Property Development and Planning

BSc (Hons)

UCAS code: KK30

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years or 4 years if a placement year is chosen

Part time: 6 years

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of the Built Environment

Find a course



Property development and planning is a dynamic, fast-moving industry with many opportunities for an intellectually challenging career. On our BSc (Hons) Property Development and Planning, you'll learn all the specialist skills you'll need. 

We developed this course to help you work towards a career in planning consultancy. But the skills you learn could apply in other roles like quantity surveying, asset management, or even jobs outside the property industry. You’ll develop business skills and a useful network of contacts that will last you a lifetime.

With our practical focus, you’ll get experience working on real-world projects throughout the course. Site visits, guest lectures, and networking events will expose you to professionals working in industry. And the optional placement year gives you valuable experience of life at a planning consultancy or in a local authority.

Order a Prospectus Ask a question Attend an open day or webinar

Students in lecture

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Practical experience

    With field trips, a placement year, and practical projects throughout the course, you’ll have lots of experience to put on your CV.

  • Great links with industry

    We bring in alumni and other professionals for guest talks and panel debates, so you’ll always be on top of the latest developments.

  • Experienced teachers

    Many of our staff are RICS members, and our associate lecturers are key professionals with sector experience.

  • Join our community

    You’ll share some of your classes with our real estate or our urban design students. We offer courses in various areas of property, where you could meet your future colleagues.

  • Focus on your career

    This course is more specialised than real estate, so we can provide plenty of guidance and support to get you into your first planning or development role.

  • Free language courses

    Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

  • Study abroad

    You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

  • Accreditation(s)

    RICS accredited. Partially accredited (UG spatial) by RTPI. Full RTPI accreditation available when combined with PG Diploma Spatial Planning or any full or partially (specialist) RTPI accredited PG programme such as MSc Spatial Planning (PG full), MSc Infrastructure Planning and Sustainable Development (PG full), MSc/PGDip Environmental Impact Assessment and Management (PG specialist), MSc/PGDip Historic Conservation (PG specialist), MA/PGDip Urban Design (PG specialist).

    • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
    • The Royal Town Planning Institute

Course details

Course structure

In Year 1 we’ll begin the course by getting you up to speed with essential industry knowledge. You’ll study topics like valuation and appraisal, construction law, commercial management, and spatial planning.

By Year 2 you’ll start to look at these subjects in more detail. You’ll take more advanced modules in areas like valuation and urban development. You’ll also develop your research skills in our Research Design module. Learn how to design surveys and gather data, and understand different statistical methods to use in your work.

In Year 3 there’s an optional placement year. We have great links across the industry so you could work with a planning consultancy or local authority to see how what you’ve learned applies in the real world. 

Your final year brings all your knowledge together. You’ll study advanced topics like strategic planning and development viability. You’ll take optional modules in areas that interest you or are relevant to the area you want to work in. And you’ll complete a research project to study a subject in more depth.

Student studying

Learning and teaching

We encourage active learning and our teaching methods include:

  • projects
  • group exercises
  • seminars.

You’ll develop a range of skills, including:

  • written skills
  • verbal skills
  • design skills
  • financial assessment skills
  • IT and computing skills.

Projects are a key part of our modules and you’ll visit sites and conduct surveys.

Your coursework assignments include:

  • simulations
  • graphic presentations
  • writing essays and reports
  • seminar papers
  • group projects.


We assess you through a combination of examinations and coursework. Many of our modules consist solely of coursework. 

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Foundation Development Law

    This is your introduction to the study of law. You’ll look at the areas of contract and tort law and you’ll work within a framework for developing a critical understanding of law as it relates to property professionals in the UK. You will build sufficient knowledge of the general law that can be applied to issues arising that you’ll encounter as a property professional. 

    You will learn the legal knowledge to identify where issues might arise and the available remedies. You will also develop the ability to recognise more significant problems where professional legal input may be required.. 

    This module will also help you prepare for future Law modules ‘Land Law’ and ‘Property Law for Developers’.

  • Economics of the Built Environment

    On this module you’ll develop the habit of reading critically from a variety of:

    • current affairs
    • news sources
    • property journals

    to gain information about economic activity, politics and policies at a national and international level. You will explore micro and macro economic concepts, set in the context of the built environment. You will gain an overview of different economic systems and will focus on the principles of market economics. You will also examine land, property and construction markets, also looking at market failure and the ideal role of government, and the cohesion of selected government policies, with reference to the property market.  

    You’ll build a solid knowledge of sustainability and how the built environment in terms of construction, investors and businesses are evolving environmental, social, government (ESG) policies to combat climate change. You’ll also finish the module prepared for your advanced Real Estate and Planning modules.

  • Cities in Historical Context

    This is your introduction to the complex character and dimensions of urban development and change. You will examine the concept of city and how cities change in shape over time in the context of both broader economic, political, social and cultural changes and specific urban land development processes. You’ll also look at changes in land use and built environment in British Cities, covering the major phases of urban growth and change from pre-industrial to post-industrial eras. 

    You’ll develop urban morphology, the study of urban form, as a basis to explore historical transformations in the built environment. You will also build your knowledge of particular examples of urban form with development histories of varying complexity.

  • Sustainable Development and Professional Practice

    Investigate the concept of sustainability and sustainable development in the planning and delivery of urban infrastructure. You’ll explore discussions about how to deliver sustainable development that usually include consideration of three overlapping areas of focus: 

    • environment
    • society
    • economy.  

    You’ll tackle challenges in how to navigate a path through these overlapping issues that will lead to the delivery of a sustainable development. You’ll develop the skills required in professional practice including:

    • research
    • information evaluation and assimilation 
    • reflective practice
    • report writing
    • presenting information. 
  • Housing Matters

    You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of housing policy, delivery and design which you’ll be able to apply to other modules on your course. You will look at the characteristics and evolution of the UK and comparative housing systems. This includes shifts in policy and tenure and outlining the key current challenges of

    • housing affordability
    • definitions and debates
    • planning for housing
    • housing development delivery 
    • key skills in housing and scheme design. 

    You will focus on case studies of particular housing sites/schemes from inception to occupation and hear from speakers from a range of the interests and professions involved with it. By the end of the module you will have gained an appreciation of and skills in the way in which housing is delivered and the significance of good design to housing developments.

  • Introduction to Valuation

    You will examine valuation techniques employed in assessing market value of different types of property. You’ll build an understanding of why valuations are required, and the concept of price, value and worth. You will study the basic investment concepts and develop your knowledge of financial mathematics, such as the use of formulas to calculate present and future values, the concepts of time value of money, cash-flows and income streams.  

    You will also progress your skills and knowledge in the collection and analysis of comparable data required for a valuation and the principal factors affecting property valuation.

  • Introduction to Building Construction and Practice

    You’ll look at the construction of buildings in the context of performance requirements for each building element, including the important interaction of sustainability on choice of building form and materials. You will also study the key stages of the design and construction process from the initial desire to develop a site, appointment of the professional team, procurement methods and selection of contractors.

    You’ll gain a key understanding of the role that regulations play in shaping the design of buildings and the methods in which they are constructed. This includes recognition of the diversity of user needs and the distinction between legal requirements and ethical concerns. Also you’ll develop your technical drawing skills through the use of SketchUp and other digital representation tools applied to an extended project.

  • Introduction to Spatial Planning

    Your introduction to spatial planning and you’ll look at some of the challenges currently faced by the system. You’ll be taught in a workshop style, where you’ll work on problem-solving exercises to address issues pertinent to the:

    • submission of planning applications
    • development of urban renewal and renaissance
    • sustainable development/climate change
    • heritage protection
    • countryside and urban design policy
    • sustainable communities’ policies. 

    You’ll look at the relationship between property and planning with an examination of recent controversial planning proposals and build your knowledge of how major property companies add value through place management. 

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Land Law

    Gain understanding of the land law system which applies in England and Wales. On this module, you will look at how freehold land is acquired and how the rights of people with interests in land are protected when land changes hands on a sale. Then you’ll examine how a purchaser ensures the land it buys is suitable for its purposes from a legal perspective and free from onerous or unwanted legal obligations.  

    Through this module you’ll build the skills that supports the day-to-day work of non-legal professionals working in the real estate sector.

  • Designing the City and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

    You will gain a good understanding of the basic fundamental concepts of contemporary urban design. This is based on the belief that all contemporary design must be underpinned by the concept of sustainability. You will get to understand how design delivers a sustainable place.

    You’ll examine current approaches to urban design at the citywide scale. Also you’ll look at four major concepts used in the analysis and understanding of the built environment,the responsive environments approach, townscape analysis, and imagability. Through the concepts you’ll link physical design with issues of visual perception, and develop an understanding of how the physical environment affects people’s experience of place.

    With each method and concept we will examine and then test it in the field as an analytical tool. On completion of the testing the concepts are used to produce a master plan and an outline design code for a case site.

  • Planning and Development Practice

    This module will help you to build a critical understanding of a number of current topics in Planning and Development Practice. You will be involved in a series of professional debates and grow your knowledge of evidence that is relevant to planning and development practitioners.

  • Plan and Policy Making

    You’ll examine the development of policies and plans within specific political contexts at the local level focusing on the National Planning Policy Framework, Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans. You’ll build a deep appreciation and understanding of the planning policy process and the work needed to generate successful policies. 

    You’ll investigate the different approaches to policy and plan making, developing your knowledge of both. Also you will look at the role of the professional planner and the relationship between planners and elected councillors in the context of decision making in planning at a local level. Through case studies you’ll explore the key issues in planning for housing and build further understanding of how planning policy is used to deliver development.

  • Property Law for Developers

    Build your understanding of the legal framework governing property development, including the law relating to site acquisition, development issues, and disposals. You will examine how

    • a potential development site is purchased
    • how the development process is managed
    • and how the ultimate sale or lease is put in place with the necessary infrastructure. 

    You’ll look at the kinds of issues that arise during the development process. Through this module you’ll build the skills that supports the day-to-day work of non-legal professionals working in the development sector.

  • Valuation and Investment

    Building on your knowledge of freehold, leasehold and tenanted properties, and to conduct property investment analysis. You’ll examine

    • property yields and required returns
    • leasehold valuation and capital recoupment
    • the impact of incentives on value, compulsory purchase compensation
    • and the depreciated replacement cost method for valuing properties without active markets.

    You’ll also look at the discounted cash flow techniques, i.e. net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR), and their application in valuation in much more depth as well as the residual appraisal method for valuing development land. 

  • Research Design

    On this module you’ll gain practical knowledge of the methods and skills of research that are applicable in planning, development and design. You will develop a critical awareness and core understanding of research methods in order to promote the delivery of effective research projects. This will be in an academic context and within the realm of professional practice. 

    You will finish the module equipped with a solid foundation of the practical knowledge and skills required to perform effectively as an independent researcher, as a professional responsible for commissioning research, and as a critical consumer of research.

  • Professional Practice Skills: Development and Employability

    On this advanced module you’ll have the opportunity to integrate the disparate knowledge and experience that you’ve already gained during your previous semesters by completing a project which focuses on planning policy and property development. 

    You will develop an understanding of, and ability to collaborate with, other disciplines which are relevant to your future careers. With this element of coursework you’ll collaborate with students from other subjects within the School of the Built Environment.

    You will get to use of a variety of software including, 

    • Pro Dev
    • Digimap 
    • Google SketchUp 

    as well as enhancing your experience of industry databases such as 

    • SPONS pricing database
    • EGi
    • and CoStar.

    Also you’ll have the opportunity to attend careers events and CV writing and interview and assessment workshops to help build your employment skills.

Year 4 (or 3 if no placement)

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project (double module)

    Welcome to this double module that opens the door to your very own research project. You get to pick the topic, and don't worry, you won't be doing it alone. A dedicated tutor will guide you throughout the project, which spans two semesters.

    Before you dive into your research, we'll give you the previous semester to choose your topic and submit a project proposal for approval.

    This project is your chance to explore a specialised area of your interest in a structured and analytical way. Your ultimate goal is to:

    • Create a substantial academic report at a publication level.
    • Critically apply research methods.
    • Build specialised knowledge in the field of planning, development, or a related discipline.

    Start this project of discovery and research, and remember, your tutor is there to support you every step of the way.

  • Development Delivery: Planning and Viability

    Gain the practical skills in researching and identifying planning and development opportunities and proposing solutions based on a live project. You’ll further your knowledge gained in Plan and Policy Making as well as implementing knowledge of site analysis, GIS development concepts. You will get to participate in consultation workshops and present ideas and concepts to selected groups. 

    You’ll develop identification techniques of relevant local and national policies and of market conditions which will be necessary to inform your final proposals that will be presented orally and in a written report. This will build your experience of a task that a team of consultants might undertake on behalf of a client in order to bring about future development. Also there is an international field trip to broaden your perspectives outside the UK.

  • Development Viability and Finance

    Your study will focus on understanding and appraising the key factors which determine development viability. You’ll examine the legal, financial, social and environmental constraints within which the development process takes place. To develop a sound understanding of the core activities and skills required to examine and assess these factors as inputs to the valuation of the project. You’ll learn from project case examples and make use of property sector research sources

    You will create and use residual appraisal techniques, and IRR using Excel and industry standard software. Focussing on using the appraisal to identify levels of funding required and timing. Through this module you’ll gain an understanding of the fundamental components of the development process including:

    • project appraisal
    • sensitivity analysis
    • finance and procurement.
  • Strategic Planning and Policy

    Look into the world of strategic planning and policy, and explore how these strategies link to major infrastructure planning, especially with the evolving approaches in the UK.You'll examine various contexts within Britain, and you'll even get to work on project assignments that help you understand how planning can address future challenges in different places.

    This is a dynamic field, with strategic planning thriving in London, Combined Authority planning and Sub National Transport Bodies planning taking shape in the rest of England, and the National Infrastructure Commission coming into play. It's not just crucial in the UK but also in other European countries.

    Get ready to explore and understand the ever-changing landscape of strategic planning and policy in the real world.

  • Development Delivery: Professional Practice

    The main goal of the professional practice module is to blend different aspects of the urban planning design and development degree course. This combines with a focus on ethical and professional behaviour, which is essential for both your studies and your future membership in RICS and RTPI.

    In this module, you'll need to show your grasp of these principles and your ability to handle diverse and complex situations. The aim is to nurture and evaluate your skills in reflection, effective communication, self-confidence, time management, and self-motivation.

    These personal and interpersonal abilities are crucial for anyone aspiring to become a member of RICS or RTPI through the APC process.

Optional modules

Independent Study in Planning

This module offers you the chance to delve into a fascinating area of property or planning studies, whether it's a theoretical concept or a practical project. You'll work on it independently but with the guidance and support of your dedicated tutor. Together, you'll create a custom learning plan tailored just for you, in collaboration with the module leader. It's a unique opportunity to explore and learn in a way that suits your interests and goals.

Project Management for Development

In this module, we'll dive into the principles of project management in the context of property development. It's all about real-world application.

We'll take you through a case study, tracking a development project from the very beginning to the finish line. We'll focus on how to manage costs and minimise risks effectively. You’ll explore the importance of site appraisal when deciding whether to buy a property for development. 

We'll also discuss different methods of procuring construction work. This includes a close look at risk allocation and how to maintain design flexibility. You'll even learn how to budget for development and keep an eye on project costs.

But that's not all. This module is hands-on, giving you a chance to role-play and simulate real project management scenarios. You'll develop the decision-making skills essential for effective project management. This includes assessing risks, considering dispute resolution options, and finding ways to prevent conflicts.

Real Estate Investment

You'll look into the fascinating world of property investment within the broader context of the economy and financial markets. You’ll also explore fund management for investment properties, covering topics like:

  • valuation 
  • financing
  • investment theory
  • portfolio strategy
  • risk analysis
  • performance measurement
  • and sustainability.

You'll get hands-on experience in using spreadsheets to apply discounted cash flow (DCF) techniques. This will help you solve real-world property portfolio management challenges, like figuring out capital structure and measuring performance. It's a practical and engaging journey into the world of property investment and management.

Applied Valuation

In this module, we'll explore how to value both regular commercial properties and specialised properties, each serving various purposes.

When it comes to valuing typical commercial properties like industrial spaces, offices, and retail properties, we'll look at what makes them unique. We'll also delve into more advanced topics like rent reviews, lease renewals, securitization, and compensation for qualifying improvements under the 1954 Landlord and Tenant Act.

We'll also cover specialised properties, which can be quite diverse, including residential homes, pubs, hotels, and leisure properties. To make sure everything is up to professional standards, we'll take a close look at the relevant RICS valuation standards.

Throughout the module, you'll learn how to apply valuation principles to the specific characteristics of these properties, helping you solve real-world valuation challenges. It's all about practical problem-solving.

Property Technology

Explore the world of PropTech! It's all about how technology is revolutionising real estate. We're talking big data, analytics, mobile computing, and artificial intelligence. These innovations are not just coming from established players but also from small, game-changing startups.

You’ll look into the core technologies and explore how they impact the real estate industry from a technical perspective. You'll also learn about the effects on the property profession, the built environment, and society as a whole. You’ll also engage with the ethical discussions surrounding data security, privacy, and artificial intelligence. It's all about understanding the opportunities and risks that technology brings.

By the end of this module, you'll have a solid grasp of the vast tech ecosystem that's reshaping the property profession. You'll understand how technology is changing the competitive landscape for businesses and gain the tools to analyse both the threats and opportunities it presents.

Redevelopment and Regeneration

Are you ready to uncover the secrets behind the transformation of our urban and regional landscapes? Then explore the world of urban and regional redevelopment and regeneration. You’ll look into the different approaches used to bring about positive change in these areas, with a special focus on the UK. Starting by unpacking the various economic, social, and physical aspects of redevelopment and regeneration. You'll also get a glimpse into the historical journey of urban regeneration policy and discover the key modern-day policies, objectives, strategies, funding systems, and the organisations behind them.

Your studies could look at 'rebalancing' city and regional economies in the UK, especially against the backdrop of dynamic changes like Brexit. We can also explore neighbourhood renewal, community planning, and people-centric approaches to regeneration.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


We’ll start preparing you for professional life from your first week. The course is packed with practical work that builds your skills and experience, as well as opportunities to network and explore different career paths.
Graduates from our property courses are working with companies including:

  • Knight Frank
  • CBRE
  • Savills
  • Cushman & Wakefield.

Graduates are also working in utilities or at niche property businesses, at house builders like Barclay Homes, or in the public sector with organisations like Network Rail. Some have started successful businesses.

The course is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute if you go on to postgraduate study afterwards. If you’d like to be professionally qualified, we’ll help you decide which route to take and give you the skills and contacts to get there.

Our Staff

Dr Sally Sims

Read more about Sally

Related courses

Entry requirements

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 104

A Level: BCC

IB Points: 29


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


Further offer details

We welcome applications from candidates with alternative qualifications, and from mature students.

International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.