PLAN40030 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 able 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) Reflect on the manner in which developments in planning theory may impact on their future role in practice.
(3) Think about the type of broad socio-economic processes at work in 21st century society and how they affect people and places.
(4) Engage critically with planning literature and to question this literature.
(5) Understand the competing claims on the planner's role and the ethical issues facing planners.
(6) Reflect on planning practice and write an essay setting this in an appropriate theoretical context through extensive reading and analysis of the planning 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
Planning, Society & Diversity (PEP30080), Planning Society and Diversity (PEP40090), Planning, Society & Diversity (PLAN30040)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: 3,500 word essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded 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 Graded 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

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on opinion pieces will be provided to students post assessment. Feedback on essays will be provided after the end of the Trimester

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