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Urban areas are a complex interplay between social systems and the range of physical, economic, ecological and other forces that act upon them. Successful urban planning depends upon the comprehensive understanding of the social dimension of urban places. This subject provides theoretical and applied instruction in how to design, conduct and analyse social research related to urban planning and development. The workshop will integrate ethics, theory, principles of research and methods/tools with applied planning examples, giving students an opportunity to explore research foundations in a practice-relevant learning environment.
Students will develop the necessary skills to design, execute and analyse a substantial urban planning research project and to provide results/analysis in ways suitable for a range of users including the public, other planners and urban managers.
Intended learning outcomes
Having completed this subject it is expected that the student be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the key social issues facing urban places and the main mechanisms available to planners to understand and manage these issues;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical foundations of social research (including different paradigms, methodologies, methods and ethics);
- Demonstrate an ability to design, execute and analyse an applied research project, responding to a contemporary urban issue;
- Understand key urban qualitative assessment methods;
- Identify, gather and use key data sources, following appropriate ethics requirements;
- Generate appropriate policy or other responses;
- Demonstrate analytical skills to constructively critique urban and social science research;
- Demonstrate communication skills to convey key information to a wide audience.
- Demonstrate ability to reflect on a broad understanding of issues encountered when researching across diverse urban and social settings and contexts.
Students completing this subject will have developed the following generic skills:
- High level written and oral communication skills;
- Familiarity with key planning issues;
- Problem solving and analytical skills;
- Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution;
- Capacity for independent thought;
- Ability to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision;
- Ability to participate in team work through involvement in syndicate groups and group discussions.
Last updated: 6 December 2019