See the UCAS website for help and guidance with your application.
Studying with us in 2021/22
It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
Study our BSc Property Development and Planning degree course and you’ll uncover the theory, methods and tools needed to succeed in the planning and development professions.
If you aspire to gain chartered town planner status in the UK, you’ll be pleased to know our course has been developed in line with the requirements of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). We will help you to develop professional skills so you can design, create and maintain places of high quality and strong design.
The BSc (Hons) / MPlan Property Development and Planning course reflects the changing professional context of planning, land and property development, and the connections between the range of professions active in managing the built environment. Some of the content is shared with our other professionally-accredited built environment courses, so you will receive a varied and comprehensive education focused towards relevant professional employment. Understanding professional requirements, standards, ethics and behaviour are important throughout the course – and your working life.
You will assess how property development can affect individuals and groups, examining the process and outcomes. The financial aspects of property development and management are also covered. You will look at how town planning can facilitate appropriate development: development plans, policies and projects, as well as examining the physical, technical, legal, environmental and political factors affecting development decisions. You will develop your awareness of the complexities and variety within and between different communities, as well as evaluating community participation and empowerment.
You will build skills in managing yourself and working with others, including those from related professions, to identify and achieve the best outcomes for clients, communities and places. You will meet professionals currently working in practice, who contribute to the Property Development and Planning course and help ensure that you get the most up-to-date ideas and information. You will be encouraged and supported to become a student member of a relevant professional body, to join in its activities and events, and to become a confident professional.
Our next Virtual Open Day is taking place on Saturday 20 March. It's the perfect opportunity to virtually tour our facilities, hear from some of our staff and get a feel of what it's like to study at BCU.
Being a mature student, Conor was nervous about stepping foot back into education. His experience at BCU has boosted his career prospects and opened doors to many placement opportunities.
Are you planning to study an undergraduate degree course in a Built Environment subject? If so, you may be eligible for grant funding of up to £9,500 to help you during your studies at Birmingham City University.
Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI): Combined accreditation for MPlan route only Spatial accreditation for BSc route only.
See Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) website for further information on the accreditation options offered
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
|City and Guilds Level 2 Certificates in Adult Numeracy/ Adult Literacy||
|Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2||
|Key Skills level 2||
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||
|Scottish Intermediate 2||
|Scottish Credit Standard Grade||
|Scottish National 5||
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications|
|A level and Advanced VCE||
|Access to HE Diploma||
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component
International Baccalaureate Diploma
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.
In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications|
6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.
2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.
Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.
This will provide you with more information about the School and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
Starting: Sep 2021
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
There are three ways to apply:
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
If you study this course part-time or via distance learning, you will be charged on a pro-rata basis. This means your fee will be calculated per module.
Students often choose to buy a laptop or tablet for use on campus (approx. £800), however there are PCs on campus and students can also borrow laptops. Students may need a smart phone or wireless device to participate in interactive class quizzes, etc. A list of all personal protection equipment (PPE) for labs and a basic toolkit, is provided by the School. Laboratory and workshop consumables are provided. All reports, etc. for assessment are submitted as electronic files except some of the Level 6 and 7 Project Reports for which printing and binding costs (up to 50 pages) will be borne by the students.
Students may have to contribute to the cost of optional social trips organised by Student Societies. The costs of compulsory industrial visits (if any) are paid by the School or by sponsorship secured from the Professional bodies (PSRBs). Students are expected to cover the costs of attending placement interviews and any additional travel/accommodation costs incurred to take up optional short term or sandwich placements.
Costs for student-led projects will be paid by the School subject to approved business cases submitted by the students under the supervision of academic staff. Artefacts built for projects normally remain the property of the Department, but students may be offered the opportunity to purchase them for the cost of the materials used.
If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
In order to complete this programme a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
This module explores how key ‘actors’, including professional bodies, landowners, developers, investors, politicians, members of the public, and the state, etc. influence the development of the built and natural environment.
Broader forces also influence development processes. This module therefore encourages you to explore how Politics, Economy, Society, Technology, Law and the Environment (PESTLE) all shape the built and natural environment. This module also offers an opportunity not only to look at past and current trends, but potential future trends that influence development, including significant issues such as governance, resource availability and climate change; and a chance to learn how development processes occur at different spatial scales and contexts.
This module introduces, for all of the built environment professions, a range of concepts relating to the technology of construction. It provides you with an understanding of modern and sustainable methods of construction. We use the example of low rise residential construction as it is relatively straightforward and allows us to introduce and explore these issues appropriately.
In particular, you will be introduced to everyday materials, construction methods, building services Building Regulation and Health, Safety and Welfare legislation. You will gain an insight into the properties of materials and the basic scientific principles that apply to them. The module will focus on construction materials in general and how they can be used in creating a construction element and/or component (e.g. a floor, an external wall, a roof). You will develop the ability to identify, describe and visualise these materials in terms of types, dimension, size and weight.
This module is delivered to all of the undergraduate programmes in the built environment disciplines and provides you with the basic legal concepts and principles you will need throughout your professional career.
It introduces you to the structure and processes of the English legal system. This is the essential foundation to the legal skills necessary for the provision of sound advice to your clients/colleagues later in your professional career; and this underpins all of the built environment professions. The module also helps all the undergraduate built environment students to understand the importance of and provides an overview of the duties of all persons involved in construction projects with regard to health, safety and wellbeing.
Digital construction is an integral component of contemporary design, development and maintenance of modern residential development. Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology is at the forefront of the progressive movement towards total digitalisation of the built environment.
Against this backdrop, this module aims to provide a foundation for you to successfully execute the BIM process, facilitate its adoption and achieve interdisciplinary integration on a single project that simulates a residential project.
Environmental and materials science is an important area of study for all disciplines involved with the design, planning, developing and management of the built environment. This module encourages you to consider how the properties, structures and performance of materials influence why buildings and structures function. You will be encouraged to consider how these properties impact construction from a design and practical use perspective. This module will therefore enable you to develop innovative solutions for more robust, resilient, safe and sustainable buildings and structures. It also gives you the opportunity to produce a professional cv and related documents which you will share with industry on your assessment day.
Valuation is a crucial skill across the built environment and is core to many professional pathways.
This module introduces the theory of valuation as a set of principles, financial mathematics, methods and techniques employed for identifying and understanding economic concepts of value and worth in a property context.
You will build an understanding of the central role of valuation for the efficient functioning of the property markets and the wider economy (regionally, nationally and internationally) and develop background knowledge of the tools and techniques required to provide prudent advice when dealing with property.
In order to complete this programme a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
This module critically discusses and applies the socio-economic, historical, environmental and governance context that shapes the design and use of buildings and structures to a real life development project. We encourage and support you to develop and apply a range of research techniques to evaluate design, costs, benefits and values of ‘good’ design; how to appraise the implications of different approaches to implementation, on-going use, management and quality of place; and produce a practice-based piece of work delivering a range of benefits to different users and communities.
The module is therefore relevant to all of the professions active in creating managing the built environment.
In this module you will cover core areas required in designing and setting up a contract. It is designed to give you an understanding of the procurement process and how it can deliver on a range of benefits to clients, contractors and other stakeholders involved with the development process.
During the module, you are required to develop your knowledge on issues that affect the choice of a procurement strategy by evaluating various projects and the best management and procurement approaches to be adopted. You will also learn about how the choice of procurement strategy will impact on time, cost, viability, quality and sustainability issues. Current issues influencing procurement, such as international markets, legislation and sustainable procurement, will also be covered.
This module encourages you to explore what a ‘good’ policy or plan with SMART objectives looks like, paying attention to both process and outcome. This is crucial to your full understanding of a planning system and the principles are relevant to any scale from local to international. This module explores the ‘vertical’ connections between different mechanisms / policies / plans and the ‘horizontal’ connections between spatial policy frameworks and other non-spatial strategies. In particular, it unpicks the legal, regulatory and policy frameworks that guide development and investment, and the relationships between spatial planning and other strategies that inform public policy intervention, including politics, stakeholder behaviour, climate change policies / agreements, energy and transport infrastructure plans, housing strategies, and sustainable community strategies.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that provides built environment professionals with the insight and tools to help plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure. In this module, you will be encouraged to explore the potential of BIM in helping to understand the social, economic and environmental benefits associated with co-ordinated infrastructure and complex structure development.
You will be given a real construction project in which you will become increasingly aware of your own impact on the environment and communities we work within. Through group work, reporting writing and presentations you will develop the self-confidence to critically reflect upon your own leadership and problem solving skills via an integrated project delivery.
The module covers the basic requirements for property professionals engaged with the existing built environment to appreciate varying needs to clients in relation to property, to identify methods of construction, appraise the condition of a building, and make recommendations to achieve client’s aims. The module is designed to give you the opportunity for practical application of your learning to a relevant case study.
This module provides an opportunity for you to develop and apply research skills in a property development, planning and real estate context. The module is an introduction into some of the data, techniques and approaches required to explore social, economic, environmental and technological change in a built environment context.
In order to complete this programme a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed group project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, your group will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your group’s topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.
You will be expected to work as part of a group but you will receive additional support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your groups chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project.
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.
At this level, you will be expected to work independently but you will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project.
This module introduces you to a range of the contemporary debates on the interrelationship between society stakeholders, space, technology and energy, and the environment and quality of life of different places at different spatial scales. Property developers and planners need an appreciation of contemporary drivers of social, economic and environmental change, if they are to influence and make effective decisions.
In particular, the module critically examines how ‘green’ innovation, development, technology and design can contribute to the creation and maintenance of high quality places. Drawing on a range of international and UK-based case studies, the module encourages you to explore and debate a number of these issues from a range of different (and sometimes competing) perspectives.
This is a design-led module, allowing you to implement and practice advanced design skills in response to a small-scale design project. This module is underpinned by a series of lectures relating to the history and theory of urban and architectural form and design; and time is also devoted to studio-based and lab work that helps develop and enhance your design enquiry and creative drawing / model-making skills. The module also encourages you to explore the wider role of, and connections between, design theory & practice, governance, planning and how innovative design strategies might be used to resolve complex issues associated with contemporary urban challenges.
This module will focus on extending and providing appropriate evidence of your professional skills and development. Within an applied socially responsive framework, you will examine a range of issues related to the client, the site, planning, financial/development appraisal, design technology, legal and regulatory, health and safety etc. These will be covered in conjunction with other professional courses or your own discipline as appropriate, given that all built environment professions and recent reports such as the Farrell Review place increasing stress on interdisciplinary understanding and working.
Our MPlan Property Development and Planning course enables you to combine three years of undergraduate study with an additional fourth year at postgraduate level, helping you to stand out from the crowd upon graduating.
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed Level 7 project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying and informed by the research strategy of your school, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.
The assessment and management of environmental impact is an increasingly important part of development and sustainability. This module is designed to give you exposure to key concepts and methods related to this area of work. It is designed to meet the requirements for the RICS ‘environmental management’ and ‘environmental assessments’ competencies.
The module takes a practical approach to the development and implementation of management and decision making tools. You will be introduced to the theory and methodology behind these tools and will then be expected to actively engage in the practical application of some of the ideas discussed and reflect on their appropriateness.
This module will develop your understanding of spatial planning through engagement with the ideas about the creation and management of ‘place’ in different economic, environmental, historical and social contexts. Placemaking is a holistic and global concept that applies to built and natural environments, and it is central to successful spatial planning. Placemaking relates to ‘urban design’, but has also a wider theoretical focus less design and more geography based.This module will allow you to appreciate, at first hand, the processes that contribute to create high quality and inclusive places. The assignments will enable you to work on a placemaking project in answer to a client brief. Where possible, this will be a real-life project.
This module gives an overarching view of sustainability design and management issues and the different ways in which many of the major challenges facing society are being approached. It is designed to meet the requirements for the RICS ‘management of the built environment’ competency and part requirements for the ‘management of the natural environment and landscape’ competency.
This module is concerned with creating (re-)development strategies, and providing reasoned advice for implementing projects at the neighbourhood level for the 21st century. It is undertaken within the framework of a programme of student workshops to encourage sharing of experiences and developing supportive working relationships.
The module enables you to understand the importance of working within the boundaries of established professional best practice. It focuses on the skills and competencies that are required in practice to meet professional standards and expectations. This includes ethics; stakeholder analysis; business presentation skills; negotiation; conflict management, team working; reflexivity etc. The module is designed to encourage action research and develop your capacity to address the changing needs of the built environment professions and the wider industry, giving you currency within the market.
The module also seeks to prepare you for the entry to the appropriate professional body (e.g. via RICS/RTPI Assessment of Professional Competence or equivalent) by identifying and addressing the key requirements of that task in a supportive environment.
This course will provide you with the knowledge of the processes, procedures and practices required for the effective design, management and finance of sustainable places. We will ensure you have the skills and understanding to help design, create and maintain places of good design and high quality.
With the prospect of accelerated climate and environmental change, the world needs modern developers, planners and decision-makers, who can help negotiate these challenges for the benefit of society as a whole.
The course is structured so as to introduce you to the theory, processes and tools relevant to the planning and development professions. You will look at real-life case studies, engage in practical work and participate in workshops to help strengthen and enhance your skills.
The assessment strategies for each module reflect the skills you need to acquire for employment. You will prepare essays, evaluations, verbal presentations, posters, planning reports, design presentations, group work, role play scenarios and exams.
Later stages of the courses are designed to develop your critical and reflective capabilities, and to make the links and relationships between the various spatial dimensions of planning. The emphasis is on interactive learning, including student-led workshops, role-plays and simulations to achieve deeper learning and understanding.
We offer PhDs relating to individual staff research interests and the research strategy of the Centre for Resilient Environments, but research degrees do not carry professional recognition.
There will be regular site visits to enhance your learning experience.
For more information on attendance requirements, course contact time and suggested self-study hours, download the course specification.
We are committed to practice-led learning and teaching that will provide experiences of the world of work through a range of activities, which could include work placements/internships, voluntary work, live projects, problem-solving, case studies, site visits, and opportunities to interact with visiting professionals, including our own successful graduates.
These modules respond directly to accrediting professional bodies’ requirements for professionalism and employability, including professional ethics, and these are therefore embedded in a broad range of modules.
The University also has its Graduate+ programme, which is an extracurricular awards framework that will enhance the subject-based skills you’ll develop on the course with broader employability skills. Graduate+ will help you with CV writing, crafting personal statements and interview techniques, as well as helping you to source jobs.
We are developing a range of optional placement opportunities.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
After falling in love with the Birmingham City University campus, Zuzana chose to study BSc (Hons) Property Development and Planning so that she could contribute towards creating better and more sustainable places for future generations to enjoy.
Phil Villars, Head of Planning and Environment at WSP - one of the world's leading engineering professional services consulting firms, has worked in the industry for over 30 years and explains his five reasons why you should choose a career in planning too.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
The School of the Built Environment provides the best possible equipment and facilities for all students. Our gallery below showcases the Built Environment’s learning spaces, civil engineering lab and state of the art computer aided design labs.
The facilities on offer to our students reflect the work environment you will enter as you start your career. We ensure that you are equipped to participate fully and possessed with the equipment needed to support your studies.
In offices today, much of the pen and paper approach to quantity surveying has been replaced by the use of specialised software systems. Here at Birmingham City University you will make use of commercial software as part of your assessment. Work is carried out in well-equipped and air-conditioned laboratories.
You will be provided with the latest CAD software – free of charge – to enable you to acquire the skills you need in a modern design office.
Part of your learning activity will be hands-on, including carrying out survey work using a range of equipment, such as: Levels, Theodolites and Measuring tapes
Birmingham is undergoing huge regeneration. One of the city's two new HS2 stations will be built right outside our City Centre campus and there will be many opportunities, now and in the future, for those with built environment qualifications.
Wil Vincent is an Assistant Lecturer in the Built Environment, having graduated from both our undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Planning at Birmingham City University. He is Programme Leader for the Faculty’s Generalist Degree programmes, offering remedial support to student to maximise their chance for successes on their degree programme. He teaches on a range of modules within the field of Spatial Planning and the wider Built Environment.
Wil’s specialist knowledge of the current Development Management system in the UK allows him to bring his expertise into the classroom, combining theory and practice using real life scenarios to provide students with opportunities to develop both their theoretical and practical applications of core planning principles. For example, he has led modules looking at the conversion of BCU former campus in Parry Barr into the Athlete’s village for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the creation of neighbourhood strategies within Birmingham, and the potential impact of large scale development existing and potential communities.