City Planning & Design - Higher Level Apprenticeship
In a world facing environmental, social and economic challenges, how we manage changes to our natural and built environments will be crucial for our future. In our urbanised world, how we design and plan our cities impacts our environmental sustainability, health and even happiness. This programme will equip you with the skills to be part of making progressive changes in your place.
In practice, there is a common tension between those developing and interpreting planning policy on the one hand, and the designers of cities on the other. This programme brings these groups together to engage in project-based learning. You will develop planning research, urban analysis and design skills before deciding whether to complete an urban design thesis or dissertation. Both of these options can be completed as work-based studies with opportunities for summer placements.
Please note: This course is subject to renewal approval by the Department for the Economy.
The HLA is a work / study programme so you will already be in employment, or have a firm offer of employment from a company in a planning-related sector which supports your application. Related sectors include: community development, environmental, housing, architecture, landscape architecture, renewable energy, built heritage, legal, development and construction.
You will have a keen interest in planning, urbanism and placemaking. You may already have experience of working in the field – hands on experience is not necessary for starting the course, but it can be useful.
City Planning And Design Higher Level Apprenticeship Highlights
This course is unique having been driven by engagement with practice rather than adhering to traditional academic subject areas. The core skills that urban designers and planners need have been clearly defined and form the basis for the course.
Learning and Teaching
Learning and teaching is split into the following:
Demonstrator-led IT skills tutorials to ensure students develop GIS and data visualisation skills such as proficiency in Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch Up.
A key component to all group projects whereby tutors offer feedback on student ideas in small groups during the completion of live projects for professional clients.
This is an essential part of life as a Queen's student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Student-led thematic presentations that address major global themes are a crucial part of this programme. Placing the emphasis to research and interpret relevant information on the student allows for the programme to incorporate and fulfil their interests.
The MSc is designed to allow you to develop real world project management skills through the completion of live design projects for local authority and community sector clients. You will also acquire urban and data analysis skills that you can use to develop strategic regeneration policies and design solutions. The course content gives theoretical and practical coverage across a wide variety of topics including:
• Green infrastructure
• The Inclusive City
• Urban Technological Developments
• Low carbon transition
• Critical Heritage Perspectives
• Cities and the e-economy
• Planning the Urban-Rural dialectic
• Demographic challenges
• The future of urban housing
• Health in future cities
Comparative Urban Design (20 CATS)
Spatial Literacy (20 CATS)
Urban Futures (20 CATS)
Future Planning Practice (20 CATS)
Planning for Sustainable Communities (20 CATS)
Approaches to Development (20 CATS)
Thesis (60 CATS)
Year 1, Semester 1
EVP7039 - Spatial Literacy (20 CATS)
EVP7040 - Urban Futures (20 CATS)
Year 1, Semester 2
EVP7043 - Planning for Sustainable Communities (20 CATS).
Year 2, Semester 1
EVP7038 - Comparative Urban Design (20 CATS)
Year 2, Semester 2
EVP7041 - Approaches to Development (20 CATS)
EVP7042 - Future Planning Practice (20 CATS)
Year 2, Semester 3
EVP7044 - Thesis (60 CATS)
Students failing more than 20 CATS points worth of taught modules will not normally be permitted to progress on to the Thesis Module. A student who has failed one 20 CATS taught module will normally be allowed to progress to the Thesis Module at the student's risk. If a student fails the Thesis Module on a second attempt, a post-graduate Diploma may be awarded.
Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a relevant subject.
Applicants with qualifications below 2.2 Honours degree standard, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University, will be considered on a case-by-case basis, if they can demonstrate appropriate acceptable experience.
The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL).
Please visit http://go.qub.ac.uk/RPLpolicy for more information.
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English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.
Students wishing to apply for this Higher-Level Apprenticeship should also upload their CV and a letter of support from their employer (combined in one file). The employer's letter of support must state that the employer supports their application, that they are prepared to release them from work for one day per week to attend the course, and that, if they are an existing employee, they need this qualification for a new role. The new role can be a change of title/role within the company.
This Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) is fully funded by the DfE therefore it is not open to international applicants. Further information on eligibility criteria for Higher Level Apprenticeships can be found at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/higher-level-apprenticeships
The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2022. However, we encourage applicants to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.
2 academic years part-time.
1 day of teaching per week.
Post Course Info
Our graduates end up in leading positions in central and local government as well as in planning consultancies in the private sector. Some of them have gone on to lead significant environmental campaigns such as opposition to fracking; work with NGOs such as Friends of the Earth; and work with communities to make their neighbourhoods better, such as with disadvantaged groups.
Employment after the Course
Examples of employment: Urban Design and Planning practices, Research institutions, GIS companies, Housing organisations, Community Advocacy Groups, Environmental and Community sector NGOs.
Graduate employers include:- Belfast City Council, Department for Infrastructure and other public and private sector planning consultancies.