Subject Guide

Urban Planning Degree

Uni Compare  · Sep 24th 2020

Urban Planning is linked in with many subjects that you would traditionally find at university and is one of the more fascinating subjects you’ll find.

Urban Planning Degree

Urban Planning is an important part of urban development. Many towns, cities and villages owe their current layouts, architecture and historical heritage preservations to the tireless work of Urban Planners.

An Urban Planning degree or a Masters in Urban Planning will focus on production of urban spaces, the structure of cities and the design and redevelopment of older buildings and structures, while still maintaining the integrity of the city itself.

Urban Planning Degree

What is Urban Planning?

Urban Planning is a degree that focuses on development, re-development, design, re-design and the use of land to develop an area, it’s infrastructure, water and air.

Urban Planning isn’t entirely a physical, practical thing to do though; it is also a political process and the theoretical approach to the subject is just as important as the logistical and practical side. In Urban Planning, you will look at transportation, communications, distribution networks, architecture, aesthetics, human geography, politics and sanitation.

In many ways, Urban Planning is a lot like Geography, however, rather than focusing on Earth Sciences in such detail, you will be focusing more on communities, cities and towns.

An Urban Planning degree is often studied with a different subject as part of a joint honours degree as the degree is so useful when paired with other subjects, such as Geography, Earth Sciences or Finance.

What can you do with an Urban Planning degree?

There are plenty of jobs that are open to students with an Urban Planning degree. You don’t necessarily need to find work related to this degree, but it does help, as it is such a focused and niche degree-type.

There are a lot of skills that you will learn as part of your Urban Planning degree.

Many students begin looking for work as a Town Planner. It will take a while before you become a fully-fledged Town Planner, however, you will be able to find entry-level jobs fairly easily. Town Planners help with the construction and development of towns, by balancing housing demands, transportation costs and sustainable agriculture and infrastructure.

Another potential avenue to explore is by becoming an Urban designer. An Urban Designer sounds similar to a Town Planner, but an Urban Designer is actually more focused on the design of specific buildings and structures, much like a Civil Engineer.

Though not directly related to Urban Planning, it is possible to become an Estates Manager too. An Estates Manager is someone who focuses on the preservation of historical or heritage sites and running any potential estates that arise therein.

Many students look to study this degree at a postgraduate level as well. A Masters degree is a great opportunity to stand out from other proespective jib candidates and to maximise your learning (and your earning) potential.

Urban Planning Degree

What A Levels do I need?

Entry levels for any degree will depend on the university you are applying to. For an Urban Planning degree, it’s recommended that you have Maths and English covered as a basic, but anything out of Geography, Chemistry and Physics will likely be accepted by most universities.

Le Corbusier was a famous Urban Planner and was eventually awarded an honourary degree by the University of Cambridge in June 1959.

Generally, anything at a BCC level will be accepted, though its best to check with your university prior to submitting your UCAS application.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in a number of different forms, such as:

  • Assignments
  • Case studies
  • Portfolios
  • Projects
  • Reports
  • Examinations
  • Essays
  • Dissertation

You will be asked to submit detailed reports on any assignments that your lecturer sets you and you will also be expected to contribute essays and keep a detailed portfolio of your work throughout the year, much like you would in an Art and Design degree.

With examinations, these may be done online or in an exam hall. Urban Planning has lots of digital components, so an online exam is just as common as a long-form written one.

Urban Planning Degree

What skills will I learn?

There are a lot of skills that you will learn as part of your Urban Planning degree.

One thing that students pick up, is how to use certain systems. Students are often exposed to Adobe Suite and also to general CAD software and this is a great way to become familiar with a number of other useful architectural programmes. If you're studying a joint honours degree in conjunction with an Architecture degree, you will have the chance to use even more of these products.

Your strategic thinking skills will improve a lot too. Part of Urban Planning, is the ability to think strategically and long-term. Urban Planning requires you to use logic and collaboration to solve problems and, as a result of this, these skills will be heightened upon completion of the degree.

Research. You may not think that research is that important in other jobs, but trust us, it is! Being able to appropriately carry out research is an important aspect of every job and will aid everyone in your team. This will become doubly useful if you're going to be studying at a Postgraduate level.

Urban Planning is an important part of urban development.

Your IT skills should see a marked improvement as well. With Urban Planning, you will need to use different systems and programmes, but will also need to be able to compose reports and logs as well, and this is where IT comes in useful. It will be far more than writing something on Microsoft Word or Pages and then converting it to a PDF, you will need to collect images and videos and will need to create online portfolios and these skills will be enhanced by that.

Teamwork and collaboration skills will also see a marked improvement. You will be required to do an awful lot of teamwork and will be asked to collaborate with your peers as much as possible during this degree and, as a result, you should see your skills improve drastically as a result. Collaboration is an important skill in all walks of life and in all workplaces. Teams need to be able to function as a unit and need to be able to work towards a greater and common goal and an Urban Planning degree will give you the tools to do just that.

Famous Alumni

Though he did not officially graduate with a degree in Urban Planning, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (otherwise known as Le Corbusier) was a famous Urban Planner and was eventually awarded an honourary degree by the University of Cambridge in June 1959.

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