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Programme: BTRP

Code Faculty Duration Credits Download
12132026 Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology Duration of study: 4 years Total credits: 480

Programme information

Town and regional planning is primarily concerned with the planning, design, implementation and management of public interventions in the development and use of land from site to supranational level so as to widen choice, promote equity and ensure sustainable development. The guiding motive of the profession is the generation of viable alternatives to present settlement types. At the current juncture in South Africa’s history, town and regional planning is a key profession in the rectification of the spatial and other imbalances in both urban and rural areas, as well as the improvement of inefficient and under-performing living environments.

The ideal town and regional planner is a creative person who is able to put forward innovative solutions to complex problems, a mediator who is able to reconcile diverse points of view, a strategic thinker and a good manager. Given the enormous backlogs in the fields of housing and social services and the misery in which many South Africans find themselves, planners also need a strongly developed sense of social and environmental justice and be committed to human development. While the majority of town and regional planners act as private consultants to the public and the private sector, they are also employed by all three spheres of government, research agencies such as the CSIR and the HSRC, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, major financial institutions and property development groups.

Admission requirements

  • The following persons will be considered for admission: a candidate who is in possession of a certificate that is deemed by the University to be equivalent to the required Grade 12 certificate with university endorsement; a candidate who is a graduate from another tertiary institution or has been granted the status of a graduate of such an institution; and a candidate who is a graduate of another faculty at the University of Pretoria.

  • Life Orientation is excluded when calculating the APS.

  • Grade 11 results are used in the provisional admission of prospective students.

  • A valid qualification with admission to degree studies is required.

  • Minimum subject and achievement requirements, as set out below, are required. On first-year level a student has a choice between Afrikaans and English as language medium. In certain cases, tuition may be presented in English only, for example in electives, where the lecturer may not speak Afrikaans or in cases where it is not economically or practically viable. 

  • BTRP – Bachelor of Town and Regional Planning is a selection programme.

 

Minimum requirements 

Achievement level

Afrikaans or English

Mathematics

APS

NSC/IEB

HIGCSE

AS-Level

A-Level

NSC/IEB

HIGCSE

AS-Level

A-Level

5

3

C

C

4

3

D

D

27

Promotion to next study year

  1. Promotion to the second semester of the first year and to the second year of study
  1. A new first-year student who fails all the prescribed modules for the programme at the end of the first semester shall not be readmitted to the School for the Built Environment in the second semester.
  2. A student is promoted to the second year provided the student (1) has obtained at least 100 credits; and (2) is not repeating more than one first-year Town and Regional planning module per semester; and (3) has obtained a final mark of at least 40 – 49% in the respective town and regional planning module(s) being repeated.
  3. A student who is not promoted to the second year of study in terms of (b) may not register for second-year Town and Regional planning modules.
  4. Students who have not obtained at least 100 credits of the first year of study after the November examinations must apply for re-admission should they intend to proceed with their studies. Written application must be submitted to the student administration for the School for the Built Environment no later than 12 January. Late applications will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances and with approval by the Dean. If first year students are readmitted, conditions of readmission will be set by the admissions committee.
  5. Students who have not passed all the prescribed modules of the first year of study, as well as students who are readmitted in terms of (d) must register for the outstanding modules of the first year.

 

  1. Promotion to the third year of study
  1. A student is promoted to the third year provided the student (1) has obtained at least 200 credits; (2) is not repeating any first or second-year Town and regional planning module.
  2. A student who is not promoted to the third year of study in terms of (a) may not register for third-year Town and regional planning modules.

 

  1. Promotion to the fourth year of study
  1. A student is promoted to the fourth year provided the student (1) has obtained at least 300 credits; and (2) is not repeating any third-year Town and regional planning module.
  2. A student who is not promoted to the fourth year of study in terms of (a) may not register for fourth-year Town and Regional planning modules.
  3. A student who complies with all the requirements for the degree with the exception of one year module or two semester modules, in which a final mark of at least 40% has been obtained, may be admitted to a special examination in the module(s) concerned at the start of the ensuing semester.
  4. The degree is awarded if all the prescribed modules have been passed.

Pass with distinction

The degree is conferred with distinction on a student who, at first registration passes all modules of the final year with a weighted average of 75%. The degree must have been completed within the minimum prescribed time. Exceptional cases will be considered by the Dean.

Minimum credits: 162

Fundamental modules

Core modules

  • Module content:

    This module deals with the core principles of economics. A distinction between macroeconomics and microeconomics is made. A discussion of the market system and circular flow of goods, services and money is followed by a section dealing with microeconomic principles, including demand and supply analysis, consumer behaviour and utility maximisation, production and the costs thereof, and the different market models and firm behaviour. Labour market institutions and issues, wage determination, as well as income inequality and poverty are also addressed. A section of money, banking, interest rates and monetary policy concludes the course.

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  • Module content:

    This module deals with the core principles of economics, especially macroeconomic measurement the private and public sectors of the South African economy receive attention, while basic macroeconomic relationships and the measurement of domestic output and national income are discussed. Aggregate demand and supply analysis stands core to this course which is also used to introduce students to the analysis of economic growth, unemployment and inflation. The microeconomics of government is addressed in a separate section, followed by a section on international economics, focusing on international trade, exchange rates and the balance of payments. The economics of developing countries and South Africa in the global economy conclude the course.

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  • Module content:

    Part 1: The individual and society
    An introduction to sociology, the classical sociological paradigm and the principles of sociological research.

    Part 2: The making of the South African order

    This section explores key factors involved in the making and shaping of the contemporary South African social order and considers the sociological implications thereof. Students will be introduced to the political economy of South Africa, with an emphasis on the nature of South Africa’s industrialisation, the process of proletarianisation and the introduction of the migration labour system. In addition, the racial state, the foundations of its social project, and the spatial form of its 20th century racial modernity will be considered.

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  • Module content:

    Part 1: The sociology of institutions
    An introduction to the social dynamics of institutions such as the family, the state, the economy, religion, education, and civil society, with specific focus on Southern Africa.

    Part 2: Social stratification: Race, class and gender
    The nature and dynamics of social stratification and inequality will be explored. Race, gender and class are the foci of the section. The South African reality in this regard is highlighted.

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  • Module content:

    Descriptive statistics:
    Sampling and the collection of data; frequency distributions and graphical representations. Descriptive measures of location and dispersion.
    Probability and inference:
    Introductory probability theory and theoretical distributions. Sampling distributions. Estimation theory and hypothesis testing of sampling averages and proportions (one and two-sample cases). Identification, use, evaluation and interpretation of statistical computer packages and statistical techniques.

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  • Module content:

    Multivariate statistics:
    Analysis of variance, categorical data analysis, distribution-free methods, curve fitting, regression and correlation, the analysis of time series and indices.
    Statistical and economic applications of quantitative techniques:
    Systems of linear equations: drafting, matrices, solving and application. Optimisation; linear functions (two and more independent variables), non-linear functions (one and two independent variables). Marginal and total functions. Stochastic and deterministic variables in statistical and economic context: producers' and consumers' surplus, distribution functions, probability distributions, probability density functions. Identification, use, evaluation, interpretation of statistical computer packages and statistical techniques.
    This module is also presented as an anti-semester bilingual module.

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  • Module content:

    Analysis and assessment of sites for planning purposes. Covers the analysis of context and natural (e.g. climate, geology), man-made (e.g. zoning, potential land value, land use and activity), and sensory elements (e.g. genius loci) of a site to determine the appropriate use of a site as well as the character of future development. Skills and techniques to communicate the analysis and assessment graphically.

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  • Module content:

    Theoretical component: South African cities in a global economic and national context; a framework for settlement analysis; overview and discussion of important demographic, social, economic, environmental and local government features of selected South African cities. Practical component: basic writing and presentation skills for planners; field methods; participatory methods; surveys; secondary sources; settlement analysis in a political context; analysis of a suburb in the Pretoria area.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to the goals and principles of settlement design. Characteristics and measures as well as the design elements of a good living-environment; settlement design within both urban and rural contexts.
    Aspects that will be covered include settlement structure (open space and movement systems), sense, symbolism and legibility, accessibility, diversity and opportunity, sustainability, safety, justice and equity.

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  • Module content:

    Definitions of planning; rationale for planning; focus areas of planning; planning processes; planners’ roles and work places; the institutional framework for planning; planning legislation; values and ethics of planners; the future of planning.

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  • Module content:

    An in-depth analysis of city building and urban and regional planning in pre-modern times. The influence on settlement design and planning within the social, political and economic context of the Pre-historic; Classic (Roman and Greek); Feudal and Mercantile eras. Aspects such as visions of ideal cities, settlement patterns, the treatment of public space, the development of the edge of the settlement, functional zones and segregation are covered. Attention is given to the function, role, character, practice and beneficiaries of planning and the role of planners.

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  • Module content:

    An in-depth analysis of city building and urban and regional planning in modern and post-modern times with special emphasis on the South African situation. The influence on settlement design and planning within the social, political and economic context of Industrial and Post-industrial eras. Aspects such as visions of ideal cities, settlement patterns, the treatment of public space, the development of the edge of the settlement, functional zones and segregation are covered. Attention is given to the function, role, character, practice and beneficiaries of planning and the role of planners.

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Minimum credits: 132

Core modules

  • Module content:

    This project-orientated module is a form of applied learning which is directed at specific community needs and is integrated into all undergraduate academic programmes offered by the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology. The main objectives with the module are as follows:
    (1) The execution of a community related project aimed at achieving a beneficial impact on a chosen section of society, preferably but not exclusively, by engagement with a section of society which is different from the student's own social background.
    (2) The development of an awareness of personal, social and cultural values, an attitude to be of service, and an understanding of social issues, for the purpose of being a responsible professional.
    (3) The development of important multidisciplinary and life skills, such as communication, interpersonal and leadership skills.
    Assessment in the module will include all or most of the following components: evaluation and approval of project proposal, assessment of oral and/or written progress reports, peer assessment in the event of team projects, written reportback by those at which the project was aimed at, and final assessment on grounds of the submission of a portfolio and a written report.

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  • Module content:

    Analysis and assessment of plans and policy frameworks from a planning and development perspective. Analysis and assessment of substantive and communicative content. Deconstruction of text, norms and values, planning and development approaches. The role of planners and the democratisation of planning.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to development problems, perspectives on and concepts of development. Approaches to development planning and development studies. Application of development proposals from local to national levels. International and local perspectives and case studies. Critical evaluation of development initiatives, and aspects such as culture, gender, diversity and sustainability. Role players in the development process

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  • Module content:

    Theories and processes of strategic, forward, and integrated development planning; origins and intentions of these concepts; international and local perspectives and case studies; policy framework for development planning in the South African context; role players in development planning processes, with specific reference to the role of the planner and the community; introduction to the concept, theory, aims, processes and practise of participatory planning.

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  • Module content:

    The skills and techniques to design a layout of a new settlement or part of an existing settlement. It includes design for the provision of housing for both high and low income groups, as well as commercial and social facilities, open space systems, transportation systems and services. Design sustainable and equitable areas. Site analysis and assessment; development of alternative concepts; the detail design including the division of erven, infrastructure network, land development control and design guidelines.

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  • Module content:

    Institutional and legal frameworks in which settlement establishment and housing provision takes place; user and site requirements; housing typologies and densities; engineering services; role players; financing; township establishment in terms of current legislation; simulated exercise; the detail design including the division of erven, infrastructure network, land development control and design guidelines.

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  • Module content:

    A brief history of land use management in South Africa; rationale for land use management; principles of good land use management in the context of transformation and development imperatives in post-apartheid South Africa, global environmental change, new economic geography, procedural, substantive and intergenerational justice and development economics; critique of land use management; ethics of land use management; the characteristics of an appropriate land use management system that advances transformation, sustainability, resilience, equity, inclusiveness and integration in South Africa; the link between land use management and strategic spatial planning; international and South African examples of land use management systems; the future of land use management.

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  • Module content:

    The economics of settlements, including aspects such as economic advantages, transformation, equity, integration and inclusiveness; locational choices of urban land uses; density and intensity of development; the effects of densities, location and transportation economics on land values; implications of zoning; implications for sustainability and risk reduction; the cost of urban growth, whether by densification or sprawl. The functioning of the property market, e.g. how the property market works for the urban poor; key role players and decision-making in the property market; the role of urban planning as well as local government and their financial viability in the property market.

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  • Module content:

    Generic components of land use and land development applications and procedures; practical exercises in the preparation, submission, processing and evaluation of land use management applications; policy preparation in terms of land use management systems that advance equity, resilience, inclusiveness, sustainability and integration; appeals; introduction to Environmental Impact Studies (EIAs).

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Elective modules

  • Module content:

    Macroeconomics
    From Wall and Bay Street to Diagonal Street: a thorough understanding of the mechanisms and theories explaining the workings of the economy is essential. Macroeconomic insight is provided on the real market, the money market, two market equilibrium, monetarism, growth theory, cyclical analysis, inflation, Keynesian general equilibrium analysis and fiscal and monetary policy issues.

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  • Module content:

    Part 1: Sociology of work: Globalisation
    The contemporary process of globalisation at a world level impacts on the process of change and economic development. This section will discuss processes and debates associated with economic globalisation and the global dominance of finance capital in the late 20th and early 21st century. We will review contemporary debates associated with these issues.


    Part 2: Gender, family and households

    This section focuses on theories and issues relevant to the understanding of households, families and gender. It addresses thematics such as dynamic family structures, poverty, the survival strategies of poor households, gender-based violence and the ways in which the aforementioned affect family life and forms as well as children and youth in particular. A special emphasis is placed on exploring these issues in a Southern African context.

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  • Module content:

    Part 1: Demography, health and society
    This section explores the dynamic relationship between demography and health, with examples drawn from South African and international case studies. The substantial increase in world population during the past century compounds key issues faced by contemporary societies. Interplay between demographic processes, such as morbidity, mortality, fertility and mobility, impact on the size of a population. In turn, these are to an extent shaped by the structure of a population as well as the cultural context of a society. Central to this are concerns around health and disease. 

    Part 2: Cultural Sociology

    This section explores themes in cultural sociology, with an emphasis on the ways in which meaning is constructed in everyday life by individuals as well as collectives, on the one hand, and the intersection between culture and institutional forms and social structure on the other. Students will be introduced to the work of some of the key thinkers in the field, and will be provided with the opportunity to write an independent essay on a theme in cultural sociology.

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  • Module content:

    Macroeconomics
    Application of the principles learned in EKN 214 on the world we live in. We look at international markets and dynamic macroeconomic models, and familiarise the students with the current macroeconomic policy debates. We also take a look at the latest macroeconomic research in the world. The course includes topics of the mathematical and econometric analysis of macroeconomic issues.

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Minimum credits: 120

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Section A – Transport planning: environmental, economic and social impact of transport; transport planning process; introduction to transport studies and evaluation; public transport; functional road hierarchy; geometric road layout; road reserve dimensions; parking; preparation of a layout. Section B – Municipal services provision: water supply; sanitation; stormwater disposal; energy supply; public lighting; solid waste removal; inclusion of municipal services in the layout.

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  • Module content:

    Theory and practice of regional development planning; strategic regional development analysis and thinking; preparation and implementation of regional development frameworks, and plans and strategies on supranational, national, provincial and metropolitan levels.

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  • Module content:

    Rural development in historical, political, ideological, social, economical, geographical and institutional context; theoretical perspectives on and approaches to rural development; case studies of rural development planning and plans in different developmental contexts; preparation, implementation and evaluation of rural development frameworks, strategies and plans.

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  • Module content:

    Spatial concepts regarding the development and planning of settlements. Morphological development processes such as decentralisation, counter urbanisation, residential infill and succession, urban sprawl. Spatial structuring elements, e.g. corridors, nodes, compact cities, mixed use.

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  • Module content:

    Critical reflections on planning as construct, activity and profession. Case study-based exploration of innovative planning practices.

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  • Module content:

    Overview of South African institutional and legal structures for planning and development, on national and provincial scale. Relevant legislation and policies that influence planning. Specific reference to the legal frameworks guiding land development, the environment, municipal management and development, housing, transport, water, and Human Rights.

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Elective modules

  • Module content:

    Public finance
    Role of government in the economy. Welfare economics and theory of optimality. Ways of correcting market failures. Government expenditure theories, models and programmes. Government revenue. Models on taxation, effects of taxation on the economy. Assessment of taxation from an optimality and efficiency point of view. South African perspective on public finance.

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  • Module content:

    Economic analyses
    Identification, collection and interpretation process of relevant economic data; the national accounts (i.e. income and production accounts, the national financial account, the balance of payments and input-output tables); economic growth; inflation; employment, unemployment, wages, productivity and income distribution; business cycles; financial indicators; fiscal indicators; social indicators; international comparisons; relationships between economic time series - regression analysis; long-term future studies and scenario analysis; overall assessment of the South African economy from 1994 onwards.

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  • Module content:

    Part 1: Social theory

    This section focuses on contemporary social theory, in order to extend and broaden students’ understanding of social theory beyond the classical canon. Students will be introduced to key conceptual vocabularies, theoretical paradigms and contemporary bodies of work in social theory. In addition, the way in which scholars who work on South Africa have drawn on social theory to inform and enrich their work is emphasized. 

    Part 2: Labour studies

    The section addresses sociological approaches to the workplace. It will critically assess labour market policy and examine issues such as management practice, employment and unemployment, and discrimination and flexibility in the labour market in South Africa.

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  • Module content:

    Part 1: Rural and urban sociology

    This section considers the relationship between the rural and urban, against the backdrop of the emergence and development of both capitalism in its various guises and globalisation within the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in the global North and South. Questions on the nature of social interaction in communities, changing ways of relating, inequality and livelihoods, collective action, local cultures and modernities are considered.


    Part 2: Sociology of religion

    This section looks at religion and secularism in social context. Specific emphasis is placed on religion and secularism as forces for social change.

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Minimum credits: 98

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Defining research; research paradigms; research ethics; research problems/questions; literature reviews; research design; selected qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection, analysis and interpretation; reporting research; formulation of a research proposal.

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  • Module content:

    Contextualisation of a research problem/question; literature review; research design and methods; undertake empirical research in line with an approved research proposal; collection, analysis and interpretation of data; writing up of research findings.

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  • Module content:

    The drafting of urban development and design frameworks to ensure development or redevelopment of urban areas in a relevant, social and environmentally accountable way. Specific focus on rehabilitation of declining city centres, fast growing edge cities, and underdeveloped parts of urban areas. Critique on and improvements of current practice; simulated planning exercise.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to planning and management of small towns, rural settlements, and peri-urban/rural districts; examples of planning interventions in rural areas; approaches to rural development, techniques and methods for planning in rural areas. Critique on and improvements on current practice; simulated planning exercise.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to planning at metropolitan level; examples of planning interventions at metropolitan level; approaches to and examples of the delivery of housing, infrastructure and facilities; tensions in resource allocation and prioritising of development in metropolitan areas; institutional requirements and implications of planning and management of metropolitan development; critiques and improvements on current practice; simulated planning exercise.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to planning at provincial, national and supranational scale. Approaches to planning and development of regions and provinces. Past and present examples of planning on each of these scales. Planners’ roles in planning exercises at these scales; institutional requirements and implications of planning at these scales. Critiques and improvements on current practice; simulated planning exercise.

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  • Module content:

    Starting a career in the planning profession (including issues such as public vs. private sector employment, essential skills required, applying for vacancies, interaction with co-workers and other parties, company culture, client relationships, workplace ethics); developing a career in the planning profession (including issues such as essential communication-, management- and political-skills, typical mistakes to avoid in practice, setting a career path); introduction to project management; an overview of professional planning organisations in South Africa; remaining issues for class discussion, such as marketing, client service, promotion and time management.

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The information published here is subject to change and may be amended after the publication of this information. The General Regulations (G Regulations) apply to all faculties of the University of Pretoria. It is expected of each student to familiarise himself or herself well with these regulations as well as with the information contained in the General Rules section. Ignorance concerning these regulations and rules will not be accepted as an excuse for any transgression.

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