Urban Planning and Development (BSc)

BSc Urban Planning and Development is an exciting course that focuses on why places - such as cities, towns, and the countryside - change and how they can be improved through planning.

BSc Urban Planning and Development is an exciting course that focuses on why places - such as cities, towns, and the countryside - change and how they can be improved through planning. The course focuses on the social, economic and environmental challenges of creating better places in which to live. The course is particularly suitable for those interested in the interaction between people and the built and natural environment.

BSc Urban Planning and Development is a professionally-accredited degree and provides the essential foundations for a career in planning and development. The School offers two routes through the course. You can complete the degree in three years or choose to study the degree as a four-year course with a salaried placement year. Students can switch flexibly between these pathways through the course, subject to the approval of the School so do not need to apply to both pathways.

The course includes a wide range of learning opportunities, from workshops and seminars through to practical projects and field visits.  Field Study Visits are a key aspect of our Urban Planning and Development programme.  Destinations for students arriving in September 2015 include Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Tanzania. Some field study visits involve additional costs to students, and further details are included under the ‘Course Details’ section. There are also additional opportunities to undertake periods of funded study in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, through the University’s Global Opportunities Centre.

Established in 1966, the School of Geography and Planning is an international centre for teaching and research in spatial planning. We adopt an applied and multi-disciplinary approach in our teaching and our research, and are the premier school in the UK for spatial planning research and professionally accredited education.

Key facts

UCAS CodeK490
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
Typical places availableThe School typically has 150 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives 850 applications
Typical A level offerAAA-ABB, no set combination of subjects
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerPass Advanced Diploma with A in the core, plus AA-BB at A-level, no set combination of subjects
Typical International Baccalaureate offer38-34 points
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Specific admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be found online.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark
Admissions tutor(s)

Mrs Anna Yarnell, Course Administrator

Dr Christopher Bear, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by May 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

The course equips students with a detailed understanding of the nature of the social, economic, political and environmental processes that shape cities and regions, and the various ways in which planning schemes and proposals can improve the quality of places and peoples' lives. The course gives students the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in the key policy areas of spatial planning, local and regional economic development, site planning and design, property development, environmental planning and governance. Students are encouraged to understand and discuss these issues within the context of wider debates about sustainable development and social justice.

The School works closely with professional bodies to ensure that the course meets the expected outcomes for professional membership. The BSc Urban Planning and Development is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and provides all of the educational requirements for membership. The course is also recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a spatial planning degree. Students graduating from the BSc Urban Planning and Development can pursue one of the School's specialist Masters degrees to complete the RTPI's educational requirements for membership.

There are numerous exciting and varied career opportunities available to students graduating from the BSc Urban Planning and Development. These include careers in planning, surveying, design and development, as well as fields such as transport, economic development and urban regeneration. In particular, opportunities exist to practise in local planning authorities, central government, neighbourhood planning organisations, transport organisations, private planning consultancies, private developers and environmental organisations in the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and even further afield. The degree is also a good one for developing a wide range of graduate-level skills, with an emphasis on employability.

In the School of Geography and Planning we place a great emphasis on practical learning. To this end there are field study visits available in each year of the undergraduate programme. In Year 1, these field study visits are local to the Cardiff city region. In Year 2, students enjoy a residential field study visit to a European city (currently Copenhagen for 2015). In their final year, students can opt for a field study visit to a global city location. Students arriving in September 2015 can choose from the following destinations: Hong Kong, Los Angeles or Tanzania.

Additional Costs for Field Study Visits

Field study visits are 'fee inclusive' in years one and two. In year three, the global cities field study visits are subsidised by 66%, and in 2015 student will contribute around £400 to the costs. Students should expect to cover the costs of local travel and subsistence whilst on field study visits.

I have always had an interest in Planning and the course at Cardiff allowed me to further my interests as well as gaining the benefits of Cardiff as a great capital city!

Sophie Williams, City and Regional Planning Student

Year one

The first year of the course combines knowledge of some of the subjects planners need to know about with an emphasis on practical and applied projects. It provides an introduction to the key building blocks of a planning and development degree. Students take six core modules, aimed at developing an understanding of the social, economic, political and natural processes at work in shaping cities, regions and the countryside. It introduces the analytical and creative skills required in professional practice. Students are also introduced to a variety of assessment methods, including creative application of planning ideas to site-based project work.

The first year includes an induction week designed to introduce students to some of the study skills required at university, as well as help them learn about the key planning and development issues facing the city of Cardiff. Fieldwork and site-based projects are an integral part of the course, providing students with an opportunity to work on 'live' planning issues that are relevant to the course. Experts from professional practice are also engaged in the delivery of many modules.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Society, Diversity and PlanningCP012020 credits
Introduction to Urban PlanningCP014320 credits
Urban EconomiesCP014420 credits
Introducing Research MethodsCP013620 credits
Places and PlansCP012120 credits
Property, Urban Development and RegenerationCP014520 credits

Year two

The second year builds on the core knowledge acquired in the first year and encourages students to apply their skills to a series of practical planning and development issues. There is a continuing emphasis on a mix of types of assessment, including project work and assignments that require you to produce professional solutions and outputs. Students are introduced to plans, policies and development management, environmental planning, planning and its operation in market contexts, the operation of local government, spatial analysis, research skills and the essential components of planning law.

Students in the second year are supported with guidance and advice on the option of completing a placement year as part of their degree, which is usually undertaken in the third year. The opportunity to take a placement year is a highly valuable component of the course and equips students with a wide range of practical skills and professional experience. Students can apply to switch the placement year route, subject to the approval of the School.

Year three

The final year of the BSc Urban Planning and Development provides a valuable opportunity to reflect on the learning across the course to date, and allows you to start to develop a specialism within a specific sub-field of planning. It serves as an important component of the course in bridging the worlds of practice and academic study. Emphasis is placed on developing the qualities of a critical, reflective practitioner and encouraging students to think carefully about the nature, instruments and impacts of planning.

In your final year as an undergraduate you will study six modules; four core modules and two option modules.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Our approach is based upon a commitment to provide the highest quality teaching to our students. As far as possible, we aim to teach students in small groups because we believe that this encourages a more positive learning environment between staff and students and amongst students themselves. Typically you will study six modules per year, and will receive 15 hours of guided study per week. Teaching takes place through a variety of methods, including lectures, seminars, field study visits, studio work and workshops. Subject-based teaching is enriched by opportunities to participate in study skills training, employability workshops, and interaction with high profile speakers from academia, policy and business, who contribute to the School's Innovation and Engagement programme.

Our degrees are designed with your employability to the fore. The programmes have a strong identity, designed to build knowledge year on year, with internal coherence and strong identity, leading to the development of critical skills, academic insight and professional awareness that allows for the potential of each student to be realised.

We encourage innovation and creativity in the delivery and assessment of teaching and learning, for example the use of digital media and field study visits. You will receive skills training from presentation of critical thinking through film-based assessments. Forms of assessment will equip you for the demands of a changing workplace; from individual academic essays and policy reports for a range of stakeholders, to group presentations.

In 2013/14, 100% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.

Our graduates occupy key positions in national and local governments, business consultancies, sustainable energy centres, environmental agencies, housing strategy companies, construction, surveying and are active in both the public and private sectors.

There are numerous exciting and varied career opportunities available to students graduating from the BSc Urban Planning and Development. These include careers in planning, surveying, design and development, as well as fields such as transport, economic development and urban regeneration. In particular, opportunities exist to practise in local planning authorities, central government, neighbourhood planning organisations, transport organisations, private planning consultancies, private developers and environmental organisations in the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and even further afield.

Duration

3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

Applications received

Typical applications received

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Overview and aims of this course/programme

What should I know about year five?

How is this course/programme structured?

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What should I know about year three?

What should I know about the preliminary year?

What should I know about year one?

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Other information

Distinctive features

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Admissions tutors

Mrs Anna Yarnell, Course Administrator

Dr Christopher Bear, Admissions Tutor


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