CPT831 - Live Project

SchoolCardiff School of Planning and Geography
Department CodeCPLAN0
Module CodeCPT831
External Subject CodeK400
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Francesca Sartorio
SemesterDouble Semester
Academic Year2013/4

Outline Description of Module

This module provides an opportunity for students to work in groups and to identify a substantive planning problem in association with a planning authority or agency and produce a report with recommendations. In so doing students will: deploy skills in problem-definition; draw upon, and develop, knowledge of procedures and  practice within a substantive planning topic (e.g. retailing in small towns) ; engage in appropriate reflection of values and ethics-related issues ; and appreciate the operational context within which the report will be delivered. Groups will be required to make two group presentations of their work (an initial one that articulates the aims and objectives of the project  and a final one presenting results of the work carried out and recommendations) to an audience of staff, practitioners, clients and students and to write a final project report based on their findings.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

How the module will be delivered

Apart from a handful of lectures, which will be held in a traditional ex-cathedra way, most of the teaching and learning for this module will take the form of seminars, where individual teams will meet up with their allocated project tutors. 

A fundamental feature of this project is that students are required to form and work in groups. It is suggested that, ideally, a group comprises of 5 students. Each group is required to address a substantive real-world planning problem. This will involve close collaboration with a local authority/planning agency or community/voluntary group in order to identify and address a particular planning problem.

Skills that will be practised and developed

How the module will be assessed

Each group is required to write a 15,000 word or, in case of graphic material, material produced in a comparable amount of time project report, developing a plan or set of recommendations or policies that seek to resolve the substantive planning problem that has been identified by and negotiated with the ‘client’. 

The report is (unless otherwise stated in project briefs) a group piece of work and requires effective delegation of tasks within group members to produce a sizeable piece of work that is of benefit to the client and stands up as an academic research report. An additional feature is that groups will be required to make two group presentations of their work to an audience of staff and students and appropriate practitioners, one early in the Autumn semester and the second – the final presentation - towards the end of the Spring semester.Students will also have to hand in individually reflective practice logbooks. 

The assessment is aimed at reflecting the group focus of this module.  The presentations are attended by sponsors of the project (local planning organisations or academic staff) and act as a feedback session (Q&A) before the final report is prepared - marks are given for clarity of presentation as well as findings presented on the basis of a set of criteria developed jointly between teaching staff and students at the beginning of the semester. 

If a student feels that s/he may not be able to perform at her/his best due to the nature of the above Assessment, the Module Leader is happy to discuss on an individual basis any aspect of it. She is also open for suggestions for alternative, comparable type of assessment to prove achievement of the stated learning Outcomes, and to adjust any aspect of the assessment in order to accommodate specific requirements dictated by known conditions.

Presentation - Project Presentation 1 (5%)
Report Chapter - Literature Review (Pass/Fail)
Reflective Logbook - Indivdual Reflective Logbook Draft (Pass/Fail)
Presentation - Project Presentation 2 (15%)
Report - Project Report (65%)
Reflective Logbook - Individual Reflective Logbook (15%)




Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Presentation 5
Project Presentation 1
N/A 1 N/A
Presentation 15
Project Presentation 2
N/A 1 N/A
Report 65
Project Report
N/A 1 N/A
Written Assessment 15
Reflective Log Book
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

 In the first lecture session, the module aims and objectives will be introduced as well as the assessment criteria. Project briefs will be explained and student groups are being formed. Supervisors for student groups will be allocated during the second session. Students attending this module are going to choose one of a set of briefs. Short lectures on professionalism and reflectiveness in practice; and a seminar on managing group work will be held. T&L sessions are responsive in nature and aimed at orienting and supporting students in their research. 

During the scheduled supervisory sessions, students will discuss their interpretation of their chosen brief with their allocated supervisor and their relevant client organisations.  Close liaison must be maintained with one nominated officer from the client organisation throughout the period of the study. The groups must first work towards interpreting the brief, re-negotiating the aspects of it (if needed) and finalising a set of project aims and objectives along with a plan of action and schedule for implementation. Then follow the jointly developed plan in a professional way. This process is supervised by the project tutor in order to establish the feasibility of the plan at each stage (a slot will be allocated on thetimetable so that students can meet regularly with officers and/or their supervisor and have sufficient time to complete their group work).

Essential Reading and Resource List

Readinglists will be related to the individual projects and as such hints will be given as appropriate to individual groups. 

Reading common to all groups and students: 

All students should be familiar with the concept of the ‘reflective practitioner’ as defined by Donald Schoen. It would be very good if all students could read the book:

Schoen, D. [alternative spellings Schön or Schonsometimes used] (1982), The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action, Harper Collins 

If, for whatever reason, it is not possible to read the book in its entirety, the following parts need to be read:

Part 1, pp 1-75; Chapter 7, pp 204-235; Chapter 10, pp. 287-354

© Cardiff University