ENVPL589-20B (HAM)

Directed Study

15 Points

Edit Header Content
Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences
Environmental Planning


Edit Staff Content




: frances.douch@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


: nat.enright@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
Edit Staff Content

Paper Description

Edit Paper Description Content
This paper consists of a programme of individual research and assessment undertaken by the student working under supervision. The supervisor will have agreed to this as part of the process of enrolling for the paper. The research topic will be agreed on in discussion between the student and the supervisor.
Edit Paper Description Content

Paper Structure

Edit Paper Structure Content

ENVPL589 involves a programme of independent research, as agreed upon between the individual student and the supervisor. The paper comprises two key elements, a Research Brief and a directed Study Report. The Research Brief will provide a foundation for and direction to the study, and will be supported by preliminary literature investigation.This first element of the paper must be successfully completed before the student may progress to the main task of writing a Directed Study report of a maximum 4,000 words.

The focus of the Directed Study must be some aspect of the theory and practice of environmental planning in New Zealand or internationally. Students will be encouraged to undertake theoretical challenges, such as the application of current debates in planning theory to practical planning issues; or more practice based issues, such as critical evaluations of current planning policy at local, regional, national or international levels. In all cases, the expectation is that students will have a clear focus to their work represented through the identification of a clear research question/questions to be answered, and that they will draw upon an appropriate range of data, literature and research evidence to support their case.

Students will not be expected to engage in the collection of new data (for example, through surveys or interviews). Instead, it is anticipated that students will make full use of existing data sources and information in support of their investigation.

Edit Paper Structure Content

Learning Outcomes

Edit Learning Outcomes Content

Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an ability to write a clear, focused research proposal

    Students undertaking ENVPL589 will develop skills in writing a research proposal, including constructing a viable research question/topic, considering ethical implications, and constructing a plan for completing the proposed research within the available timeframe.

    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Demonstrate a clear capacity to reflect critically upon an issue of relevance to environmental planning theory and practice
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Demonstrate an ability to conduct a study of an appropriate issue supported by reference to, and use of, existing data, published sources and research evidence
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Demonstrate an ability to write a research document which will prepare the student for tasks likely to be required in professional planning practice and further academic study
    Linked to the following assessments:
Edit Learning Outcomes Content
Edit Learning Outcomes Content


Edit Assessments Content

Assessment for the paper is fully internal and is composed of two aspects: a Research Brief, and a Directed Study Report.

Research Brief

Please submit a 500-word maximum Research Brief which clearly indicates the proposed topic, the rationale for this topic, the research question(s) that will be addressed, and a proposed workplan to complete the Directed Study. A model framework which will assist you in preparing the Research Brief will be provided.

As a 20% piece of work, the Research Brief should reflect a comparable effort in terms of time spent (i.e. 20% of 150 hours). The Research Brief should found the enquiry, the structure of the report and provide an introduction to the relevant literature. This element of the paper assessment must be completed to the satisfaction of the student’s supervisor before the student is permitted to progress to complete the Directed Study.

Directed Study Report

The Directed Study has a 4,000-word maximum, and should include the following:

1. Cover sheet

2. Executive summary (1.5 pages maximum)

3. Table of Contents

4. Introduction (introduces topic and context)

5. A short section on theory providing a consideration of the main theoretical ideas and bodies of literature which are informing and guiding the research

6. Statutory/policy context. A short section explaining and situating your research in terms of its statutory and policy context

7. Main body of directed study (analytical framework, methods, results and discussion)

8. Conclusion

9. Bibliography

Points 4-8 are included in the word count .

All references used to support the Directed Study report must be referenced according to the Chicago Author-Date Referencing Style, as outlined in the GTEP Style Guide available on Moodle. The Directed Study report should avoid all forms of plagiarism defined as:

“Plagiarism means presenting as one’s own work the work of another, and includes the copying or paraphrasing of another person’s work in an assessment item without acknowledging it as the other person’s work through full and accurate referencing; it applies to assessment (as defined in the Assessment Regulations) presented through a written, spoken, electronic, broadcasting, visual, performance or other medium.”
Edit Additional Assessment Information Content

Assessment Components

Edit Assessments Content

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Research Brief (Date to be confirmed)
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Final Directed Study Report
16 Oct 2020
4:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
Edit Assessments Content

Required and Recommended Readings

Edit Required Readings Content

Required Readings

Edit Required Readings Content

There are no required readings for this paper. Recommended readings are listed below:

MacCallum, D., Babb, C. Curtis, C. (2019) Doing Research in urban and regional planning: methods and methodology for beginners. Routledge: New York.

Hay, I. 2012: Communicating in Geography and the Environmental Sciences. South Melbourne, Vic. : Oxford University Press.

Other Resources

Environmental Planning Librarian: Nat Enright is our subject librarian. He can assist you with online and hard copy searches in the library. (Ask at the information desk, or look under subject portals in the library catalogue or on extension 9131 or nenright@waikato.ac.nz).

Report writing resources: There are several resources/databases on research and report writing that you can access through the library:





Edit Required Readings Content

Online Support

Edit Online Support Content
This paper will be supported online through Moodle.
Edit Online Support Content


Edit Workload Content
This paper is worth 15 points. For a 12 week semester, students are expected to devote 25% of a fulltime workload to each paper i.e. ten hours per week throughout the entire semester. Students are expected to manage their workload to allow for this to be undertaken in a timely fashion.
Edit Workload Content

Linkages to Other Papers

Edit Linkages Content


Admission is at the discretion of the convenor and will depend on staff availability.




Restricted papers: GEOG589 and ENVP589

Edit Linkages Content