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Planning Social Research Workshop (PLAN30003)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codePLAN30003
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

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.

Generic skills

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.


Eligibility and requirements


Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
ABPL20035 Cities: From Local to Global
Semester 1



Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

It is recommended that students have completed all required first-year Urban Planning subjects.

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • Social research position paper (group work): a proposed research question and a theoretical positioning to a key urban research topic, 1000-word equivalent per student, due week 5 (30%);
  • Verbal presentation (individual work): an in‐class presentation of research methodology and preliminary findings, 10 minutes, with visuals, 1000‐word equivalent, due week 12 (30%);
  • Final report (individual work): a comprehensive research report detailing an urban research problem/gap, context and literature review, methodology and analysis, 2000-word, due week 12 (40%).

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorDerlie Mateo-Babiano
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours 1X1 hour lecture +1X2 hour workshop per week
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

    Subject Coordinators

    Derlie Mateo Babiano


    Leonardo Nogueria de Moraes


Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Reading assigned as appropriate to issues chosen.

  • Breadth options
  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 10 August 2019