Course Title: Urban Design Work Practice 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Urban Design Work Practice 1

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban & Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2014


City Campus


365H Global, Urban & Social Studies


Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013

Course Coordinator: Beau Beza

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99259822

Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The course provides an opportunity to learn through university-directed practical experience. The focus is upon students learning how to manage their own career as a life-long learning process and enabling one to begin to understand ‘professionalism’ in an urban design setting. Deeper understandings of professionalism, such as ethics and project issues, are then gained in this course through elaborating and building upon the knowledge students acquire (or have acquired) when in the work setting. Students are able to develop and explore particular interests and skills in a work placement setting. The work placement provides a basis for the development of a professional network, while positioning students favourably in terms of future employment opportunities.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

• Skills in professional self-development and self-management.

• Particular skills focused upon urban design (and planning) activities.

• The application of academic and theoretical knowledge as well as technical skills to practical situations.

• Work-place office and administration skills relevant to urban design (and planning).

• Professional and interpersonal skills such as working in teams, listening, negotiating, mediating and/or leading.

• Experience of working in a professional capacity with members of the public, government officers and other professionals, in a range of settings.

• A critical understanding of the role of professionals and of professional ethics.

• An understanding of current developments and debates in urban design.

Overview of Learning Activities

Students will be provided with the opportunity to learn the following and expected to undertake (and where applicable complete) the following:

• Work Placement: The work placement of 30 days per course (normally undertaken as 60 days over Semester 2) will provide a basis of understanding the skills and practices of working as part of an urban design organisation. This will include organising your own work placement, directed by the course coordinator (Beau) and field placement officer (Margie). A list of organisations to which you may apply have been provided to you, although you may also approach other firms if you wish. If students have not negotiated placements by the week prior to the start of semester staff will provide assistance.

• Participation in seminars/discussions: Students are encouraged to actively participation in seminars and discussions held throughout the semester. Note, that these will require some preparation beforehand. The seminars will provide a forum to share experiences, to reflect on professional roles, ethics, and to address any difficulties students are facing. Students will be encouraged to identify important professional skills, their work practice experience and to address any shortcomings they might experience.

• Assignments: Written assignments undertaken by students will provide opportunities to reflect upon their work practice experience and plan for future professional development. For example, the daily journal (assessment item 8) will encourage reflection of ones experience throughout the semester (and not just documentation of activities). While the Career Action Plan (also, assessment item 8) will form the basis for ongoing action directed towards ones career and professional development.

Overview of Learning Resources

There is no prescribed textbook for this course, although handouts and readings will be provided during class. The following publications are suggested in addition to the class readings.

Casey, Catherine (2002) Critical analysis of organizations : theory, practice, revitalization, Thousand Oaks, Sage, California.

Casey, Catherine (2002) Classical traditions of organizational analysis [electronic resource], Thousand Oaks, Sag, California.

Cooper, L., Mayald, S., Masters, H., Bruinsma, D (1997) Field Education Workbook, Flinders University of South Australia.

Forester, John (1999) The deliberative practitioner : encouraging participatory planning processes, Cambridge, Mass, MIT Press

Forester, John (1989) Planning in the Face of Power, Berkeley, University of California Press.

Gowing, R., McGregor, H., and Taylor, E. (1997) Making your work Placement Effective, RMIT Publishing, Melbourne.

Healey, Patsy (1992) A planner’s day: knowledge and action in communicative perspective Journal of the American Planning Association, 58, 1 pp.9-20.

Macdonald, K. (1995) The Sociology of the Professions, Sage Publications, London.

Mills, Albert J (1999) Developing a Critical Approach to Organisational Study, Garamond Press, Toronto

Morgan, Gareth. Images of organization (p.153-213). 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 1997.
Images of organization (digital): Ch.6

Moran, John W, (1991) Daily management: a system for individual and organizational optimization, Metheun

RMIT School of Social Science and Planning (2004 [2000]) Planning Work Practice Manual: for urban design Students, RMIT Publishing.

Schön, Donald A (1995) The Reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action, Aldershot.

Overview of Assessment

Each student is required to complete assignments as well as tasks for their successful completion of the work practice course. The following summarises the tasks and assignments that ones assessment will be based upon:
1. Obtaining a work placement position. Prior to commencement of ARCH 1063 & 1066 (in semester 2) one must obtain a work placement position. This placement must be approval by the course coordinator (Beau). Note, that a Placement Agreement Form must be filled out and signed by all parties and submitted to the Field Education Administration Officer (Margie).
2. Contribution to class discussions.
3. A discussion of ones work between the course coordinator and your work placement supervisor (mid-way through the semester).
4. A completed work placement ‘Supervisor Report’.
5. A ‘Student in the Workplace Audit’.
6. A ‘Workplace in the Profession Audit’.
7. A ‘Career Action Plan’ presented to the class.
8. A ‘Career Action Plan’ and ‘Daily Journal’ submitted to the course coordinator immediately upon completion of your placement.