Designing Cities: Planning and Architecture BA Honours

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UCAS code: 4J12 | Institution code: W50 | Attendance mode: Full-time
Start: 15 September 2018
Duration: 3 years
Location: Central London
Campus: Marylebone

Undergraduate tuition fees for 2018/19 have not yet been published but are expected to be £9,250.

Home/EU: £9,250.00
Overseas: £12,750.00

The aim of this new integrated degree course is to enable you to develop a broad understanding of urban planning and design, and the contribution they can make to sustainable development. You will be equipped to work in an international interdisciplinary context.

The course will offer the first step in becoming a professional planner with a difference – a professional planner who has skills in urban design and site planning, who can understand the forces that shape towns and cities and the challenges of climate change, and who can make a valuable contribution to sustainable development in an international context.

The assessments on this multi-disciplinary course include written and graphic work, with a creative element, therefore this course is particularly suitable for creative students who also have ability in written work.

Course content

Subjects of study

The following subjects are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.

Subjects of study include:

Year 1 (Credit Level 4)

  • Contemporary Issues in Designing Cities
  • Construction and Environmental Design
  • History of Architectural and Urban Form
  • Skills for Planning and Architecture: analysis and visual communication
  • Project: Planning for Integrated Neighbourhoods

Year 2 (Credit Level 5)

  • Strategic Spatial Planning
  • Development Process and Property Markets
  • Project: Townscape and Conservation
  • Project: Regeneration and Development (with international field trip)

Year 3 (Credit Level 6)

  • Work Experience and Professional Practice
  • Sustainability and Environment
  • Research Report
  • Project: Planning Policy and Design Intervention

Learning, Assessment and Study Visits

A variety of methods will be used to deliver this curriculum including lectures, seminars, workshops, field trips and studio-based tutorials. Approximately 50 per cent of the course is project work. All assessment of core modules involves coursework; there are no exams on core modules. This takes a variety of forms including essays, reports, case studies, presentations, sketch books, portfolios, individual and group projects.

In the first year there will be a focus on using London as a learning environment and you will study a number of different parts of the city. In the second year students will visit a city in a different national context. You will work with local community organisations to develop an understanding of the issues faced and then explore possible solutions.

Westminster electivesWestminster Elective modules icon

As part of your course you can take elective modules. Electives are an exciting opportunity to widen your experience at university and to gain skills and knowledge that will help make you more employable. Find out about Westminster electives.

Course team

The course team includes planners and architects with a broad range of experience in practice and research in different national contexts including:

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as meeting their requirements for the spatial planning element of initial planning education.

Graduates of the course would need to obtain a further qualification to meet the RTPI requirements for the specialist element of initial planning education (e.g. Urban Design MA or Transport Planning and Management MSc).

For further details of how to become a chartered town planner visit the Royal Town Planning Institute website.

Additional costs information

To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.


Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.

We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.

During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.

In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.

For more details, visit the employability section on our site.

Career Development Centre

Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.

We can help you to:

  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
  • plan your career development
  • identify your career options
  • market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
  • develop your enterprise skills

We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Work Placements

Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.

More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.

Study in the city

If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.

Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.


After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.

Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships

In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.

Personal tutoring

All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.

Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.

Language support

Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.

Personal advice and counselling

While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.

International Westminster

With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.

Study Abroad and Summer School programmes

Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.

If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.

Sport and recreation

The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.

Students' Union

University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.

Upcoming undergraduate open days

21 June 2017Undergraduate open dayCavendish, Regent Street, Little Titchfield Street, Harrow, Marylebone
View subject-specific open days

Architecture and the Built Environment

We are one of the country's leading centres for the study of Architecture and the Built Environment, covering the core subject areas that address the future shape of our cities.

Find out more in our welcome from the Dean of the faculty

Architecture and the Built Environment

Ten new Designing Cities bursaries

Ten new bursaries for the Designing Cities: Planning and Architecture BA Honours course will be available to students starting their course in September 2017.

Senior Lecturer in Planning, Dr Giulio Verdini

Giulio Verdini

Giulio Verdini talks about the course, his background and his advice to students.

An employer's view

"This course provides the base for students to work within the built environment and develop a wider appreciation of urban planning and architectural design in an international context.

"I am particularly supportive of the work placement the course offers, which will provide real-life experience and reflection that the students can apply within their future built environment careers."

Katy Neaves
Executive Chair of the Urban Design Group and Head of Visual Impact Assessment at Turley

An employer's view

“This course offers students the opportunity to develop into highly employable, well-rounded, multi skilled professionals who will be well equipped to take forward the future of our cities and support the delivery of growth.

The ethos of the course particularly resonates with me as it has been a personal commitment of mine to break down the professional silos that exist within our industry.”

Waheed Nazir
Director of Planning and Regeneration for Birmingham City Council

Meet the Academics

Lecturer and practising architect Nasser Golzari talks about the University, his work and research in social commitment in architecture

Follow our blog

Skyline at night in London

Get a taste of student life as a Designing Cities BA student through our blog.


Student facilities at Marylebone Campus.