Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu

Courses

City and Regional Planning (BSc)

  • K490

3 years (Full-time) / n/a (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)

BSc City and Regional Planning 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 City and Regional Planning 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.

The course includes a wide range of learning opportunities, from workshops and seminars through to practical projects and field visits. Field study visits are embedded in each year of the course and current field study visits include London, Berlin and Hong Kong. There are additional opportunities to undertake periods of funded study within Europe and beyond.

Four students talking on steps

Established in 1966, the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography is a leading 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.

What makes us special?

  • Teaching Excellence: We consistently achieve high ratings in the National Student Survey with a 95% satisfaction rate in 2011
  • Research Excellence: We ranked top in our field in the latest Research Assessment Exercise
  • Professional links and employability: Our degree programmes are accredited by professional organisations, and in 2013 90% of our graduates were in employment or further study within six months of graduating. A further 10% were pursuing other activities (e.g. travel)
  • Facilities: The School is based in the Grade II* listed Glamorgan Building and all of our teaching is delivered within the School. We have a wide range of lecture rooms, design studios, and a state-of-the-art computer laboratory.

The City and Regional Planning course is also available as a four-year degree, with a professional placement year. Please click here to find out more.

Key Facts

UCAS Code K490
Duration 3 years
How to apply www.cardiff.ac.uk/howtoapply
Accreditation  This degree is recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute as a spatial planning degree and is fully recognised by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Typical places available The School admits c140 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Typical applications received c750
Scholarships & Bursaries www.cardiff.ac.uk/scholarships
Fees www.cardiff.ac.uk/fees
Typical A-level offer ABB - BBB
Admissions Tutors Dr Peter Mackie
Tel Number 029 2087 6223
Email address MackieP@cardiff.ac.uk
School website www.cardiff.ac.uk/cplan

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. BSc City and Regional Planning 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 BSc City and Regional Planning 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 City and Regional Planning. 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.

The course structure is as follows:

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.

You will study:

Detailed module descriptions are available on the School website.

Introduction to Spatial Planning
How planning works at the national, regional and local scales

Society, Diversity and Planning
The demographic and social dimension of planning and issues of equal opportunities

Introducing Research Methods
Introduction to sources of data and methods of analysis used in planning

Property Development and Planning
Understanding the key actors in the development process and what makes development happen

Economic Principles for Urban and Regional Studies
The economics of planning and urban and regional development

Places and Plans
The built environment and detailed planning at the neighbourhood scale.

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.

You will study:

Planning Law and Practice
How plans and policies are used to guide and manage development, and how legislation shapes the built environment

Environmental Policies and Planning
The environmental dimension of British planning and European policy

Site Planning and Development
How to undertake site planning and assess development costs and feasibility

Planning, Markets and Land
How planning interacts with land and property markets

Governing People and Places
How organisations use various tools to shape and manage communities

Developing Research Methods
How to undertake research and write an independent research project

Year Three

The final year of the BSc City and Regional Planning 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.

You will study:

Contemporary International Planning
Explores a wide range of different planning systems across the world

Planning Theory and Practice
Critically reviews and reflects on the key concepts that planners use in everyday practice

Sustainable Transport
Introduces students to the factors which inform travel and transport choices, and how more sustainable patterns of travel can be achieved.

Research Project
Exploring a key planning issue or topic of your own choice with the guidance of an experienced supervisor.

Plus two option modules from five specialised subjects:

The option modules are an important step in developing a specialism in planning. They complement your core modules and help you to determine your preferred route to specialised study at Masters Level.

Industrial and Urban Transitions - Field Study Visit
Explores the changing nature of global cities, and how to manage these changes

Sustainable Cities - Field Study Visit
Invesitgates best practice in urban sustainability through land use planning

Design, Development and Control
Explores the design dimension of current planning practice, how to write and implement design policies, and the design imperatives of contemporary development

Economic Change and Spatial Policy
Examines the nature of regional differences in terms of economic development and the effectiveness of regional spatial planning policy in the UK

Housing Policies and Systems
Explores the link between housing, planning and the regeneration of communities. It examines issues such as homelessness, housing for elderly persons, the provision of housing land and its relationship to wider regeneration projects

Visit the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography website for more information about course structure, modules and credits.

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.

Typical A-level Offer

 ABB - BBB

There are no specific subject requirements. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information. General Studies is not accepted.

Typical WBQ Offer  Pass the Advanced Diploma and grades AB-BB at A- level.
Typical Int Bacc Offer  34-32 points
Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.

A list of commonly accepted alternative entry qualifications and admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be read here.

In 2013, 90% of our graduates were in employment or further study within six months of graduating and a further 10% were pursuing other activities (e.g. travel).

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 City and Regional Planning. 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.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Peter Mackie  

Telephone: 029 2087 6223 

Fax:  

Email: MackieP@cardiff.ac.uk  

School Website: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/cplan

School Contact

Name: General Admissions  

Telephone: 02920 876087 

Fax:  

Email: cplan-studentenquiries@cardiff.ac.uk  

More information

School of Planning and Geography