Urban Planning and Property Development BSc

  • UCAS code K490
  • Duration Up to 4 years
  • Delivery type Full Time
  • Study location Edinburgh
  • Number of places 50 across the programme


The Course

Until quite recently, planners and real estate professionals studied different degree programmes and interacted very little before entering graduate employment. Our Urban Planning and Property Development programme brings together theoretical, practical and policy content from both spheres – planning and real estate. Accreditation by both RICS and RTPI reflects the wide scope and relevance of this combined degree.

Heriot-Watt is rated top in Scotland for Planning in the National Student Survey 2014 and ranked 2nd in the UK and top in Scotland for Building and Town & Country Planning in the Guardian League Table 2015. 

Career Prospects

Urban planners and real estate professionals are needed in all sectors – public, private, environmental and voluntary – to design, develop, regulate and deliver regeneration schemes, infrastructure and development projects. Graduates from our Urban Planning and Property Development programme go on to successful careers in the public and private sectors at national and international levels.

Heriot-Watt graduates can be found throughout the planning and property professions, including in local and central government and consultancy, and working for housing associations, property developers and house builders. Several of our most recent graduates are now employed by major investment institutions such as Scottish Widows and Standard Life while others have secured roles in planning and property consultancies like Jones Lang LaSalle and CBRE.

Sandwich year

A sandwich year option is available, giving students the opportunity to spend one year in a paid placement before completing the final year of study.

For more information about the programme structure, the type of job it can lead to, and why you should consider studying it, see our School website.

Programme content

Level 1

Note that the below programme structure is provided to illustrate distribution of teaching and is subject to developmental change.


Semester 1


Semester 2


Introduction to Design
Introductory Microeconomics
Property, Development and Planning 1
Construction Technology 1
Property, Development and Planning 2
Introductory Macroeconomics
Introduction to the Environment
Statistics and Data Analysis
Students also take part in a residential study tour of a major British city.


Level 2

Semester 1


Semester 2


Commercial Law
Principles of Property Valuation
Governance and Participation
Development Planning


Development Management
Urban and Real Estate Economics
Design of Place
Optional course
Students also take part in a residential study tour of a major British city.



Level 3

Semester 1


Semester 2


Contemporary Appraisal
Urban Design Theory and Practice
Real Estate Investment
Optional course
Real Estate Development
Comparative Planning and Real Estate Markets
Regional and Strategic Planning
Optional course
Students take part in a one-week field trip to a European city.


Level 4

Semester 1


Semester 2


Research Dissertation (S1)
Design Project (S1)
Current Debates in Practice
Optional course
Research Dissertation (S2)
Design Project (S2)
Urban Economy and Property Markets
Optional course


Your career

Graduate profiles

Aline Kirkland

  • Present job Graduate Planner at Barton Willmore  

	Aline Kirkland

"Heriot-Watt appealed to me because of the high rankings in the league tables for the town planning course and because of its location in Edinburgh, a city with a wide range of planning challenges.

"The university works hard to maintain industry links and this has been very useful to my career progression. I used the option to undertake a sandwich year and obtained valuable public sector experience at the City of Edinburgh Council, working in the town planning department. I was also able to take on the elected role of student member on the Scottish Young Planners Network steering group, which was alerted to me through the university.

"The lecturers at Heriot-Watt are one of the best features of the university. They were knowledgeable and up-to-date on their respective fields providing me with a strong, relevant grounding in planning.  Overall I feel my degree has provided me with the analytical skills and the knowledge of the Scottish planning system that I need to be successful in my career."

Andy Armstrong

  • Degree BSc Real Estate Management
  • Year 2010
  • Present job Real Estate Analyst at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership
Andy Armstrong

Andy graduated from the BSc Real Estate Management programme in 2010 with First Class Honours. After a brief spell at CB Richard Ellis he moved into the fund management industry working for Scottish Widows Investment Partnership in the Real Estate Strategy and Research team.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Heriot-Watt. Not only does it have a fantastic reputation from an academic point of view, it’s also a great place to be socially. The university has a great range of societies and sports clubs to get involved in. After a brief spell at CB Richard Ellis, I currently work as Real Estate Analyst. My job has a variety of roles associated with it ranging from advising investment managers on which segments of the property market to invest in, to forecasting rental values of offices throughout the UK. Essentially though it’s about providing fund managers with strategic and analytical support to help them make the best decisions for our clients.

"Working in investment management requires a well-developed understanding of investment fundamentals. I received this at Heriot-Watt through some excellent lecturers that are very well respected in the property industry. 

"I’d highly recommend Heriot-Watt as a place of study. My advice to anyone starting their studies is to get as much industry experience as they can either before they commence or during their summer breaks. A pro-active approach to getting a foot in the employer’s door is a key attribute of candidates who are successful in securing employment after graduation."

For more graduate profiles, please visit our Undergraduate Profiles page.

    Entry requirements

    The University offers as its normal entry routes:

    • entry at Level 1, mainly for students with Scottish Highers (or similar)
    • entry at Level 2, mainly for students with A-levels (or similar).

    There is nevertheless considerable flexibility, depending on the level of qualifications, for entrants with A-levels to opt to enter at Level 1 and for Scottish students to enter at Level 2.

    Level 1 entry

    • Highers BBBBC or AAAB
    • A-Levels ABC or BBB
    • Int. Baccalaureate 29 points
    • Scottish Baccalaureate pass

    Level 2 entry

    • A-Levels ABB
    • Advanced Highers BB plus BBC at Higher in other subjects
    • HNC A in graded unit
    • HND BB in graded unit
    • Int. Baccalaureate 34 points
    • Scottish Baccalaureate Distinction
    • Alternative Qualifications For all years, applications are welcomed from holders of non-school qualifications and mature candidates. All EU and overseas candidates will require an IELTS overall grade 6.0 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 5.5 or equivalent.

    Tuition fees

    Tuition fees for 2016 entry (by residency status)
    Status*Scotland / EU**England / Northern Ireland / WalesInternational
    FeePaid by SAAS£9,000£13,500

    * Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the 3 years before the start of your programme. Find out more about tuition fees.

    ** European Union countries, not including England, Northern Ireland or Wales.

    Scholarships & bursaries

    Featured scholarships

    Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree programmes in 2016

    In addition to government maintenance loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

    View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.