BSc Honours Environmental Planning (UCAS Code: K430)
For entrance requirements
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838
For course information
Dr Linda Price
School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering
T: +44 (0)28 9097 4006/4357
For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information on other acceptable English Language qualifications is available here
If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO Queen's University Belfast is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including:
International Foundation in Engineering and Science
Planning is about giving spatial expression to sustainable development, particularly in the built environment. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in public concern about the declining quality of many aspects of the environment and how it impacts on social and economic conditions. Planning seeks to provide a long-term, sustainable future based on interventions in land use and development, including housing, economic regeneration, transport, nature conservation and urban design.Back to top
This degree programme nurtures an understanding of the built and natural environment and the learning of skills which will enable graduates to participate in its design and development. It also develops a range of social science transferable skills which can be applied in a range of international career environs, and can be seen either as the first part of a four-year pathway to professional recognition in the fields of planning and development, or as a robust stand-alone multidisciplinary degree.
The general aims of the programme are to develop the professional skills necessary to work in the broad field of planning practice and development management, while providing an understanding of related economical, ethical, social and political dimensions. These are progressively developed during the programme, with a flavour of each year outlined below:
Provides an overall introduction to the key issues, processes and professional skills required for planning practice, and includes projects that promote group working, oral presentations, academic writing, design skills and use of specialist software. Students are also introduced to a wide range of planning activity, the key political and administrative structures and contemporary issues facing the planning profession.
Provides students with a more detailed theoretical appreciation of planning, with modules examining, for example, economics, sustainable development, and planning theory.
The year includes two key projects, one that develops skills in spatial planning policy, and another that promotes understanding of the development control process. Students are also given an opportunity to further develop skills in design issues and are introduced to the social aspects of planning activity.
This final stage promotes a greater understanding of planning practice in a variety of political and cultural contexts. Students will have the choice of either completing an independent research project or they may wish to take advantage of a three-month Erasmus placement at a European university. The second semester includes modules dealing with law, infrastructure and transport, and specialist themes in current planning practice.
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.
On the BSc. in Environmental Planning we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this degree are:
Assessment: The way in which you will be assessed will vary according to the intended learning outcomes of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or other written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework, and end of semester examinations. Academic staff are active in teaching and research, have obtained teaching awards and have developed innovative learning and assessment methods. The latter might include a role-play exercise, developing social enquiry through working on a film documentary or applying theoretical ideas to discussion of a film. Details of how each module will be assessed will be shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students at the start of each academic year.
Feedback (general): As students progress through their course they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, project supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. You will be supported in this process by your personal tutor.Back to top
Studying for a BSc in Environmental Planning will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from the Environmental Planning undergraduate degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international).
The course is professionally accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and if followed by a one-year Masters degree in planning is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in planning an increasing number develop careers in a wide range of other sectors both in the UK and internationally. Recently graduates have found employment in China, USA and New Zealand. Planning is a dynamic and interdisciplinary sector and employers tell us that they value the intellectual and employability skills of our graduates. Many of our graduates go onto one of our two Masters degrees to complete their RTPI accreditation or other postgraduate training including PhD study. The following is a list of the major career sectors with starting salaries from £12 - 23,000 that have attracted our graduates in recent years:
Consultations: As well as including employers in our teaching and development of projects we value the input of practitioners on our examination panels. Our employer links are further enhanced through formal partnership meetings with our accreditation bodies (RICS and RTPI) and by providing student prizes, for example, for the best independent research project. Therefore, course development is closely aligned to the requirements of the planning sector.
Employers are often also consulted by students in the development of the independent research project. For example we have developed strong relationships in Northern Ireland with the Housing Executive, and the Planning Division of the Department of the Environment and Department for Regional Development.
As part of the support activities embedded in the degree, employers contribute to regular careers events.
Graduate Careers and Achievements: Many of our former undergraduates and postgraduates have risen to the top of their fields, for example:
Many of our graduates have also been chair of the local RTPI Irish Branch (Northern Section);
The Prospects website provides further information concerning the types of jobs that attract Environmental Planning Graduates.
Further study is also an option open to BSc graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics.
Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast fullemployability statementfor further information.
Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe and learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plusin particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.Back to top
Accreditation: this degree is recognised by two different professional bodies: the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI); and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Northern Ireland (RICS). To gain full professional recognition from these institutions, students will be required to complete a fourth year of study, followed by a period of work experience and assessment of professional competence. Further details are available from the School.Back to top