module specification

AR7070 - Planning and Urban Theory (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Planning and Urban Theory
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 200
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Essay (2000-3000 words)
Coursework 30%   Group project
Coursework 10%   Essay proposal
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module provides an overview of the history of planning and urban theory, and an understanding of the current planning system and planning policies in the UK.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

This module aims to
• Provide students with an overview of the history and current role of planning and urban theory.
• Understand and critically assess a range of elements within historic and current UK planning system and policies.
• Act as an introduction to the course and inform students on the choice of appropriate specialisms.


In establishing an historic context and current understanding of planning and urban theory the module is structured around the investigation of three aspects.

- The Background to Planning including the history of planning and emergence of planning as a profession and planning and urban theory
- The UK Planning System and Themes including, housing, transport, industrial policy, plan making
- Recent History of Planning and Urban Change including 19th and 20th Century social reform, high rise building, the suburban boom.

Learning and teaching

The module will be taught through lectures and seminar discussions and presentations.
Students will be encourages to develop an independent approach to their own learning through use of directed course reading. This will involve preparation for seminar discussions and presentations, which will be a key element to taught sessions. Students will also be supported in arranging events to engage with professional practice within and outside the university.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will:
1. Have an understanding of the purpose and effect of planning
2. Be able to describe the UK planning system and planning policies
3. Be able to critically evaluate specific components of planning system and policies.

Assessment strategy

There are three assessment components:
1. Essay (2000-3000 words) demonstrating an understanding of the UK planning system, policies and related theory
2. Group project report: analyzing an aspect of the UK planning system, policies or related theory based in primary research.
3. Individual essay proposal


The following are indicative only.  Refereed journals/ articles and electronic resources: issued according to syllabus

Cullingworth and Nadin, Town and Country Planning, 14th edition, 2006
Andrew Gilg, Planning in Britain, Sage, London, 2005
M. Swenarton, Homes for Heroes, London, 1977
A.S. Wohl, The Eternal Slum, London, 1977
Alice Coleman, Utopia on Trial, London, 1986
M. Glendinning and S. Muthesius, Tower Block, London, 1994 (especially chapters 20-24)
J. Burnett, A Social History of Housing 1815-1970, London, 1978
N.Evanson, Paris, a Century of Change, 1878-1978, New Haven and London, 1979
R.Fishman, Bourgeois Utopias, New York, 1987
R.Fishman, Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge, Mass, 1982
Peter Hall, Cities in Civilisation; Culture, Innovation and Urban Order, London, 1998,
Peter Hall, Cities of Tomorrow, Oxford, (updated edition) 1996
Nigel Taylor, Urban Planning Theory since 1945, Sage, London, 1988
Philip Allmendinger, Planning in Postmodern Times, Routledge, London, 2001
Michel Foucault, “The Subject and Power”, in Dreyfus and Rabinow, Michel Fouchault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermanutics, Chicago, UCP, 1982
Cynthia Cockburn, The Local State: Management of Cities and People, Pluto Press, London, 1977
Philip Allmendinger and Mark Tewdwr-Jones, Planning Futures: New Directions for Planning Theory.