BA/BEng Urban Planning and Design

Bachelor’s in Urban Planning and Design

Introduction to the Program

The Bachelor’s in Urban Planning and Design at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) is a three or four year program for international students taught in English.


Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University is a new international university jointly founded by Xi’an Jiaotong University China and the University of Liverpool UK as a joint venture. As an independent Sino-Foreign cooperative university, it captures the essence of both prestigious parent universities and is the first and only one of its kind approved by the Ministry of Education in China. The University offers undergraduate degree programmes in the fields of science, engineering and management, and awards both its own Chinese degree and a degree from the University of Liverpool.

About the Program

As the size of the human population increases, cities now need to respond to a range of complex urban phenomena including rapid expansion and urban shrinkage. These complex issues demand more sophisticated solutions in order to achieve sustainable development. Students learning urban planning and design need to understand not only the processes of spatial change in the built and natural environments, but also study the arguments for intervening in these processes. Students based at XJTLU have the unique chance to study at the heart of what is one of the world’s most fascinating classrooms: China.

The BA/BEng Urban Planning and Design programme offers students the opportunity to study both local and international urban and rural landscapes in a dynamic and supportive learning environment. Students will be able to equip themselves with knowledge and skills to analyse, critique and, ultimately, contribute to the sustainability of urban and rural development both in China and around the world. On completion, students will be able to work in sectors such as urban planning, urban design, city management, central and local government policy, consultancy, and real estate development.

Urban planning and design students learn how to formulate strategic plans, design liveable spaces and create public places. You will consider the social, economic and environmental needs of a town or city and the impact of those on the built environment. Graduates help companies and governments make difficult decisions on the use of land including whether to develop, what to develop and how to develop. In recent years, urban planning and design has become particularly concerned with the preservation and impact of the natural environment, for example, how we deal with the growing pollution in our cities and concerns about natural disasters like earthquakes and floods. Other concerns include the scarcity of land and how to achieve an efficient and effective use of space. The rate of development in China means that good planning is essential. The BA/BEng Urban Planning and Design programme at XJTLU is international in focus and has been designed to help students appreciate the similarities and differences between planning in China, the UK and other countries throughout the world.

About The Department of Urban Planning and Design

The Department of Urban Planning and Design at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University is unique and dynamic. Initially built on the foundation of the University of Liverpool’s Civic Design department, home of the oldest urban planning programme in the world (established in 1908), the Department of Urban Planning and Design at XJTLU has grown into a truly international department that marries the best of urban planning and design theory and practices from around the world to the specificities of practice in rapidly urbanising China.

The department’s connections to others within XJTLU, and unusual strength in urban design, help to foster the interdisciplinary inquiry essential to good urban planning and design.

Our international and interdisciplinary mix of academic staff, and their wide range of professional and academic experience, makes for a lively intellectual atmosphere that nourishes staff and students alike.


There is a high demand for graduates with knowledge of urban planning and design, so you will have many different options to choose from including:

  • policy planner: developing plans for the future of countries, cities and communities
  • urban designer: creating attractive, safe and pleasant places in which to live, work or visit
  • property developer: the right developments for the right place
  • transport planner: finding sustainable transport solutions
  • environmental planner: tackling the effects of climate change
  • regeneration planner: bringing life to places that have become run-down
  • conversation planner: helping to protect our natural resources and heritages
  • community planner: engaging with people about how their communities are developed
  • smart city planner: promoting future cities that incorporate the latest in new technologies
Knowledge and Skills

On successful completion of the BA/BEng Urban Planning and Design programme, you will be able to demonstrate:

  • knowledge and understanding of the natural, economic, socio-economic and political factors that are shaping our surroundings
  • knowledge and understanding of how the built and natural environment is managed in different places around the world
  • an understanding of the role, scope and limitations of contemporary town and regional planning in contributing to the management of growth and change and the conservation of the built and natural environment
  • knowledge and understanding of the legal basis for action in environment and planning, and the relationship between planning and environmental issues
  • an appreciation of decision-making processes that represent the views of the diverse communities who are affected by those decisions
  • an ability to think clearly and critically, to reason logically and to undertake systematic research
  • techniques in computing, numeracy, design and various forms of communication
  • skills in teamwork to achieve prescribed tasks collectively
  • the ability to reflect critically on your studies and learning

Start Date of the Program


Entry Requirements

Entry into Year One

We welcome applications from high-quality candidates in all subjects with appropriate high school or equivalent qualifications. Students will normally be expected to have a high standing in their high school performance with a minimum ‘B’ average in relevant subjects.

Entry into Year Two

Students have completed A-levels of International Baccalaureate (or equivalent) will be considered for entry into Year Two.

  • A-level: BBB
  • IB: 30 points
  • SAT: high school diploma with a GPA of 3.0, plus three SAT subject tests of at least 600 in each subject, if you took the SAT before March 2016.
  • AP: high school diploma with a GPA of 3.0, plus three AP subjects at Grade 4 or above.

English Language Requirements

If you are a non-native English speaker, or if you have not previously studied in English, you must have satisfactory English language skills to study at XJTLU. Various English qualifications are accepted:

Year One entry

  • IELTS: 5.0
  • TOEFL: 62 (iBT)

Year Two entry

  • IELTS 6.5
  • TOEFL: 90 (iBT)

English qualifications are not required for students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan who take the Joint Examination or the GSAT.

Students who are entering into Year One with less than IELTS 6.0 or equivalent in their English proficiency will take 10 credits EAP, and students with IELTS 6.0 or above will take five credits EAP.

Application Deadline

30th June


Year One

UK degrees are three years long whereas in China they are four, therefore we do accept students with certain qualifications directly into Year Two, which is the start of the main academic programme. Most students, however, enter into Year One, which provides you with a range of interesting modules, language classes and core skills for your degree.

Year Two

You will study the following core subjects to understand the nature of human settlements:

  • Planning in China and the UK
  • Urban and environmental economics
  • Planning skills
  • Planning history and practices internationally
  • Neighbourhood planning

Year Three

You will build on this foundation and learn about knowledge and expertise needed to become professional urban planners and designers.

  • Environmental sustainability
  • Spatial design and the built environment I
  • Spatial design and the built environment II
  • Planning methodology
  • Networks and cities
  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Projecting and managing the urban futures

Year Four

In your final year, you will be required to take a set of specialist modules in the area of environment and planning or urban design, and undertake a substantial research project, spanning both semesters. You will also learn about:

  • Planning theory
  • Planning and property development
  • Planning law and governance
  • International planning
  • Final year project

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees are RMB88,000 per year. The total for the 4 year program is 352000 RMB.

Fees for studying in the University of Liverpool, UK

Tuition Fee: GBP 12,000 – 16,000 (approximately)


The accommodation facilities are located within the Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District, where the University is situated. All accommodation within this area is private and managed by the Suzhou Industrial Park Education Development & Investment Limited Company (SIPEDI), and also provides to students studying at other institutions.

For further information on the accommodation visit the accommodation page here.


To apply complete the application form and pay the application fee here. It takes approximately 4-6 weeks for your application to be processed and before an admissions decision is given. After you have been accepted you will receive your official acceptance letter visa application form. If you have any questions contact us.

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