Urban Planning BA Honours Newcastle University
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.
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.
Professional accreditation and recognition
Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
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.
In Stage 2 you can choose to spend a whole semester studying in Europe as part of a study abroad exchange.
- 10th in the UK – The Complete University Guide 2023 (Town and Country Planning, Landscape category)
- 15th in the UK – The Guardian University Guide 2023 (Construction, Surveying and Planning category)
- Global Top 125 University - QS World University Rankings 2023
- 65% increase in research power since 2014 – Research Excellence Framework 2021
- 42% of our research is classified as 4* world-leading research – Research Excellence Framework 2021
- 8th in the UK – Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 (Town and Country Planning and Landscape category)
- 1st in the UK and 8th in the world for sustainable development – Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022
- Global Top 140 University - Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
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.
- 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
- Disciplinary and professional perspectives on planning 20
- Community Building 0
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.
- Researching Local Economies 20
- Research Skills 20
- Community Building 0
- Participation: Theories & Practice 20
- Houses and Homes 20
- Design & Neighbourhood 20
- Understanding Cities 20
- Urban Poverty: A Global Perspective 20
- Digital Civics 20
- Urban Infrastructures: A Lens on the City 20
- Study Visit 20
- Global Course on Institutional Design for Spatial Planning 20
- Erasmus Exchange 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.
- Strategies into Action: Planning 20
- Development Management 20
- Planning Theory and Politics 20
- Dissertation 40
- Community Building 0
- Disasters, Monsters and Mess 20
- Strategies Into Action: Urban Design 20
- Contemporary Planning Issues 20
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.