URBPLAN 757 : Research Project

Creative Arts and Industries

2022 Semester One (1223) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An in-depth, self-guided research specialised investigation, with an advanced examination and application of critical quantitative and qualitative research skills for urban planning.

Course Overview

The aims of this course are to to develop a student’s ability to design and undertake self-directed research, with supervision, and to report on the findings in an appropriate form. The task improves analytical and communication skills so students can produce the type of independent research expected of them in the workplace or at higher academic levels.
The topic, and the manner in which it is covered, must be clearly related to planning. The research project allows the student to explore areas or problems in detail, and develop and use thinking and analytical skills.
The work must be the work of the candidate solely. The work shall acknowledge the existing literature by reference to for example: relevant academic publications, professional reports and, where appropriate, significant New Zealand law.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: URBPLAN 301-311 or 321, 326

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Produce a coherent and doable research proposal substantiated by a preliminary literature review (Capability 1.1 and 1.2)
  2. Conduct the research investigation (Capability 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3)
  3. Report on the research aims, methodology and findings (Capability 3.1 and 3.3)
  4. Demonstrate a sound level of understanding of a topic (Capability 4.2, 5.1 and 6.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Research project 100% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Research project

Teaching & Learning Methods

It is advisable to select a research topic that takes advantage of your experience, interests and specialist knowledge. The Course Director requires you to submit to her/him a research proposal for your research project. The Course Director will then approach available academic staff to gain agreement for your supervision. Only supervised research studies may be submitted for examination. Approximately 11 hours consultation time with your supervisor is allocated. This includes appraisal of outlines, reading and commenting of draft work, and at least 7 half-hour contact sessions. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange regular sessions with the supervisor and have clear aims for each meeting.

Workload Expectations

Following University workload guidelines, a standard 30 point course represents approximately 300 hours of study.

For this course, you can expect 5 hours of lectures. Approximately 11 hours consultation time with your supervisor is allocated. 

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including tutorials to receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will be available as recordings.
The course will include live online events including group discussions/tutorials.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Books useful for students conducting research in planning
Andranovich, G.D., & Riposa, G. (1993). Doing Urban Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
 Blaxter, L. et al (2006) How to research, Milton Keynes: Open University. Note Ch. 2 Getting Started.
Cook, T.D., & Campbell, D.T. (1979). Quasi-Experimentation: Design and Analysis Issues for Field Settings. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.
 Creswell, J.W. (2002). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Denscombe, M. (2007) Research Guide for small-scale research projects third edition. Open University
De Vaus, D.A. (2001). Research Design in Social Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
* Farthing, S. (2016) Research Design in Urban Planning: a student’s guide. UK: Sage. Expected to be On Desk in Architecture Library in Semester 2.
Groat, L., & Wang, D. (2002). Architectural Research Methods. New York: Wiley
Judd, C., Smith, E., & Kidder, L.H. (2002). Research Methods in Social Relations (7th ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Leedy, P.D., & Ormrod, J.E. (2010). Practical Research: Planning and Design (9th International ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Lincoln, Y.S., & Guba, E.G. (1985). Naturalistic Inquiry. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Smith, Linda Tuhiwai (1999) "Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples" Available: http://books.google.com/books?id=Nad7afStdr8C&dq=Smith+L.+Tuhiwai+%22Decolonizing+Methodologies:+Research+and+Indigenous+Peoples%22&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=_7ulSde0DYyVngfj45CWBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result#PPA2,M1
Yin, R.K. (2003). Case Study Research: Design and Methods (3rd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods (Vol. 5). Sage
Zeisel, J. (2006). Inquiry by Design: Environment/Behavior/Neuroscience in Architecture, Interiors, Landscape, and Planning (rev ed). New York: Norton

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 08/11/2021 12:18 p.m.