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 you’ll be guided to explore the city and the region 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.
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.
See our terms and conditions for more information
View our Frequently Asked Questions
Your course during COVID-19
Whilst things will not be the same when you join us in September, this course page is intended to give you insight into what to expect from your course and your learning experience for the duration of your degree.
We have updated all course information where there are specific changes in the first semester.
Most of our student services are now available online. As COVID-19 restrictions lift, we'll be opening up our on-campus facilities as soon as it is safe to do so, so that you can get the best out of your studies.
Your learning experience
Your teaching will be a mixture of online and in-person on-campus teaching. In semester one, as a result of physical distancing requirements, all lecture materials will be delivered online along with many tutorials, workshops and labs.
Our aim, if Government guidance allows us, is to deliver up to three hours of labs, seminars and tutorial teaching in-person on campus where this is possible and safe to do so. We'll review this regularly and plan to return to full in-person, on-campus teaching in semester two if restrictions allow.
In semester one, we will not be running face-to-face, on-campus examinations. We will instead use different approaches to assessment. These will test and support your learning.
We will be running some but not all of our planned field trips. Some of those that do run, will be run virtually. For those that do not run, we will be offering alternative learning activities. These learning activities will give you the opportunity to achieve the same learning.
Terms and conditions and student complaints
The University has terms and conditions which create a positive environment for learning and academic achievement.
Our COVID-19 Study page gives more information about your Newcastle University 2020 study experience.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to the guidelines that may be in place at the time.
Quality and ranking
We have a long tradition of excellence in teaching, recognised in many external surveys and assessments, but also by our own students.
Our commitment to teaching quality and an excellent student experience is reflected through our results in national and international student satisfaction surveys.
This degree is partially accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a spatial qualification.
This means it satisfies the standards set by the planning profession.
BA Urban Planning and MPlan students are able to opt-in to free student membership of the RTPI at the start of their degree.
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.
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.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
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.
You'll learn vital research methods as well as developing 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.
|Researching Local Economies||20|
|Participation: Theories & Practice||20|
|Houses and Homes||20|
|Design & Neighbourhood||20|
|Urban Poverty: A Global Perspective||20|
|Global Course on Institutional Design for Spatial Planning||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.
|Strategies into Action: Planning||20|
|Planning Theory and Politics||20|
|Strategies Into Action: Urban Design||20|
|Contemporary Planning Issues||20|
Teaching and assessment
This programme is vocationally oriented and this is reflected in the methods of tuition we use.
A typical week may involve online sessions, mini-lectures, structured learning as well as project work.
Our innovative teaching and assessment techniques involve the use of film, posters and presentations, making learning a creative and dynamic process.
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
Assignments – written or fieldwork
Examinations – practical or online
Skills and experience
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.
You’ll be guided to explore the city and the region, on your own and where possible in groups.
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.
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.
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
Newcastle is an excellent choice to study Urban Planning because the city itself is vibrant and dynamic. Moreover, you will be given opportunities for learning through experience from field trips as well!
In Stage 2 you can choose to spend a whole semester studying in Europe through the Erasmus exchange programme.
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
- 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.
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.
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 up until the end 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
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.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.
Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria.
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.
This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. 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.
Tuition fees and scholarships
Tuition fees for 2020 entry (per year)
Home Fee Students
International Fee Students
The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.
As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.
You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
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.
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Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold Open Days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
• explore our beautiful campus
• find out about our vibrant city
• discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the subjects you're interested in.
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.