MPlan Planning

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Professional Practice and Placement

Course unit fact file
Unit code PLAN40470
Credit rating 15
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit involves structured work experience at a professional level in planning. environmental impact assessment & management or real estate.  The placement project will be supervised academically by the Department of Planning & Environmental Management and normally managed by the placement provider, such as a professional consultancy, development or real estate investment company, local authority or non-governmental organisation. 

The specification for each student’s professional placement project includes:

  1. Initial liaison between the student and potential placement provider organisation(s);
  2. A written placement specification to be agreed between the Placement Coordinator, Placement Provider and the student;
  3. A placement timetable leading to a placement presentation, final presentation report, critique and feedback to the student.


  1. To allow students to experience a professional work environment for an extended period of reflective practice in the field of planning, environmental impact assessment & management or real estate
  2. To allow students to prepare a major piece of professional work related to practice in the real world


4th November - ‘Finding a placement, expectations and the assignment’. General introduction followed by specific sessions with the relevant placement coordinator

16th December - Progress review with academic coordinators

17th February 2021 - Finalising the arrangements for an assessed placement

17th March 2021 - Presentation workshop (assessed) Groups, timing and location to be confirmed late February. Presentation slides should be uploaded to Blackboard by 08.30 on Wed 17th March

12th May 2021 - Drop-in guidance on the Placement Report

26th May - Submission of report and associated documentation

Teaching and learning methods

External work placement in a professional environment; student seminar presentations

Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate effective knowledge of professional working in a typical environment within the fields of planning, environmental impact assessment & management or real estate practice

Intellectual skills

Undertake a fully professional standard of work on an individual basis in one (or more) of these fields of practice

Practical skills

Communicate effectively in professional/client and employer/employee relationships;
Demonstrate originality, effectiveness and resourcefulness in developing and undertaking professional tasks and responsibilities


Transferable skills and personal qualities

Demonstrate competence in report writing and oral presentational skills

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Report 85%
Oral assessment/presentation 15%

Feedback methods

Individual Seminar Presentation: 10 minute presentation and group discusson

Individual Placement Review Report: 3500 - 4000 words

Recommended reading

Given the unique nature of each of the professional practice placements, it is not possible to specify required reading for this unit. However, once the nature and content of your specific placement is agreed, you should refer back to reading lists from any relevant course units.

The websites of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA)will also contain relevant information and advice relating to professional practice: and and

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 3
Seminars 2
Placement hours
Placement 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Carys Jones Unit coordinator
Robert Dockerill Unit coordinator

Additional notes

The 15 day minimum requirement might, for example, equate to around 2 days per week during the second semester period up to the Easter vacation (approximately 7 weeks). Alternative work patterns (e.g. one day per week, starting before semester two and/or extending through and/or beyond the Easter vacation) may be possible subject to the agreement of both the Placement Coordinator and Placement Provider. Alternatively, you might wish to organise your placement into more intensive (e.g. full-time) periods during University vacation periods or the exam period in late January (subject, of course, to allowing sufficient time to complete your assessed work for other course units!) Irrespective of how the actual placement is structured, students should work for a minimum of 15 days.

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