Professional course Implementation and Design Quality

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
School of Architecture and Environment
12 one-day sessions scheduled over 12 weeks OR via online-only delivery over the same duration
Weekly contact-based lectures and workshops with supporting online materials OR via online-only delivery
Course Director
Adam Sheppard

Page last updated 24 October 2023


This course can contribute towards MSc Urban Planning, MSc Planning and Urban Leadership (DL), MSc Transport.

This course seeks to ensure that you have a practical and theoretical understanding of the approaches to managing development through the mechanisms and system of planning.

You will explore the legal framework of planning, how decisions are made, delivery and implementation, planning gain, enforcement, design, movement, appeals, and a range of other areas of interest. It will provide you with a working and practical understanding of analytical skills needed to make decisions based not solely on the output (i.e. a decision,) but rather to be outcome focused. You will study and learn through a series of lectures and exercises which allow practice application and understanding of theory, policy, and regulation.

The course is therefore underpinned by the principles of the development management approach with an emphasis on the quality of the outcome and the effectiveness of the process.


Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for participants wishing to undertake this course as a stand-alone CPD course without the optional module assessment.

If you wish to complete the course assessment you are expected to have a first degree at 2.2 level or above (or equivalent) or alternatively have industrial experience.

We strongly recommend that you speak to the course tutors prior to the course if you are unsure about your suitability to complete the assessment.

If you are a non-UK student you will need to show your passport on entry to the UK. Please check your eligibility to visit and study in the UK here. If you are a non-Irish EU national currently resident in Ireland please contact us directly for further advice.

If English is not your country's first language, you will be required to provide evidence to show you meet the UK Border Agency and the University's minimum English Language requirements. Further details are available on our English Language Requirements webpage

Careers / Further study

This module can be taken as a stand-alone CPD course, or by completing the module assessment, it can be used to build up credits towards a named postgraduate qualification (PG Certificate, PG Diploma or Masters) in: Transport Planning, Transport Engineering and Planning, Planning and Urban Leadership (Distance Learning), Urban Planning and the Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship in Urban Planning.

For specific information regarding the Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship in Urban Planning, please contact Nicholas Smith:



What does it cover?

  • Decision making processes and implementation mechanisms regarding the development and use of land to meet sustainability objectives within the context of the spatial planning approach.
  • The legislative context: the need for planning permission; the definition of development; permitted development rights; the use of classes order; legal validity; design and access statements, planning enforcement.
  • Professional skills, including a focus upon negotiation, project management, understanding and creating plans and drawings, and viability.
  • Appeals: written statements, hearings and inquiries; the role of the planning inspectorate; understanding how to produce evidence and justify argument.
  • Policy, guidance and advice: understanding the development plan and other material considerations, including guidance case law.
  • Urban design theories, vocabulary and architectural styles and periods.
  • Movement in the urban environment, including the nature and perceptions of different forms of movement (walking, cycling, driving, etc.) and the potential for urban design to influence sustainable mobility objectives and vice versa.

What will the course outcomes be?

  • To demonstrate comprehension of planning decision making in the context of current regulation, legislation, policy, planning principles, concepts, and approach.
  • To demonstrate effective decision making and design solution skills.
  • Critical analysis of planning decision making processes, provisions, outcomes, and impacts.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the nature of the objectives of urban design, and be able to apply these objectives to typical development situations.

Learning and Teaching

The course is delivered via a series of lecture sessions and exercises.  Study is either via a series of contact sessions which are supported by online preparatory materials provided on a weekly basis, or can be studied entirely online with exercises and interaction replicated within an online virtual learning environment.

Study time

Each 30 credit course (module) is expected to take 300 hours to complete

  • 72 hrs direct contact learning or online material interactions
  • 108 hrs assimilation and development of knowledge
  • 60 hrs portfolio (assessment)
  • 60 hrs planning appeal (assessment)


The assessment for this course includes a presentation and project report

For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Study facilities

UWE Bristol is superbly equipped with libraries and computer labs, and an excellent campus environment. For those studying online, our Virtual Learning Environment and online services will enable you to study and receive the support you need wherever you are in the world.

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


Research and student opportunities

View the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments pages for more information on some of our research and activities, and also our Centre for Transport and Society (CTS) pages for further information on activity including upcoming events and opportunities in transport.

Get a feel for the Geography and Environmental Management facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

This course runs once a year. The next module run is programmed for 2022 and likely to follow the same delivery pattern: 12 one-day sessions scheduled over 12 weeks (every Friday) OR via online delivery over the same duration/dates.

As an indication, the cost of this course was £1250 UK/EU and £2166 for International participants in the last academic year, so there might be a small increase for 2022.

Exact course dates, updated fees and online booking forms will be published here in the coming weeks. Please complete our online enquiry form below to be notified once dates are available.

Course Location

UWE Bristol, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY

How to apply

As this module carries university accreditation, please note that once you have submitted your booking form, you will be required to provide the following supporting information to the administration team for the module tutor to be able to review and formally accept your application as required by the university:

  • An up-to-date copy of your Curriculum Vitae (including contact details of a work or academic reference)
  • A brief personal statement to support your application
  • A copy of your highest qualification certificate and transcript of modules studied
  • A copy of photographic proof of ID (i.e. driver's licence/passport). For non UK students, this must be a copy of your passport

Overseas participants will be required to provide evidence of visa status once accepted onto the course, before they can be fully registered and attend.

TBC 2023/24Enquire Now


For further information

  • Email: For any questions in relation to the course, i.e. content, suitability, assessments, etc. please contact: Adam Sheppard ( for urban planning led queries, or John Parkin ( for transport led queries. For queries regarding administration aspects of registration, i.e. dates, fees, etc. please contact us using the online enquiry form link or telephone number below.
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 81043 (option 1, then option 3)