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    Supervised individual project on an approved topic in planning.

    The supervised research project is a major independent study option for the Master of Planning degree programme.

    About this paper

    Paper title Planning Project
    Subject Planning Studies
    EFTS 0.4167
    Points 50 points
    Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $4,253.26
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Limited to

    Teaching staff

    Planning Coordinator:  Professor Michelle Thompson-Fawcett

    Paper Structure

    The research project is an applied, problem-defined and problem-solving project on an approved topic in planning, and as such, it is an opportunity for the student to demonstrate a mastery of knowledge in the field. A research project is usually based on secondary sources rather than primary data. The appropriate length is approximately 20,000-25,000 words. The completed research project must be submitted by 1 October of the second year of the degree programme.

    There is a very wide range of planning topics on which the research project can focus, including issues related to land use, resource use, transportation, housing, economic development, the environment, sustainability, hazard mitigation, and the design of more liveable, safe spaces. These may be considered at the scale of the city block, neighbourhoods, metropolises, rural and wilderness areas, and even entire regions.

    The research is intended to help the development of understanding in relation to physical, natural, cultural and social environments, the issues associated with them, and the futures possible in relation to them.

    Teaching Arrangements

    Postgraduate seminars run by the School of Geography, and relevant to the research process, are designed with research students in mind. Your attendance at these seminars is compulsory.

    Textbooks are not required for this paper.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will:

    • Develop expertise and advanced understanding in the area of planning research endeavours.
    • Exhibit capability in taking a holistic view to appreciate complex issues.
    • Demonstrate skill in devising a project, research questions and a conceptual framework.
    • Display knowledge of methods available to use in planning research.
    • Increase their proficiency in accessing relevant data and pursuing new ideas and avenues from preliminary investigations.
    • Expand their capability in presenting results coherently and effectively and in discussing and synthesising the meaning of the research.
    • Gain experience in the preparation of research materials for presentation.


    Full Year

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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