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BA (Hons)Environment and Planning

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This degree gives students a full understanding of the main environmental challenges of the 21st century and provides our students with the skills base to help address them. Students gain a rounded understanding of the factors and forces that are shaping the environment and the role that planning can play in reconciling conflicting interests. Attention is focused on approaches to the protection and enhancement of the natural and built environments in a rapidly changing world. An interdisciplinary approach to study provides learning opportunities that draw upon the expertise of academics in Planning as well as academics in Geography, Sociology and Architecture. This programme provides accreditation from the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).

The first two years of study introduce students to the nature of planning issues and the circumstances in which they arise, and provide an overview of how planning powers, agencies and policies are contributing to efforts to overcome contemporary planning problems. Students are encouraged to acquire and enhance oral, written and visual communication skills and engage in group-based problem solving and practical work – gaining skills that are readily transferable to the workplace. Residential field visits are an integral part of both Years One and Two.

In Year Two, students are introduced to the specialism of ‘Environmental Sustainability’, which addresses the interactions of environmental policy and practice to the management climate change.

In their final year, students must choose at least four modules relating to Environment and Planning and which can be further developed by selecting appropriate module options or preparing a dissertation on a topic related to this area of specialism.

Programme structure

Programme Year One

The first year of study is a foundation year that provides an introduction to basic features of the planning system in the United Kingdom and an awareness of the broad social, economic and environmental context in which contemporary planning issues arise. Essential study and communication skills for academic study and future employability are given early emphasis so that students are well equipped to take full advantage of the wide range of teaching and learning resources resources including the Planning Studio, the Central Teaching Labs and external speaker series that are made available for their benefit. The ‘Understanding Places’ module includes a residential field class.

Compulsory modules:

Town and Country Planning: an Introduction
Contemporary Town Planning
Neighbourhood Planning
Urban and Environmental Economics
Ecology and Conservation
Understanding Places

Two options normally selected from:

New Horizons in Human Geography
Living with Environmental Change
Human Geography through Merseyside
Social Change & Social Policy in Contemporary Society 1
Social Change & Social Policy in Contemporary Society 2: Changing Inequalities

As a result of completing Year One, students will be expected to demonstrate:

Basic study skills in social science methodology, information technology and various forms of communication
An understanding of the key issues affecting contemporary society from the perspective of both the natural and built environment
An awareness of the scope and practice of contemporary town planning and regeneration.

Programme Year Two

In the second year, we continue to help develop your critical thinking and your planning communication skills to enable students to engage more effectively in group-based problem solving tasks and to develop an awareness of the methodological and spatial design issues that arise in the development of planning schemes. The forces and factors that are influencing the way in which towns and cities are evolving are examined in compulsory modules.

All students have the opportunity to support their choice of degree specialism by taking modules that serve as an introduction to the respective specialised themes of Year Three – through ‘Environmental Sustainability’ relating to the Environment and Planning programme and ‘Cities and Regions’ relating to the Urban Regeneration and Planning programme. Two residential field visits are undertaken in Year 2, one associated with the ‘People and Place: Rural Planning Field Class’ and a second as part of the ‘Research Skills’ module.

Compulsory modules:

Strategic Plan Making
Environmental Sustainability
Cities and Regions
Urban Design: Introduction to Place Making
Applied GIS and Geographical Modelling
Rural Planning Field Class
People and Place: Research Skills

One option normally selected from:

Political Economies of Globalisation
Population and Societies
An Introduction to Environmental History
Social and Cultural Geographies
Comparing Welfare States
Urban Sociology

As a result of completing Year Two, students will be expected to demonstrate:

More advanced skills in the areas of spatial design, information technology and Geocomputation
Knowledge, understanding and awareness of the implications of the legal basis for action in the management of the environment
Collaborative problem solving techniques
A broad understanding of the forces and factors shaping present day society as a basis for more specialised studies in Year Three.

Programme Year Three

Year 3 provides students with a more focussed study programme on their specialist theme: Spatial Planning for Environmental Change in order to gain greater knowledge and expertise of environmental planning. Students are required to take four modules associated with this theme, including two compulsory modules and two optional modules.

Year Three of the K4L7 programme provides a wide range of choice of a further four and three modules’ worth, respectively, of optional and complementary course modules, one of which can be taken in the form of a double-unit BA dissertation.


Compulsory modules:

Environmental Assessment (SEA and EIA)
Environmental Planning and Management Project

Plus six additional optional modules – two of which will be from the specialism.

As a result of completing Year Three, students will be expected to demonstrate:

- A greater depth of knowledge and understanding of a particular aspect of the field of environment and planning
- The development of sound practice skills in the methods and techniques relevant to this more specialised field
- The development of research and investigative skills relevant to this field
- The development of skills in analysis, synthesis, reasoned argument and communication.

Career opportunities

Our programmes are broadly based, with a strong vocational focus with graduates entering a wide range of planning related careers in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

Our graduates can be found working in all parts of the UK and across the world in what is becoming an increasingly globally orientated profession. Many can be found in senior positions in private practice, central and local government, and academic institutions. 11 former Presidents of the Royal Town Planning Institute are also graduates of the Department.

Career paths taken by our recent graduates:

Planning and environmental consultants
Strategic and Local Development Planning
Development Management
Housing Associations
Transport planning
Urban regeneration
Economic development
Environmental management
Urban designers
GIS and data science specialists
Academic researchers
Environmental Charities

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States