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.
The closing date is an administrative admission guideline for non-selection programmes. Once a non-selection programme is fulland has reached the institutional targets, then that programme will be closed for further admissions, irrespective of the closing date. However, if the institutional targets have not been met by the closing date, then that programme will remain open for admissions until the institutional targets are met.
The following persons will be considered for admission: Candidates who are in possession of a certificate that is deemed by the University to be equivalent to the required National Senior Certificate (NSC) with university endorsement; candidates who are graduates from another tertiary institution or have been granted the status of a graduate of such an institution, and candidates who are graduates of another faculty at the University of Pretoria.
Life Orientation is excluded when calculating the APS.
Grade 11 results are used for the conditional 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.
All lectures at the University of Pretoria are presented in English only.
Candidates previously registered at UP or at another university
The faculty’s Admissions Committee considers applications of candidates who have already completed the final NSC examination and/or were previously registered at UP or at another university, on grounds of their NSC results as well as academic merit. Candidates who were dismissed from other faculties or universities will not be considered.
Candidates previously registered at a teacher’s college or university of technology
The faculty’s Admissions Committee considers the application of these candidates on the grounds of their NSC results as well as academic merit.
Qualifications from countries other than South Africa
Citizens from countries other than South Africa and South African citizens with foreign qualifications must comply with all the other admission requirements and the prerequisites for subjects/modules.
In addition to meeting the admission requirements, it may be expected from candidates to write the TOEFL, IELTS or SAT, if required.
Candidates must have completed the National Senior Certificate with admission to degree studies or a certificate of conditional exemption on the basis of a candidate’s foreign qualifications, the so-called “Immigrant” or “Foreign Conditional Exemption”. The only condition for the “Foreign Conditional Exemption” that is accepted is: ‘completion of the degree course’. The exemption certificate is obtainable from Universities South Africa (USAf). Detailed information is available on the website at click here.
English Home Language or English First Additional Language
* Cambridge A level candidates who obtained at least a D in the required subjects, will be considered for admission.
* International Baccalaureate (IB) HL candidates who obtained at least a 4 in the required subjects, will be considered for admission.
Promotion to next study year
Promotion to the second semester of the first year and to the second year of study
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Promotion to the third year of study
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.
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.
Promotion to the fourth year of study
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apply effective search strategies in different technological environments. Demonstrate the ethical and fair use of information resources. Integrate 21st-century communications into the management of academic information.
By the end of this module students should be able to cope more confidently and competently with the reading, writing and critical thinking demands that are characteristic of the field of Town and Regional Planning.
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.
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.
Invitation to Sociology How do we understand ourselves as individuals in relation to society? How are our individual life courses and large-scale processes of social and historical change related to each other? How have our societies come to be what they are today? And how can we think of our private troubles as public issues? These questions are at the very heart of sociology as a distinctive way of thinking about and understanding the social worlds that we inhabit. This module invites students to become familiar with sociological ways of thinking about current issues and personal experiences (particularly in the southern African context), and to develop the analytical skills that are necessary in order to ask and answer critical questions about the communities, society, and world that they live in. The module will include a specific emphasis on academic reading skills.
Thinking sociologically Drawing from the idea of Sociology as a discipline that focuses on critical thinking, the module will introduce students to ways of questioning the obvious and the taken-for-granted. In particular, power and inequality will be problematised, with a focus on how power operates to structure racial, class and gender inequalities across institutions, ideologies and identities. The module will introduce students to the operations of power as manifested in the production of institutions, the proliferation of identities and heightened contestations among ideologies. The module will include a specific emphasis on writing skills.
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). Supporting mathematical concepts. Statistical concepts are demonstrated and interpreted through practical coding and simulation within a data science framework.
Students can only get credit for one of the following two modules: STK 120 or STK 121. 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: solving and application. Optimisation, linear functions, non-linear functions. Marginal and total functions. Stochastic and deterministic variables in statistical and economic context: producers' and consumers' surplus. Supporting mathematical concepts. Statistical concepts are illustrated using simulation within a data science framework. This module is also presented as STK 121, an anti-semester module. This is a terminating module.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This module is integrated into all undergraduate academic programmes offered by the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology. Main objectives: execution of a community project aimed at achieving a beneficial impact on a section of a socio-economically underprivileged community located in socio-economically deprived areas our society; awareness of personal, social and cultural values and an understanding of social issues; and development of life skills.
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.
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
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.
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.
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; simulated exercise; the detail design including the division of erven, infrastructure network, land development control and design guidelines.
Theoretical component: 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. Practical component: Generic components of land use and land development applications and procedures including township establishment in terms of current legislation; 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)
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.
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.
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.
Urban sociology and social movements This module 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. With migration to the city spurred by the communication revolution, the city has become a source of aspirations and illusions. A key issue in place-space configurations is the dialectic between citizenship and cosmopolitanism (aligned to individualism and multiple identities), on the one hand, and the experience of community (aligned to a collectivity) on the other hand. The debate on who belongs to the city highlights both symbolic and material issues and a politics around access to rights and resources, and therefore a possibility of mobilisation. Contemporary themes such as informality, different forms of local participation and consumption are considered.
Demography, health and society This module will use intersectional and critical lenses to provide students with a broad understanding of how demographic and social factors affect population health and medical care across a range of contexts. The main theoretical underpinnings and debates, as well as basic measures of each construct will be covered to operationalise the constructs for the purposes of practical application in sociological research and understanding. The focus will be comparative, both across time and between developed and less developed societies in general and South African societies in particular.
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.
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.
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.
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 plan
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.
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.
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.
Structure, agency and power in social theory How do we theorise the interrelationships between structure, agency, and power in society? This is the central question in this module, which provides students with an intensive introduction to critical social theories. Engaging with current affairs and debates in society, the module will enable students to learn how to develop theoretical knowledge about the ways in which power is structured and exercised in society – both from above and below, as well as across fields (the economic, the political, the cultural) and scales (the body, private and public spheres, communities and nation-states, and the world-system).
Thinking methodologically This module sets out to introduce students to ‘doing research’. In this respect the assumptions and processes underpinning methodological choices in sociological research are considered in order to think about foundations of research, about how knowledge claims are made, how science is conceptualised, what role theory plays, as well as how values and ethics shape the politics of research. In addition to these foundational questions, a broad introduction to methods used in social research is provided by considering both the theoretical dimensions and practical application of various research tools. The purpose of the module is to equip students with the necessary competence to, describe ontological and epistemological debates and different approaches to research in the social sciences, delineate a research problem, identify units of analysis, make sampling decisions and formulate questions and hypothesis as well as understand the principles of quantitative (elementary statistical decision-making) and qualitative data analysis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 students to familiarise themselves 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.
Postal Address: University of Pretoria Private Bag x 20 Hatfield 0028