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Urban Planning BA Honours

  • UCAS code: K421
  • Full time
  • 3 years

Our accredited Urban Planning degree allows you to explore the forces that shape our cities and neighbourhoods and help lead the debate about their future.

You are currently viewing course information for entry year: 2024-25

Next start date:

  • September 2024

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £22800

Entry requirements and offers

  • A-Level: BBB
  • IB: 30 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21

Course overview

This Urban Planning degree focuses on the built environment and how it’s developed. You'll develop a thorough understanding of planning processes, design awareness and housing policy so you're equipped to pursue a career in town planning.

The course draws on Newcastle’s rich history, including the rise and decline of industry and its more recent cultural renaissance. You will undertake projects that address real-life planning situations and challenges, taking you out into the city and beyond. Study visits in Stage 2 also offer opportunities for international exploration and comparison.

You'll study topics such as design awareness, environmental sustainability and housing policy, and participate in a range of field trips and projects to see planning in action. You can specialise in subjects such as global poverty, the design of urban spaces, the effect of digital tools on democracy and how we plan for mega projects and the unknown.

Your course and study experience - disclaimers and terms and conditions  
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to Covid-19.

View our Academic experience page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2023-24.

See our terms and conditions and student complaints information, which gives details of circumstances that may lead to changes to programmes, modules or University services.

Quality and ranking

Professional accreditation and recognition

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body.

Modules and learning


The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage. 

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

You'll build a firm foundation in urban planning. You'll learn to ‘read’ a city and understand the importance of design and sustainability. You'll also develop knowledge of the political, social and economic forces that shape society and cities.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Planning Processes 10
Design Awareness and Communication 10
Economics of Development I 10
Environment and Sustainability 10
Social Worlds 20
Understanding Place: Methods and Perspectives 20
Shaping Towns and Cities 20
Planning for a Better World 20

You'll learn vital research methods as well as develop an understanding of professionalism in the planning sector. You'll have a choice of optional modules to help tailor this year to your personal interests, allowing you to develop specialisms informing your choice of dissertation topic and future career direction.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Researching Local Economies 20
Research Skills 20
Optional Modules Credits
Participation: Theories & Practice 20
Houses and Homes 20
Design & Neighbourhood 20
Understanding Cities 20
Digital Civics 20
Urban Infrastructures: A Lens on the City 20
Global Course on Institutional Design for Spatial Planning 20
Study Abroad for Stage 2 40
Researching Local Economies (Placement) 20

You'll study modules concerned with strategic planning, planning politics and development management. A dissertation will give you the chance to study in depth a topic of interest to you, showcasing your knowledge and skills to future employers.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Strategies into Action: Planning 20
Development Management 20
Planning Theory and Politics 20
Dissertation 40
Optional Modules Credits
Chinese Cultural History and Urban Development 20
Disasters, Monsters and Mess 20
Strategies Into Action: Urban Design 20

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

This programme is vocationally oriented and this is reflected in the methods of tuition we use.

A typical week may involve lectures, seminars, and individual and group project work.

Field trips in the UK and abroad are integral to the programme and form a key part of tuition and assessment.

Our innovative teaching and assessment techniques involve the use of film, posters and presentations, making learning a creative and dynamic process.

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Assessments

  • Assignments – written or fieldwork

  • Case studies

  • Coursework

  • Dossier

  • Essays

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Portfolio submission

  • Practical sessions

  • Presentations

  • Projects

  • Reflective report/journal

  • Reports

  • Seminar tasks/exercises

Skills and experience

Practical skills

You'll develop the skills needed to contribute critically to professional and academic debates on the future of place. As such there is an emphasis on coursework over exams, on independent thinking and synthesis of evidence. Structured group work is an essential element of the course, linked to a strong focus on team working in planning practice.

Field trips

You'll take part in frequent field trips and projects, experiencing first-hand examples of planning in the region and further afield.

As a founder member of the Association of European Schools of Planning, we have strong European links, providing the chance to experience differences in planning approaches beyond the UK, such as the international field trip in Stage 2.

Business skills

You'll undertake projects that address real-life planning situations and challenges, taking you out into the city and beyond. Stage 2 of the course focuses on professional development and skills, and you'll develop an understanding of professionalism in the planning sector.

Research skills

In Stage 2, you’ll learn how to research and understand how a local economy is structured and operates. In Stage 3 you'll complete a dissertation on a planning topic of your choice, developing high-level research and presentation skills.

Chat to a student

Studying Urban Planning in Newcastle is definitely a privilege, especially the high quality of teaching staff and great proximity to the gorgeous Grainger Town. Coupled with vocational training, it creates a perfect atmosphere for breeding future planners

Ryan, MPlan student


Study abroad

In Stage 2 you can choose to spend a whole semester studying in Europe as part of a study abroad exchange.

Find out more about study abroad

Facilities and environment


As a planning student at Newcastle you'll be part of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape.

Our School has world-renowned expertise in:

  • urban planning
  • architecture
  • landscape architecture
  • urban design
  • digital architecture

Planning students are based in the Henry Daysh Building, reopening from major refurbishment in January 2020, and have access to a dedicated planning studio with computing facilities and social space.

Find out more about our facilities

Image of Architecture Building


You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.

Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have when starting university.

We also have a dedicated Learning and Teaching Co-ordinator (Student Support), who can offer you support if you are experiencing issues that may be affecting your performance at University. They can also offer advice about other University services that may benefit you depending on your circumstances.

Your future

Our graduates do exceptionally well in the job market, both regionally and nationally, with many going on to pursue accredited Town Planner status.

Our graduates have also gone on to become teachers, accountants, solicitors, academics, business managers and officers in the armed forces.

Becoming a Chartered Town Planner

To become a Chartered Town Planner you need to fulfil the RTPI educational requirements and then complete two years' experience in planning practice.

  • our four-year MPlan degree offers an RTPI-accredited route to Chartered Town Planner status
  • our three-year BA Honours degree provides the foundation for this but requires an additional year of master's-level study

This three-year degree satisfies the core spatial planning requirements for RTPI membership, but not the specialist teaching requirements to achieve Chartered Town Planner status directly.

If you decide, during your BA degree, that you would like to become a Chartered Town Planner, you can apply to transfer onto our MPlan degree until the end of Semester 1 of Stage 3 as both courses follow the same programme.

Or you can study a specialist master’s qualification, should you decide to return to planning later in your career.

Make a difference

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Careers support

We are committed to developing your employability and have a dedicated careers adviser to offer advice and guidance throughout your degree.

If you choose to change your degree to the Masters of Planning (MPlan) degree during your studies, we will help you to secure placement opportunities in a range of planning environments to which you can apply. This experience is a crucial element of reflective study used to inform Stage 4.

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK

From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements and offers below apply to 2024 entry.

International Baccalaureate

Other UK and the Republic of Ireland qualifications

Contextual Offers

Through one of our contextual routes, you could receive an offer of up to three grades lower than the typical requirements.

What is a contextual offer? Find out more and if you’re eligible for this or our PARTNERS Programme supported entry route.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

Entrance courses (INTO)

International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2024 entry (per year)

Qualification: BA Honours

Home students

full time 3 years

Tuition fees (per year)


International students

full time 3 years

Tuition fees (per year)


Year abroad and additional costs

For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year. 

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.


Find out more about:

Open days and events

How to apply

Apply through UCAS

To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:

  • the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
  • the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
  • the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college

If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.

Apply through UCAS

Apply through an agent

International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.

Visit our International pages

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Call us on +44 (0) 191 208 3333 and press option 1. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 10am until 4pm.

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