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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: PSYM033 Module Title: INQUIRY AND DESIGN
Module Provider: Psychology Short Name: PS.M8
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: UZZELL D Prof (Psychology)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability

Spring Semester

Assessment Pattern

Components of Assessment








Percentage weighting








Research proposal




















Module Overview


Module Aims

1. To introduce students to the foundations, history and development of environmental psychology research in order to provide a conceptual underpinning to inform their understanding of the major theoretical formulations and models used to undertake environmental-behaviour research. 

2. To provide the students with an advanced knowledge through selected case studies of a range of methods central to contemporary environmental psychology research, and applicable in different settings (e.g., urban, rural, domestic, retail, office, recreational, transport, public space)

3. To train students in problem analysis and formulation, intervention, assessment and evaluation as appropriate to a range of environmental settings in order to enable them to conduct empirical research of their own. 

4. To develop interpersonal, technical and creative skills required for their effective transition to the world of work by providing opportunities to take personal control of their own development, promoting individual and team working, enhancing decision making skills.

5. To raise the awareness of students to cognate disciplines, including but not exclusively, architecture, planning, design and environmental sciences in order that they are aware of the perspectives and orientations of these disciplines and can engage in a mutually informative dialogue.

6. To model a professional approach to colleagues and potential clients mindful of equality issues and acknowledging human rights of those with whom they come into contact

7. To enable students to link theoretical and empirical questions to social and environmental issues with a view to understanding the practical applications and action implications of environmental psychological theories and empirical findings.

8. To communicate results to others within the social sciences and the professional world of architecture, planning and environmental science.

9. To impart procedures and practices for the ethical conduct of research.

Learning Outcomes
Module Content

The Inquiry and Design module takes students through the complete planning, design, management and dissemination process of as research project. Particular attention will be paid to meeting clients’ needs in respect of policy development and practice. This will involve a workshop approach which will seek to generate with students an understanding of ‘real-world’ research for an external client, in contrast to the kind of university research projects with which they are typically familiar. The aim will be to integrate research training with the theories and substantive findings of environmental psychology, drawing on case studies based on environmental psychology research undertaken in the Department for the EU, national and local government and industry. Each case study will be chosen to illustrate different forms of interaction between environment and behaviour, different research methodologies, and different theoretical positions.

Methods of Teaching/Learning

Completion of the module (and the acquisition of 15 course credits) requires a total of 20 contact hours in the form of lectures, seminars and workshops. Students are also expected to invest a minimum of 5 hours of study time per one hour of contact time (i.e., 100 hours) in order to undertake the course to satisfactory degree.

Selected Texts/Journals

Bentley, I., Alcock, A., Murrian, P., McGlynn, S., & Smith, G. (1985) Responsive Environments, A manual for designers, Oxford : Butterworth-Heinemann
Friedmann, A., Zimring, C. & Zube, E. (1978). Environmental Design Evaluation. New York : Plenum. 
Moser, G. & Weiss, K. (2003) Espaces de vie: Aspects de la relation homme-environnement. Paris : A. Colin. (in French)
Robson, C. (1993). Real World Research: A Resource for Social Scientists and Practitioner Researchers. Oxford : Blackwell.
Romice, O. & Frey, H. (2003) Communities in Action: The Handbook.  Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde/Scottish Arts Council. 
Uzzell, DL and Barnett, J. (2006). ‘Ethnographic and Action Research’, in G. Breakwell, C. Fife-Schaw S. Hammond and J. Smith (eds.) Research Methods in Psychology, London: Sage (Third Edition), pp 300-320.
Uzzell, D.L. & Ballantyne R. (1998) Contemporary Is sue s in Heritage and Environmental Interpretation: Problems and Prospects, London : The Stationery Office.
Uzzell, D.L. & Jones, E. (2000) The development of a process-based methodology for assessing the visual impact of buildings. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 17(4), 330-343.
Zeisel, J. (2006). Inquiry by Design: Tools for Environment-Behaviour Research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Last Updated
15th August 2006