Other options

If you study Urban Planning and Design BEng at XJTLU you can choose from these options to study at the University of Liverpool on the XJTLU 2+2 programme.

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Environment and Planning BA (Hons): XJTLU 2+2 programme

Course details

This degree programme gives you a full understanding of the primary environmental challenges of the 21st century and provides you with the skills base to help address them.

Course overview

You will develop a broad overview of how our towns, cities and regions have developed and have an opportunity to specialise in environmental or urban regeneration issues. You’ll gain a rounded understanding of the factors and forces that are shaping the environment and the role that planning can play in reconciling competing and conflicting interests. Attention is focused on approaches to the protection and enhancement of natural and built environments in a rapidly changing world.

Over the past thirty years Liverpool has been transformed economically, socially and environment. Staff and students from the University of Liverpool have been part of these changes as they have been observing, reflecting and helping local planners, developers and communities to shape these changes. This makes Liverpool an ideal urban laboratory to study how our world is changing.

An interdisciplinary approach to your studies provides learning opportunities that draw upon the expertise of academics in Planning as well as academics in the departments of Geography, Sociology and Architecture. This programme provides accreditation from the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).

Course content and modules

Year two

In year two, you begin to develop your specialism in spatial planning for environmental change through the core module Environmental Sustainability (ENVS218). This module introduces you to the interactions of environmental policy and practice, and the management of environmental issues. The forces and factors that are influencing the way in which towns and cities are evolving are also examined in further core modules.

You also continue to develop critical thinking and communication skills to enable you to analyse material and communicate ideas effectively. Project work also enables you to develop an awareness of the methodological and spatial design issues that arise in the development of planning schemes. The residential field class undertaken in year two is part of the module Rural Planning Field Class and takes you into the field to examine environmental, social and economic issues in a rural setting.

On the 2+2 programme, you'll study your third and fourth years at the University of Liverpool. These will be year two and year three of the University of Liverpool's programme of study.


Environmental Sustainability (ENVS218)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Environmental concerns have become increasingly pressing over the last few decades, especially the global challenge of climate change. Environmental sustainability directs our attention to finding new approaches and methods for many of our activities and is an increasingly accepted principle that many professions are seeking to work out in practice.

This module explores the notion of environmental sustainability particularly within the context of urban planning. In this context, it can help us to develop the places where we live in a way that makes them cleaner, more energy efficient and better adapted to climate change, and that provides more biodiversity and a better quality of life. Planners, geographers and environmental scientists can all contribute to achieving a more sustainable world around us.

Rural Planning (ENVS289)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module explores the need to carefully think about the planning, development and change that affects our rural areas, particularly in terms of the goods and services they provide to a predominantly urban population. The module is taught through lectures and workshops and includes a compulsory residential field class to rural Britain.

GIS for Planners (ENVS279)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

Through this module you will gain competence in the use of GIS for applications related to Planning. You will develop skills in the use of cutting edge software and analytical techniques through the exploration of real world case study applications. The module is delivered through guided practical classes and independent study, supported by programme of lectures and illustrative material.

People and Place (ENVS205)

Credits: 30 / Semester: whole session

This year-long module focuses on the relationships between people and the places they live, work, study and relax in. Through reflecting upon these relationships, students continue to develop the skills they need to study and practice planning, including the ability to carry out independent research. Much of this work is done through exploring real-life issues in the city of Liverpool, its wider city region and neighbouring counties.

Strategic Plan Making (ENVS210)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module provides an introduction to the methods and techniques that are used in the preparation and implementation of strategic plans and policies.

Urban Morphology and Place-Making (ENVS256)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

​The aim of this module is to introduce the history, theories and practice of urban design as the principal means of creating and protecting the quality of ‘place’ in the urban fabric. It teaches the basic techniques and skills required to achieve an understanding the character and quality of places, including the key components of urban form and the main theories behind place making.


An Introduction to Environmental History (ENVS223)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module explores the course of human history, examining the interaction of people with the environment, moving through the different stages of human development, from early agrarian based developments in the Neolithic 9000 years ago, through to modern agricultural practices and landscape management. The following topics and concepts are introduced and examined:

Landscape geography, cultural ecology and environmental history.

Philosophical insights into environmental history, how have societies viewed and understood the environment.

Agriculture and the environment, long term perspectives and present day issues i.e. the environmental impact of hunting and gathering societies.

The agricultural revolution of the Neolithic and its impact, the impact of pre-industrial agriculture and some environmental issues raised by contemporary agriculture.

An ecological history of industrialisation and population growth, i.e. population resources and environment in an industrialised world.

Perils of a restless planet: an introduction to hazard research.

The module uses wide ranging literature and case studies to explore a range of human-environment interactions (fuel, food, water, culture and space), exploring how human activities have modified, and been modified, by their environments, and how sudden changes whether natural or human induced have changed this relationship.  

This module has proven popular over the years and is of relevance and interest to both social scienceand physical science based students.

Comparing Welfare States (SOCI207)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

Based on Esping-Andersen’s classic analysis of the ‘three worlds of welfare capitalism’, this module provides a framework for comparing welfare states, i.e. ‘the mixed economy of welfare’ in different ‘welfare regimes’: including the ‘liberal’ regime in America, the ‘conservative’ regime in Germany and the ‘social democratic’ regime in Sweden. It examines the ways in which these different regimes emerged historically, how they organise and deliver welfare, the social, political and economic priorities they embody, the outcomes they have for different social groups, including their role in the production of inequalities, and their prospects for the future.

Exploring the Social World (ENVS225)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module aims to introduce students to the key methodological debates, and the main qualitative and quantitative methodological techniques that are used in the Social Sciences. In doing so, the module aims to deliver the methods research skills training that will enable students to successfully complete their field classes and dissertations.

Political Economies of Globalisation (ENVS264)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module introduces students to the study of globalisation in the early 21st century. In the 19th and 20th centuries there were big debates between those who think things work best when people are left to decide how they want to live and get what they need by trading with each other, and those who wanted a communist society where people get what they need and contribute what they can to the common good. Of course it did not work out that way, and now for many people free markets, or neoliberalism is the only serious game in town. The course examines those debates before moving on to examine case studies of how they have worked out in practice.

Population and Societies (ENVS221)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

​This module aims to provide a general introduction to the field of population geography, in which a basic demographic understanding of population change is placed within a spatial framework, allowing exploration of the nature and causes of national, societal and cultural differences in these changes. This module is also designed to serve as the foundation block for those interested in pursuing a population geography or GIS/Spatial Analysis ‘pathway’.

Your experience

The Department of Geography and Planning forms part of our School of Environmental Sciences and is based in the Roxby building. Teaching will take place here and in a number of other world-leading facilities that have benefitted from a £1.38million investment.

Virtual tour

What students say...

The city itself is an excellent model for many urban planning projects, for example, like the Albert Dock Regeneration Project. In the classes, professors often use Liverpool as an example to explain many theories.

Zhu Muhan, BA (Hons) Environment and Planning