Course Title: Planning Theory

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Planning Theory

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 1 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2009

Course Coordinator: Marco Amati

Course Coordinator Phone: 9925 9887

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 08.07.

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course will introduce you to the dominant planning paradigms of the 20th and 21st centuries. You will investigate the cultural and economic changes underpinning the evolution of these ideas and be challenged to explore the ways in which these philosophies underpin your professional practice. You will apply these concepts to enhance your professional practice.

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. (This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the  WAM information web page  for more information.)

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to demonstrate the following course learning outcomes:

  • Explain and critique the dominant planning paradigms of the 20th and 21st centuries
  • Identify the broader intellectual and social context for the emergence and development of planning theory and practice
  • Analyse contemporary planning practice via a critical engagement with historical and theoretical concepts; and apply insights to real-world planning situations
  • Critically read and revise writing and develop lines of argument supported by appropriate evidence, correctly referenced to support written work

Program Learning Outcomes

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate creativity, critical thinking and innovation when identifying and solving urban and regional problems in diverse contexts and assessing implications of decisions and actions;
  • Communicate ideas using diverse formats and strategies to academic and professional audiences within and external to the discipline of urban and regional planning.

Overview of Learning Activities

At the conclusion of this course students will be able to:

  1. appreciate the key theoretical traditions that have underpinned urban planning in the 20th century;
  2. identify the broader intellectual and historical contexts that have helped shape urban planning theory and practice;
  3. employ theory to better understand and explain a number of contemporary urban planning issues confronting urban planners at the present moment in Melbourne;
  4. critically reflect upon the work performed by urban planners and how this can be understood against the backdrop of several theoretical traditions that have informed planning and public policy making;
  5. better understand the nature and complexities of a number of real world issues from a range of competing theoretical perspectives, plus
  6. further develop analytic, interpretative and research skills via the completion of the prescribed assignment work.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The University Library has extensive resources for planning students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies

The Library provides guides on academic referencing: and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include short essays, group presentation and tutorial paper, and peer assessment.

Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: