During the first year you will learn how economic, political and social processes affect change in cities and how they impact and are impacted by urban form and the experiences of a diverse population. You will understand how the concept of sustainability and urban development processes can guide and impact the delivery of commercial, residential and mixed-use developments. You will also learn how architecture and open space design can be used to deliver attractive and inclusive places which promote healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Through all your projects you will engage with the legal, institutional and policy frameworks within which planners, urban designers, developers and other built environment professionals work.
In the second year you will develop a fuller understanding of how policies, actors and agencies come together to create cities and the role of the built environment professional in mediating and shaping urban transformations. You will develop an understanding of how policy is made and the links between planning and urban design policies and outcomes in the UK and internationally. You will learn approaches to managing and developing change in cities such as urban regeneration and heritage conservation and masterplanning. In the first you will learn methodologies for engaging with public participation and working with heritage conservation and housing. In the second you will understand how environmental decision making and viability and planning appraisals can be brought together with urban design methodologies to produce a commercially viable masterplan for a selected site.
In Year 3 the focus moves to regional, strategic and metropolitan scales and the broader context of global urbanism. You will learn about major infrastructure planning across the UK and Europe. You will critically engage with globalisation drawing out the challenges of urban futures and associated implications for urban design, planning and policy responses and development processes. You will engage with current debates and learn about methods and skills of research that are applicable in urban design, planning and development to conduct a research project on a substantial contemporary issue. A key feature of the last year is to prepare you for the professional work environment and to proceed to the fourth postgraduate year to gain full RTPI accreditation. Within the Professional Practice module you will understand and experience the dynamics of a work environment and the roles that Built Environment professionals play in dealing with problems and opportunities within a practical context.
Across the course you will develop skills in multiple methods of gathering, analysing and presenting data including drawings, photographs, mapping, GIS, diagrams, data visualisation and report writing.
Year 1 modules - all compulsory
Cities in a Historical Context
Urban Diversity: People, Society and Space
Urban Lab 1: Urban Design and Place Experience
Development Processes and Site Delivery
Sustainability and Development
Urban Lab 2: Architecture and Open Space Design
Years 2 and 3 modules - all compulsory
Mediating Change: Governance, Politics and Social Actors
Plans and Policy Making
Urban Lab 3: Urban Regeneration and Heritage Conservation
Environmental Decision Making: Theory and Practice
Urban Development: Economic & Financial Appraisal
Urban Lab 4 Urban Design Masterplanning
Strategic Planning and Policy
Urban Lab 5: Global City Design, Planning and Development
Contemporary Debates in Planning, Design and Development
As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you choose from may vary from the ones shown here.
Cities in Historical Contexts - 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 - focuses on the study of the contemporary city and the way it is experienced by different social groups examining a number of themes as ways of explaining the processes underlying urban diversity and built form.
Urban Lab 1: Urban Design and Place Experience - introduce s you to the role of spatial planning, urban design and urban development in creating better places through an exploration of contemporary challenges faced by built environment professionals at different scales.
Development Processes and Site Delivery - focus on the way that the development sector delivers commercial, residential and mixed-use developments and associated planning obligations and community infrastructure levy contributions.
Sustainability and Development - introduces you to the concept of sustainability in its broader concept and in relation to urban development.
Urban Lab 2: Architecture and Open Space Design - 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).
Years 2 and 3
Mediating Change: Governance, Politics and Social Actors - 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 - examines the development of policies and plans within specific political contexts at the local level and 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 - 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 - 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 - provides a course of study with an explicit planning and property development process focus.
Urban Lab 4 Urban Design Masterplanning - 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.
Strategic Planning and Policy - examines the nature of and the varied approaches to strategic planning and policy including the impact of major infrastructure
Research Methods - provides you with a practical knowledge of the methods and skills of research that are applicable in planning, development and design.
Urban Lab 5: Global City Design, Planning and Development - aims to engage your critical analysis, independent thinking and professional skills to understand and work in the challenging context of the global city.
Contemporary Debates in Planning, Design and Development - 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 - 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 - provides you with a structured and supportive environment to carry out a small-scale, research project on a topic of their choice.
Field trips There is one mandatory residential field trip (either abroad or in the UK), with the cost of travel and accommodation covered by your tuition fees. A separate fee will apply for any optional field trips or site visits within other modules.
Great opportunities to study or work 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.
Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:
- increasing your employability within an international market
- boosting your language skills
- building your confidence in adapting to new situations
- improving your knowledge of different cultures.
While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.
We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.
There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.
Free language courses for students - the Open Module
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.
Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.
Our tuition fees cover the cost of delivering your course, and are payable annually. Further costs may be incurred by you, including:
- personal computer (cost varies)
- drawing equipment (around £50)
- printing and model making: although access to our model making workshop is free, you need to source your own materials. It is wise to budget £50 for build materials for model making and £100 for printing over the year. These figures should be seen as a guide as the actual cost can vary depending on your area of interest, the materials and print quality you choose.
- contributions to subsistence for the international field trip in year 2;
- apart from the international field trip many courses include optional field trips, where participation is encouraged but not required to evidence module or programme learning outcomes and will not disadvantage you should you not be able to take part. These optional activities are at additional cost to you.
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