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Planning courses

Are you interested in how towns or cities develop or how decisions (often with conflicting demands) are made about new housing schemes, transport systems and leisure facilities? A planning degree is a vocational course where you will learn the skills to work as a town and country planner, such as surveying techniques, using computer-aided design to draw up plans, report-writing and developing your communication, negotiation (and diplomacy!) skills.

Studying planning at university

Example course modules

  • The context of housing
  • Housing administration and property management
  • Residential landlord and tenant law
  • Professional practice in context
  • Social housing strategy and finance
  • Environment and sustainability
  • Reading the city
  • Understanding place: methods and perspectives
  • The planning professional
  • Strategies into action

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 47%
    Male : 53%
  • Mature : 23%
    School leaver : 77%
  • Full-time : 92%
    Part-time : 8%

What students say about planning

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • No Specific Requirements

Useful to have

  • geography

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
This subject includes degrees in urban studies and housing as well as planning qualifications. Be a little careful when looking at the stats, as most jobs in planning, especially in town planning, go to Masters students in the subject – planning is a very popular Masters degree. So if you want a job in planning, expect to stay on at university after you have finished your first degree. Those who leave after their first degree are more likely to go into surveying. The subject is in demand, though, so despite the downturn in construction, planning graduates are less likely than the average to be out of work.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Architects, town planners and surveyors

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Estates manager
  • Chartered town planner
  • General practice surveyor

Other real-life job examples

  • Housing officer
  • Loss adjuster
  • Land agent

What employers like about this subject

A student of planning can expect to gain subject-specific skills including the planning and management of built and natural environments; planning law and how to use specialist software including Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Planning graduates can be found largely in related industries, such as property development, architecture, construction, building and engineering consultancy, but their mix of skills means they are recruited by other industries, including banking, defence and manufacturing. Planning students need to take a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accredited degree in order to become a chartered town planner.