module specification

AR7070 - Planning and Urban Theory (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Planning and Urban Theory
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 200
161 hours Guided independent study
39 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 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

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.

This module aims to:

• provide students with an overview of the historic and contemporary role of planning and urban theory;
• understand and critically assess a range of elements within historic and contemporary 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 four aspects:

• the background to planning including; urban and planning theory;
• the history of planning and the emergence of planning as a profession;
• the UK planning system and themes including; housing, transport, industrial policy, plan making;
• recent history of planning and urban change including but not limited to, 19th and 20th Century social reform, high rise building, the suburban boom. LO1,LO2,LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and practice-focused learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able to engage and challenge the intellectual and professional environment of their discipline, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. understand and articulate the purpose and effect of planning;
2. describe the UK planning system and planning policies;
3. critically evaluate specific components of planning system and policies.


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

Allmendinger, P. and Tewdwr-Jones, M. (2002) Planning Futures: New Directions for Planning Theory, Routledge
Amin, A. and Thrift, N. (2016) Seeing Like a City, Polity
Burnett, J. (1978) A Social History of Housing 1815-1970, David & Charles Publishers
Coleman, A. (1986) Utopia on Trial, Hilary Shipman
Debored, G. (1968) Society of the Spectacle, Lone Books
Dreyfus, H. and Rabinow, P. (1982) “The Subject and Power”, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics, University of Chicago Press
Evanson, N. (1979) Paris, a Century of Change, 1878-1978, Yale University Press
Fishman, R. (1987) Bourgeois Utopias, Basic Books
Fuller, B. (2001) Your Private Sky, Lars Muller
Gallion, A. and Eisner, S. (1963) The Urban Pattern (Van Nostrand)
Glaeser, E. (2012) Triumph of the City [Unabridged], Penguin
Glaeser, E. (2012) Truimph of the City, Pan
Glendinning, M. and Muthesius, S. (1994) Tower Block, London, (especially chapters 20-24), Yale University Press
Graafland, A. (2000) The Socius of Architecture 010, Uitgeverij
Hall, P. (1996) Cities of Tomorrow, 3rd Edition, Blackwell Publishing
Hall, P. and Ward, C. (1988) Sociable Cities: The Legacy of Ebeneezer Howard, Wiley
Hayden, D. (1995) The power of place: urban landscapes as public history, MIT Press
Jacobs, J. (2011) The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 50th edition, Random House
Jellicoe, G. and S. (1987) The Landscape of Man, Thames & Hudson
Koolhaas, R. (1977) Delirious New York, Oxford University Press
Kostof, S. (1999) The City Shaped, Thames and Hudson
Le Corbusier (1987) The City of Tomorrow and its Planning, Dover
Lefaivre, L. & Roode, I. (2002) Aldo Van Eyck: The Playgrounds and The City, NAi Publishers
Lynch, K. (1960) The Image of the City, MIT Press
Olsen, D. (1986) The City as a Work of Art: London, Paris, Vienna, Yale University Press
Perry, C. (1939) Housing for the Machine Age, Russell Sage Foundation
Rosell, Q. (2001) Remaking Landscapes, Gustavo Gill
Sandercock, L. (1998) Towards Cosmopolis, Wiley
Sennett, R. (2018) Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City, Allen Lane
Sitte, C. (2006) The Birth of Modern Town Planning, Dover
Smithson, P. and A. (2004) The Charged Void: Urbanism, The Monacelli Press
Taylor, N. (1988) Urban Planning Theory since 1945, Sage
Tonkiss, F. (2013) Cities by Design: The Social Life of Urban Form, Polity
Tschumi, B. (1994) Event Cities, MIT Press