Professional/Short Course Sustainable Urban Communities (Level 4)

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
Architecture and the Built Environment
24 weeks of teaching, 6 weeks of assessment
Part-time / blended
Course Director
Patrick O'Flynn

Page last updated 29 July 2022


Funding from the Student Loans Company is available for applicants who meet the eligibility criteria

The Sustainable Urban Communities course will cover the key concepts that underpin healthy sustainable communities and how these can be translated into the design of the built environment.

It will be delivered as a stand-alone credit bearing short course and meet the criteria for Lifelong Loan Entitlement funding through the Student Loan Company.

If you are unfamiliar with higher education settings, full support will be given and the course has been designed to meet the highest standard of inclusive design, with a mix of in-person teaching and an online learning environment, where material is available in digital formats, including recordings of live sessions, learning material and a reading list in accessible formats.

Learning will be divided into short presentations on theory, followed by interactive learning activities, using technology enhanced learning, detailed session plans and related reading lists.

The use of hands-on learning equipment and real-world case studies will be used to give the learning a professional focus.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify an urban site that has potential for development using sustainable principles and concepts of healthy planning.
  • Outline an urban development of 100 dwellings, clearly considering the impact on aspects such as ecological systems, energy, materials, waste, water and food, within the context of wider development drivers that affect the socio-demographics, health and well-being of populations.
  • Critique the different urban design options for the built environment in terms of how they affect and are affected by health and sustainability outcomes, utilising different types of spatial and non-spatial analysis techniques such as GIS (Geographic Information System).

Entry requirements

  • GCSE English and Maths at grade C/4.
  • Level 3 qualification, such as an A-level, BTEC, Access course or Foundation year.
  • Applicants who do not meet these entry requirements but have relevant experience may be considered on a case by case basis. 

Careers / Further study

On completion of the course, you can explore further opportunities relating to careers in property and planning.



Three overarching themes will be explored:

  • The different conceptual models of sustainable development and how these have evolved.
  • Climate change.
  • Health and well-being and their inequalities.

We will focus on people (Socio-demographics, health and wellbeing, and the Importance of understanding behaviours), place (urban development, form, design and placemaking), and key themes including ecological systems, energy, materials and waste, transport and water.

We will also examine methods for analysing places, places as systems and trade-offs between the different facets of health and sustainability. This will include analytical tools (such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS) ) for appraising urban environments:

Case studies using both positive and negative examples from practice will be used throughout the module to illustrate key points.

Sustainability and the Property lifecycle will also be considered.

Learning and Teaching

Scheduled Teaching and Learning includes:

Lectures will be used to provide the background theories, concepts and examples from research and practice;

Exercises and workshops will be used to consolidate this material and allow you to apply this knowledge in different scenarios and critically evaluate examples from practice;

Students will work in groups and discuss their ideas in class or online to facilitate peer critical evaluation;

Fieldtrips may be further used to consolidate learning and provide opportunities to experience real-world examples of practice.

Free courses to improve academic skills will be offered by the UWE Library.


Assessment will include written presentations, proposals and appraisals, including spatial analysis using GIS.


Study facilities

UWE Bristol is superbly equipped with libraries and computer labs, and an excellent campus environment. Our online learning environments deliver an integrated learning experience to you and you also have access to a vast number of professional and academic journals and databases online through the UWE Bristol library. 

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

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

Course dates

Cohort September 2022Date TimeLocation
72 Hours Face-to-face learning delivered over 24 weeks starting in September 2022 Tuesday evenings 18:00-21:00UWE Bristol, Frenchay Campus

Completion of this course requires 228 hours of self-guided study.

Should government restrictions be enforced this module will move to online delivery.

Course fees

All prices are VAT exempt

CohortSeptember 2022
Full Fee£2,310.00 (Funding for the full amount is available see below)

There is a 14 day cancellation period in line with our fees policy here.

Lifelong Learning Loan funding applications

Funding for this course is available from the Student Loans Company.

To be eligible for this funding you must first make an application using the link below in the How to Apply section and check you meet the Loan eligibility criteria below.

At the point of booking with us you will not be asked to pay any fees.

Once we have confirmed your place you will be eligible to apply to the Student Loans Company for a Lifelong Learning Loan to cover the course fees. You cannot make an application for a loan until we have confirmed your place.

Each loan application covers the fee for one course. Loan applications can take 4-6 weeks to be processed so please complete the booking with us as soon as you are able to.

You can apply for a HE Short Course Loan if all of the following are true:

  • you're a UK national or Irish Citizen or have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme or indefinite leave to enter or remain so there are no restrictions on how long you can stay
  • you normally live in England
  • you've been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 continuous years before the first day of your course, apart from temporary absences such as going on holiday

Please see here for further details: GOV.UK


How to apply

How to apply

Application to the course will be available shortly. Please complete the enquiry form below to be added to our waiting list.


September 2022Apply Now coming soonEnquire now for waiting list

For further information

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 81043 (option 1, then option 3)