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Your next steps as a Future Planner

Planning is in the top four most successful degree subjects for finding work after graduation.

So you want to be a Town Planner? What you do next depends on your experience or what stage of education you are currently in.  


I'm at school

I'm thinking about going to university

I don't want to specialise in planning straight away

I already have a non-planning degree

Do I have to complete an accredited degree?

I work in town planning but do not have an accredited degree

I'm interested in an apprenticeship

I would like to get some work experience

Can I hear from planning students or graduates?

Is there any financial support?

My question isn't listed here

I'm at school

Apart from good grades in English and Maths, you don't need to have specific GCSE (or equivalent) subjects. But if you're choosing your options, subjects like geography, citizenship, science or ICT may be useful.

If you're choosing your A levels (or equivalent), the following subjects will be useful: art and graphic design, business studies, economics, English, environmental studies, geography, history, ICT, psychology, and politics.

I'm thinking about going to university

Studying a RTPI-accredited undergraduate or postgraduate course at university is the main route to becoming a Chartered Town Planner and you can find a course on our website.  Employers value RTPI accredited courses and a very high percentage of our graduates find employment within six months.

I already have a degree

If you think you might be interested in a career in town planning but don't want to specialise straight away or if you already have an undergraduate degree, you then have the option of taking a RTPI-accredited postgraduate qualification. An undergraduate degree in architecture, geography, law, economics, environmental studies, politics, or social studies would be particularly relevant for a career in town planning.

I'm thinking about apprenticeships

The RTPI has helped to develop two apprenticeships, one in town planning technical support and another as a chartered town planner.

The Town planning technical support apprenticeship could help you gain work as a planning technician or enforcement officer. On completing the technical support apprenticeship, you may want to take a part-time or distance learning planning degree or work towards RTPI membership through work experience (if you want to take a planning degree you'll need to check the entry requirements of individual universities or look at the UCAS website).

While the Chartered town planner degree apprenticeship could help you work as a town planner and will lead to you being postgraduate degree qualified. This is also a good option on completion of the Town planning technical support apprenticeship.

Both apprenticeships allow you to earn while you learn and could help you achieve the profession of your dreams.

I would like to get some work experience

Apart from giving you a better understanding of town planning, workplace skills and making you stand out to employers, work experience gives you a chance to try out a company or industry to see if they suit you. It can also lead to longer term job offers or sponsorship for postgraduate education.

If you want to arrange some work experience or job shadowing you can search the RTPI lists of private firms, and RTPI Learning Partners or contact a Local Planning Authority (council) and offer yourself for work experience in their planning department.

Do I have to complete an accredited degree?

If you have been working in a planning related role for some time and want to become a Chartered Town Planner but do not have, or want to pursue, an accredited degree or equivalent qualification, then you may want to consider one of our alternative routes to Chartered Membership.

Hear about the career paths of planning students and graduates

For more information on the experience of studying a planning degree read one of our RTPI Student Prize winner's profiles.

Bursaries available for planning students

If you're looking to study town planning, you may be eligible for the RTPI Future Planners bursary.

Contact us

If you have any more questions about your pathway to a career in town planning, contact