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Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning 
91872  Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning 
University of Venda 
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
National First Degree(Min 480)  Field 12 - Physical Planning and Construction  Civil Engineering Construction 
Undefined  480  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 091/21  2021-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2030-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The purpose of this qualification is to build knowledge and competence in local economic development, regional development planning and spatial development.

This qualification enables successful graduates to:
  • Apply the knowledge and skills needed to work as professional planners.
  • Apply advanced understanding and skills in the preparation and evaluation of spatial visions and strategies and competence in the professional skills of analysis, evaluation and prescription of policy in an urban context.
  • Apply experience and understanding of community participation and engagement to develop the soft skills of partnership working in any community.
  • Acquire critical understanding of the complexity of urban design principles and practice, including sustainability issues and the development process, incorporating evaluating the financial implications of development and the factors influencing the development decision.

    The ultimate aim of this qualification is to prepare learners in urban and regional planning. These learners should be able to apply the knowledge and skills acquired towards the sustainable management of the built environment. The qualification's focus is to contribute to the strategic intervention of the built environment and sustainable use of land resources and infrastructure development on an urban scale, but particularly in the rural areas. It is envisaged that research and community outreach will link knowledge and actions in a ways that should improve public and private development decisions as they impact on urban and rural communities, places and the environment. The qualification responds to the market need for planners in the South African economy and provides quality graduates for the market. Graduates of the qualification will be able to gain membership with the South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN).

    The qualification also responds to the challenges highlighted in the Provincial Growth and Development Strategies (PGDS), Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative South Africa (ASGISA), Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA). There is a need for more planners at all levels of government particularly at the Local, District and Metropolitan Municipality levels, where there is a inadequate number of qualified planners in terms of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP), Spatial Development Framework (SDF), National Spatial Development Plan (NSDP), Land Use Management Scheme (LUMS), Integrated Transport Plan (ITP), Local Economic Development Plan (LED), Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP). 

    Learners are expected to be able to read and evaluate academic text in English and communicate information and their own ideas orally and in written text that is grammatically correct, well structured, clear and concise, using accepted standards of academic writing, at NQF Level 4.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    The Department Admission Committee will evaluate the academic background and required experience based on merit of each case. The Committee, after evaluation will make a recommendation to the School Admission Committee. The committee may require testimonials and proof of certificates.

    RPL is applied for learners who do not have formal academic achievement to gain access to a particular qualification, but proven expertise and competency will be considered. Candidates may apply for exemption from certain modules on grounds of prior qualification of study concerned.

    Access to the Qualification:
    Learners in possession of one of the following may be granted access to this qualification:
  • A National Senior Certificate granting access to Degree studies.
  • Senior Certificate with Matriculation exemption.
  • A completed relevant Higher or Advanced Certificate or Diploma. 


    This professional Bachelor's Degree consists of the following compulsory and elective modules to a total of 480 Credits:

    Compulsory Modules at NQF Level 5 (80 Credits):
  • Introduction to Society and Planning, 10 Credits.
  • Natural Environment as a System, 10 Credits.
  • Principles and Techniques of Planning, 10 Credits.
  • Introduction to Cartography, Map Analysis and Aerial Photograph Interpretation, 10 Credits.
  • Ecological Principles for Environmental Management, 10 Credits.
  • Mathematics for Planners, 10 Credits.
  • English Communication I, 10 Credits.
  • English Communication II, 10 Credits.

    Elective modules at NQF Level 5 (16 Credits). Learners are to choose any 2:
  • Elements of Remote Sensing and Geomatics, 8 Credits.
  • Sociology I, 8 Credits.
  • Public Administration I, 8 Credits.
  • Economics I, 8 Credits.

    Total Credits at NQF Level 5: 96.

    Compulsory Modules at NQF Level 6 (108 Credits):
  • Settlement Forms and Urban History, 12 Credits.
  • Principles of Resource Management, 12 Credits.
  • Pollution and Environmental Quality, 12 Credits.
  • Site Planning and Design (Studio), 12 Credits.
  • Planning for Infrastructure Development, 12 Credits.
  • Quantitative Methods in Planning, 12 Credits.
  • Computer in Planning (Studio), 12 Credits.
  • Introduction to Urban Planning, 12 Credits.
  • Rural Settlement Planning, 12 Credits.

    Elective modules at NQF Level 6 (20 Credits). Learners are to choose any 2:
  • Spatial Organisation of Society, 10 Credits.
  • Physical Geography, 10 Credits.
  • Sociology II, 10 Credits.
  • Public Administration II, 10 Credits.
  • Economics II, 10 Credits.

    Total credits at NQF Level 6: 128.

    Compulsory Modules at NQF Level 7 (98 Credits):
  • Planning Law, 14 Credits.
  • Planning Theory and Philosophy, 14 Credits.
  • GIS in Planning, 14 Credits.
  • Urban Design Studio, 14 credits.
  • Resource Evaluation and Information System, 14 Credits.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment and Modelling, 14 Credits.
  • Research Methods in Planning, 14 Credits.

    Elective modules at NQF Level 7 (28 Credits). Learners are to choose any 2:
  • Regional Development Planning, 14 Credits.
  • Land Use Planning and Management, 14 Credits.
  • Spatial Planning, 14 Credits.
  • Transportation Planning, 14 Credits.

    Total credits at NQF Level 7: 126.

    Compulsory Modules at NQF Level 8 (102 Credits):
  • Research and mini-Dissertation, 32 Credits.
  • Integrated Development Planning Studio, 14 Credits.
  • Professional Planning Practice and Ethics, 14 Credits.
  • Theories and Discourses in Urban and Regional Planning, 14 Credits.
  • Housing Studio, 14 Credits.
  • Participation, Mediation and Conflict Resolution, 14 Credits.

    Elective modules at NQF Level 8 (28 Credits). Learners are to choose any 2:
  • Local Economic and Social Development, 14 Credits.
  • Project Design and Management, 14 Credits.
  • Transportation and Energy Planning, 14 Credits.
  • Metropolitan Planning, 14 Credits.
  • Key Issues in Contemporary Planning, 14 Credits.
  • Planning Small and Medium Sized Towns, 14 Credits.

    Total credits at NQF Level 8: 130. 

    1. Impart, transfer and develop problem solving skills to deal with real life planning challenges using planning principles and techniques as an entry/starting point.
    2. Introduce fundamental urban development concepts and forms of intervention for sustainable urban development using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
    3. Apply rural settlement models to structuring and restricting rural settlements as an important aspect of change management within the development cycle.
    4. Introduce the use and application of computers in planning applications to structuring and restructuring rural settlements.
    5. Establish the fundamentals of planning law and its application in the planning fraternity.
    6. Use thoughts, philosophies, debates and interpretations to define, explain and justify the link of planning to practice.
    7. Apply fundamental concepts, principles and applications of research methods in the contexts of development and sustainability in planning the built and non-built environments.
    8. Develop and apply transportation planning skills and competencies to engage in informed and collaborative transportation orientated planning projects and activities.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    This qualification allows all the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes to be addressed. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Planning principles and techniques in resolving planning problems/issues are analysed and applied.
  • The role and value of settlement forms and urban history in resolving diversity of places, spaces and cultural challenges are discussed.
  • Settlement forms and urban historical orientation in urban planning problems/issues are analysed.
  • Planning principles and techniques for problem identification, analysis and resolution such as SWOT Analysis, CBA, NPV, IRR, EIA, SIA are applied.
  • The use and value of information in planning, policy analysis and decision-making situations are explained.
  • Working skills with probability concept basic statistical methods are developed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Town planning, planning and design concepts, principles and processes/dynamics, and the variety and forms of interventions for sustainable urban development are explained.
  • Town planning investigations and studies are conducted to make spatial analyses and syntheses in order to contribute to the formulation of planning policies and design of plans for implementation.
  • Awareness and sensitivity for sustainable spatial planning and urban development are explained.
  • Working skills and knowledge of using GIS software are developed.
  • Plans and programmes on the suitability of GIS technology are developed to support planned tasks.
  • Skills and competencies necessary for employing and deploying site planning and design planning methodologies are applied in built environment settlement structuring, restructuring and the associated sustainability dimensions.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Rural settlement spatial data is collected, analysed and organised with reference to development priorities.
  • Rural settlement planning skills and methods for problem identification, analysis and resolution are applied.
  • Settlement forms and urban historical orientation in urban planning problems are analysed.
  • Contextual application of rural settlement design principles, concepts and their appropriate application are explained.
  • Skills and competencies necessary for rural settlement structuring, restructuring and the associated sustainability dimensions are applied.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Computer applications planning skills and methods for problem identification, analysis and resolution such as CAD, SPSS and GIS are applied.
  • Computer applications are used within built and non-built settlement environment design.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • A moral and ethical framework for planning is implemented.
  • Knowledge of the institutional and political context of planning with regard to planning legislation and procedures is applied.
  • Normative principles of planning law for socially and environmentally sensitive decision making are interpreted.
  • Knowledge of policies is applied in spatial planning.
  • Theoretical and conceptual planning knowledge is synthesised and applied.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • Planning theories and philosophies are explained.
  • The relationship of planning theory to the main bodies of thought in the social and physical sciences is explained.
  • Theoretical knowledge of the natural, social, economic and political issue of the built environment is creatively applied to design and manage planned interventions.
  • The diversity of views and planning ideologies is established.
  • Critical professional ethical issues are identified and addressed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 7:
  • Various basic activities of the stages of research are discussed.
  • A research question/s is formulated.
  • Quantitative and qualitative data with regard to planning information at various levels are collected, analysed and critically evaluated.
  • Dissertation, assignments and projects are presented.
  • Research themes including a comprehensive and critical review of current literature and investigations are analysed.
  • Research methods, techniques and technologies are selected to show evidence of a clear understanding of relevant research theory and practice.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 8:
  • Transportation analyses, transportation studies and results for transportation planning are conducted.
  • Transportation planning themes are investigated, analysed and synthesised in order to contribute to the preparation of transportation plans.
  • A sustainable transportation orientated plan is developed.
  • The role and scope of transportation planning in resolving human challenges and meeting human demand is established.
  • Dialogue and engagement analyses, public participation, mediation and conflict resolution studies are conducted in relation to transportation planning.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Formative assessment is on-going assessment during the semester. Assessment includes tests, assignments, projects and case studies.
    At least two semester tests are written before the final semester test.
    At least two assignments per semester are written and submitted for grading.
    At least one individual project and one group project per semester are presented.
    At least five case studies are presented for review per semester.

    Summative assessment is effected through the final examinations or supplementary examinations, whichever apply, where on average a learner sits for a three hour examination on a specific subject. 

    Curtin University in Australia offers a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional planning. The qualification focuses on the fundamentals of planning, planning systems, the political implications of planning work and the environmental, social and economic issues in urban and regional planning.

  • Transport Planning.
  • Environmental and Coastal Planning.
  • Site Planning.
  • Landscape Planning and Heritage.
  • Planning for Sustainability.

    The Texas A and M University offers a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning. The qualification aims to provide learners with the knowledge and skills needed to develop solutions to community and regional growth and development issues that face the South Central American States.

    Environmental Planning and Analysis:
    Compulsory Modules:
  • Sustainable Communities.
  • Urban Issues.
    Elective Modules:
  • Advanced GIS.
  • Digital Communications II.
  • Issues in Environmental Quality.
  • Transportation and Urban Form.
  • Emergency Management Principles and Practices.
  • Community Hazard/Vulnerability Analysis.
  • Studio in Urban and Regional Science.
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology.
  • Sampling and Environmental Monitoring.
  • Programming I.
  • Plane Surveying.
  • GPS in the Geosciences.
  • Landscape Architecture Theory.
  • History of Landscape Architecture in US.
  • Environmental Political Theory (W Course).
  • Social Psychology.
  • Survey of Industrial/Organisational Psychology.
  • Remote Sensing in RENR.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment.
  • Population and Society.
  • Environmental Sociology.

    Housing and Urban Development:
    Compulsory Modules:
  • Housing and Community.
  • Survey of Finance Principles (Pre-registration's ACCT 209 or ACCT 229, U3 Classification).
  • Land Economics (Pre- registration's AGEC 105 or ECON 202 or ECON 203).
    Elective Modules:
  • Urban and Regional Economic Development.
  • Neighbourhood Revitalisation.
  • Sustainable Communities.
  • Survey of Accounting Principles.
  • Site Planning.
  • Poverty, Inequality and Social Policy.
  • Economics of Labour.
  • Land Development II.
  • Business, Government and Society (U2 Classification).
  • Legal and Social Environment of Business (U2, U3, U4 Classification).
  • Urban Politics.
  • Urban Administration.
  • Sociology of the Community.
  • Social Class in Contemporary Society.

    Health and Human Services Planning and Policy:
    Compulsory Modules:
  • Health Systems Planning.
  • Environmental Health Planning I.
    Elective Modules:
  • Health Systems Policy and Planning.
  • Planning Healthier Communities.
  • Pathogens, the Environment and Society (W Course).
  • Health Communications.
  • Medical Sociology.

    The Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands also offers a Bachelor in Urban and Regional Planning (SDP).

  • Introduction Unit.
  • Professional Skills Training.
  • Sustainable Area Development.
  • Integrated Water Management.
  • Capita Selecta Urban Regional Planning.
  • Research Project.

    The Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning compares favourably with the three qualifications used for comparison. They all have similar modules and focus as they all aim to develop a learner who is able to operate effectively within an urban and regional planning system, or manage a development system based on an understanding of the roles and relationships between elements within the system. 

    This qualification articulates horizontally with the following qualifications at NQF Level 8:
  • Bachelor of Science Honours in Urban and Regional Planning.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning.

    This qualification articulates vertically with the following qualifications at NQF Level 9:
  • Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning in Development Planning.
  • Master of Urban and Regional Planning.

    This articulation can be within the institution or with other institutions offering similar qualifications. 

  • Assessments conducted at exit points of the qualification are externally moderated by appropriately qualified people who have been appointed according to clear criteria and procedures and who conduct their responsibilities in terms of clear guidelines.
  • External moderators who are independent experts in their fields, with qualifications at least on the same level as the qualification being examined are recommended by the Examining Academic Department for approval by the Faculty Board.
  • External moderators are not appointed as part of a reciprocal arrangement and are changed after three years. 

    Any assessor must be a recognised expert in their discipline or sub-field and be in possession of a qualification in the relevant discipline at a higher NQF level than that of the modules being assessed.

    The assessor should be currently teaching or have three years' experience of teaching in a Higher Education Institution, or be recognised by academic peers as an authority in the particular discipline. 



    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
    1. University of Venda 

    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or registered on the National Qualifications Framework, are public property. Thus, the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction: it is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.