Chartered Town Planning Degree Apprenticeship

Enquiries about the chartered town planner degree apprenticeship for the September 2020 intake are open, applications will open at a later stage.


The programme aims to provide students with the knowledge and practical skills required by planners today, including sustainable development, plan and policy-making, development management, design and ‘place-shaping’, development viability and delivery, and community facilitation, negotiation and mediation, alongside their own work-based experience with their employer. 

The distinctive strengths of the programme are: the mix of academic and practice based learning; research-informed teaching; regional specialisms; a multi-disciplinary approach; an emphasis on key skills and professionalism; and a culture of support for student learning. 

The programme is delivered on the basis of one day release per week (Year 1 Tuesdays; Year 2 Thursdays) at the campus of the University of Plymouth in Plymouth. The attendance requirements would be one day per week for 30 weeks per annum. The programme has also been fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute and the End Point Assessment is the RTPI’s Assessment of Professional Competence, which provides a route to Chartered Membership of the professional body.

Who is the course for?

This degree apprenticeship is intended for the professional development of existing planning staff through a professionally accredited education qualification, whilst gaining practical experience in the work place. Eligible employees are those with at least a lower second class honors degree in a related-subject or at least five years of professional experience in planning as a practitioner.

Areas of specialisms

  • @ Spatial Planning core knowledge and skills: planning theories, policy and plan-making, development management, research for evidence base, urban design, professional skills and behaviours
  • @ Optional specialism module: Rural Planning
  • @ Optional specialism module: Coastal Urban Regeneration
  • @ Research project based on area of specialism

Course facts

Duration: 2.5 years

Hours of study per week: Class-based 6 hours; Independent study 8 hours

Delivery e.g. online/day release: Day release (Year 1 Tuesdays; Year 2 Thursdays)

Entry requirements: For the Level 7 qualification this will be at least a lower second class honours degree in a related-subject or at least five years of professional experience in planning as a practitioner.

Other key facts: The programme is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Core Skills

1. Knowledge and understanding of planning: Planning theory, policy and practice; planning and related law; political framework; sustainability and resource management; place-making and urban design; stakeholder engagement and community involvement; economic framework; professional ethics and ethical framework.  

2. Key and transferable skills: communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral, written and visual means to a range of audiences and stakeholders in a professional context; undertake effective research information sourcing to establish an evidence base; collate, analyse and interpret data in quantitative and qualitative forms; and work independently and organise his/her own learning. 

3.  Employment-related skills: preparation of plans, policies and related documents; plan implementation; creative vision and design; critical analysis and decision-making; stakeholder management and leadership; project management; collaborative and multi-disciplinary working; and interpersonal skills.  

 4. Professional behaviours: demonstrate awareness and understanding of professional working, roles, responsibilities and ethical values; demonstrate negotiation, mediation, leadership, advocacy and networking skills likely to facilitate collaborative policy formulation and implementation; engage effectively in reflection and action planning for personal and career development; prepare for the RTPI’s Assessment of Professional Competence through a range of professional and work-based experiences; and appreciate the importance of life-long, work-based learning and reflect critically on their career plans and skills needs.

Benefits to the business

1.   Up-skilling of existing planning staff and practitioners.

2.   Increased productivity and professionalism.

3.   Provides route to staff becoming Chartered Members of the RTPI.

4.   Advantages for retention and recruitment of staff.


Benefits to the apprentice

1.  Improved knowledge and skills of planning for professional development.

2.  Opportunities for the acquisition of skills and experience in a range of professional contexts.

3.  Provides a route to Chartered Membership of the professional body, the Royal Town Planning Institute.

4.  Professional development and promotion opportunities.

Chartered Town Planner Degree Apprenticeship staff