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 attempts to build this understanding by drawing on the academic strengths of one of the largest Business Schools in the UK, and the research and international reputation of the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) that is located in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science at the University of 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 hopefully bring to life the issues you are studying and set them in a real world context.
The programme has been specifically designed to enable you to develop a sound understanding of the challenges facing our towns and cities and how we deal with these.
Download the Spatial Planning and Business Management BSc brochure (PDF 771KB)
Why study this course
The Spatial Planning/Business Management programme at the University of Birmingham is the first of its type in the country. It is part of a suite of joint honours planning programmes that we offer that are well established and enjoy an excellent reputation. All our planning degrees build on the University’s international and research reputation in this area. The department’s research and professional development links with a wide range of public, private and community-led organisations are a particular strength of the programme and ensure that our teaching is relevant and is at the cutting edge of the latest developments in the planning world.
The degree programme has been designed to combine study in both business management and planning to ensure that you develop a strong foundation and an appreciation of how to use this knowledge to make decisions about the built environment. There are extremely close synergies between the two subjects. Businesses are a fundamental part of our urban world and the understanding of how business works is critical to the operation of the planning system and how cities function. The programme offers a combination of both core and optional modules that will enable you to concentrate on issues and themes that are of particular interest to you.
On the Business Management side you will study modules on business economics, the understanding of organisations, marketing and analytical techniques and IT. On the planning side you will study the history and evolution of planning, explore how planning operates in the contemporary context, examine the socio-economic nature of cities and how they have changed and undertake some basic GIS mapping. There is an emphasis in the modules on developing applied skills through fieldwork, tutorials and project work.
In the first year students take 120 credits over 10 compulsory modules:
The Planning of the Built Environment (20 credits)
Society, Space and Policy (10 credits)
Economy, Space and Policy (10 credits)
Planning Tutorial (10 credits)
Mapping the Midlands (10 credits)
Principles of Marketing (10 credits)
Organisations and Management (10 credits)
Developing Entrepreneurial Opportunities (10 credits)
Introduction to Business Economics (10 credits)
Analytical Techniques for Business and IT (20 credits)
The second year builds upon the knowledge acquired in the first year with a combination of both core and optional modules. The programme is designed to enable you to choose from a range of optional modules in order to tailor the degree to your own interests.
There is a focus in the second year of preparing students for their extended essay/dissertation in the third year – so there is work on research methods and techniques.
Optional (to include modules such as): Students to choose 20 credits from each theme
The Urban and Regional Economy: Problems and Policies A and B (20 credits)
Consumer Behaviour (LI) (10 credits)
Service and Relationship Marketing (10 credits)
International Marketing (10 credits)
Public Relations (10 credits)
Understanding Neighbourhood Poverty (20 Credits)
Event Management (10 credits)
Human Resource Management (10 credits)
Operations Management (10 credits)
Project Management (10 credits)
Research Methods (20 credits)
Business Environment Theme:
Business Law A and B (20 credits)
Intermediate Business Economics (20 credits)
In the third year you select specialised modules related to your areas of interest, and also undertake dissertation supervised by a member of staff, in which you are free to design, implement and analyse a research project of your own choosing.
The final year of study is designed to be fully flexible and allow for the development of individual interests.
Fees and funding
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: ABB
Required subjects and grades: Grade B in GCSE Maths and grade C in GCSE English.
General Studies: We do not accept General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies, or World Development.
International Baccalaureate Diploma: 34 points with 6, 5, 5 at HL. Minimum of 5 in SL English and Maths if not offered at GCSE or equivalent.
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
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