Skyscape of hot air balloons flying over Bristol


Urban Planning

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Geography and Environmental Management
Three years
Study abroad:
Programme leader:
Dr Deepak Gopinath
Key fact:
This course is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a spatial degree and has high levels of student satisfaction and employability.

Page last updated 29 August 2018


Why study 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.

Planners can deliver positive change across towns, cities and neighbourhoods worldwide.

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

Why UWE Bristol? 

BSc(Hons) Urban Planning looks at the historical issues, challenges and opportunities shaping our environment today.

This degree is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a spatial degree.

Discover how to design thriving, environmentally conscious communities and apply this to your ideas for future living environments.

Learn about the development process and how organisations, communities and settings interact to ensure that plans and projects are effectively delivered.

Gain experience working on live briefs for real clients. Research and assess locations on day trips and residential field trips.

Apply your skills in a choice of professional environments in your placement year. Attend presentations from visiting professionals and past students so you can learn about the industry and best practice.

Where can it take me?

Planning careers are available in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

You could also go on to a career in an area linked to the environment such as housing, tourism, economic development, regeneration, and environmental protection.

Accreditations and partnerships:



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
  • Making of Place
  • The Context of Property and Development
  • Geographical Skills
  • People and Planning.

Year two

You will study:

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

Plus one optional module from:

  • Regenerating Cities
  • Rural Change and Development.

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:

  • Planning Global Cities
  • Design and Implementation Project
  • Achieving Design Quality
  • Planning Theory.

Plus one module from:

  • Final Year Project
  • Independent Project (Planning).

Plus optional modules from (the number depending on credit requirements):

  • Professional Experience
  • Renewable Energy
  • International Planning Expedition
  • International Tourism Development and the Environment
  • Environmental Planning and Design.

Alternatively, if you have completed a sandwich year you will study:

  • Planning Global Cities
  • Final Year Project
  • 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.

Learning and Teaching

Our teaching and learning strategy emphasises active rather than passive learning. You'll learn through a mix of innovative classroom and practical learning contexts including lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars, and IT-based learning.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Learning is centred around a series of project briefs that encourage you to think and be creative. Assignments mimic the work you will undertake in the professional workplace, providing invaluable skills to leave university with. 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 that is directed through our research centres, such as the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments and the Centre for Transport and Society.

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

Work with real-life problems, communities or leading practitioners, often in multidisciplinary contexts.

Discover how to appreciate the nature and character of places, together with the challenges and opportunities they present. Focus on your creative thinking, project management, negotiation and advocacy, and verbal and written skills.

Create professional looking reports, presentations and portfolios that demonstrate your skill. Build your confidence, your ability to lead teams and enthusiasm for learning.

Attend regular presentations from visiting practitioners and guest lecturers so you can learn about industry challenges and best practice. Receive mentoring and support from more advanced students through our Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme.

We regularly host events for our academic and practice partners. We have recently been selected to host the prestigious conference of the Association of European Schools of Planning in 2020.

Percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities, each year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check

Socialise and campaign

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

Showcase your work

Show your work to friends, family and potential employers at the annual degree show.


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

Exams 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.

We encourage you to do formative work, eg practice tests, to prepare for these assessments. This doesn't count towards your final marks but the feedback should help you enhance your final mark.

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

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time you'll spend in different assessment methods, each year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check


Professional accreditation

This course satisfies the necessary learning outcomes of the Royal Town Planning Institute and is accredited as a spatial planning degree.


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

Study year abroad

You'll also have opportunities to study overseas on courses that are taught in English and are relevant to your degree. The study year abroad is not a paid placement.

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


We arrange day trips so you can visit study locations and meet people who can inform your work.

There are also field trips, subsidised by the department.

Year one

Visits to UK cities like included Manchester, Liverpool, London and Sheffield to explore live planning and development projects.

Year two

A visit to 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

Learn in modern, well-equipped facilities, including our award-winning design studios.

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

Develop computer-aided design (CAD), model-making, design and drawing skills in collaborative workshops.

Conduct spatial enquiries and analyse data using industry-standard geographic information systems (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.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.


Careers / Further study

There is a projected shortage of planners so there will be a range of opportunities in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

You could choose a career in an area linked to the environment such as housing, tourism, economic development, regeneration, and environmental protection. You could also go into research and teaching.

Many of our students progress to become professional members of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). The quickest route for this requires further study, such as our  MSc Planning Major Projects,followed by a programme of work experience under the RTPI's Assessment of Professional Competence. You can then become a Chartered Planner and use the letters 'MRTPI' after your name.

You can also achieve chartered membership by undertaking a longer period of work experience that will require you to work to becoming an Associate and then a Chartered member of the institute.

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

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.


There is currently no published fee data for this course.

Supplementary fee information

Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.

You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the four year course and then transfer to the three year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.

Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.

Learn more about funding.

Additional costs

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.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 104
  • 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.
  • 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.

Read more about undergraduate 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.

UWE Bristol's International College

If you are an international student and do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

Offer Types

If you have not received your exam results, your offer from UWE Bristol will be conditional and will be subject to you achieving the tariff points/grades required for your course.

If you have already satisfied the academic entry requirements of your chosen course, you are likely to be made an unconditional offer. Please note that UWE Bristol will only make unconditional offers if you have already achieved your qualifications.

To make sure our applicants are academically prepared for when they start their studies at UWE Bristol, we do not make unconditional offers to those that are still studying their Level 3 qualifications (such as A levels, BTEC, Access or equivalent). We hope that this will encourage our applicants to value their academic achievements as much as we do.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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