Frequently Asked Questions about TU835 BSc (Hons) in Spatial Planning and Environmental Management

TU835 BSc (Hons) in Spatial Planning and Environmental Management is a combined Level 8 degree that gives you the choice to specialise in either:

TU835 is a unique, professionally accredited, multi-disciplinary undergraduate degree programme in the combined disciplines of spatial planning and environmental management.  The multi-disciplinary nature of the programme is a hugely important feature.  Environmental Managers and Spatial Planners have significant areas of overlap during their professional careers and their early combined education is a valuable preparation for this.

The first place for information about the programme is the TU835 Programme Webpage.  The programme webpage includes information about: -

The following sections include information about Frequently Asked Questions to do with the TU835 BSc (Hons) in Spatial Planning and Environmental Management.  

 

TU835 is a combined, multi-disciplinary programme. The first year of the programme is a common year, where students take all subjects together. At the end of year one, they can then choose between either the Spatial Planning or Environmental Management streams.   

Each subsequent year contains a number of common modules, so all students continue to work collaboratively.  But as the programme progresses, each stream will also become more and more specialised in their own discipline.  

Year 4 allows full specialisation in their chosen field, including the completion of a dissertation. Students will graduate with either a BSc (Hons) in Spatial Planning or a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Management

Both streams lead to highly employable pathways.  Our experience is that graduates appreciate the multi-disciplinary nature of the programme and recognise its value within the workforce.

Multi-disciplinarity allows the programme to bring together two complementary and interdependent disciplines under one programme of education.  This culture of “joined-up thinking” uniquely prepares graduates to contribute to the professional world in ways that have been lacking to date. 

Our Programme Team itself is drawn from a diverse range of expert backgrounds: architecture; natural sciences; economics; environmental management; placemaking; public policy; transport planning; urban planning; coastal and marine governance; among other related disciplines. So students are introduced and exposed to a range of essential knowledge areas. 

This multi-disciplinarity is an inherent advantage of the programme and nurtures graduates who are creative, open-minded and who can act as advocates for their disciplines as well as for a better, improved society and environment. 

Multi-disciplinarity is one of four foundation themes that underly the BSc (Hons) in Spatial Panning and Environmental Management.  The other programme themes are sustainability; engagement and, a career-focused education.

The overarching principle of sustainable development brings together the many strands of the programme within a relevant context.  There is a recognised drive, academically, professionally and from governments to focus on sustainability.  The UN Sustainable Development Goals include 169 targets and 232 indicators, to which the programme aims and outcomes substantively relate.

Within Ireland, the future scenario set out in the National Planning Framework and National Strategic Outcomes provide specific goals which are related to the programme and its disciplines. The goal of sustainable development has other relevant national and international contexts, including: -

  • EU Green Deal
  • EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030
  • National Climate Action Plan
  • National Biodiversity Action Plan
  • National Marine Planning Framework
  • National Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy
  • the government’s Declaration of Climate and Biodiversity Emergency

The programme aims to produce graduates with the knowledge and technical competencies to work towards achieving a resilient, climate-proofed society.  Graduates who can act as leaders and advocate for sustainability.  Our graduates are ones who are enabled to contribute best practice in sustainability in their everyday professional lives.

Find out more about the National Planning Framework and National Strategic Outcomes at: www.ireland2040.ie

Find out more about the UN Sustainable Development Goals at: www.17goals.org 

Engagement with the profession and civic society is fully encouraged and facilitated within the programme. Learning is often off-site and in seminar format to encourage contributions from students. 

Students are regularly required to engage with an industry or community partner in a Problem-based Learning (PBL) setting.  We work closely with TU Dublin’s Students Learning with Communities (SLwC) programme in achieving this.

Students are also encouraged to engage in peer learning in group settings. TU Dublin Environment & Planning commit, each academic year, to providing every student cohort with at least one opportunity to engage with a community or industry partner.  This will normally be in a project or seminar environment, including meaningful and reciprocal knowledge exchange between students and the civic engagement partner.

Find out more about Students Learning with Communities programme at TU Dublin: Students Learning With Communities | TU Dublin

 

The programme addresses the changing nature of society and the environment.  Thats why employability is a key focus for this programme.  The programme prepares students for practical careers and professional practice. There is a strong emphasis on practicality, relevance and being career-ready, utilising a model of education that is research-informed and practice-based.  Through the development of analytical, communication and presentational skills, students gain confidence and an ability to be participative with civic society, industry and government.  

Many graduates find positions within commercial, private sector, public sector, community sector and non-governmental organisations. Graduate Job Titles have included: Spatial Planner; Planning Consultant; Community Development Officer; Retail and / or Property Planner; Transport Planning Consultant; Urban Design Analyst; Conservation Officer; Environmental Consultant; Environmental Licensing Officer; Rural Development Officer; Sustainability Consultant, etc.

The TU Dublin Career Development Centre is available to outr students and offers a range of services including one to one guidance with a professional Careers Adviser.  Students will meet with a Careers Adviser at least once as part of the Professional Practice module. 

Find out more about the services offered by the Career Development Centre: https://www.tudublin.ie/for-students/career-development-centre/ 

 

Spatial Planning is a hugely rewarding but also challenging discipline that allows you become involved in changing the shape of the world around you.  Planners have to work together with communities, industry, civic-society and government agencies on improving and protecting the environment for the common good. 

But they also need to bring creativity and many specialist skillsets in order to support this goal.  Planning graduates need to be familiar with a wide range of specialist areas that include community engagement, environmental awareness, housing, plan-making, sustainable transport and urban design.  It’s a discipline that has to look at all aspects of society and the environment, whether it is in a coastal, urban or rural setting.  Planners have to be able to work at many different scales, from local to national and even working on global programmes within European or UN research and investment programmes. 

Many Spatial Planning graduates find successful careers in town planning, retail planning, transport planning, urban design and other specialist areas. Work can include plan-making, collaboration and engagement, developing retail and transport strategies and place-making.

In short, planners work together with communities, businesses and the government to plan the future of our towns, cities and regions.

Environmental Management graduates are well-placed to make important contributions in a wide range of environment-related areas, such as counteracting climate change; protecting water, air and soil quality; addressing biodiversity loss and managing natural habitats; tackling issues of waste; and carrying out environmental assessments.

Environmental Management students study aspects of the natural environment and learn practical skills through fieldtrips to native woodlands, coastal habitats and peatlands.  They investigate river basins and water quality on-site and learn laboratory techniques for environmental analysis and monitoring.  nvironmental Managers work on a daily basis addressing critical topics such as: -

  • Climate change
  • Sustainable use of natural resources
  • Protecting and improving water quality
  • Nature conservation
  • Environmental assessment of major developments and projects
  • Improving Waste management streams

In short, Environmental Managers work to protect and ensure a sustainable environment for future generations.

 

The programme places a high priority on active- and field-based learning.  Field trips, site visits, study tours, field work and other excursions form a significant and essential part of the curriculum. 

For example, Environmental Management participate in a week-long fieldtrip to the west of Ireland in Years 2 and 3.  This explores core programme themes such as habitats and wildlife, nature conservation, soil and water quality, environmental assessment and rural management.  This extended trip also provides opportunities to meet with state agencies, local practitioners, professionals and other experts involved in implementing environmental policy.

Spatial Planning students undertake a specialised  final year Integrated Design Studio project which brings together three modules into a major project exercise, usually focused on a common site and theme.  The project is normally designed and delivered in conjunction with an agency or community partner, in a civic-engagement learning environment. 

Every semester, students will work on at least one major project which involves field-trips.  But students are expected to meet regularly in off-site settings in order to explore, first-hand, the topics they are examining.

Our priority is to promote wider access and participation in higher education, broadening the diversity of involvement in our disciplines. 

Along with TU Dublin’s commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, our programme aims to be inclusive in all aspects and to create a welcoming atmosphere in which to work and study.

The programme includes multiple entry-points – which are equally valued – along with clear progression paths. These Admission entry paths include Mature, Advanced-entry, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), HEAR, DARE and TU Dublin Access. 

We also accept International student applicants and are uniquely placed as one of very few proessionall accredited, english-language undergraduate degree programmes in planning and environmental management in the European Union.

Especially since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are committed to flexible delivery methods, including on-campus, off-site settings and through our Brightspace virtual learning environment (VLE).

Overall the programme is designed to achieve a balance of graduate attributes, fostering graduates who are: flexible, resilient, adaptable and reflective; yet also competent, skilled, technically-enabled, empathetic and articulate.

Find out more about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at TU Dublin at: https://www.tudublin.ie/explore/about-the-university/equality-and-diversity/

 

Our students are leaders of their own very active student society, the Environment, Sustainability and Planning Society (EPS Society for short), which is a member of TU Dublin Societies.

The EPS Society organise an active, relevant and engaged programme of co-curricular activities throughout the year.  These include TU Dublin Planning Week, TU Dublin Green Week and many other events and activities. Planning Week and Green Week provide an increasingly well-recognised forum for debate and exchange of ideas about sustainable development.

TU835 students also play an active role in the Green Campus Committee and TU Dublin’s Green Agenda.  The Committee and its agenda represent a positive opportunity to link with colleagues and students involved in pursuing the sustainability agenda right across the University, e.g. business, tourism, engineering, etc.

You can follow the EPS Society on twitter and Instagram at @TUDublinEPS 

You can also join in on upcoming EPS Society events at: https://linktr.ee/tudublineps