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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Turley Associates
  • Northern Ireland Civil Service
  • First Flight Wind
  • RPS

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Graduate Planning Consultant
  • Local Government Planning Officer
  • Planning and Development Surveyor
  • Planning Officer Technician
  • Researcher


Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

This course is all about land, people, and place with a focus on transforming spaces, regenerating places, inspiring change and engaging communities.


Are you interested in the overall well-being, value and identity of society, the environment and the economy? Would you like to help shape policies to tackle climate change and combat global warming, contribute to the creation of self-sufficient, sustainable communities and shrink our ecological footprint?

Yes? Then come and study Planning, Regeneration and Development at Ulster.

Planning is the profession that concerns itself with making places, managing competing interests, and the quality of life in places – cities, towns and rural villages. Planners have had a very important historical role in shaping the places where we live, work and socialise.

Shaping these processes has to be one of the most challenging, important and rewarding jobs around. In recent years, planners and property development professionals have been active in regenerating towns and cities, such as the centres and waterfront locations of Belfast, Dublin, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Cardiff and London, and internationally.

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About this course

In this section


The driving goal of the programme is to develop confident graduates with a clear understanding of the needs of the land and property development sectors; an ability to recognise and apply different evaluation and financial valuation practices at appropriate times; a sensitivity to the different needs, rights and priorities of different communities of interest, place and identity; and research, technical, intellectual and analytical capabilities to guide appropriate land use and property development to create community value in a holistic and inclusive way.

An Ulster University Planning, Regeneration and Development graduate will be able to demonstrate critical thinking skills and articulate alternative theoretical and applied ways in which spatial planning operates. In particular, graduates will be able to explain how to facilitate land and property development whilst meeting broader societal requirements and cultural expectations for the management of contested spaces, assets and heritage. It is anticipated, for example, that they will be able to make appropriate and timely use of negotiation, mediation, and advocacy skills; promote development that supports healthier life-styles and community wellbeing; and encourage sustainable behaviours in relation to travel and the use of limited resources in a global context.

The degree is designed to meet the needs of those aspiring to become chartered surveyors and/or chartered town planners concerned with securing the public interest in land and property development.

The degree is dual accredited by:

  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)for the purposes of attaining chartered planning and development surveyor status; and also the
  • Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), for graduates who wish to attain chartered town planner status.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Find out more about placement awards


The Planning, Regeneration and Development course at Ulster is a 4 year full-time programme, with an optional placement year between Year 3 and Final Year. You will study for two semesters in each academic year.

The number of modules taken in each semester varies from year to year, depending on how many credit points a module is worth. You are normally expected to complete a total of 60 credits in each semester, with 1 credit equal to 10 hours of student participation on a module. The total number of hours on a module includes timetabled lectures / tutorials / workshops / computer labs and also the time spent by you working on coursework or preparing for class. Typically, classes take place across 2-3 days per week; during the rest of the week you are expected to be working in the library or the Urban Planning Studio which is our own dedicated space on the Jordanstown campus.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one


Year: 1

Built environment professionals must be aware of the legal boundaries within which they are required to operate. They must have knowledge of and a practical understanding of the legal rules which regulate transactions and relationships. They must appreciate and understand the fundamental principles of the legal framework within which they operate. The module is designed to develop in students an understanding of the above and will enable them to appreciate the importance of the correlation between law and their own specific discipline.

Development Process

Year: 1

This module details the professionals, stakeholders, systems and processes involved in the planning and development process. It considers the various stages of the development process in terms of project appraisal and the land, labour, material and financial inputs required. It examines the regulation and management of sustainable development through the statutory land use planning system and explains the role of public participation. This module provides students with a solid grounding of the implications and impact of development to allow them to appreciate the role their discipline plays within the wider socio-economic, environmental, legal and political environment.

Valuation Principles

Year: 1

This module introduces the student to a range of financial mathematics, value and investment concepts, various valuation techniques and the bases of those methods. It provides for an appreciation of the analysis and the application of different techniques may be applied to simple valuation problems and how each approach would be used in practice.

Land, People, Place

Year: 1

Land, People, Place builds a foundation from the disciplines of law, economics, finance, development of land, property and the environment. It builds a platform for future modules by providing knowledge informed by key sustainability strategies, spatial planning concepts and relevant economic theories to land people place.

Spatial Analysis and 3D Design

Year: 1

Decision-making in spatial planning and property development is dependent upon a solid evidence base. Through an introduction to GIS and 3D modelling, this module equips students with spatial literacy skills to understand and interpret the built and natural environment. These skills are necessary in making proposals for the highest and best use of resources available, following a holistic approach that is sensitive consideration of social, economic and environmental issues.

Planning and Regeneration

Year: 1

An understanding of the origins and evolution of the planning system and regeneration policy is a crucial element of the intellectual basis of professional planning practice. It is also important that students are aware of the range of current policy issues and debates, and develop an appreciation of the interrelationships between planning, regeneration and housing. This module fosters an awareness of the needs, roles and responsibilities of planners and other built environment professionals.

Year two

Resilient Places

Year: 2

Interest in resilience is expanding as a direct response to the scale and intensity of contemporary issues facing governments and societies.This module embraces a range of topics that relate to the conceptual and practical issues involved in building resilient places and identifies a key role for planning in terms of strengthening the ability of society to prepare for, and respond to, anticipated impacts of contemporary social, economic, environmental challenges.


Year: 2

This module will consider the fundamental principles and rules of the law of real property. Specifically the module will consider: the distinction between real & personal property; concurrent ownership; landlord & tenant; licenses & estoppel; trespass & control of access to land; adverse possession; freehold covenants; incorporeal hereditaments and mortgages.

Spatial Planning and Practice

Year: 2

This module considers the concept of spatial planning and how it has evolved across the UK, Ireland and the rest of Europe. In particular, the module identifies the contemporary debates surrounding the fluid conceptualisations of spatial planning, and articulates how planning nests within planning practice. The module will provide a learning platform to understand the role and interrelationships between stakeholders in structuring and shaping land use policy and how planning practice sits within a particular legal framework.

Integrated Regeneration Project

Year: 2

The module develops student understanding of real estate value by developing the theory underpinning development including the components of value, land assembly, acquisition, compulsory purchase and compensation of assets. Valuation methods incorporating cost and residual approaches; and local taxation affecting property decisions will be of central importance to the module. Furthermore, the module develops the core fundamentals of value link to regeneration and real estate investment. The module builds upon and further enhances valuation skills developed in Year One through the SUR107 Valuation Principles.

Urban Design and Place Making

Year: 2

This module introduces students to key design and place-making principles that influence the form and function of the built environment. It helps develop an understanding of the role of design in planning, regeneration and development decision-making processes necessary to deliver high quality developments. The module demonstrates how the design of buildings and spaces can influence the achievement of wider sustainable development, community and social objectives.

Property Market Analysis and Development Appraisal

Year: 2

The module provides students with the basic concepts and theories in property market analysis, development valuation and finance and a practical understanding of real estate finance, and development appraisal fundamentals. It presents some of the major concepts, principles and analytical methods useful for analysing financial decisions in property development. It also gives students exposure to SPSS and Excel based evaluation tools which are integral to valuation and measurement practice.

Year three

Healthy Communities

Year: 3

This module introduces students to the interrelationship between planning and health, and encourages students to consider how planners and other built environment professionals can recognise the needs of different communities in society for building healthier communities and creating resilient places. The module approaches ways of creating age-friendly and child-friendly places through inclusive planning and design.

Marine Spatial Planning

Year: 3

This module introduces students to the concepts and practices informing the emerging field of marine planning and management. Grounded in an appreciation of sustainable development, it explores the planning, regulation and management of the marine resource from a governance, public policy and transdisciplinary perspective. The module provides students with a solid appreciation of the complexity of the property rights regime, the potential modes of intervention and the challenges of managing competing stakeholders.

Research Methods and Literature Review

Year: 3

This module requires students to undertake an independent, in-depth literature review in relation to a specific regeneration / property development problem or issue and to demonstrate effective research, analytical, evaluation and appraisal skills in the specialism. Students are expected to demonstrate an applied understanding of the theories and practices of spatial planning as the basis for subsequently undertaking empirical research in relation to an original problem.

Environmental Impact Assessment

Year: 3

This module is deigned to provide students with and understanding of the environmental impact of land and property development on the built environment. The module provides the students with knowledge of key issues of the need to make progress towards goals of sustainable development as one of the greatest challenges facing all sectors of business and society. This module focuses on the contribution that planning and real estate professions can make in order to achieve sustainable development in the way in which our built environment is planned, financed, developed and managed.

Integrated Development & Finance Project

Year: 3

This module is designed to provide a practice-based understanding of regeneration, real estate investment and to enhance student awareness of the innovative investment products currently on the market. Stages in the process include the transposition of knowledge on the various stages of the regeneration process. Investment vehicles, cash flow analysis, partnership modelling, investment strategies and the risk return characteristics form the basis of the second stage of the module. Collectively the module is designed to enhance awareness of the innovative capacity of real estate as an asset class and to inform and educate student ' the future drivers of the industry to the potential of regeneration.

Ethics and Professional Planning Practice

Year: 3

This module is optional

Professional institutes in the planning and development sector emphasise the importance of professional conduct within organisations and when dealing with interest groups. This module contextualises ethics and professional practice against changing state-market-civil relations and a concern with climate change and global sustainable development. It invites students to debate ethical and professional dilemmas that may be encountered in practice, and supports them to develop the skills necessary to work in inter-professional and changing environments.

Planning Resilient Places

Year: 3

This module is optional

Interest in resilience is expanding as a direct response to the scale and intensity of contemporary issues facing governments and societies.This module embraces a range of topics that relate to the conceptual and practical issues involved in building resilient places and identifies a key role for planning in terms of strengthening the ability of society to prepare for, and respond to, anticipated impacts of contemporary social, economic, environmental challenges.

Year four


Year: 4

This module is optional

This module provides an opportunity for students on the Integrated Masters programme to take the placement year as an option with a view to providing professional knowledge and experience of planning and property development practice prior to entry to the Level 7. This module provides an opportunity to students who have successfully completed a programme of Level 6 to progress their academic and intellectual development within a professional context.

Year five

Inclusive Engagement Methods

Year: 5

This module explores ways of designing and facilitating inclusive engagement approaches, whilst helping students understand how ideas of civic and civil engagement are politically located and socially constructed in institutional and administrative environments. It presents theoretical and practical frameworks for understanding and implementing engagement for different planning enterprises.

Development Appraisal and Regeneration

Year: 5

This module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the planning and property development process in context of sustainable urban regeneration, a contemporary and priority agenda in cities. The module provides the students with knowledge of key issues related to mixed use developments and the deliverability of sustainability principles within an urban regeneration context. This module addresses the policy objectives related to sustainable communities and low carbon growth in cities.

Land and Housing Market Dynamics

Year: 5

This module builds up and develops key understanding of the processes and dynamics behind urban housing and land market dynamics. It introduces students to a range of property market data in relation to contemporaneous issues facing property professionals. This will enable the student to think through the problem and to propose possible strategies to tackle pertinent issues.

Research Design and Regeneration Project

Year: 5

This module requires students to undertake an independent, in-depth study in relation to a specific regeneration / property development problem or issue and to demonstrate effective research, analytical, evaluation and appraisal skills in the specialism. Students are expected to demonstrate an applied understanding of the theories and practices of spatial planning, undertake empirical research in relation to an original problem, and reach appropriate evidence-based decisions or recommendations.

International Planning and Development Practice

Year: 5

The module in international planning and development practice has the primary objective of providing students with the necessary international theory and practice in planning and development of major projects. The international comparative element of the module will provide the students with the ability to understand how to assess `business risk' when considering the entry into any given 'market' to undertake property development or investment.

Leadership for Managing Change

Year: 5

The module will examine a range of theoretical and practical issues surrounding leadership and change. Understanding, and appreciating, such issues and considering how best to use new knowledge will be essential for spatial planners in terms of enhancing organisational and city performance in an inclusive way. The module is designed to prepare students to better manage their careers in the context of discontinuous change.

Regeneration Appraisal and Finance

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module is designed to provide a practice-based understanding of the stages in the process including planning, use, design, appraisals, discounted cash flow analysis and financing of single/mixed use developments on brownfield sites. A core component of the module concerns the applicability of innovative funding of large regeneration schemes with commercial and mixed use real estate needs in a post recession era. The content focuses on the use and application of development appraisals, finance packages, and sensitivity analysis to analyse options in creating real estate value.

Community Planning and Delivery Outcomes

Year: 5

This module is optional

The module explores community planning as a modern expression of securing integrated institutional and cross-sectoral working, incorporating civil engagement, to design resilient service delivery. The module offers students to rethink public services, discuss the governance context that shapes service delivery and considers ways to monitor outcomes for improving well-being. With particular relevance to Northern Ireland, given the statutory link in legislation between community planning spatial and land use planning, which is the first of its kind in the UK and Ireland, the modules explores how the interplay between these two processes can be considered as an integrative approach for improving the relationship between people, places and services.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BBB.

Applicants can satisfy the requirement for one of the A level grades (or equivalent) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.

Applied General Qualifications

Overall BTEC award profile of DDM to include 9 Distinctions. All subject areas considered.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile to include H3, H3, H3, H3, H3.

All subject areas considered.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC. All subject areas considered.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC. All subject areas considered.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 26 points (13 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Successful completion of an Access Course in Science, Science and Technology, Humanities or Social Science based subjects with an overall average of 70% for Year 1 entry.


GCSE Profile to include Grade C in English and Mathematics.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

We use a range of teaching, learning and assessment methods. On campus there are face-to-face teaching sessions in a classroom setting for lectures, tutorials and studio classes. Lab classes are also used to teach you computer skills such as for geographic information systems (GIS), urban design software, and development appraisal software. Study (field) trips are a feature across all years of the course, and can be local - lasting a few hours - or international - lasting a few days - in Final Year. We also use Blackboard Learn for online discussion boards and the distribution of module materials.

Assessment on modules take a variety of forms including individual coursework (such as reports and research projects), group reports (for example site layout and design proposals), presentations, and written examinations. We provide feedback on all assessment so that you can use the experience for continuous improvement.

Exemptions and transferability

For details on exemptions and transferability contact the Course Director, Dr Neale Blair:

T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6221


Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Turley Associates
  • Northern Ireland Civil Service
  • First Flight Wind
  • RPS

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Graduate Planning Consultant
  • Local Government Planning Officer
  • Planning and Development Surveyor
  • Planning Officer Technician
  • Researcher

Career options

Opportunities exist across the public, private and community sectors:

Public sector.

Working in local authorities (local district councils and county councils)

Facilitating development management, regeneration, policy development and forward planning.

Private sector

Working in independent town planning / property development consultancies.

Advising on development potential and design.

Submitting and managing planning applications.

Charities / voluntary sector

Working for campaining and community organisations, such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the National Trust, or Community Places.

Work placement / study abroad

Graduate employability is an important feature of the Planning, Regeneration and Development course. One way this can be enhanced is by undertaking a work placement. This is designed into the course as an optional year between Year 3 and Final Year. You also have the opportunity to undertake at least one short work placement during the academic year which is compulsory. The teaching team will help you to find work placements.

In addition to work placement opportunities, you are also encouraged to complete a period of study abroad. We have close links with Nijmegen University in the Netherlands where our students have undertaken a period of study as part of the Erasmus Programme. Ulster also has links to planning and development courses across the world where you can choose to study for one or two semesters.

Professional recognition

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for the purpose of graduate membership.

Academic profile

All the tutors on this course are research active and are involved in a variety of academic and practitioner networks promoting the discipline of planning, regeneration and development. Our research activity is aimed at informing and improving public policy and practice. Our impact is felt locally, nationally and internationally. This means you can be sure our modules have leading-edge teaching content that is up-to-date and relevant.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,250.00  Discounts available
£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

There are two sets of awards across six different categories that are only for students on the Planning, Regeneration and Development degree, and one further award which is open to all students on courses at Ulster accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). These awards are evidence of the close links that exist between Ulster University and the planning and development sector.

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) presents two prizes:

Joanne Mathers RTPI Award - given to the student with the highest mark on module SUR811, Research Design and Regeneration Project

RTPI book prize is presented to the final year student with the highest mark across all final year modules.

The Environmental and Planning Law Association of Northern Ireland (EPLANI) presents four prizes:

Best student in Year 1

Best student in Year 2

Best student in Year 3

Student with the highest average across all years of the course

RICS Award - given to the First Year student with the highest overall average in the School of the Built Environment, Ulster University.

All of these awards are prestigious and sought-after by students on the course.

Additional mandatory costs

An international study visit to a European country takes place in the final year of the course over a period of four days. All students are normally expected to participate in this study visit.

In recent years students have travelled to the Netherlands, visiting Amsterdam, Nijmegen and Utrecht. Participating students pay for their costs associated with the visit including flights and accommodaton, typically in the region of £300-400 depending on when these are booked; additional costs include subsistence and in-country travel.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


"I felt that the Planning, Regeneration and Development lecturers genuinely cared about the students both on a personal level and an academic level. The lecturers always made themselves available to assist when I had any queries about coursework, or lecture material, as well as making themselves available to discuss any issues relating to the student experience at Ulster" International exchange student from Sydney, Australia.