Course Outline

ENP103 Planning Theory, Governance and Politics

Course Coordinator:Silvia Tavares ( School:School of Law and Society

2022Semester 2

USC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


You will be introduced to government, politics and governance; the complexity of planning across three levels of government in partnership with NGOs, Business and Indigenous communities. You will consider the role of politics in planning because planners deal with the allocation of resources - a political process. It will be discussed how Planners need to understand the formal authority of governments, along with informal arrangements. Field experience on Fraser Island, a World Heritage Area, will highlight issues associated with successful spatial governance and sustainable development.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Course content delivered online through learning materials/content in Canvas. 1hr Week 1 8 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus tutorial 2hrs Week 1 8 times
Fieldwork – 3 Day off Campus Fieldtrip. Details to be advised by Course Coordinator 18hrs Week 4 Once Only

Course Topics

  • Spatial governance
  • Planning practice in Queensland
  • Indigenous worldviews in planning and design
  • Planning theory and its purpose
  • Ethics in planning

What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Understand the nature of spatial planning at all levels of government in Australia. Knowledgeable
2 Reflect on your field trip and practical experience. Creative and critical thinker
3 Apply theoretical and practical understanding about spatial planning to undertake a practical exercise. Empowered

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Reflection and review of all content is encouraged in weekly interactive tutorials, and feedback will be given in class.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Oral and Written Piece Group 30%
30 minute oral presentation
Week 4 In Class
All 2 Portfolio Individual 30%
6 to 8 A3 sheets
Week 7 Online Submission
All 3 Quiz/zes Individual 40%
90 minutes
Week 10 Online Test (Quiz)
All - Assessment Task 1:Fieldtrip workshop
To apply your knowledge and skills in undertaking a practical study of local spatial planning issues during a fieldtrip. The solution requires integrated approaches across levels of government and non-government organisations.
Product: Oral and Written Piece
You will work in groups - materials will be provided for the completion of creative work.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Data collection and analysis - Data collection and identification of actors and their roles in K’gari management
1 2
Presentation - Relevant and effective photos and illustrations to present key ideas and observations. Presentation should be clear and tell a compelling story.
1 2 3
Recommendations - Relevance and clarity of conclusions and recommendations
1 2 3
All - Assessment Task 2:Planning and Place Design Analysis
Reflect individually on your understanding of spatial governance issues in Australia through the analysis of a specific area of K'gari. You will produce an analysis and recommendations for planning and place design improvements.
Product: Portfolio
A portfolio constituted of 6 to 8 A3 sheets. All your recommendations should be explained through and supported by images and simple illustrations such as diagrams.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of spatial governance in Australia and its effects on planning
Demonstrate ability to critique the existing planning and place arrangements and provide solutions
1 2
Use relevant references (readings and precedents) about spatial planning and governance, and place design, to support and comment on the decisions made and the knowledge applied
1 3
All - Assessment Task 3:Examination
To test your understanding of the key concepts and knowledge discussed throughout this course.
Product: Quiz/zes
Online test
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Ability to identify the difference between levels of governance and the nature of informal and formal plans
Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of spatial planning carried out at the Commonwealth, State and regional levels of government in Australia
Demonstrate an understand of the roles undertaken by various types of non-government organisations in spatial planning across Australia

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

Information regarding prescribed texts or other associated resources will be made available on Canvas

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all field activities and a low level of health and safety risk exists. Some risks concerns may include working in an unknown environment as well as slip and trip hazards. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

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