BSc Planning and Real Estate / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

I've done a site analysis project in one of my courses. We had to plan a site visit to a dam and produce an analysis of it and provide ways to improve it.

It was amazing as it enabled us to come up with creative but practical ideas to solve the problem. I found it challenging, yet also fun and interesting!

Kai Ho / BSc Planning and Real Estate student

BSc (Hons) Planning and Real Estate is a three-year degree which will provide you with the core academic and professional training required to effectively plan, develop, and manage all aspects of our built and natural environments.

Effective planning, development, and management of our cities, towns, and natural environment is crucial in an age when governments and societies all over the world are struggling to deliver sustainable development.

Understanding and engaging with the opportunities and challenges facing the communities and places in which we live, work, and play is at the heart of what we do in the department of Planning, Property and Environmental Management at The University of Manchester.

The course is ideal if you:

  • are passionate about the factors that influence society and want to learn about the economic, political and socio-environmental systems, and how to manage these interactions sustainably;
  • want to take a vocationally led degree that equips you with a wide range of hands-on technical, design, critical, decision-making, and communication skills that make you highly employable;
  • want to diversify your learning outside of lectures, enjoying a variety of field visits, work placement opportunities, working for 'real-world clients', and the option to study abroad for a semester.

BSc Planning and Real Estate is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as well as a spatial qualification by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

To acquire full accreditation by the RTPI, you must also complete a specialist qualification, which can be achieved by transferring onto one of our two integrated master's courses .

Manchester is a great place to study planning and real estate. It is a major UK city undergoing rapid urban change, which provides an ideal base for exploring urban development pressures and how these shape economic, social, and environmental futures.

Developing an appreciation of the interaction of people, the economy, and the politics of development are central to this process and your studies in Manchester.

The city is also ideally placed for you to learn about a wide variety of rural environments which have significant implications for planning and real estate markets, including three spectacular National Parks, areas of intensive farming, and impressive coastlines.

Special features


This course is fully accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and partially accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) - meaning you'll be well set up for a professional career in planning or real estate after you graduate.

Local fieldwork

Conduct fieldwork on a local scale, exploring the city of Manchester and its surrounding areas to supplement your studies and assessments.

International fieldwork

This course normally includes a field trip to a European country during your second year, where you can put what you have learnt so far into practice.

Study abroad

Apply to spend one semester studying abroad at one of our exchange partners in Europe, the US, South East Asia, or Australia.

Teaching and learning

We combine traditional lecture-based teaching with tutorials, seminars and workshop sessions.Practical and digital skills, such as Geographic Information System (GIS), Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator - as well as general computer skills - are taught in university computer suites.

This work is accompanied by group work in tutorials and workshops, as well as standard lectures, giving you an overall hands-on learning experience.Project-based learning, incorporating applied design work, field research and study visits are integral to our BSc PRE course.

These projects provide an excellent opportunity for you to integrate your knowledge and skills and apply them to real situations - exposing you to professional practice.

Important notice The School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) recognises the value of fieldwork. However, the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our priority. The School will assess on a regular basis the viability of any travel and fieldwork and communicate any significant changes to our students at the earliest possible opportunity.

The ability of fieldwork and travel to proceed, and whether any changes to proposed fieldwork and travel might be necessary, will remain subject to factors such as the:

  • rules and guidance on travel and activities implemented and published by the UK and overseas governments;
  • outcome of any risk assessments conducted by the educational value and student experience of the fieldwork, if significant changes to the proposed fieldwork would be necessary;
  • availability of appropriate insurance cover;
  • availability of appropriate travel and accommodation and any significant changes to their financial costs.

All fieldwork and travel will be subject to a rigorous risk assessment process and the implementation of any protective measures identified by the risk assessment to ensure the health and safety of all our students and staff.

In some circumstances, it may become necessary to make changes to fieldwork or programme related travel. The University will notify you of those changes at the earliest opportunity. If any fieldwork does not go ahead as planned, then the School's focus will be on seeking to offer a suitable alternative and ensure that the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) of the programme are met.

Please note that countries may change their immigration and visa regulations at short notice. The School cannot guarantee that where visas are required for fieldwork, they will be granted but we will take steps so that if a visa is refused, affected students are not academically disadvantaged.

Coursework and assessment

We place strong emphasis on coursework and continuous assessment.

Coursework takes a variety of forms - from essays and reports, to posters, oral presentations and project demonstrations (sometimes to practising professionals). We also incorporate lots of opportunities for feedback on non-assessed work so that you can be confident about your progress.

Your dissertation, which takes place in the third year, will draw together the different strands of the course and allow you to study a subject that really interests you.

You will work with an individual supervisor to conceive, plan, execute and write up an independent and novel piece of research.

Course content for year 1

Year 1 provides a broad introduction to the fundamentals of planning and real estate, including introducing core principles and practices that underpin urban development, real estate and urban economics, placemaking and sustainable communities. You will use Manchester as your ‘living laboratory' seeing the opportunities and challenges of fast-paced development in an internationally famous, vibrant city.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Designing Sustainable Futures PLAN10031 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Planning and Development PLAN10041 20 Mandatory
Applied Project PLAN10092 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Real Estate PLAN10201 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Urban and Environmental Economics PLAN10352 20 Mandatory
Rural Planning PLAN10362 10 Optional
Principles of Real Estate Law PLAN10622 10 Optional
Place-making PLAN10632 10 Optional

Course content for year 2

In Year 2, you will begin to specialise your knowledge and skills. This includes understanding policies, regulations and processes that guide development, introducing core principles on urban design and understanding how to value properties.

This year also provides you with an opportunity to start tailoring your degree to your specific interests with optional course units and gaining some work experience through taking an optional short-term placement. You can also normally apply to spend one semester studying abroad at one of our exchange partners in Europe, North America, South East Asia and Australia.

Year 2 also starts to develop your skills in collecting and analysing data ready for conducting independent research in your third year. As part of this, the course normally includes a residential field visit to a European country where you can apply your learning in a different context.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Sustainable Development Project PLAN20072 20 Mandatory
Applied Research for Planning and Real Estate PLAN20172 20 Mandatory
Plan Making & the Development Process PLAN20181 20 Mandatory
Policy for Cities and Regions PLAN20381 10 Mandatory
Valuation & Appraisal PLAN21012 20 Mandatory
Data Analytics for Planning & Real Estate PLAN26041 10 Mandatory
Professional Placement PLAN20090 20 Optional
Environmental Planning and Impact Assessment PLAN20521 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

In Year 3 you will develop your planning and real estate specialism further. This will include learning the fundamental components of planning and property law, exploring specific aspects of urban development such as housing provision and acquiring specific insights into the ethical perspectives of planning, vital for your move into the profession.

In this year, you will also undertake a piece of independent research on a topic of your choice - your dissertation. To help you through this process, you will be guided by one of our internationally recognised academics specialising. in planning or real estate. Your research may be field-based, undertaking desk studies or making use of our specialist School laboratory facilities.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation (UG) PLAN30000 40 Mandatory
Planning & Property Law PLAN30072 20 Mandatory
Urban Theory, Planning Ethics PLAN30081 20 Mandatory
Housing, Planning & Development PLAN30512 20 Mandatory
Real Estate Investment & Finance PLAN36011 20 Optional
Future Cities PLAN36021 20 Optional

What our students say

Read about Kai's experience in his student profile.


You can develop your digital planning skills in our computer suites with specialist design and spatial analysis software.

See facilities  for more information.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: