City Planning & Environmental Policy

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN130
CAO Points Range 2020: 390-407
Length of Course: 3 Years (+ 1 year Master's programme)
Average Intake: 25

Leaving Certificate:

O6/H7 in English, Irish, Mathematics, and three other recognised subjects

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

If you are interested in both the built and natural environment, and how human actions affect the environment, a degree in City Planning & Environmental Policy offers you a unique opportunity to further your interests. The degree integrates subjects that will deepen and broaden your understanding of environmental, social and economic issues, and sets these in a practical policy context.

A degree in City Planning & Environmental Policy provides you with strong analytical skills, as well as the ability to think critically about development and environmental issues. This degree provides the first steps to pursuing a career as a professional planner, urban designer or environmental policy expert.

Key Fact: This course is recognised by both the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Irish Planning Institute (IPI).

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

The final step towards your career as a planner, urban designer or environmental policy analyst is to complete a one-year specialist Master’s in Planning at UCD: The Master of Regional & Urban Planning, the Master of Urban Design & Planning or the Master of Environmental Policy. This will ensure you gain the necessary professional accreditations, including that of the Irish Planning Institute and the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Graduates find employment in:

  • Government and local authorities
  • Planning and environmental consultancies
  • Local and regional development organisations
  • Private companies (marketing/location/real estate/ infrastructure)
  • Non-governmental organisations (environmental/heritage/international development)

What Will I Study

On entering first year, you will be introduced to a host of new ideas and concepts. Building your knowledge and skills throughout the first year of the programme, you will progressively gain insight into the complexity of our taken-for-granted world and how we can constructively respond to the challenges we face. A small class size and the interactive learning environment ensures an enjoyable experience that stimulates creativity and ownership of your career path.

The degree in City Planning & Environmental Policy includes modules in:

First Year

  • Introduction to Spatial Planning
  • Environmental Change & Policy
  • History of City Planning
  • Urban Design
  • Environmental Economics
  • Inequality & Social Justice in Irish Society
  • Planning & Development Studio

Second Year

  • Local Planning
  • Community Development & Planning
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Smart Cities
  • Urban & Regional Economics
  • Case Studies in Environmental Policy
  • Social Spacial Dynamics
  • Rural Change
  • Development & Planning

Third Year

  • Housing Policy
  • Neighbourhood & Homes
  • Planning Law
  • Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Environmental Management
  • Planning, Society & Diversity
  • Place Making
  • Environmental Transportation Planning
  • Climate Policy & Politics
  • Rural & Landscape Planning

The modules are delivered in a variety of formats, including lectures, labs and studios. They comprise individual and team-based work and assessment, as well as end-of-trimester examinations.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

International Study Opportunities

Students have the opportunity in their third year to spend a year studying abroad either inside or outside Europe. Students who opt for this international experience will complete their undergraduate studies in four years (rather than three).


“By choosing to pursue Planning & Environmental Policy here at UCD, I have been exposed to a wide range of contemporary urban issues – from social inequality and cultural discrimination to urban housing crises and global economic disparities which are all paradoxical to the growth of cities and can be remediated through better planning. The degree equipped me with key analytical, mapping and design skills through lectures, studio projects and various field trips. Studying in UCD and pursuing my degree at the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy has been an invaluable experience for me and has prepared me to step up to future challenges as an urban planner. ”

Chatnam Lee, Graduate

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