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Urban Design, Planning and Development

BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2023 / September 2024



Course length

Full time: 3 years

Part time: 6 years


Accredited by RICS. Partially accredited (UG spatial) by RTPI. Full RTPI accreditation available when combined with PG Diploma in 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 in Environmental Impact Assessment and Management (PG specialist), MSc/PGDip Historic Conservation (PG specialist), MA/PGDip Urban Design (PG specialist).

UCAS Tariff Points


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


Our Urban Design, Planning and Development course offers you a unique learning experience. Our approach is based on a structure of Urban Labs, interconnected modules and study trips in the UK and abroad.

You will learn how the disciplines of urban design, planning and development are integrated. And you will understand how to use this framework to impact the future of cities and create great places.

You will study:

  • infrastructure
  • economics
  • heritage
  • place-making
  • sustainability
  • globalisation.

Visiting speakers and live projects provide you with opportunities to apply theory to practice.

We will introduce you to employers and help you develop your portfolio so you will be ready for work after graduating. Our graduates have found jobs with companies such as Barton Willmore, Savills, AECOM and the UK government.

We are accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), when combined with the Postgraduate Diploma in Planning, or MSc in Spatial Planning.

How to apply

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.

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: Mathematics at grade 4/C

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Selection process

We value the personal statement. In this we are looking for evidence of motivation and commitment: what interests you about the subject and why you want to study it. 

After reading personal statements and considering predicted grades, all eligible applicants are required to attend a pre-offer event day hosted by the Faculty, to offer insight & engagement about the course. If invited to one of these, we usually do not make offers without an interview.

The events will usually be hosted between November and mid-March. If you cannot attend the first suggested date offered to you, there can be provision to attend alternatives - please be communicative with the Faculty Programme Administrator.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry part-way through the course for students who have credit from previous learning or relevant professional experience.

Find out more about transferring to Brookes. If you'd like to talk through your options, please contact our Admissions team.

Application process

Full time Home (UK) applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home (UK) applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time international applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

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

International full time

Home (UK) full time

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

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time

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

International full time

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

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

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

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

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

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.

Learning and assessment

In Year 1 you will explore how economic, social and political processes affect the change in cities. You will learn how urban development systems impact different development types. We will teach you key policy frameworks.

In Year 2 you will understand how policies and agencies come together to create cities. You will learn to develop change in cities through:

  • urban regeneration
  • heritage conservation
  • master-planning.

We teach you how urban design policies affect outcomes in the UK and abroad. You will learn how environmental decision-making and planning work together with urban design ideas to produce a masterplan for a site. We will also teach you how to engage with public participation.

In Year 3 we prepare you for the professional work environment. You will conduct a research project on a contemporary issue in urban design, planning and development. Our Professional Practice module introduces you to the dynamics and opportunities of a work environment.

Urban Design, Planning and Development

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Cities in Historical Contexts (15 credits)

Introduces you to the complex character and dimensions of urban development and change; examining how cities change over time in the context of both broader economic, political, social and cultural changes and specific urban land development processes.

Urban Diversity: People, Society and Space (15 credits)

Focuses on the study of the contemporary city and the way it is experienced by different social groups. You will examine a number of themes as ways of explaining the processes underlying urban diversity and built form.

Urban Lab 1: Urban Design and Place Experience (30 credits)

Introduces you to the role of spatial planning, urban design and urban development in creating better places. An exploration of contemporary challenges faced by built environment professionals at different scales.

Sustainability and Development

Introduces you to the concept of sustainability in its broader concept and in relation to urban development.

Development Processes and Site Delivery (15 credits)

Focuses on the way that the development sector delivers commercial, residential and mixed-use developments and associated planning obligations and community infrastructure levy contributions.

Urban Lab 2: Architecture and Open Space Design (30 credits)

Seeks to develop basic planning, design and development thinking and communication skills appropriate to architectural (plot and building typologies) and small scale public space (the home patch and the home zone).

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Mediating Change: Governance, Politics and Social Actors (15 credits)

Examines the interrelationships of UK spatial planning and its associated political and governance networks, at the local, regional, National and European levels while also exploring comparative planning and related systems.

Plans and Policy Making (15 credits)

Examines the development of policies and plans within specific political contexts at the local level, giving you an in depth appreciation of the planning policy process and the skills needed to generate successful policies.

Urban Lab 3: Urban Regeneration and Heritage Conservation (30 credits)

Introduces you to current regeneration theory, policy and practice in an international context, as well as giving you the opportunity to devise your own regeneration strategies for a particular site.

Environmental Decision Making: Theory and Practice (15 credits)

Examines some of the theories that can be used to explain the way environmental decisions are made from the perspective of individuals, organisations and institutions.

Urban Development: Economic & Financial Appraisal (15 credits)

Provides a course of study with an explicit planning and property development process focus.

Urban Lab 4: Urban Design Masterplanning (30 credits)

Aims to develop your understanding and ability to apply the fundamental concepts of contemporary urban design masterplanning within the context of the UK planning and development processes and international best practice.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Research Methods (15 credits)

Provides you with a practical knowledge of the methods and skills of research that are applicable in planning, development and design.

Contemporary Debates in Planning, Design and Development (15 credits)

Examines key contemporary and emerging issues in planning, design and development and provides you with an opportunity for in-depth reading, critical reflection and debate around major questions of theory and practice.

Professional Practice (15 credits)

Develops an understanding of ethical and professional conduct as required for practice and as set out in assessments of professional conduct for the RICS and RTPI. Promoting and assessing effective communication, self-confidence, time management and self-motivation.

Research Project (30 credits)

Provides you with a structured and supportive environment to carry out a small-scale, research project on a topic of their choice.

Strategic Planning and Policy (15 credits)

Examines the nature of and the varied approaches to strategic planning and policy, including the impact of major infrastructure.

Urban Lab 5: Global City Design, Planning and Development (30 credits)

Aims to engage your critical analysis, independent thinking and professional skills to understand and work in the challenging context of the global city.

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

Learning and teaching

Our teaching gives you the skills you need for professional practice. You will gain practical and theoretical knowledge through single and double modules (‘Urban Labs’).

You will learn through:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • project-led workshops
  • site visits and field trips
  • presentations.

You will experience working with clients such as communities or private practice professionals through "Charrettes”. Charrettes are short, focused design work, which take place in studios or project sites.

You will learn through project-led modules for 50 % of your course. In a typical week, you will attend:

  • two single modules (a mixture of lectures, seminars or workshops)
  • one Urban Lab (a mixture of lectures, in-Lab training workshops and studio time).

Field trips

There is one mandatory residential field trip (either abroad or in the UK), this trip is mandatory and comes at no additional cost. A separate fee will apply for any optional field trips or site visits within other modules.


Assessment methods used on this course

Assessment is 100 % coursework. We use a variety of coursework types so that you can develop different skills, these include:

  • essays
  • reflective work (essays, diaries)
  • professional planning
  • urban design reports
  • design work
  • oral presentations.

We give you consistent feedback throughout your Urban Labs and single modules. You will have a clear idea of how well you are doing, and how you can improve your learning and results.

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.

After you graduate

Career prospects

You will have developed the knowledge and skills sought after by leading companies in the urban design, planning and development industry. You will be skilled to work in private or public sectors, charities, NGOs, local communities, research centres, government and educational institutions for example. Your graduate profile will provide you with a flexibility of choice and a range of experiences to enable you to work in the UK and international job market.

Further study

For those wishing to obtain membership of the RTPI it is necessary to complete either a PG Diploma in Planning or the MSc in Spatial Planning. These can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. 

We offer the best in postgraduate research degree teaching, with a wide range of relevant, well-structured courses, and our thriving research culture provides a friendly and supportive community in which to undertake a research degree.

The Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD), based at Oxford Brookes, is the largest academic research institute in the UK dedicated to research on sustainable development in the built environment. It comprises active teams of researchers who focus on the environment, cities, international land markets and architecture, culture and technology.

We have led or contributed to reviews of national planning, transport, housing and environmental policy guidance, sustainable building specifications, and valuation standards which presently affect our town and country areas including building design and construction processes.

Our Staff

Dr Graham Wood

Graham's teaching interests include environmental assessment and management; GIS and information technology in environmental planning and management; environmental decision-making; and research methods.

Read more about Graham

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.

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.