WHERE TO STUDY TOWN PLANNING
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT FIRST – ROUTES INTO PLANNING
There are many possible routes you can take to becoming a ‘town planner’ in the UK.
We explain in ‘What does a town planner do?’ that there are many differing roles a ‘planner’ can undertake.
Our ‘How to become a town planner‘ page describes how membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) gives a planner ‘Chartered Town Planner’ (and MRTPI) status.
Town planners do not have to be ‘Chartered’ to practice, but it helps with professional credibility and employers often quote MRTPI status or request an aspiration to become Chartered within job descriptions.
Relevant qualifications (usually in the form of an accredited relevant degree and or post-graduate diploma or Masters) in a planning related subject and several years of experience in spatial planning is needed to achieve Chartered status.
STARTING YOUR PLANNING CAREER – CHOOSING BETWEEN WORK EXPERIENCE VS STUDY
We have seen in ‘How to become a town planner‘ that there are choices to be made early in a planning career between the balance of work and study. I.e. will your study be full-time or part-time with work, or will you take a purely vocational approach with 100% work experience?
In recent years, apprenticeships have been made available, which allow planners to take their first career steps out of school without having to study full time for an undergraduate degree – see RTPI Apprenticeships.
UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES AND POSTGRADUATE QUALIFICATIONS
There are a wide range of degree courses available that may lead to different specialisms within a planning career.
The RTPI acknowledges this and works in partnership with universities to develop and accredit a wide variety of planning courses and qualifications, each with a different focus and associated syllabus.
An RTPI accreditation acts as a guarantee of the quality of a course, and allows graduating students fast-track progress towards Chartered status.
If you are straight out of school with qualifications that will get you into University, consider studying Town, City or Regional Planning straight away. A three year BA/BSc planning course and a specialist Diploma would be a quick route to accreditation. Some universities provide work experience as part of their syllabus on ‘sandwich’ courses.
Many planners study degrees in subjects such as geography, architecture, environmental science or law who then go on to take a one or two-year Masters in an accredited subject.
Some employers advertise for graduate roles and sponsor this route part-time.
LIST OF UNIVERSITIES OFFERING ACCREDITED RTPI PLANNING COURSES:
- Cardiff University
- Oxford Brookes University
- London South Bank University
- University of Westminster
- University of Dundee
- Heriot-Watt University
- Newcastle University
- University of Manchester
- University College London
- University of Reading
- University of the West of England
- Leeds Beckett University
- University of Liverpool
- Sheffield Hallam University
- University of Sheffield
- University of Glasgow
- University of Strathclyde
- Ulster University
- Queens University Belfast
- Dublin Institute of Technology
- University College Dublin
- Birmingham City University
- University of Birmingham
- Anglia Ruskin University
- University College Cork
- University of Brighton
- Plymouth University
RTPI ACCREDITED COURSES OVERSEAS
- University of Botswana
- University of Cape Town
- University of Hong Kong
- Chinese University of Hong Kong
TownPlanning.info has an extensive catalogue of articles and guides which help explain the town planning system in England.
See below for links to some of our most popular pages or use the search function and menus at the top of the page.