City Planning & Environmental Policy

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN130
CAO Points Range 2021: 420
Length of Course: 3 Years (BSc) (Hons)(+1 Year CPEP International)(+ 1 Year Master’s) (NFQ Level 9)
Average Intake: 31

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?

Our degree in City Planning & Environmental Policy is about solving complex issues that we experience in our everyday lives. How can we provide housing for everyone? How can we reduce our climate impact and conserve our natural environment? Where should we build our schools and shops?

This unique degree brings together a focus on the city, the environment and design and links them with clear routes to professions and careers. So, if you are considering a career as a qualified planner, urban designer or environmental policy analyst this degree is for you. These professions allow you to visualise new patterns and ideas for cities and to bring this vision to reality by activating social change and promoting sustainable development. This course gives you the skills to enable real world change.

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

This degree integrates an interdisciplinary approach that will deepen and broaden your understanding of environmental, social and economic issues, and sets these in a practical policy context. 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 course, you will progressively gain insight into the complexity of our taken-for-granted world and how we can constructively and sustainably 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 Studio
  • 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

  • Environmental Management
  • Climate Policy & Politics
  • Place Making
  • Planning Law
  • Rural & Landscape Planning
  • Energy Transitions
  • Planning, Society & Diversity

The modules are delivered in a variety of formats, including lectures, labs and studios. They provide opportunities for interdisciplinary research, field work and guest lectures from leading researchers, advocates and practitioners. Dublin and the surrounding region are viewed as a living lab for students learning.

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).


“I have always had a keen interest in the urban environment, how the world surrounding us works and the impact it has on our daily lives. For that reason, studying Planning & Environmental Policy at UCD was a perfect choice for me. The course exposed me to a wide range of topics including planning policy, housing, transport planning, urban economics and many more. Two years into my degree, I chose to study abroad for a year at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign which was a life changing experience. Following my undergraduate degree, I went on to do the one year Master of Regional and Urban Planning degree. The knowledge and skills that I gained throughout my studies at UCD have been invaluable in preparing me for my current career as a Planning Consultant. ”

Sally O’Sullivan, Graduate

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