MSc Planning / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Local Economic Development

Course unit fact file
Unit code PLAN60511
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Planning and Environmental Management
Available as a free choice unit? Yes



  • Introduction to local economic development
  • Concepts and theories of local economic development
  • Governing local economic development
  • Interventions, instruments and mechanisms for delivering local economic development
  • Techniques for assessing and evaluating local economic development
  • Case studies of local economic development: principles and critiques


  • To introduce students to the principles of local economic development and the workings of local economies,
  • To examine the governance of local economic development and to assess interventions. 
  • Introduce students to some of the techniques and methods used to analyse local economies,
  • Examine specific aspects and features of local economic development and to understand how these elements interact and contribute to the processes of economic development in different contexts.


Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, seminars and fieldtrips 

Knowledge and understanding

Be familiar with the concepts and functions of local economic development, and the application of specific tools of analysis

Intellectual skills

Be able to critique the main rationale for intervention in local economic activity, and to assess the strengths and weaknesses of different local economic development measures

Practical skills

Be able to reflect on and critique the appropriateness of particular measures for varied local circumstances and range of economic problems.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Developed analytical assessment skills to understand local economic problems and opportunities and to communicate findings concisely through written and verbal means.

Assessment methods

Group Presentation (15 minutes) 30%

Individual Essay (2500 words) 70%

Feedback methods

Written feedback within 15 working days of submission

Recommended reading

Blair, J.P. and Carroll, M.C. (2009) Local Economic Development: Analysis, Practices, and Globalization. London, Sage. 

Nolan, A. (2004) Evaluating Local Economic and Employment Development: how to assess what works among programmes and policies. Paris, OECD.

Pike, A., Rodriguez-Pose, A. and Tomaney, J. (2006/2016) Local and Regional Development. Oxon, Routledge.

Pike, A., Rodriguez-Pose, A. and Tomaney, J. (2011) Handbook of Local and Regional Development. Oxon, Routledge.

Journal of Local Economy. London, Sage

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 117

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Graham Haughton Unit coordinator

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