Entry requirements

Normal entry to the Certificate in Spatial Planning Studies requires: GCSE, O-level or equivalent in Maths and English; at least 3 years' suitable experience of working within the field of planning in an advanced technical or administration post. Applicants who have 2 years' work experience in planning at the commencement of their studies and have at least one A-level at grade C or above will also be considered. Overseas students must meet the university's standard English language requirements.

Months of entry


Course content

The Certificate in Spatial Planning Studies is a one-year part-time (one day per week) undergraduate level course. The purpose is twofold:

Firstly, the certificate offers an opportunity for people with no formal planning education to study key areas of contemporary planning in the context of a higher education teaching and learning environment.

Secondly, the course provides an access route to the Department of Planning's RTPI and RICS accredited MSc in Spatial Planning for students who do not have the normal educational qualifications necessary for entry onto the course.

The overall aims and objectives of the course are to provide students with a general, yet critical, understanding of the planning process and some of the key issues and themes in contemporary spatial planning.

Course content

The course comprises four modules.

In Semester 1 you would complete Introduction to Spatial Planning and Transport and Society.

In Semester 2 you would complete Environmental Sustainability and an Independent Study in Planning.

These modules have been carefully chosen to provide a balance of basic and advanced modules, and to offer you the opportunity to study basic themes in spatial planning as well as some specific areas such as transport and community planning.

Introduction to Spatial Planning provides an overall introduction to the discipline of planning. In the course you learn the main purposes of land use planning in general and the characteristics of the UK planning system in particular. The module provides the overall context and overall framework in which planning takes place.

Transport and Society provides an opportunity to study this key issue in contemporary planning and provides students with a critical understanding of the economic, social and political contribution of transport in the UK and Europe. The module explores the development of transport policy from a historical perspective and explores the concept of accessibility and the importance of travel behaviour.

Environmental Sustainability explores the key planning function of facilitating sustainable development. The module introduces students to the concept of sustainable development, and examines how issues of sustainability affect the UK's built and natural environment through arrangements for infrastructure and resource use.

The Independent Study in Planning allows you to research and report on an area of planning that is of most interest to you. Through directed research and study you will produce an extended essay or report that will deal in depth with the chosen topic. The detailed content and focus of this work will be agreed in advance with a personal supervisor. The Independent Study in Planning allows you to develop skills in independent learning in preparation for similar work that you will be doing on the MSc Spatial Planning course.

For the award of Certificate in Spatial Planning Studies and in order to progress to the MSc Spatial Planning course you are required to complete these four undergraduate modules at a standard of 50% pass mark (the normal undergraduate pass grade is 40%).

Information for international students

Please see the university's standard English language requirements.

Fees and funding

Please visit our website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • Cert
    part time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • Further details of qualification

    Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as an access route to the MSc Spatial Planning.


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Assessment depends on module100

Course contact details

Programme Administrator
+44 (0)1865 483573