Planning and Social Policy BSc (Hons)

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This course is in clearing

This course is in international clearing

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The built environment is about more than buildings; it’s about the infrastructure that comes with it. So if you’re interested in key ‘quality of life’ issues – housing, health, education, transport and poverty – this could be the programme for you.

The city of Birmingham is a first-rate planning laboratory, and this degree programme will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to make a difference to how we live today and in the future.

Course fact file

UCAS code: KLK4

Duration: 3 years

Places Available: 181 (across all Geography and Planning courses)

Applications in 2014: 981

Typical Offer: ABB (More detailed entry requirements and the international qualifications accepted can be found in the course details)

Start date: September

Details

Urban and regional planning lies at the heart of the major challenges that face existing and future generations. Decisions that are taken today can have a major impact on what happens to our towns and cities in the future, so it is important that we get those decisions right. Only by having an in-depth understanding of the way our towns and cities work can we hope to make informed decisions about the future of the built environment.

This unique degree course builds this understanding by drawing on the academic strengths of one of the largest and most prestigious Geography departments in the UK, and the research and international reputation of the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) here at Birmingham.  Based in the great planning laboratory that is Birmingham, you will be able to exploit fully the huge wealth of case study material available on your doorstep whilst interpreting these experiences in an international context. This will bring to life the issues you are studying and set them in a real world context.

Planning and Social Policy explores some of the big issues facing today’s and tomorrow’s societies including: housing provision; climate change; sustainable development; property development; leisure tourism and transport infrastructure; exchange rates; trade agreements; income tax; international banking; and the NHS and other public sector organisations.

Why study this course

If you are interested in urban issues – particularly why cities develop and change – a degree in Planning will be right up your street. And where better to study important issues such as housing, transport, urban planning, property development, sustainability, conservation and business than in a city with a rich industrial heritage that has undergone rapid and dramatic transformation over the past two decades – and remains a work-in-progress?

This degree programme will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to make a difference to how we live today and in the future.

Research-led teaching

At Birmingham you are taught by academics who are world-leading experts in their fields. Our Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS), which is a leading international centre for research, teaching and consultancy in spatial and social planning studies, puts great emphasis on practice-based planning. So you will spend a lot of time doing real-life project-based work – from finding new uses for old buildings and looking at the effects of HS2 to the regeneration of housing estates and urban parks – some of which you might see incorporated into existing or future schemes.

Flexibility

Our portfolio of modules across our degree programmes is incredibly varied and intellectually stimulating – which is why we give you the opportunity to choose what you want to study and specialise in the areas that most interest you.

Skills for future employment

Our graduates have exciting and varied career paths. A Planning degree from Birmingham provides a raft of opportunities in the private and public sectors, both of which demand the skills and know-how you will acquire with us, such as business acumen, groupworking abilities and technical expertise. You will also gain transferable skills which are highly valued by employers and will enhance your employability in the competitive job market.

Modules

Year 1

Core modules (Planning)

Core modules (Social Policy)

  • Introduction to Social Policy
  • Social Issues and Social Policy
  • Researching Policy and Society

Year 2

Core modules

Optional modules

  • The Urban and Regional Economy
  • Volunteering and Social Policy: Learning through Practice
  • Managing Health and Social Care: Statutory and Voluntary perspectives
  • Policing, Security and Community Justice
  • Social Policy into Practice
  • New Migration and Super-diversity
  • Housing and Communities
  • Global Issues
  • Policy Analysis

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Optional modules

  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Agency and Morality
  • Doing or not doing God
  • From Beveridge to Cameron
  • Youth Crime and Justice

 

The modules described here are the ones that we currently offer and will give you a good idea of the range of subjects that we teach. However as our undergraduate teaching is research-led and we constantly review our teaching to ensure that the modules that we offer are up to date, there may be changes to module titles and content.

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply 
Learn more about fees and funding 

Scholarships
Learn more about our scholarships and awards

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required: 3

Typical offer: ABB

Required subjects and grades: Grade C in each of GCSE English and Maths.

General Studies: We do not accept General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies, or World Development.

Additional information:

Unconditional offers will be made to high-quality applicants who are predicted AAA or above at A level. For details see the Unconditional Offer Scheme 2015

Unconditional offers are based on:

  • A Level predictions of AAA +
  • AS results of at least ABB
  • 5 GCSEs at grade A including English, Maths and a Science
  • 2 GCSEs at grade B
  • Academic reference
  • Personal statement

Other qualifications are considered – see entry requirements for full details. 

International students:

International Baccalaureate Diploma: minimum of 32 points with 6, 5, 5 at HL. Minimum of 5 in SL English and Maths if not offered at GCSE or equivalent.

Please note that we have reviewed our policy on the IB Diploma for 2016 entry and our offers will now focus on performance in Higher Level subjects. For more information and details please read our 2016 IB Diploma requirements.

Standard English language requirements apply 
Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com  
Learn more about applying

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

Learning and teaching

How you learn is as important as what you learn. The learning experience at Birmingham combines a wide variety of study methods extending way beyond the lecture theatre, to include extensive fieldwork, practical work and tutorials.

An inspirational and enquiry-based learning environment

Our cutting-edge teaching programme is built on a foundation of over one hundred years of research and teaching excellence. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner shaping your own intellectual development with us. You will learn from academic specialists at the top of their fields and the world-leading research they carry out feeds directly into our degree programmes. The research-led teaching on our flexible degree courses ensures an inspirational and enquiry-based learning environment in the classroom, lab and field.

Extensive facilities

As well as lectures, tutorials and practical classes you will have access to extensive educational facilities across the School and University including library resources, a well-equipped map room, state-of-the-art laboratory and IT facilities, and purpose-built learning spaces.

Support during your studies

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues, and a formal transition review during your first year to check on your progress and offer you help for any particular areas where you need support.

Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the Centre's aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions with support with mathematics and statistics based problems provided by experienced mathematicians, to workshops on a range of topics including note talking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

Personal Tutor

From the outset, you will be assigned your own Personal Tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies, providing academic and welfare advice, encouraging you and offering assistance in any areas you may feel you need extra support to make the most of your potential and your time here at Birmingham.

Assessment methods

We use a number of different teaching and assessment methods including lectures, essays, group and individual work and formal examinations, culminating in an extended essay in Year three. Throughout the degree you will receive personalised support from a dedicated team of academic and support staff.

At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You’ll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done.

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

During your first year you will be given a formal transition review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you may need support. Your personal tutor who is based in the School can help with any academic issues you encounter.

Employability

Crowd of people in an urban area A Planning degree from Birmingham provides a raft of opportunities in the private and public sectors, both of which demand the skills and know-how you will acquire with us, such as business acumen, groupworking abilities and technical expertise. The good news is that as our towns and cities are constantly evolving there will always be a need for planning as an activity.

93.3% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating  2013/14 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

Where could a Planning degree take you?

Past experience has shown that this degree opens doors to a wide variety of lucrative careers in the built environment. Potential career opportunities in Britain and overseas include town and country planning, inner-city regeneration, sustainable development, housing and conservation, property development or estates management, planning in developing and transitional countries, management traineeships in the public or private sectors, and teaching. Other students continue in education with further postgraduate study.

Find out more about career opportunities in Geography and Planning

You will leave with a range of skills relevant to careers beyond planning and its related fields. Our graduates are welcomed by a range of employers including central and local government; government agencies; property consultancies; planning and urban design consultancies; broader built environment consultancies; private companies and utilities; and developers. Actual recent career destinations for our students have included the Environment Agency, Homes and Community Agency, Birmingham City Council; Wyre Forest District Council; Redditch Borough Council; National Grid; King Sturge; Turley Associates; Lambert Smith Hampton; CBRE; Pegasus Planning Group to name a few.

The majority of employers will expect candidates to have an undergraduate degree in planning as a minimum. To become a chartered town planner (which is recommended for increased career prospects and to enter a job at a higher point in the pay scale) you will need to have completed a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accredited degree. You can do this at the University of Birmingham by undertaking our RTPI accredited Masters Course in Urban and Regional Planning

Preparing you for your career

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal. 

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you.  Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.