With populations around the world continuing to grow, it’s crucial that we balance the demand for more infrastructure with the need to make our urban environments sustainable.

Urban planners play a key role in the creation and development of buildings, towns and cities, both for today and for future generations. They possess the social, technical and analytical skills needed to create spaces that service both the needs of communities and the natural environment.

On this apprenticeship, you’ll explore the complex relationship between our urban and natural habitats, and gain the knowledge and expertise needed to help the built environment realise a sustainable future.

End-point assessment

This apprenticeship provides apprentices with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to meet the requirements of the end point assessment (EPA), the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). The APC pathway available as the end-point-assessment (EPA) is:

This Chartered Surveyor Apprenticeship includes an MSc degree in Urban Planning from UCEM, and leads to Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) once the APC is achieved.

More information about the EPA can be found in this RICS Apprenticeship Handbook.


  1. Acquire the technical understanding necessary to navigate the complex field of socio-political planning
  2. Achieve Chartered status through membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
  3. Help facilitate sustainable development and placemaking, both for today and for future generations
  4. Build crucial negotiation and collaborative skills to achieve positive outcomes between stakeholders

About the apprenticeship

What can you expect?

This Level 6 (MSc route) apprenticeship will provide you with the platform from which you can play a key role in the creation and development of sustainable urban environments. In your studies you will gain foundational knowledge spanning every stage of the planning process and learn to consider the principles behind urban planning and their impact on the evolution of the built environment.

Your academic learning will be complemented by the wide range of knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) learnt through practical experience provided by employers. From analysing client requirements and considering the environmental impact of a project to identifying solutions that balance the needs of different stakeholders, the learning from your job will significantly support the success of this apprenticeship.

At the end of your academic learning, you will take the end point assessment (EPA) which is designed to prepare successful apprentices to meet the requirements for qualification as a Chartered Surveyor with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors*.

*UCEM is seeking accreditation from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

This apprenticeship is for those

  • Seeking to develop a career in planning and the built environment
  • With a passion for sustainability and the environment
  • Looking to make a difference to community development and society at large
  • Wanting to develop leadership, negotiation and critical thinking skills

This apprenticeship will enable you to design and develop towns and cities, balancing the social, economic and environmental resources of property and land with the needs of national and local communities."

Amanda Lewis
Programme Leader


Benefits for apprentices

Opportunity for career advancement

Progress to a range of roles in the planning industry including Town Planning, Urban Placemaking, Regional Planning and many others.

Build your leadership and interpersonal skills

Through the degree and practical experience provided by the employer, develop the expertise needed to resolve tensions and bridge conflicting stakeholder values.

Help address the challenges of climate change

Build a foundation of knowledge that will help you lend sustainability expertise to clients and promote sustainable urban (and non-urban) environments.

Benefits for employers

Develop sustainability expertise in your workforce

Improve the success and breadth of your internal sustainability initiatives and improve the efficiency of your operations.

Retain talent through upskilling

Reduce levels of staff turnover by investing in your employees and providing them with the opportunity to develop.

Keep your workforce updated and future-ready

Ensure that your employees are up-to-date with the latest regulations, standards, methodologies and technologies in the planning industry.

Apprenticeship programme structure

On successful completion, students will be awarded:

  • MSc Urban Planning
  • Apprenticeship Completion Certificate

Delivery structure

This apprenticeship will be delivered online and include guided discussions and workshops as well as independent learning and reading.

Development of the required knowledge, skills and behaviours for all apprenticeships happens through a combination of workplace training provided by the employer and off-the-job training provided by UCEM.

The apprenticeship is 180 credits, plus an End Point Assessment (EPA). The employer must be able to provide their apprentices with relevant workplace experience for the requirements of the EPA to be met.

Programme outline




1 1 Planning Concepts, Context and Governance

Land Use and Property Markets

Valuations for Planners

2 Planning Process, Practice and Leadership

Real Estate and Development Appraisal

Research Skills and Current Affairs

2 1 Planning Sustainable Environments

Placemaking for Sustainable Communities

Independent Research Project (commenced)

2 Independent Research Project (completed)


If you require further information about programme content, please view the programme specification, which sets out aims, intended learning outcomes and assessment methods.

Why choose UCEM?

UCEM is a leading university for the built environment providing flexible and accessible supported online education to all. Our ambition to be the most sustainable university in the world has led us to develop the way we teach, operate, and collaborate with others to ensure that sustainability is integrated into everything that we do.

Online learning

When choosing UCEM, students gain access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This specialised platform acts as a hub for studies, offering resources, schedules, and engaging learning activities. Apprentices also have access to the Apprentice Hub – a one-stop shop on the VLE including guidance on off the job diary and end point assessment.

Dedicated apprenticeship contact

Our apprenticeship outcomes officers are the main point of contact whilst on programme. Their pastoral role is all encompassing and includes providing apprentice and employer with regular progress reviews to support with academic and personal development goals.

“My apprenticeship outcomes officer, has walked along with me throughout this journey and has been fantastic. She cares about her students and is always on the other end of the phone. I never thought I would have a strong relationship with someone I had never met in person until graduation day.”

Alumni apprentice, Sadaqat

Account manager

Our experienced business development team are on hand to guide you through the apprenticeship process from beginning of the sign-up to the end of your apprentice’s EPA.

Disability and welfare support

UCEM has a dedicated disability and welfare team who work to provide all students with the support and tools they need to succeed. Support is available to students with a range of disabilities, health conditions, and learning difficulties.

Support tutors

This team helps apprentices to navigate the world of online learning. The tutors support in a variety of ways, whether that be explaining how to use the VLE, the e-Library, submitting assignments, or managing workload.

Academic support

Our academic staff are experts in their fields and are here to make studying with UCEM stimulating and inspiring whilst offering vital support and guidance along the way.

Module team

Module leaders are assisted by a team of module lecturers who provide additional support via weekly discussion forums and webinars.

  • Rated 13th in the top 50 apprenticeship providers
  • 'Good' Ofsted rating
  • 87% of employers believe that UCEM provides the right training at the right time 
  • 94% of apprentices felt that UCEM supported them and their apprenticeship
  • Apprentices receive consistent learning regardless of their location 
  • Apprentices and employers receive progress reviews every 12 weeks

Key information

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a bachelor’s degree with honours at upper second standard (2:1) as a minimum, or equivalent, and be employed in a relevant role and with 1 years’ experience in a relevant field.

Full entry requirements can be found in the programme specification.

English language requirements

All UCEM programmes are taught and assessed in English. In addition to the programme entry requirements listed above, all applicants will therefore be required to demonstrate adequate proficiency in the language before being admitted to a programme.

You should have: 

  • GCSE Grade 4 (or C) or above in English Language or English Literature or an equivalent qualification
  • GCSE Grade 4 (or C) or above in English (Language or Literature) at A/S Level
Maths requirement: 

Along with English, maths at a minimum of level 2 is a requirement for all apprenticeship programmes.

  • GCSE Grade 4 (or C) or above that has Mathematics in the title
  • An equivalent qualification that can be discussed with the admissions and enquiries team
Requirements of the apprentice
  • Apprentices must have the right to work in England and meet the Education and Skill Funding Agency (ESFA) residency status requirements
  • Spend at least 50% of their working hours in England
  • Be 18 years or over at the start of the programme and be directly employed in a job role that will enable the requirements of the apprenticeship to be achieved
  • Find out more about how apprenticeships work

Time commitment

For apprentices

The MSc Urban Planning element of the apprenticeship requires 15-20 hours of study a week.

For employers

You will need to provide your apprentice with the equivalent of one day off a week to study and you will need to ensure that their job role enables them to fulfil the requirements of the apprenticeship.

Funding information

The programme meets the criteria of the Chartered Surveyor Degree standard. It also meets the requirements of the revised standard that is effective from March. Eligible organisations are able to use their levy fund for the £25,000 fees.

For more information, see Apprenticeship funding.

Application process

Prospective apprentices

If you are currently employed within the built environment in England, you will need your employer’s support as they will fund your apprenticeship. Speak to your them about your options. If they have questions, then our business development team will be happy to answer them.

If you are looking to do an apprenticeship but are not currently employed, you will need to search for an apprenticeship before applying. Search on the government website, or try reaching out to relevant employers to see if there are vacancies.


Get in touch with our business development team who will be able to guide you through the application process and support with any queries.

Current students

If you are currently studying a non-apprenticeship programme but wish to switch over to this apprenticeship then please follow the process for prospective apprentices.

Contact us

To find out more about working with us you can email businessdevelopment@ucem.ac.uk or call one of our team.

You can also fill out the contact form below and someone will get back to you:

Meryl Bonser

Director of Business Development

+44 (0)7557 384942

Martin Cawley

Associate Director of Business Development

+44 (0)7747 030777