Two people looking at plans on a table

BA(Hons)

Geography and Planning

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
2018/19
Course code:
L7K4
Applications:
UCAS
Level:
Undergraduate
Tariff points:
112
Department:
Geography and Environmental Management
Campus:
Frenchay
Duration:
BA(Hons): three years full-time; four years sandwich
Delivery:
Full-time; Sandwich
Programme leader:
Nick Smith
Key fact:
This distinctive course provides new opportunities for work across the UK and beyond.

Page last updated 29 September 2017

Introduction

Why study geography and planning?

Civilisation is putting increasing pressure on the world's environment and resources.

This has become a critical issue for society, particularly geographers and planners.

Our challenge is to plan and create healthier and more sustainable places for communities, preserving resources for future generations.

Why UWE Bristol?

BA(Hons) Geography and Planning helps you explore the wide-ranging influences that affect environment, place and society.

The course provides a blend of geography and planning, although the former dominates year one and greater emphasis is given to planning over the remaining years.

Develop an understanding of how planners can tackle global issues such as responding to the effects of climate change, to local issues like creating thriving neighbourhoods.

Learn from case studies, inspiring guest lecturers and innovative coursework briefs. Explore international geographic regions balancing urbanisation with environmental challenges.

Gain experience and develop problem-solving skills on projects in our well-equipped studios. Some of these will involve working with real-life problems, communities or leading practitioners in multidisciplinary contexts.

Research and assess locations on day trips and residential field trips. Build your understanding of the role that geographers and planners can make in society at regular presentations from visiting professionals.

Where can it take me?

A combined understanding of geography and planning opens up a range of careers in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

You could work in planning, tourism, economic development, regeneration, housing and environmental protection. You might also choose to pursue a career in research or teaching.

Structure

Content

The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year one

You will study:

  • Healthy Sustainable Communities
  • Geographies of Globalisation
  • Culture, Society and Place
  • Geographical Skills
  • People and Planning.

Year two

You will study:

  • Future Places
  • Development, Practice and Law
  • Researching the City.

Plus three optional modules from:

  • Managing Global Resources
  • Migration, Policy and Society
  • Regenerating Cities
  • Rural Change and Development
  • Culture, Geography and Tourism
  • Managing National Parks.

Placement year (if applicable)

If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after year two.

Depending on which you choose, you'll either complete a placement learning or learning and development module.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Final year

You will study:

  • Achieving Design Quality
  • Environmental Assessment

Or you will study (if a placement has been completed):

  • Achieving Design Quality
  • Placement

In addition, you will select from the following optional modules (depending on credit requirements):

  • Independent Project
  • Design and Implementation Project
  • Final Year Project

And two optional modules from:

  • Planning Global Cities
  • Renewable Energy
  • International Tourism Development and the Environment
  • Integrated Water Management
  • Environmental Management in the Global South
  • Transforming Cities
  • Advanced Geographic Expedition.

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. 

Learning and Teaching

Our lecturing staff achieve consistently high scores on the National Student Survey and provide a friendly environment for learning.

They regularly attend conferences and produce articles for publication. Many are also involved with professional and subject-based networks through which research and policy agendas are shaped.

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

Learn through a blend of lectures, seminars, small group work, debates, laboratory classes, fieldwork, practical work such as IT and internet skills, and conference organisation. Our offer is shaped by an employers' advisory board that helps to ensure the relevance of your learning.

Teaching is informed by our research activity, directed through research centers such as the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments and the Centre for Transport and Society.

Explore some of the issues and agendas geographers and planners are embracing. Discover key theories and ideas that are helping us to respond to challenges. Develop your creativity and problem-solving skills by working in our studios on exciting and contemporary project briefs.

Benefit from the support of an Academic Personal Tutor and take advantage of the programme's mentoring scheme that connects you with somebody in practice.

Receive mentoring from more advanced students through our Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme. Attend presentations from visiting professionals so you can learn current thought and best practice. 

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check
033%67%0%100%
125%75%0%100%
221%79%0%100%
323%62%15%100%

The department has excellent links with the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), and provides an input into the shaping and making of policy and initiatives across the Institute. We have similar links with the Royal Geographical Society and contribute to their calendar of events.

Socialise and campaign

Get involved with student societies relating to geography and planning, with a host of social and educational events organised throughout the year.

Showcase your work

Show your work at the annual Environment and Technology Degree Show.

Have a look at our Pinterest boards for examples of students' work.

Study time

Lectures, workshops and seminars, group project work and tutoring account for 12 hours of contact time each week.

You'll be expected to spend at least twice as much time studying independently and studying for assessments.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through a combination of coursework and exams.

Exams are held in either January or May and include written exams, in-class tests and assessed presentations.

Coursework is varied and involves writing essays or reports, undertaking surveys or design work, or producing team based projects.

We encourage you to do formative work, eg practice tests, to prepare for assessments. This won't count towards your final marks but feedback should improve your final mark.

Support is available if you have difficulties with numeracy, IT, literacy and study skills.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check
034%50%16%100%
150%31%19%100%
218%63%19%100%
36%67%27%100%

Features

Placements

Students who get work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought after graduate.

If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after year two.

We encourage you to take up internships during your time with us and you'll also have the opportunity to take a placement between your second and final year.

You'll get help to find your placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.

Fieldwork

These are supplemented by a series of field trips.

Year one

Visit UK cities to explore live planning and development projects. Past cities have included Manchester, Liverpool, London and Sheffield.

Year two

Visit a European city to explore new urban developments, meet community members, and hear local lecturers. Past destinations include Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Lyon and Berlin.

Study facilities

Learn in modern, well-equipped facilities, including our physical geography laboratories.

Study and collaborate on group assignments in our dedicated Project Room.

Conduct spatial enquiry and analyse data using industry-standard geographic information system (GIS) and statistical software in our computer labs.

Develop desktop publishing and design skills, and access support for photography, digital imaging, filming and sound recording.

This mix of traditional and highly creative learning environments enables you to learn essential knowledge and real-world skills, standing you in good stead for your professional career.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Careers

Careers / Further study

Many of our students go on to pursue a career in planning.

Planners work for a range of employers. Some go into careers in the private sector for consultancies. Others choose the public sector, advising government or working for agencies providing specialist environmental advice.

Graduates keen to develop a career in planning can pursue chartered membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) by following a combination of further study and gaining experience in the sector.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

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

Watch the Royal Geographical Society's short film 'Going places with Geography'.

See also:

Prospects - what being a town planner involves

Prospects - career options with a geography degree

Fees

Full time course (BA)

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594
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

Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing. 

Learn more about costs

Entry

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above 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.
  • Relevant subjects: Geography, Environmental Studies
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 30 level 3 credits at merit.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

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.

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.

Read more about entry requirements.

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

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information

Unistats

UWE Main Campus

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