowledge of different types and qualities of place. Students will also prepare and deliver a seminar presentation on a chosen urban design topic. Assessed practical exercises providing for group and individual learning, supported by tutorial guidance and discussions, will be used to provide for the practical application of design skills and knowledge. These activities can all be moved online if necessary.

The module tutors will cover current urban design issues such as: -urban design practice -achieving design quality -property development and finance -inclusive design: disability and the built environment -urban design and health - rebuilding the city after natural or man-made disasters -problematic building types and achieving mixed use -design theory, site planning and density -sustainable transport in the city Students on the module will choose from the following topics for their research paper and presentation and in essence deliver lectures for the following urban design issues: -design coding for local identity -design at the urban edge -waterfronts -urbanism in the age of climate change -tall buildings in the city -social housing and social inclusion Student presentations may be augmented by module tutors as necessary depending on numbers.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: traditional lecture followed by group discussion
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 2 - Tutorial
Description: A series of group tutorials will be offered as part of the module. The contents will be adjusted to reflect and build on students’ prior topic knowledge and skills. Students have the opportunity to discuss knowledge and skills gaps with the course tutors in week one; the final module structure and contents will be agreed by week two to reflect students’ needs.

Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 3 - Seminar
Students research independently into a topic which they present to the class

Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   17




Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 118


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Exercise Report Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :First  Design exercises    20       
Seminar Paper There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :First  3000 words    60       
Seminar Presentation Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :First  30 min    20       

Recommended Texts

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