With more than 600 students engaging a wide range of research topics in our undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree programmes, including master's by research, the department is widely recognised as a leading educator in environment, design and development subjects. With a complement of over 60 teaching, administrative, technical and research staff, the department performs a leading role in research and consultancy, with clients and projects covering subjects from local concerns to multinational organisations, government and industry.
Research areas and clusters
Key areas of expertise and scholarship in the department form the research groups and units listed below.
These research groups and units also comprise a substantial part of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD):
Impact Assessment Group: The Impact Assessment Group is a designated EC Europa Centre of Excellence in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which brings together one of the largest teams of expertise in this field worldwide. Our clients include, amongst others, the European Commission, UK Government/Agencies, local government and the commercial sector. (Director: Dr Graham Wood)
Spatial Planning Group: The Spatial Planning Group brings together a wide range of intellectual and policy concerns within spatial planning and cognate fields, both nationally and internationally. Much of its work falls under the heading of sustainable development, with a particular focus on three major areas of study: Planning Thought and Governance; Economic Development, Innovation and Regeneration; and Accessibility, Transportation and Migration. The group reflects a commitment to recognise and build on cross-cutting and multidisciplinary interests within the broad remit of spatial planning, as well as advancing more established research strengths in specific fields. SPG members have a strong track record in research funding, including: ESRC, EPSRC, DCLG (ODPM), NESTA, JRF, British Academy, EIB, RTPI, and SEEDA. (Director: Dr Dave Valler)
Urban Design Group: The Urban Design Group is one of the largest UK providers of research expertise in urban design and conservation matters. Our research activity was assessed as being excellent in the 2008 Higher Education Funding Council for England Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). Our clients include, amongst others, UK Government/Agencies, local government, the commercial sector and a number of international agencies, governments and research councils. (Director: Professor Georgia Butina-Watson)
The Department of Planning has links with universities worldwide, including Canada, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Taiwan, Romanian, Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland and most EU member states. There are exciting opportunities for collaborative research, exchanges and study overseas. The department has an impressive list of funders and clients covering UK and EU government, research funding councils, industry and local government.