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Geography (Human) and Planning (BSc)

  • LK74

3 years (Full-time) / n/a (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)

The BSc Geography (Human) and Planning offers you a unique opportunity to study a combination of Human Geography and Planning at degree level, building on the combined expertise of geography and planning academics based in the School. The course has been specifically designed to provide you with a solid grasp of planning issues and processes and their geographical contexts. You will gain an understanding of global, national and local processes of change, key environmental, social, cultural, political and economic trends and the role that planning plays in shaping their effects on different places. The course examines the changing nature of spaces and places, the relationship between society and space, and the roles of the state.

Destinations of our undergraduate field study visits have included Istanbul, Greece, Belfast, and will this year take our students to China.

Established in 1966, the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography is a leading international centre for teaching and research in spatial planning and human geography. We are a multi-disciplinary applied human geography and urban studies school; the premier school in the UK for spatial planning research and professionally accredited education.

Geography (Human)and Planning BSc BSc

What makes us special?

  • Teaching Excellence: We consistently achieve high ratings in the National Student Survey with a 95% satisfaction rate in 2011
  • Research Excellence: We ranked top in our field in the latest Research Assessment Exercise
  • Professional links and employability: Our degree programmes are accredited by professional organisation, and over 90% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating
  • Facilities: The School is based in the iconic Glamorgan Building and all of our teaching happens within the School. We have a wide range of lecture rooms, design studios, and a state-of-the-art computer laboratory.

Key Facts

UCAS Code LK74
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Typical places available The School admits c90 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Typical applications received c275
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAB-ABB
Admissions Tutors Dr Peter Mackie
Tel Number 029 2087 6223
Email address
School website

The course seeks to place local and national issues in a global context. It covers topics which range from environmental change in the UK, and economic and social change in Wales, to international and regional development. The course combines an appreciation of transnational spatial change with detailed case study work, through field trips, away days and projects, at the very local level. It fosters an understanding of the main geographical trends in the world today, along with the analytical skills needed to study spatial change. At the same time, students are expected to constantly link the insights derived from the geography modules to the more specific concerns of city and regional planning.

Detailed module descriptions are available on the School website.

Year 1

The first year provides an introduction to the core areas of Geography and Planning. They cover issues such as the nature of geographical thinking, globalisation, the elements of planning, and the developing world. Students will also develop the essential skills for accessing and processing information.

You will study:

  • Introduction to Human Geography
  • Introduction to Spatial Planning
  • Eonomic Principles for Urban and Regional Studies
  • Introducing Research Methods
  • Society, Diversity and Planning
  • Development and Underdevelopment

Year 2

The second year builds on Year 1, looking in more depth at the history of geographical thought, the economic and cultural sub-fields of geography, the core practical disciplines of planning, and planning’s application to environmental issues. A stream on geographical research provides a review of research techniques and issues, and also acts as an introduction to the dissertation to be completed in the third year.

You will study:

  • Spaces of Production: Economic Geography
  • Geographical Ideas
  • Practising Geographical Research
  • Culture, Space and Place
  • Political Geography: Place, Space and Power

And choose one option from:

  • Planning Law and Practice
  • Environmental Policies and Planning

Year 3

The third year pulls together the modules on planning and on geography in a year-long core module that culminates in a field visit. This and the dissertation are compulsory. You will then be able to choose the remaining three modules from a range of options.

You will study:

  • •Research Dissertation
  • Geography and Planning

And choose three options from:

  • Contemporary International Planning
  • Planning Theory and Practice
  • Rural Society, Planning and Space
  • Cities
  • Transport Planning and Travel Behaviour
  • Demography and Health
  • Housing Policies and Systems

Our approach is based upon a commitment to provide the highest quality teaching to our students. As far as possible, we aim to teach students in small groups because we believe that this encourages a more positive learning environment between staff and students and amongst students themselves. Typically you will study six modules per year, and will receive 15 hours of guided study per week. Teaching takes place through a variety of methods, including lectures, seminars, field study visits, studio work and workshops. Subject-based teaching is enriched by opportunities to participate in study skills training, employability workshops, and interaction with high profile speakers from academia, policy and business, who contribute to the School's Innovation and Engagement programme.

Our degrees are designed with your employability to the fore. The programmes have a strong identity, designed to build knowledge year on year, with internal coherence and strong identity, leading to the development of critical skills, academic insight and professional awareness that allows for the potential of each student to be realised.

We encourage innovation and creativity in the delivery and assessment of teaching and learning, for example the use of digital media and field study visits. You will receive skills training from presentation of critical thinking through film-based assessments. Forms of assessment will equip you for the demands of a changing workplace; from individual academic essays and policy

Typical A-level Offer


Geography A-level. General Studies is not accepted.

Typical WBQ Offer  Pass the Advanced Diploma and grades AA-AB at A- level.
Typical Int Bacc Offer  35-34 points
Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.

A list of commonly accepted alternative entry qualifications and admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be read here.

In 2012, 92% of the School’s graduates were either in employment or engaged in further study within six months of graduation.

Our graduates occupy key positions in national and local governments, business consultancies, sustainable energy centres, environmental agencies, housing strategy companies, construction, surveying and are active in both the public and private sectors.

The course teaches a broad base of conceptual and practical skills, which enable graduates to enter a range of professions in the public and private sectors. The course has an exceptional record of graduate-level entry into employment, with recent students having secured jobs in such diverse areas as local government, planning, education, international development, management, business and finance, surveying, environmental organisations and the civil service, both in the UK and abroad.

Recent Graduates will also be able to move on to higher degrees, including the MSc Planning Practice and Research and the MSc International Planning and Development degrees which are fully recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Peter Mackie Admissions Tutor 

Telephone: 029 2087 6223 



School Website:

School Contact

Name: General Admissions  

Telephone: 02920 876087 



More information

School of Planning and Geography