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North-West University (NWU)

The former Department of Town and Regional Planning was established in 1965 at the earlier Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education. During 1999, with the establishment of Schools at the North West University, the Department of Town and Regional Planning was instated as a Subject Group under the School for Environmental Sciences and Development, in the Faculty of Natural Sciences. It presently functions as the Subject Group for Urban and Regional Planning (SGURP) under the School for Geo and Spatial Sciences within the new Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Since its most recent successful accreditation during 2014, the SGURP places emphasis on a holistic approach to teaching and learning, interweaved with the disciplines of geography, economics, sociology, urban ecology, mathematics and statistics. The following focus areas are hallmarks of the planning programme:

  1. Urban design, layout planning and infrastructure-related design (supported by accredited CAD training)
  2. Community-based participatory planning
  3. Integrated human settlements
  4. Regional planning (core focus since establishment during 1965)
  5. Transport planning
  6. Sustainability and resilience (including Urban Ecology)
  7. Planning practice (in combination with industry involvement)

In warranting continuous accreditation with the South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN), the three-tier level of qualitative assessment criteria of a planning programme at a tertiary institute, as provided for in the “SACPLAN guidelines for Competencies and Standards for Curricula Development”, is employed to calibrate all planning programme modules. The SGURP’s approach culminates in the degree Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning (BSc. URP); a degree that enables students to integrate in the planning fraternity as candidate planners and register as professional planners within the SACPLAN prescribed timeframe. Upon completion of the degree, candidates who desire to further their studies may, subject to selection, do so in the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management (directly associated with the SGURP). A Master’s degree and ensuing PhD is offered, carrying strong alliance with internationally based planning schools.

List of SACPLAN accredited planning qualifications currently being offered:

Qualification SACPLAN Registration Category Notes
Baccalaureus Artium et Scientiae (Planning)
(B Art et Scien)
Professional Planner
Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning
(BSc URP)
Professional Planner B Art et Scien qualification name changed from January 2018