Planning and Sustainability MA
Facts about Planning and Sustainability
|Duration||Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
|Attendance||Full time: 2 days per week
Part time: 1 day per week
|Assessment||Essays, seminar papers, reports, plans and presentations, case studies, major research-based project or dissertation, conference paper presented at the annual student masters conference|
Choose Kingston's Planning and Sustainability MA
If you would like to specialise in planning and land development but your interests extend beyond issues of profitability, risk and return to include the wellbeing of communities and issues of sustainability, then this course is ideal. It is designed to integrate the theory and practice of spatial or town and country planning with the growing pressures for urban and rural developments to meet community needs and sustainable criteria.
What will you study?
The course is split between taught and research modules. In the taught section, you will be introduced to the concepts of sustainability, regeneration and urban design, and will gain an understanding of the legal and institutional frameworks, including policy governing planning and development. You will also discover how urban environments can be planned and developed to meet sustainable criteria. The research element of the curriculum comprises training in research methods, the preparation and presentation of a conference paper, and a dissertation or masters project.
Accreditation for this course
You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish.
Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.
Development Strategy and Funding
Land and property development is closely linked with all aspects of planning. Although planners are perceived as being opposed to the wishes of developers it is more usual for the planning profession to devise strategies and policies which address development pressures. This module enables planners to understand the development process in detail from the viewpoint of a developer. The way in which funding packages, development economics and the macroeconomic environment can influence development and planning, including sustainability issues, is explored by the use of case studies and practical examples.
In this module, you will:
- learn about conventional economic theory and how to apply it to property and construction;
- analyse the contributions of key contemporary and historic economic theorists in relation to the quest for a sustainable economy; and
- explore the limits of capitalism, funding concepts in both public and private sector property provision, and environmental economics as they relate to the business of real estate.
We teach this module through a series of key note lectures reinforced by seminars and group work. Assessment consists of:
- written and oral seminar presentations; and
- a marked individual synoptic paper in which you illustrate the application of policy, propose alternatives and critically evaluate actual solutions.
Planning Law and Practice
This module is an essential ingredient in study of spatial planning system in the UK. There is an expectation that the legal framework, including European provisions and any pending changes providing for the implementation of the system, are critically evaluated. A practical application of decision making is delivered through the reflective evaluation of planning issues for a local case study in a written statement and the implementation of the main processes involved in a public inquiry through role play.
Integrating sustainable strategies in regeneration practice is an important aim, as places – far from being exclusively clusters of buildings – are complex socio-economic systems that need more integrated answers to solve the problems they are affected by. This module on Regeneration provides an opportunity for a deeper understanding of social, economic and environmental issues, problems and their causes in urban, suburban and rural spatial contexts. Also there is the opportunity to critique different types of strategies and drivers, funding options and plans and the role of key players in providing solutions to the revitalization and regeneration of communities.
Spatial Planning in Urban Design
Urban design has become an integral part of the spatial planning system in the UK. This module aims to develop your awareness and appreciation of place making, particularly in the European context.
Assessment involves individual as well as team work, with reference to both theory and practice. You must:
- produce a critical appraisal of the impact of planning theories; and
- apply the principles of urban design to the production of a design scheme for a real life scenario.
This module is a critical appreciation of urban society and its future – as it becomes the norm for the majority of the world's population, it is an essential requirement for the built environment professional.
The module provides an opportunity to debate the theoretical concepts of sustainable cities, allowing critical analysis of the drivers, legislation and processes governing sustainable urban environments. The ability to consider issues from a variety of perspectives and evaluate strategies for spatial planning is engendered.
The module intends to encourage a commitment to social, economic and environmental issues, which influence the creation, delivery and maintenance of sustainable cities.
Social sustainability is an important aspect of spatial planning. The module provides an opportunity for a deeper knowledge of social theory and issues essential for working towards delivering sustainable communities and supporting the creation of more sustainable environments. It intends to develop a critical awareness of the importance of the relationship between the built environment and the well being of communities.
It will enable you to:
- understand the triple bottom line's social agenda in relation to the built environment and property professionals;
- obtain a critical awareness of the built environment current social responsibility problems, insights and professional practices;
- challenge conventional social theory in relation to the assessment of property and the construction process against the ambition of sustainability; and
- debate alternative social paradigms, arguments and concepts and their appropriateness as vehicles to support moves towards the creation of a more sustainable environment.
This module provides a framework for the development and use of land by co-ordinating and integrating a wide range of issues and policies to work towards creating successful places for the well being of local communities.
It provides the chance to:
- develop a critical understanding of the theories and practice of spatial planning, particularly in a UK context; and
- gain an insight into the processes involved in the preparation and production of plans at different spatial levels.
This half-module provides you with the opportunity to devise and deliver an original piece of research in open forum and thereby helps you to extend the ethos of research culture into your subsequent professional work, and to encourage continuing professional development and life-long learning. The module requires you to develop an aspect of your dissertation or masters project (as applicable) into a short conference paper and presentation and to deliver this. Assessment is of both the written paper and the oral presentation.
Dissertation or Masters Project
In this double module, you produce a substantial, original body of authoritative work by engaging in both primary and secondary research at a masters level.
It enables you to:
- achieve a comprehensive understanding and application of the key issues of your subject; and
- develop a commitment to research and understanding of its likely role in your future careers.
You are supported by tutorials, and assessment is by a written dissertation.
Dissertation or Masters Project Proposal
This module provides you with practice of devising an original primary research strategy for a specific research project, appropriate to satisfying the course objectives.
In so doing it ensures that you explore and critically evaluate primary research methodology and proposals. You prepare a well-developed research proposal, which will be preparatory to undertaking your dissertation or masters project. You are supported by workshops, seminars and tutorials.
Research Concepts for the Built Environment
This half module introduces students to the research process and enables them to acquire a critical knowledge of the concept and theory of various research methodologies, appropriate to the built environment. It provides them with practice of conducting research via secondary sources, within their own guided choice of subject. Delivery is by a series of seminars, workshops and tutorials and assessment is through a literature review and portfolio of critical reviews.