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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 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 fuse the conceptual and topical approaches within human geography with the professionalism and policy-relevance of planning.

The BSc Geography (Human) and Planning programme places emphasis on drawing together the geography and planning disciplines, to develop a problem-solving approach to pressing social and environmental issues. Among other things, the programme provides you with a solid grasp of planning policies, issues and processes and their geographical contexts. You will gain an understanding of global, national and local processes of change, including key environmental, social, cultural, political and economic trends. Correspondingly, you will explore the role that planning plays in shaping the effects of these processes on different places. Overall, the course examines the changing nature of spaces and places, the relationship between society and space, and the roles of the state.


Geography (Human)and Planning BSc BSc

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.

What makes us special?

  • Teaching Excellence: We consistently achieve high ratings in the National Student Survey with a 100% satisfaction rate in 2014
  • Research Excellence: We ranked top in our field in the latest Research Assessment Exercise
  • Professional links and employability: In 2013 90% of our graduates were in employment or further study within six months of graduating. A further 5% were pursuing other activities (e.g. travel)
  • Facilities: The School is based in the Grade II* listed Glamorgan Building and most of our teaching is delivered 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
Accreditation This degree will be recognised by The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) from the 2015/16 academic year.
Typical places available The School admits c140 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Typical applications received c750
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAA-ABB
Admissions Tutors Dr Christopher Bear
Tel Number 029 2087 6087
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.

Year 1

The first year provides an introduction to the core areas of Human Geography and Planning. Modules cover foundational issues such as the nature of geographical thinking, globalisation, urban development, the key ideas and approaches within planning, and the relevance of social diversity to planning policy and practice. Students will also develop the essential skills for accessing and processing information.

You will study:

  • The Geographical Imagination: 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 the foundations provided in 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:

  • Contemporary Geographical Ideas
  • Developing Research Methods
  • Environmental Policies and Planning
  • Rural Geography

Plus two options from:

  • Culture, Space and Place
  • Spaces of Production: Economic Geography
  • Political Geography: Place, Space and Power
  • Governing People and Places

Year 3

The third year pulls together the modules on planning and on geography in a combined Geography and Planning module. You also work towards your research dissertation, under the guidance of a specialist academic supervisor. You will then be able to choose the remaining three modules from a range of options, which include a number of Field Study Visits (FSVs) to various destinations. The options and FSVs are designed to enable you to specialise in particular topic areas and develop your own pathway through the degree.

You will study:

  • Research Dissertation
  • Geography and Planning

Plus three option modules from:

  • Contemporary International Planning
  • Planning Theory and Practice
  • Geographies of the Developing World
  • Cities and Social Justice
  • Sustainable Transport
  • Demography and Health
  • Housing Policies and Systems

And one choice from the following Field Study Visits:

  • Geographies of Hong Kong
  • Geographies of Las Vegas and Los Angeles
  • Geographies of Dar es Salaam

Visit the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography website for more information about course structure, modules and credits.

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 reports for a range of stakeholders, to group presentations.

Typical A-level Offer


Geography A-level. General Studies is not accepted.

Typical WBQ Offer Grade A in the Core and grades AA-AB at A-level, including Geography.
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 2013, 90% of our graduates were in employment or further study within six months of graduating and a further 5% were pursuing other activities (e.g. travel).

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.

There are numerous exciting and varied career opportunities available to students graduating from the BSc City and Regional Planning. These include careers in planning, surveying, design and development, as well as fields such as transport, economic development and urban regeneration. In particular, opportunities exist to practise in local planning authorities, central government, neighbourhood planning organisations, transport organisations, private planning consultancies, private developers and environmental organisations in the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and even further afield.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: General Admissions  

Telephone: 02920 876087 



School Contact

Name: Dr Christopher Bear  

Telephone: 029 2087 6087 



More information

School of Planning and Geography