Community Empowerment and Engagement (collaboration w/ Prince's Foundation for Building Community) URBAN5112

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides a practical introduction to theories and methods of community participation and engagement, and explores contemporary debates on the nature of empowerment in local community decision-making. It is delivered by the University of Glasgow in collaboration with the Prince's Foundation for Building Community.


A two-and-half day intensive course delivered as part of the master timetable for Urban Studies. Day 1 and Day 2 of the course will be delivered at Dumfries House, Ayrshire (the education base of the Prince's Foundation for Building Community) and the half day will be delivered at the University of Glasgow. Days 1 and Day 2 will include 5.5 hours of contact time per day. The half-day session will occur approximately two weeks later and be 4 hours duration.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements:


Excluded Courses






The course will be assessed through practical work, which will enable students to apply the principles of public participation and engagement to a project. Students will give a group presentation on a participation technique (25% of total course mark) and produce an individual report detailing an engagement strategy for a local community visioning exercise of 2,000 words (75% of total course mark).

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of community participation and engagement as a public policy tool, and an appreciation of the role that participation and engagement play in citizen empowerment.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

■ understand and evaluate theories of empowerment and engagement;

■ critically evaluate contemporary debates about community participation and engagement;

■ analyse and reflect upon the nature of power in community decision-making;

■ identify the complex range of stakeholders involved in local decision-making and assess their ability to make collective decisions;

■ summarise the importance of stakeholder involvement and of engaging and communicating with (by appropriate and varied means) a diverse range of interests, including local residents and community groups, business people, commercial developers, politicians and protest groups;

■ identify and justify appropriate methods and guiding principles for community engagement for differing scenarios.

■ consider and reflect upon divergent opinions during a community decision-making process;

■ develop practical skills in community engagement and participation techniques, including listening, negotiation, conflict resolution and synthesis; and

■ work effectively on individual and group-based tasks.

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.


Minimum requirement for award of credit for students on MSc Real Estate and MSc City Planning is D3 or above.


Students are required to attend all the lectures and workshops.