Planning, Regeneration and Development

BSc (Hons), MSci (Hons)

2023/24 Full-time Undergraduate course


Bachelor of Science with Honours, Master of Science with Honours


Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment


Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment


Belfast campus

UCAS code:

The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20

Start date:

September 2023

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

We are passionate about sharing with our students the vital role they each have now and as future professionals in promoting a sustainable future for all. We believe that sustainability is not the domain of one discipline or profession. It is the responsibility of all disciplines, professions, organisations and individuals.

That is why on each of our courses within the Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment you will learn about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the contribution you can make now, and as a graduate in the Built Environment.

Read the course details below to find out more.

With this degree you could become:

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

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Northern Ireland Civil Service
  • RPS
  • Local government (councils)
  • NI Housing Executive
  • Ulster University
  • Turley
  • Tuath Housing


Learn how to improve the places people work and live in for a sustainable future.


As the global population continues to grow, learn how you can help create sustainable cities, towns, villages and communities, finding solutions to planning challenges of the future.

With high quality research and excellent teaching, highlighted by our 96% student satisfaction rate (Unistats), you will be studying at a top university for planning, regeneration and development.

Discover the fascinating ways in which the planning system, regeneration practices and development processes work. Learn how you, as a future professional, can deliver the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for creating sustainable places and communities.

You will develop wide-ranging skills for creating sustainable development and healthy places by learning about environmental protection, planning law and practice, urban design, stakeholder engagement, housing market analysis, financial appraisals of property development and leadership for managing change. You will have opportunities to apply your learning through a year-long placement and experience global planning practice through our study exchanges.

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About this course


The course is designed to meet the needs of those aspiring to become chartered town planners and/or chartered surveyors who will be built environment leaders of the future.

You will discover how planning, regeneration and development practices can help tackle climate change and deliver appropriate social, environmental and economic development proposals, using a fantastic range of live projects across Northern Ireland and beyond.

You will study fascinating topics such as urban design, environmental sustainability and healthy place-making and enjoy a range of field trips and projects to see planning in action. You can also take a field trip to examine international planning, regeneration and development issues.

We work collaboratively with you to develop confident graduates who understand the needs of the land and property development sectors; can recognise and apply different evaluation and financial valuation practices; appreciate different needs of communities; and have research and analytical skills to guide appropriate land use and property development.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI


The Planning, Regeneration and Development course at Ulster can be completed as a 3 year full-time (BSc) course or a 4 year full-time (Integrated Master’s - MSci). The first three years of both courses are identical and both courses have an optional placement year. You will initially enrol onto the BSc pathway, but can then proceed to the MSci after successfully completing year three/final year of the BSc.

You will study for two semesters in each academic year, usually taking three 20 credit point modules each semester. You are normally expected to complete 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 / seminars / 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 campus.

Start dates

  • September 2023

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Our passionate academics provide quality, research-led teaching that is informed by employers and civic leaders (e.g. spatial planners and community planning officers from various local authorities, Belfast Healthy Cities, Community Places, and Turley), making what you learn extremely relevant to the real world environment and your future career. Such practitioners will also provide guest lectures and contribute to study visits.

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 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 takes 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.

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.


Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Academic profile

Dr Gavan Rafferty

Dr Linda McElduff

Dr Heather Ritchie

Dr Neale Blair

Dr Negar Ahmadpoor

Dr Jasmine Lay-Cheng Lim

Dr Lesley Hemphill

Dr Peadar Davis

Professor Martin Haran

Dr Michael McCord

Gareth Alexander

Heather Browne

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.

Belfast campus


High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.

Find out more - information about accommodation  

Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more - information about student wellbeing  

Belfast Campus Location

Campus Address

Ulster University,
2-24 York Street,
BT15 1AP

T: 02870 123 456


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.

Year one

Introduction to the Built Environment

Year: 1

The module presents a wide-ranging overview of the impact of public & private development, statutory legislation, procurement, building design and construction on UK industry and society. It presents the background to the development of professional and industry norms and also challenges a number of orthodoxies.
Module study includes a review of the roles and responsibilities of property and construction professionals in a complex sector, as well as the nature of professionalism in an era of climate emergency.

Creating Development

Year: 1

This module is designed to develop the student's understanding of the real estate, planning process and architectural design through the creation of a domestic development project. Students will be given the opportunity to think creatively and develop presentation skills through the production of feasibility and planning packages. The module embraces a broad range of factors that need to be incorporated into the design while accommodating client and end-user needs, and planning policy and context. Students will use digital technologies to record and share a presentation of their design proposals and then produce a final package of the design drawings and supporting planning report.

Sustainable Development in the Built Environment

Year: 1

This module introduces the student to a range of economic, environmental and social challenges and how these impact upon built environment disciplines. It provides for an appreciation of the policy and actions needed to stimulate behavioural change across a range of issues such as over reliance on fossil fuels, combating social deprivation, mobility and travel behaviour, consumerism and ethical thinking. Students will get the opportunity to reflect on their own attitudes and values to determine how to take more sustainable decisions and how to influence positive change in the wider built environment.

Law, Governance and Society

Year: 1

This module introduces students to the fundamental principles of governance and the legal framework in contemporary society. Students examine the interrelationship between governance actors, the legal system and social policy for advancing sustainable development and improving social, economic and environmental well-being.

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 and regeneration. This module fosters an awareness of the needs, roles and responsibilities of planners and other built environment professionals.

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.

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.

Law of Real Property

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; co-ownership; leases & business tenancies; licenses & estoppel; trespass & control of access to land; adverse possession; private planning & freehold covenants; easements & 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

Ethics and Professional Planning Practice

Year: 3

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.

Healthy Communities

Year: 3

Planning and design processes, and associated outputs and outcomes, influence the physical environments where people live, work and socialise. Therefore, the spatial dynamics of places can have a positive or negative impact on social well-being. Notions of 'wellness' and 'well-being' manifest at varying scales of society, visible in personal life, and in neighbourhoods, cities, regions and national contexts. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in reuniting planning and health. Many of the issues that planners are responsible for interact with health and well-being. This module provides students with an understanding of how planning can play a crucial role in creating inclusive environments that enhance people's health and well-being, and help to diminish health inequalities.

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.

Year four

Professional Practice - Planning, Regeneration and Development

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and professional work experience, in a work-based learning environment, as part of their planned programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.

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

This module in international planning and development has the primary objective of providing students with the knowledge necessary to critically analyse theory and practice in different international contexts. Cities are not globally homogeneous.

It is therefore important for future planning practitioners to appreciate both the benefits and limitations of international policy transfer, as well as the social, economic and environmental drivers of city development.

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.

Standard 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.

A level

BBC; or

BCC requiring A Level Grade B in Geography .

Applied General Qualifications

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of DDD

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2019 Suite)
Award profile of DDD

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2016 Suite)
Award profile of DMM

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of DD plus A Level Grade C

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2019 Suite)
Award profile DD plus A Level Grade C

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2016 Suite)
Award profile DM plus A Level Grade C

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of D plus A Level Grades BC

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Certificate (2019 Suite)
Award profile of D plus A Level Grades BC

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Certificate (2016 Suite)
Award profile of D plus A Level Grades BC

​​Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at

For further information please contact the course administrator as listed in the Contact section.

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at higher level) to include English and Maths at H6 if studied at Higher level or O4 if studied at Ordinary Level.

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

Scottish Highers

Grades BBCCC.

Scottish Advanced Highers

Grades CCD.

International Baccalaureate

Overall profile is minimum 25 points (including 12 at higher level). English and Mathematics at minimum grade 4 must be achieved in the overall profile.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall profile of 63% to include 63% in each of the level 3 modules for Year 1 entry. (120 credit Access Course) (NI Access Course)

Overall profile of 15 credits at Distinction/ 30 credits at Merit (60 credit Access Course) (GB Access Course)

Applicants who do not have GCSE Maths grade C/4 must also achieve a Pass in NICATS Maths level 2.


For full-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent).

Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English.

Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.

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.

Additional Entry Requirements

Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 75 level 4 credits at Distinction for year one entry.

HND Year 1
Pass HND in a Land Administration or Estate Management subject area. GCSE Maths Grade C/4 or an alternative Mathematics qualification acceptable to the University is also required.

HND Year 2
Pass HND with overall Merit to include 45 level 5 credits at Distinction in a Land Administration or Estate Management subject area.

Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree in Property, Planning and Housing with an overall mark of 50%, and minimum 50% in all taught level 5 modules. Applicants will normally be considered for year 2 entry to the linked Honours degree.

For further information on the requirements for this course please contact
the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.

Exemptions and transferability

For details on exemptions and transferability contact the Course Director, Dr Gavan Rafferty

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6391


Careers & opportunities

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Northern Ireland Civil Service
  • RPS
  • Local government (councils)
  • NI Housing Executive
  • Ulster University
  • Turley
  • Tuath Housing

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

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

Career options

Many of our graduates pursue careers in planning, but others secure careers in the regeneration and property development sectors. Our graduates tend to work across the public, private and community sectors, both nationally and internationally. These include:

Public sector

  • Working in local authorities (local district councils and county councils).
  • Facilitating development management, regeneration, policy development and local development planning.

Private sector

  • Working in independent town planning / property development consultancies.
  • Advising on development potential and design.
  • Submitting and managing planning applications.

Community / charities / voluntary sector

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

Some of our graduates go on to further postgraduate research opportunities in the form of PhD study across the fields of planning, regeneration and development.

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 an optional work placement 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

Professional recognition

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

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

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).


Start dates

  • September 2023

Fees and funding

2023/24 Fees

Fees for entry in 2023/24 have not yet been set. See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2022/23 entry.

Scholarships, awards and prizes

There are two sets of awards across six different categories that are only for students studying Planning, Regeneration and Development, and one further award which is open to all students on courses at Ulster University 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 a prize:

  • RTPI Northern Ireland Student Project Prize - given to the student with the highest mark on module SUR811, Research Design and Regeneration Project

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

  • Best student in Year 1 / Year 2 / 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 Belfast School of Architecture and 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 accommodation, typically in the region of £300-400 depending on when these are booked; additional costs include subsistence and in-country travel.

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

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

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.


​Dr Gavan Rafferty - Course Director

T: +44 (0)28 9536 5309


Admissions Contact - Sharon Moore

T: +44 (0)28 9536 5818


InternationalAdmissions Office


For more information visit


"The Planning, Regeneration and Development course covers a range of stimulating topics relevant to contemporary practice and the supportive staff helped me to secure an excellent work placement at Belfast City Council. I found the course so interesting and intellectually stimulating that I decided to undertake a PhD at Ulster University." Matthew Kearney, MSci Planning, Regeneration and Development Graduate and PhD Researcher, Ulster University.

"As a mature student, I was nervous about going back to university, but the staff and my fellow students were brilliant. Since graduating, I have been promoted, had my final year research project published, become a Chartered RTPI Member and was Chair of RTPI Northern Ireland. Having interviewed some of the more recent graduates I can confidently say that the course is very relevant to future employers and produces a high calibre of knowledgeable and enthusiastic students ready for the workplace. The staff have great connections with planning practitioners and their guest lecturers are relevant and up to date with their knowledge. Lecturers are approachable and really want the best from each student. I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in a career in planning, regeneration and development." Judith Winters, Senior Planner, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

"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.

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