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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental ScienceUndergraduate study

Qualifying as a town planner

A career as a town planner is likely to need further qualifications on top of your undergraduate degree and relevant work experience.


To become a chartered town planner (which is advisable) you will need to have completed a Royal Town Planning Institute accredited degree.

If your degree is not covered by this it is still possible to qualify for chartered status by completing an accredited postgraduate degree. Having a first degree in geography is usually considered relevant for continuing to these postgraduate qualifications.


Work experience

Pre-entry experience is desirable for town planners. Relevant experience could include vacation work in the planning department of a local authority or with a consultancy, work shadowing a planner, experience of dealing with the public or administrative experience, especially in a local authority.

In applying for jobs in this sector you are likely to need to show evidence of the following:

If you are considering becoming a chartered town planner it may be worth becoming a student member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), which will give you access to publications and their library, membership of networks and allow you to participate in the institute’s activities. This could also assist you in finding relevant work experience alongside your degree.

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