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Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05

Course Overview

Planning Law: its decision making, practice and plans: Scotland, UK and international comparators.

A seminar based course on UK planning law. Planning or getting planning permission is regarded a risk factor in high profile projects, yet it brings together the regulation of design , development, social environmental, economic issues. Planning  is at the forefront of public participation and community engagement  and often has a political dimension.

This course will examine planning in context and its policy directions by the UK government. Multiple planning Acts have been augmented by case law and this will be considered under key topics of plans, planning permissions, sustainable development , community engagement conservation of the natural and built environment and  planning for large infrastructure  and master planning. A case study approach will be adopted with extensive UK examples and international comparators.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Prof Anne-Michelle Slater

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5
  • Legal Studies (Ma Honours) (LX)
  • LS1025 Legal System (Passed)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • LX402J Planning Law Honours (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Week 1: Introduction to Planning Law and its socio-economic and political context

Week 2: National Planning Policy Framework, Regional Strategies Local Development Plans and Neighbourhood Plans and their interpretation in law

Week 3: Local Field trip/ guest lecture

Week 4: Planning applications and the interpretation of decision making by the courts

Week 5: International comparators: Norway

Week 6: Planning and legal instruments to shape planning permissions 

Week 7: Reading week

Week 8: reading week essay submission

Week 9: International comparators: USA

Week 10: Planning reform and the future direction of planning law  

Week 11: Guest lecture 

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt:

2 x 2,500 word essay (50%) each


Resubmission of failed element(s)

Formative Assessment

Discussion Boards

Objective Tests

500 word report

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualAnalyseDemonstrate the reasoning, research and communication skills to investigate, analyse, synthesise, evaluate, and critique relevant practices.
ProceduralUnderstandDemonstrate an understanding of the specific and the wider regulatory framework for UK planning law.
FactualUnderstandKnowledge of key legal concepts
ReflectionEvaluateDemonstrate research, analytical and evaluative skills by obtaining and utilising appropriate research materials on the regulation of the Planning Law and associated socio-legal issues

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