PLAN30040 Planning, Society and Diversity

Academic Year 2021/2022

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the theoretical and socio-spatial context of planning and in particular to provide students with an introduction to planning theory. The Module explores processes at work in society, such as neoliberalisation, economic restructuring and social polarisation, which have implications for space, place and people. One of the keys to understanding the heterogeneity of the society within which planning practice is embedded, is to appreciate the manner in which global processes manifest themselves locally and impact on different groups. Within this module key planning theories are introduced and debated in relation to their ability to provide a framework for understanding the role planning can play in mediating these processes. Planning practice in Ireland and internationally is critically reviewed to examine the extent to which planning challenges or supports these social processes. The Module consists of two complementary elements. The first and main component of the module introduces a number of the key paradigms of planning and social theory which provide a critical framework for thinking about the role of planning. The theoretical planning literature is explored and international and national examples are used to explore the implications of planning theory for practice. The second component of the module deals with questions of equal opportunities, equity, social justice and the diversity of cultures including the relevance of planning in relation to issues of gender and race. Building on an understanding of the heterogeneity of modern society and the inequalities that exist therein this section of the course explores the realities of planning for diverse populations. A strong emphasis will be placed on reading, participation and class discussion.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the module students should be in a position to:
(1) Understand how planning thought and practice has evolved over the twentieth century and into the twenty first century in response to changes in society.
(2) In particular to understand key planning theories.
(3) Critically think about the processes at work in contemporary urban society and to relate these to cities in a National, European and International context.
(4) Understand the heterogeneity of society and how planning effects diverse groups.
(5) Engage critically with planning literature and to question this literature.
(6) Write an essay based on a review of planning theory literature.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The Planning Society and Diversity Module consists of lectures, discussion forums and student presentations.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
PEP20080 - GIS Planning Project, PLAN20020 - Introduction to GIS

PEP30120 - Topics in Urban & Reg Planning

Planning, Society & Diversity (PEP30080)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: 2,500 word essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Group Project: Each student Group will be responsible for organising a presentation on a set of readings, organising a discussion based on these and collating a final summary report. Varies over the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Written feedback will be provided to students individually on their essay performance post assessment . Oral, group class feedback will be provided to students on their opinion pieces.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Thurs 09:00 - 10:50