CPT831: Live Project

School Cardiff School of Geography and Planning
Department Code GEOPL
Module Code CPT831
External Subject Code K400
Number of Credits 20
Level L7
Language of Delivery English
Module Leader Dr Francesca Sartorio
Semester Double Semester
Academic Year 2017/8

How the module will be assessed

Depending on size, each group is required to write around 15,000 words (this is based on 6 students per group) - 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 very 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 final presentation is 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.

Students’ nominal working time on this module is 200 hours

In order to better prepare for the summative assessment, two forms of formative assessment are in place, a literature review and a draft of an individual reflective logbook. Students will receive feedback that will help them improve their final outputs.

Summative assessment is as follows:

Group presentation

5% contribution

First project presentation

10 mins with 5 mins Q & A


Group presentation

15% contribution

Final project presentation

30 mins with 15 mins Q & A



65% contribution

Project report

Approx. 15,000 words based on 6 students per group


Reflective logbook

15% contribution

Induvidual reflective logbook

Approx 500 words


The opportunity for reassessment in this module

Students are permitted to be reassessed (usually once) in a module which they have failed, in line with course regulations. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer.

How the module will be delivered

Apart from a handful of lectures, 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. Some sessions will be dedicated to giving formative feedback/assessment to students’ work.

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.

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

  1. Deploy understanding of socio-economic and environmental processes in addressing a planning problem and understand the physical and spatial dimensions of processes investigated and foreseen
  2. Appreciate the significance of the organisational and governance context within which the project is being undertaken (including any multi-professional dimension), and their implications for feasibility of solutions; reflect upon the role of research and evidence in this context
  3. Understand legal/procedural frameworks relevant to addressing the issue being investigated and worked upon and distinguish analytically between long, medium and short-term responses to a problem
  4. Generate and evaluate creative responses to planning issues
  5. Constructively and critically discuss the appropriate form of planning response – e.g. master-plan, strategy, policy statement, design guide, etc.
  6. Present planning proposals using different supports and in forms accessible to a variety of audiences (including other professionals, various kinds of '‘public'’ politicians and professional planners)
  7. Act in a self-reflective professional way with a variety of people (while recognising that professionalism is a contested notion) whilst appreciating the implications, in practice, of norms about respecting cultural and other difference
  8. Reflect systematically upon what has been learnt in a project, and its implications for personal and professional development and further training based on Schön’s notion of the reflective practitioner

Skills that will be practised and developed

1.     Problem definition

2.     Research skills

3.     Group working skills

4.     Reflective skills

5.     Written, oral and graphic communication

6.     Collaborative problem solving involving discussion and negotiation with a variety of interested parties

7.     Time and project management

8.     Synthesis and application of knowledge to practice,

9.     Preparation of a written report

Assessment Breakdown

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

Essential Reading and Resource List

Schoen, D. [alternative spellings Schön or Schon sometimes 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

Additional reading will be related to the individual projects.

Background Reading and Resource List

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 the timetable so that students can meet regularly with officers and/or their supervisor and have sufficient time to complete their group work). 

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