Planning, Geography and Environment (VVS1)

Please Note: Entry to GPEP is only possible through DN063 - Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy.

Curricular information is subject to change

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

BA Planning, Geography and Environment is a multidisciplinary programme that bridges topics of concern to built environment professionals and those interested in geographic phenomena and the environment.  The programme integrates disciplinary knowledge from several subject areas to deepen and broaden students’ understanding of spatial, environmental, social and economic issues.  Particular focus is given to planning and policy responses to such issues. The programme promotes a knowledge-based and evidence-based approach to creative problem-solving that supports the realisation of a more equitable and sustainable world.



The programme provides a learning environment that encourages a balance of teamwork and individual projects that develop the students’ capacity to critically reflect on how people interact with their environments and understand the improvements needed to enhance their quality of life.  Studios are an important element of the programme and are complemented by lectures, seminars and computer laboratories.  The programme employs case study learning, group work projects, planning and policy analysis/formulation, critical writing as well as student presentations to create an effective and constructive learning environment that maximises student engagement with the programme’s content.  


1 - Demonstrate comprehension of planning, geography and environment as both individual bodies of knowledge, and as interrelated fields of research.
2 - Critically evaluate concepts, challenge assumptions and synthesise a broad array of perspectives.
3 - Appreciate the importance of spatially orientated research in developing creative solutions.
4 - Work with established methods in gathering, analysing and evaluating various forms of data pertinent to planning, geographical and environmental policy research.
5 - Show competence in commutating research and articulating new concepts.
6 - Work successfully both on an individual basis and as a collaborating team member.
7 - Display capacity for the context sensitive analysis of the multidimensional issues pertaining to the geographic areas in which and on which they work.
8 - Apply the knowledge and skills learned to creatively develop context sensitive problem-solving strategies across a range of planning and environmental policy issues.
9 - Exhibit aptitude to assess challenges and formulate workable solutions across various contexts and scales, from site design to the international policy arena.
10 - Understand and critically reflect on the ethical implications of existing, proposed and potential activities across the fields of planning, geography and environmental policy.
11 - Have a broader awareness of related bodies of knowledge and fields of activity.
If you are interested in both the built and natural environment together with human impacts on and interaction with that environment a degree in Geography, Planning & Environmental Policy will provide you with a unique way to further your interests.

The degree integrates subjects that will deepen and broaden your understanding of environmental, social and economic issues and set these in a practical policy context. A degree in Geography, Planning & Environmental Policy provides you with both strong analytical skills and the ability to think critically about the built and natural environment.

In addition this degree provides the first steps to pursuing a career as a professional planner.

In Stage 1, you will be provided with a comprehensive introduction to each of the three subject areas of Geography, Spatial Planning & Environmental Policy. The compulsory modules begin to develop your awareness of the physical layout and design of rural and urban areas, and provide insights into the geography of cities and the history of planning.

At Stage 2, you will develop a more in-depth understanding of the policy context of the planning system, by exploring the interaction and interdependencies of land use, transportation, urban design and social and economic issues. You will also develop a deeper understanding of key geographical topics, including climatology, globalisation, cultural geography, urbanisation, geomorphology and historical geography.

You may have the opportunity to go abroad after completing Year 2, and transfer from the three-year BA to the four-year BA (International) degree. After spending your year abroad, and passing at least 30 ECTS credits, you then return to complete a final stage in UCD.

The year abroad takes place when you have accumulated at least 110 credits and satisfied any subject prerequisites, adding a fourth year to the BA programme and turning it into a BA International.

Currently the School has a number of exchange agreements in place with European universities and recent students have travelled to Barcelona, Grenoble, Pisa and Berlin. A grant is available to cover travel and associated expenses.

UCD also has exchange agreements with universities in Canada, the US, Australia and Japan, which provide a unique chance to undertake your own independent studies at other universities and see another part of the world at the same time.

The final step towards your career as a planner is to complete a one year specialist master’s in planning in UCD: either the Master’s of Regional & Urban Planning or the MSc in 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 as planners in:

  • Government & local authorities
  • Planning & environmental consultancies
  • Local & regional development organisations
  • Private companies (marketing/location/real estate/ infrastructure)
  • Stage 2

    Students must take 50 credits of core/options at Stage 2.

    Stage 3

    Students must take 50 credits of core/options at Stage 3.

    Module ID Module Title Trimester Credits
    Stage 3 Core Modules
         
    ENVP30010 Environmental Management Autumn

    5

    ENVP30030 Climate Policy and Politics Autumn

    5

    PLAN30010 Transport, Environment & Sustainability Autumn

    5

    PLAN30020 Placemaking: Urban and Rural Design Autumn

    5

    PLAN30040 Planning, Society and Diversity Autumn

    5

    LAW37460 Planning Law Spring

    5

    PLAN30030 Rural & Landscape Planning Spring

    5

    PLAN30060 Regional Innovation Spring

    5

    PLAN30080 Energy Transitions Spring

    10

    Stage 3 Core Modules
         
    Stage 3 Options - A)MIN0OF:
    Students must register to a minimum of 50 Programme Credits (Core/Options). Students may register to 10 Elective Credits or select Option Modules from the list below, in order to fulfill their Stage requirements. These modules should be selected to balanced workload of 30 credits per trimester.
         
    ARCT20040 History & Theory of the Designed Environment III - Survey Course 2 Autumn

    5

    GEOG30300 Social/Population Geography Autumn

    5

    Stage 3 Options - A)MIN0OF:
    Students must register to a minimum of 50 Programme Credits (Core/Options). Students may register to 10 Elective Credits or select Option Modules from the list below, in order to fulfill their Stage requirements. These modules should be selected to balanced workload of 30 credits per trimester.
         
    Stage 4 Core Modules
         
    ENVP30010 Environmental Management Autumn

    5

    ENVP30030 Climate Policy and Politics Autumn

    5

    PLAN30010 Transport, Environment & Sustainability Autumn

    5

    PLAN30020 Placemaking: Urban and Rural Design Autumn

    5

    PLAN30040 Planning, Society and Diversity Autumn

    5

    LAW37460 Planning Law Spring

    5

    PLAN30030 Rural & Landscape Planning Spring

    5

    PLAN30060 Regional Innovation Spring

    5

    PLAN30080 Energy Transitions Spring

    10

    Stage 4 Core Modules
         
    Stage 4 Options - A)MIN0OF:
    Students must register to a minimum of 50 Programme Credits (Core/Options). Students may register to 10 Elective Credits or select Option Modules from the list below, in order to fulfill their Stage requirements. These modules should be selected to balanced workload of 30 credits per trimester.
         
    ARCT20040 History & Theory of the Designed Environment III - Survey Course 2 Autumn

    5

    GEOG30300 Social/Population Geography Autumn

    5


    (Google Chrome is recommended when printing this page)