TRP215 Researching the City: Applied Skills for Practice

Module Coordinator: Madeleine Pill


Tel: 0114 2226183

Room: D20

Module Overview

Level Two study of urban design, urban management, social research methods and the distinctiveness of place is enhanced by learning about how to conduct urban field research.  Students taking this module will consider various topics, such as the impact of planning policy, flood resilience, urban ethnicity and social segregation, housing developments, or issues in the use of public space, through learning about and, circumstances permitting, conducting field investigation. They will be introduced to a range of qualitative and quantitative research skills and techniques, as well as interpretative methods.

Study Hours

The University recommends that you spend 200 hours working on a 20-credit module. This will include:

  • Lectures
  • Group Discussion
  • Overnight trips (circumstances permitting)
  • Extended individual study

Module Breakdown

Week 1: Introduction: research methods in context
Week 2: Flood Risk Management in the UK and the Netherlands and Group Discussion
Week 3: Student Activity and Group Discussion
Week 4: Collecting and analysing data 1: quantitative
Week 5: Collecting and analysing data 2: qualitative and Group Discussion
Week 6: Final logistics before departure
Week 7: Field Trip (circumstances permitting)
Week 8: Analysing your data & writing up your methodology
Week 9: Essay expectations and Q & A


You will be assessed via one formal component, a report on flood risk and responsibility. This assessment comprises:

• Essay - 2000 - 2500 words (100%)

Key Readings

  • Bryman “Social Research Methods”, 4th Edition, 2012 (Chapter one and the section on “social research methods” in Chapter 2)
  • Butler C, and Pidgeon N, 2011, "From ‘flood defence’ to ‘flood risk management’: exploring governance, responsibility, and blame " Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 29(3) 533 – 547
  • Sharp, L. 2017, Reconnecting People and Water: Public Engagement and Sustainable Water Management, London: Earthscan (Particularly Chapters 7 and 9)

Skills Badging

Research Skills - You will collect data in the field and research literature on the topic

Numeracy and Digital Literacy Skills - You will perform basic analysis of field data and interpret it

Communication Skills - You will provide a clear and coherent report on the research

Before you start....

All students are advised to obtain a current European Health Insurance Card to expedite rapid medical treatment if needed. Additionally, non EU students must take advance action to ensure that they have a visa to enable them to enter the Netherlands. Depending on progress on Brexit, UK students may also need a visa - we will let you know.