This exciting new course is specifically aimed at people wishing to gain expertise in contemporary sustainability issues. It provides graduates with excellent career opportunities in planning, environmental management, urban design, community development, regeneration, transport management, climate change mitigation and other planning related careers.
The course is suitable for:
* Students who have work experience in planning or related discipline and require a postgraduate qualification and subsequent professional accreditation to develop their career further.
* New graduates starting their career in planning with a first degree in geography, environmental science, conservation, sociology, architecture and urban studies.
* Students from other disciplines who have developed an interest in planning from voluntary work, work experience or project work.
* A combination of stimulating academic study and strong career orientation
* Focus on the role of planning in addressing key sustainability concerns: climate change; urban sprawl; social cohesion; and demands for personal mobility
* Using the latest techniques including GIS; urban design tools and community design engagement techniques such as charettes
* Practical problem based approach to learning that uses real planning issues and case studies
* Flexibility of study based on a programme of short courses scheduled over two or three days at weekends
* UK field trips including visits to the start of town planning nearby at Letchworth and the first New Towns
* International study visit to look at European best practice in France and Germany.
This module aims to allow students to develop an understanding of the key elements of the property development process within the UK and internationally. Students will understand how property development encompasses a range of skills and knowledge derived from a number of disciplines. Students will become familiar with the roles of the key stakeholders in the development process and how the risks and rewards are shared. Of key importance to planners are the ways in which some of the benefits from the development process can be retained for the benefit of local communities. Through the use of a range of case studies students will become familiar with and be able to critique appraisals submitted by developers. Case studies and lecture material will cover projects in both the commercial and residential sectors. Progress within the sector towards sustainable development and local initiatives to support green jobs will be critically examined and its achievements evaluated.
Place-making and Spatial Mediation
This module is designed to introduce students to the concepts of place and space and the ways in which and how these mediate. In the course of this module students will develop a range of analytical skills to enable them to become informed decision-makers and to foster an awareness of value judgments, deliberation processes and ethical considerations. This module focuses attention on the need to enhance and develop communities that can be experienced by residents and visitors with a high level of quality, form, function, connectivity and identity, and in so doing recognises the role of place-making in building sustainable communities.
Planning law, policy & practice
This module is designed to combine theory and policy in what is generally termed praxis. Ideally, theory should underpin planning practice at all levels from local to global, in all types of policy-making. In turn, practice should inform theory. Theory, therefore, helps planners to understand the environments (social, economic and environmental) in which they plan, why they plan, and how they plan. By increasing understanding we may be able to better plan for a sustainable future.
Spatial Planning: Theories and Strategies
This module provides concepts and skills for considering planning interventions. It introduces some socio-spatial and process ideas on how and why to develop spatial strategies at a range of scales from local to global. Students will work in groups on a range of intensive topics to develop a spatial strategy for specific examples at a range of scales and within a variety of spatial contexts. Through attending lectures, workshops and site visits and through working on this strategy, students will have the opportunity to develop these skills and understanding.
Sustainable Communities & Environment
This module is designed to develop a detailed knowledge of the concept of sustainable communities at a variety of levels, but principally at the urban and neighbourhood levels. The module develops an understanding of how communities have been affected by the processes of globalisation and the planning that is necessary as a result of these processes. The ways in which planning decisions can help shape sustainable communities is a key aspect of the module. The module is designed to acquire skills of development strategies and implementation. The module also considers how societies change and develop and considers the implications of this when planning for the sustainable community.
The module provides an overview of key issues relating to sustainable energy and climate change in the context of spatial planning in the UK. To understand the problems, students first need to understand the main energy sources and broad patterns of energy consumption. Climate change is an increasingly significant consideration for plan making. Planners and energy managers need develop positive adaptation and mitigation strategies. The module draws on examples of good practice from the UK and internationally. To make decisions about responses to climate change practitioners need data, particularly the information available through the UK Climate Impacts Programme. Energy use is an issue that cuts across spatial scales. While it is most commonly considered at the scale of the individual building it is also important at the neighbourhood and wider scale. Energy use and behaviour change issues provide an important balance to technical solutions proposed for individual buildings.
Sustainable Planning Dissertation
Urban Design and Conservation
This module is designed to develop a detailed knowledge of the usages and potential for urban design. This is done by considering urban design in a range of contexts both temporal and spatial, in order to better understand and conceptualise the ways in which urban design can facilitate a sustainable urban liveability. Furthermore, this module will develop an appreciation of the idea of the historic city and its evolution and how we must plan accordingly to develop a greater appreciation of the social, cultural and economic heritage. This will be done through gaining an understanding of conservation approaches and the relationship between the historic city and the planning system.
Community Engagement and the Planning Process
This module is designed to introduce students to the concept of public participation within the planning process. Students will investigate the various ways, statutory and otherwise, in which planners, developers and other stake-holders must involve public participation in various projects. Key skills in handling stakeholders will be developed, along with a range of presentational skills.
Planning for Rural Communities
This module is designed to introduce students to the conceptual framework of rural change in UK. The historical, political and socio-economic context will be investigated, together with an outline of the relevant legal and policy background. The focus of the module will be on how sustainable planning can effect positive change in rural areas. Contemporary rural issues such as planning and agriculture, the partnership approach, the rural definition, sustainable rural communities, affordable rural housing will be explored. Students will acquire skills relating to the critical analysis of such issues during taught classes and field work.
The module will introduce the main principles of research methodology, different approaches to solving a problem and the choice of appropriate research methodology. Natural science and social science research approaches will be explored including the development of the research question. Methods for sampling and data gathering will be described including experimentation, questionnaires, interviews, case studies, action research, content analysis and observation. Quantitative and qualitative data, its analysis, interpretation, presentation and reporting will be explored. A research proposal will be formulated with guidance from a project supervisor, which is relevant to the chosen pathway of environmental management, or environmental management for business, or environmental management for agriculture, or water and environmental management.
Spatial Analysis for Planning
This module will introduce the application of Geographic Information data, software, hardware and networks in spatial planning. Using ArcGIS, students will learn about the concepts and practical delivery of GIS for planning applications, from the very local level of a single house extension to strategic level delivery of housing in the UK. Aspects covered may include LLPG issues, spatial data design and commissioning, OS data and access/use rights, and a range of other data and information sources and issues. Information dissemination issues, including the use of Google Maps/Earth may also be covered. Sustainability issues will be covered, for example through a perspective on current urban design thinking and how this brings the spatial location aspects of green space inclusion in developments to the fore.
This module is designed to introduce students to the concept of regeneration. This is initially done within an historical context, before examining in more detail the various and different ways in which regeneration may take place. Emphasis will focus on how regeneration may be undertaken sustainably, or leading to sustainable communities. Students will acquire the skills to evaluate regeneration projects and be made aware of the planning policy, legislation and implications of major regeneration projects.
This module will cover the nature and characteristics of groundwater and surface water resources and the factors affecting their uses. The critical factors in the strategic planning of water resources at international, national, regional and local levels to meet user demand, environmental protection and sustainable management needs. Water resources planning and management within the context of overall catchment planning; its relationship with water pollution control, river engineering, recreation and amenity. European and national water resources policy, the modern legal framework governing water resources management, the responsible organisations and interaction with interested parties. The management of water abstraction, the licensing process, consultation procedures, enforcement and the special procedures under drought and other emergencies. The threats to the quality of water resources, the quantification of risk and the measures taken to protect them.