Planning is about changing the places within which we live. How we can transform and improve our cities, towns, villages, neighbourhoods and communities. It affects our everyday lives and is an extremely exciting discipline to study at university.
A planning degree provides students with the knowledge and skills to be able to make decisions that shape the processes of growth and development. We currently face many major challenges – attracting investment, creating jobs, protecting the environment, energy policy, housing supply, transport links, providing local amenities – and planning affects how these things happen. Therefore, as future planners you will have a very important role to play in shaping the future.
Planning is a broad subject matter and planners perform many different roles relating to the natural, physical, economic, social and cultural environments that we live in. Given this, planning offers a wide spectrum of employment opportunities. Studying planning will equip you with the knowledge to understand how cities, towns, villages, communities and neighbourhoods function and operate, and then have the skills to make decisions that shape how they grow and prosper.
Planning at Queen's is ranked 1st among UK planning schools for Satisfaction with Teaching (Guardian University League Tables, 2020) and ranked 2nd in the UK for Overall Student Satisfaction (National Student Survey, 2019).
|Introduction||The general aims of this degree 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. Graduates will have the skills to enable them to participate in the design and development of the built environment, and a range of other related professions.|
In providing an accredited pathway to the planning profession (worldwide), the degree develops knowledge on a wide range of themes such as the economic, social and political context within which planning operates. Furthermore, a range of transferable skills, such as mediation, advocacy, communication and IT skills, are developed which can be applied in a range of international careers.
|Stage 1||Stage 1 assumes no prior knowledge of planning and provides an overall introduction to the key issues, processes and professional skills required for planning practice, plus the history and evolution of planning as a profession and academic discipline. This includes projects that promote group working, oral presentations, academic writing, design skills and the use of specialist software.|
The themes you will study during Stage 1 include:
Planning Health and Well Being
Planning Skills and GIS
Design Principles in the Built Environment
The History of Planned Settlement
Contemporary Issues in Urban and Rural Planning
Institutional and Policy Context of Planning Practice
|Stage 2||Stage 2 provides a more detailed appreciation of planning, with modules examining topics such as economics, sustainable development and planning theory. It 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.|
The themes you will study during Stage 2 include:
Site Layout and Design 2
Theory and Practice of Development Management
Planning Theory and Society
Planning and Climate Change
Economy and Space
Theory and Practice of Spatial Planning Policy
The BSc in Planning, Environment and Development includes a work placement, which takes place at the end of Level 2 and involves a period of work in a professional planning organisation. Such experience is extremely valuable in enhancing student skills and employability.
|Stage 3||Stage 3 develops a greater theoretical understanding of planning. In the first semester students will study, in depth, some of the key and cutting-edge planning issues and debates that currently face the planning profession. These are studied from a variety of geographical, political and cultural perspectives. In the second semester all students are required to complete an independent research project. The second semester also includes modules in law, infrastructure and transport, and conservation.|
The themes you will study during Stage 3 include:
Legal Studies in Planning
Independent Research Project
Planning Practice Study Visit
Comparative Planning Studies
Themes in Spatial Planning
Research Methods and Place
|Stage 3 Optional Courses||Conservation of the Built Environment|
Infrastructure and Transportation Planning
Richard is a Lecturer in Spatial Planning in the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen's University Belfast. His research interests relate to the intersection of urban planning policy, housing markets and strategies of urban economic development.
|Large Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum)|
hours of lectures.
|Medium Group Teaching||6 (hours maximum)|
hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week.
|Personal Study||24 (hours maximum)|
22-24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities etc.
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial||8 (hours maximum)|
hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week.
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 Planning, Environment and Development 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:
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
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:
Planning students at Queen’s have access to excellent teaching and learning facilities. These include dedicated studio space for students, excellent presentation facilities, dedicated computer labs with all necessary computing and software facilities (GIS, CAD), as well as world-class library facilities offered through the McClay Library.
Internationally Renowned Experts Resources
Many of our staff are leading experts in their fields of research and have been recognised internationally through the awarding of significant research grants and awards. For example, Dr Linda Fox-Rogers was recently awarded the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Early Career Research Award for her work on uneven power dynamics within the planning system.
|A level requirements|
ABB + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
|Irish leaving certificate requirements|
H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 70%. GCSE Mathematics grade C/4 or equivalent in Access Course.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma|
33 points overall, including 6,5,5 at Higher Level + if not offered at Higher Level/GCSE, then Standard Level grade 4 in Mathematics
|BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma|
QCF Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits), with 120 credits at Distinction grade and 60 credits at Merit grade + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
RQF Level 3 BTEC National Extended Diploma (1080 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)), with at least 660 GLH at Distinction grade (minimum 240 GLH to be externally assessed) and 420 GLH at Merit grade + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For last year’s intake, applicants for this BSc programme offering A-level/BTEC Level 3 qualifications must have had, or be able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language and Mathematics). Performance in any AS or A-level examinations already completed would also have been taken into account and the Selector checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The offer for repeat candidates is set in terms of three A-levels and may be one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, will also be considered.
For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits. For those offering a Higher National Diploma, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile but, to be eligible for an offer, at least half of the units completed in the first year of the HND must be at Merit level and the remainder Passes. The current entrance requirements are successful completion of the HND with Merits in all units assessed in the final year. Any consideration would be for Stage 1 entry only. A minimum of grade C/4 is required in GCSE Mathematics.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted however, these are not the final deciding factors as to whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Although the majority of our graduates pursue careers in planning, the knowledge and skills developed also enable them to develop careers in a wide range of other sectors both in the UK and abroad. Recently, for example, graduates have found employment in China, the USA and New Zealand.
Career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years include planning authorities (Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland), private planning practice, management, design consultants, housing authorities, health trusts, conservation and environmental organisations, teaching (particularly geography), countryside stewardship, software development and various graduate programmes.
This degree is closely aligned to the requirements of the planning sector and draws on practitioners as guest lecturers. We regularly consult with employers, and links are further enhanced through formal partnership meetings with the bodies that accredit our courses (RICS and RTPI).
We have developed strong relationships with, for example, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, the Planning Division of the Department of the Environment, and the Department for Regional Development, and draw on such experts in the design of the degree.
Many of our graduates go on to one of our two Masters programmes to complete their RTPI accreditation, or other postgraduate training, including PhD study; see the School website for further information.
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.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,530|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£9,250|
|Other (non-UK) EU *||£TBC|
The undergraduate fees for 2021 entry are set out above.
* The tuition fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities following the agreed transition period are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit-advice/information-for-students It is however expected that there will be a specific arrangements put in place for RoI nationals living in the UK and Ireland and those with pre-settled and settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Planning, Environment and Development costs
The major additional course costs associated with the Planning, Environment and Development degree programme concern field trips. In year 3 students are taken on an international field trip which in the past has involved Barcelona, Krakow and Berlin. Students are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs and also entrance fees to the various venues visited costs range from £400 - £500. In addition, there are a number of local day, overnight and weekend trips across the degree programme. For these trips students are responsible for funding subsistence costs.
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2021 from 1 September 2020.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2021 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2021) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International (non-UK/EU) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2021. If you apply for 2021 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Fees and Funding
Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
VAT registration number: GB 254 7995 11