Skyscape of hot air balloons flying over Bristol

BSc(Hons)

Urban Planning

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
2017/18
Course code:
K401
Applications:
UCAS
Level:
Undergraduate
Tariff points:
112
Department:
Geography and Environmental Management
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
Three years
Delivery:
Full-time
Study abroad:
Yes
Programme leader:
Nick Smith BSc MPhil MRTPI
Key fact:
This three-year degree is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a spatial degree and benefits from high levels of student satisfaction and employability.

Page last updated 21 March 2017

Introduction

Why BSc(Hons) Urban Planning?

Urbanisation and regeneration present wide-ranging challenges for planners. Balancing these with our need to live in sustainable healthy environments requires specialist knowledge and skills. Armed with this understanding, planners can make an impact and deliver positive change across towns, cities and neighbourhoods worldwide.

Why study our course? 

On this course, you will examine the historical issues shaping our environment and the circumstances, challenges and opportunities in the world today. You will learn how to design healthy sustainable communities and apply this to your plans and ideas for future living environments. You will learn about the development process and the organisations, communities and settings involved to ensure that plans and projects are effectively delivered

Real world experience

The three-year degree is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a spatial degree. Throughout the course, you will gain experience working on live briefs for real clients. You will research and assess locations on day trips and residential field trips. If you decide to take a placement between years two and three you will be able to apply your skills in a choice of professional environments. We also arrange regular presentations from visiting professionals and past students so you can learn about the industry and best practice.

Where it can take you

On graduation, planning careers are available in the public, private and voluntary sectors. You could also go on to a career linked to the environment such as housing, tourism, economic development, regeneration, and environmental protection.

Watch the Royal Town Planning Institute's short film 'How do we plan our world?'

Accreditations and partnerships:

Structure

Content

A wide-ranging syllabus

You will be offered a solid grounding in planning, with an effective blend of both theory and practice. The course covers a wide range of subject areas and draws from both UK and international case studies. Assessment through the course is mixed; many of the projects have an applied and real-life feel to them. The modules below are taught collaboratively by staff from within the Departments of Geography and Environmental Management and Architecture and the Built Environment.

Year one - Understanding the Context

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Healthy Sustainable Communities
  • Making of Place
  • The Context of Property and Development
  • Geographical Skills
  • People and Planning

Year two - Delivering Change

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Future Places
  • Development Appraisal and Planning
  • Property Development Practice and Law
  • Researching the City
  • Real Estate Economics

Plus one of the following optional modules:

  • Regenerating Cities
  • Rural Change and Development

Optional placement year

Students have the option to take a placement year after completing their first two levels of study. As a connection between university study and work, the placement allows the application of academic knowledge to a professional environment.

Final year - The International Year

Non-placement students will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Planning Studio 3: Global Cities
  • Individual Research Project
  • Design and Implementation Project
  • Planning Theory
  • Achieving Design Quality

Plus one of the following optional modules:

  • Managing National Parks
  • Renewable Energy

Placement students will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Planning Studio 3: Global Cities
  • Final Year Project
  • Placement
  • Design and Implementation Project
  • Planning Theory
  • Achieving Design Quality

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Developing key skills and attributes

You will discover new ways of analysing an area which will help you to appreciate the nature and character of places, together with the challenges and opportunities that are present. This will be invaluable in bringing forward creative and exciting solutions for change. Other key skills we will focus on include creative thinking, project management, negotiation and advocacy, and verbal and written communication. You will be asked to work with GIS and digital mapping and will be provided with on-going support to help you develop professional looking reports, presentations or portfolios. We will also develop your confidence, your ability to lead teams, and create a general enthusiasm towards lifelong learning.

Learning and Teaching

As demonstrated by consistently high scores on the National Student Survey, the department's lecturing staff provide a friendly, enabling environment for learning.

Our teaching and learning strategy emphasises active rather than passive learning. This means that you will encounter a wide range of innovative classroom and in-field based learning contexts involving lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars, and IT-based learning. A studio spine extends through the course, with the contributing modules providing some exciting and contemporary project briefs that will encourage you to think and be creative. Some of these will involve you working with real-life problems, communities or leading practitioners, often in multidisciplinary contexts.

Through our Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme, first year students receive mentoring and support from second year students to enhance the learning experience across our courses.

"The planning course at UWE helps students to gain real life skills by providing a chance to engage in assignments that mimic the work we would have to undertake in the professional workplace, which will always be an invaluable skill for students to leave university with." Sarah, BSc(Hons) Urban Planning

Find out more about our department's approach to learning and teaching.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Assessment

Assessment is achieved through a balance of coursework and examinations. Examinations are held in either January or May and include written exams, in-class tests or assessed presentations. Coursework is varied and will involve you writing essays or reports, undertaking surveys or design work, or producing some kind of team based project. You are actively encouraged to do 'formative work' to prepare for these assessments; this does not count towards your final marks but the feedback received should help you enhance your final mark. Support is available for students who need it.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

Features

Professional accreditation

When considering a planning course it is important to look for professional accreditation. This course satisfies part of the RTPI's learning outcomes and is accredited as a spatial planning degree. The department and the wider faculty has excellent links with the RTPI, as well as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Architects Registrations Board and the Royal Geographical Society.

Placements

Students who get work experience are more likely to graduate with a better degree and get higher quality work on graduation. So as well as helping hone your professional skills, industry knowledge and network, experience will make you highly employable on graduation. There is an opportunity to take a year-long placement at the end of year two and doing so greatly enhances your employment prospects.

Fieldwork

We arrange a series of day trips so you can visit the locations you are studying and meet the people who can inform your work.

These are supplemented by a series of field trips.

  • In Years one and two, we visit UK cities to explore live planning and development projects. Past cities have included Manchester, Liverpool, London and Sheffield.
  • In Year three you can visit a European city to explore new urban developments, meet community members, and hear from local lecturers. Past destinations include Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Lyon and Berlin.

Study facilities

You will be taught in modern, well-equipped facilities, which include our award-winning Design Studios.

  • Study and collaborate on group assignments in our dedicated Project Room.
  • Conduct spatial enquiry and analyse data using industry-standard GIS and statistical software in our physical geography laboratories.
  • Develop desktop publishing and design skills, and access support for photography, digital imaging, filming and sound recording.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Learn from industry

We arrange regular presentations from visiting professionals and past students so you can learn about industry challenges and best practice.

Socialise and campaign

You can meet and socialise with fellow planners in our new student-led Planning@UWE Bristol Group on Facebook.

Showcase your work

Our final year students regularly showcase their work at UWE's annual Environment and Technology Degree Show. Have a look at our Pinterest Boards for examples of student's work.

Careers

Careers / Further study

There is a projected shortage of planners so there is a wide range of career opportunities in the public, private and voluntary sectors. This degree provides an excellent foundation for careers linked to the environment such as housing, tourism, economic development, regeneration, and environmental protection. You could also consider a career in research and teaching.

Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a spatial planning degree, this is an important qualification in your journey to become a professional chartered planner.

Many choose specialist study to pursue this career immediately after their degree. Options for this specialist study at UWE Bristol include our MSc Planning Major Projects and MSc Transport Planning. After completing this, you will need to follow a structured programme of work experience (for two years) under the RTPI's Assessment of Professional Competence. If you are successful, you will be able to become a Chartered Planner and use the letters 'MRTPI' after your name.

Alternatively to achieve chartered membership you can progress into a structured programme of work experience which will achieve associate membership (after two years), and then full membership to a chartered member after a further two years. Again, if you are successful, you will be able to use the letters 'MRTPI' after your name.

Past students have gone on to work for organisations ranging from local authorities and planning research centres, to private sector companies including Turley Associates, Terence O'Rourke, Crest Nicholson, Persimmon and Savills.

Award-winning Careers Service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Be inspired

Read about what being a town planner involves.

Fees

Full time course (BSc)

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12250
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1531
Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1156

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year150

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

For information about funding for undergraduate courses see our funding pages.

Entry

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 15 level 3 credits at merit.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for Foundation Year entry into this or other related degree courses.

We welcome applications from students without the conventional entrance requirements but who do have substantial relevant work or other experience and whose motivation and skills would enable them to succeed on the course.

UWE Bristol's International College
International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

How to apply

UCAS Extra: We welcome applications through UCAS Extra for this programme from 25 February until 4 July 2017. Responses to UCAS Extra applications will be given within 14 working days.

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information

Key information sets

UWE Main Campus

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