Urban planning graduates play a key role in how the places we live in are managed and developed and possess a variety of transferable skills

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

You will need to keep up to date with current planning, built environment and wider environmental issues if you want to pursue a career in planning.

Try to get work experience through relevant part-time or temporary jobs, voluntary positions or internships. Many local authorities and private sector employers offer work placements in planning departments and they may also have opportunities for work shadowing or workplace visits.

You could apply to volunteer through Planning Aid England, a service that provides free planning advice to those who cannot afford professional fees.

Make the most of field study visits on your course to gain practical skills, essential in the workplace. Some courses include a paid-placement year in professional practice. Use this year to build on your skills, network and develop contacts.

Student membership of a professional body such as the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) helps increase networking and training opportunities.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Urban planning graduates go on to careers in planning, surveying, design and development, as well as in areas such as transport, economic development and urban regeneration. Posts exist across the public sector including local authority departments (such as regeneration services or planning and development), central/devolved government and major public bodies.

Opportunities also exist with neighbourhood planning organisations, housing associations and transport agencies, as well as with private planning and environmental consultancies and private developers.

The voluntary sector provides opportunities within large charities or heritage bodies. It is possible to work overseas in Europe or further afield.

Find information on employers in property and construction and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Studying urban planning allows you to develop specialist knowledge in town and regional planning, providing you with a range of professional skills such as:

  • knowledge of planning law and legislation;
  • finance and policy development;
  • strategic thinking;
  • analytical research;
  • making a reasoned argument;
  • professional report writing and presentation;
  • partnership working and collaboration.

You also develop skills that are useful in many different career areas. These include:

  • verbal and written communication;
  • negotiation and mediation;
  • problem solving;
  • impartiality and diplomacy;
  • teamwork;
  • creativity;
  • decision-making;
  • general and people management;
  • pragmatism and sensitivity.

Further study

Some urban planning graduates go on to postgraduate study to further their planning knowledge or to specialise in a particular area. Postgraduate study, along with additional experience, can help towards gaining chartered membership of the RTPI.

Relevant Masters and postgraduate diploma courses include town and country/regional planning and urban design/planning/regeneration.

Other areas of further study, which can lead to related careers, include:

  • transport and planning;
  • business management;
  • built environment;
  • landscape architecture.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses.

What do urban planning graduates do?

The top three jobs held by graduates working in the UK include town planning officer, chartered surveyor and housing officer.

Further study10.1
Working and studying6.5
Graduate destinations for urban planning
Type of workPercentage
Engineering and building38.4
Business, HR and financial9.7
Legal, social and welfare9.3
Marketing, PR and sales8.5
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.