20 Credits SPRING

Aims/Description: Drawing on insights from theoretical debates in planning and policy studies the module explores the assumptions underlying spatial planning practice and the challenges confronting practitioners. Firstly, it explores the values underpinning planning to understand why we plan, the nature of the challenges planning seeks to address and the dilemmas and conflicts these generate for planning practice. Secondly, it presents diverse theoretical approaches that planning has taken to address these dilemmas and conflicts. Thirdly, it examines the implications different planning theories have for the values of planning and the ethical frameworks available to planners in deciding how to act. Lectures will employ real-world cases and dilemmas faced by individual practitioners in their day-to-day work. Seminars will involve discussion based on films and other relevant material. Workshops will support students in the application of the approaches and theories discussed to specific cases, in preparation for the assignment.

Teaching Methods: Lectures, Seminars, Independent Study
Assessment: Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Urban Studies and Planning):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK