Sustainable Housing Development (10 Credits) URBAN5097

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

Housing development is vital for meeting housing needs and demands but it carries high risks for environmental, economic and social sustainability. This course examines what sustainability means in relation to housing development, and provides a critical examination of current policy and practice within a broad institutional framework, including affordable housing developers and private housebuilders. The course includes fieldwork to live development sites.


This course runs in Semester 2, and if taken as the 10 credits version is delivered in 3 hourly blocks, once per week, over 5 consecutive weeks with a tutorial.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements:


Excluded Courses

Sustainable Housing Development (URBAN5049)





The course will be assessed by a 2,500 words essay (100% of credits)

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to evaluate what is meant by sustainable housing development and explore the process by which it is most likely to be delivered. The course therefore seeks to integrate consideration of a range of housing design, development and management issues, with an equal emphasis given to private and social housing

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

On completing the course, participants will be able to:

■ evaluate what sustainability means from an environmental, economic and socio-cultural perspective and critically analyse the role of sustainability in policy for housing development;

■ explain the policy context for housing development, including: housing policy, urban policy and planning and urban design policy, and analyse the impact of land availability, urban containment and compact cities, greenfield/brownfield development and affordability;

■ discuss the key stages of the housing development process and assess the role of key actors and institutions in the housing development process;

■ identify the key risks involved in housing development in the public and private spheres and the methods available for managing risk;

■ explain the process of sustainable housing design and evaluate current issues in housing design, including: accessibility, energy use and environmental sustainability;

■ critically evaluate the success of housing development policies and projects in meeting their own objectives and the needs of society;

■ participate in a group problem solving exercise and be involved in group learning; and

■ write a well presented assignment in report format.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.


Attendance is a requirement for students on DG Dip/MSc Housing Studies.