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Programme Aims and Features
The Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies BA(US) programme is offered by the Department of Urban Planning and Design (DUPAD), which has more than 35 years of experience in postgraduate training in urban studies and planning; it was established as the Centre of Urban Studies and Urban Planning (CUSUP) in 1981 and restructured to the present department in 2008. Its MSc (Urban Planning) programme is the only professional-education programme recognised by the Hong Kong Institute of Planners (HKIP) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
BA(US) is multidisciplinary and studio-based with emphasis on design, multimedia communication skills and problem-based learning projects, equipping students to become professionals in the built environment who can approach any problem from multiple perspectives. It enables students to understand and face the challenges associated with cities and urban development in Hong Kong, China and the rest of the world. Graduates can become Planning and Development Surveyors of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (HKIS) (http://www.hkis.org.hk/pdd/en) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) (http://www.rics.org).
The programme also enables students to acquire broad knowledge of issues and methods in urban studies, including urban planning and design, urban policy and management, land development, real-estate economics, sustainability, community development, public participation, urban renewal, conservation and place making. In the final year, students undertake an independent research project on contemporary urban issues. As the field has international scope, study abroad is encouraged, and there is professional training through internships.
Graduates from this programme can become professional chartered planning and development surveyors of the HKIS and RICS respectively. They can also become professional urban planners if they continue with the Master of Science in Urban Planning of HKU, the only programme in Hong Kong recognised by the Hong Kong Institute of Planners (HKIP) and Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). They are also eligible for professional postgraduate programmes in architecture, urban design, conservation, landscape architecture, real estate, transport policy and planning, and housing management at the University of Hong Kong, which lead to the relevant professional qualifications while also providing an interdisciplinary educational foundation for success in any field.
Students who have successfully completed the BA(US) degree are eligible to become professional chartered planning and development surveyors of the HKIS and RICS after completing the approved practical training placement and passing the relevant Assessment of Professional Competence. They can also become professional urban planners if they continue with the Master of Science in Urban Planning programme of HKU and acquiring the practical experience. The Master of Science in Urban Planning programme is the only programme in Hong Kong recognized by the Hong Kong Institute of Planners. In addition to obtaining a multidisciplinary educational foundation for success in any field, graduates are also eligible and well prepared for postgraduate professional programmes in urban planning, urban design, housing management, landscape architecture, conservation, real estate, and transport policy and planning offered by the University of Hong Kong and other universities abroad. Like similar urban-studies programmes at highly-ranked universities in the United States and United Kingdom, graduates can further pursue MPhil and PhD studies and also work in the private and public sectors in urban planning and design, land development, urban management, housing management, transport, urban renewal, conservation and public policy. Undergraduate education in urban studies does not limit graduates to work in the discipline of the built environment: the analytical and design skills developed in the programme prepare students for a successful career in almost any field. The multidisciplinary characteristics of the programme and the multi-dimensional nature of urban issues produce graduates who can approach problems from multiple perspectives.
Further career information can be obtained from the websites of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors (http://www.hkis.org.hk), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (http://www.rics.org), Hong Kong Institute of Planners (http://www.hkip.org.hk), Hong Kong Institute of Architects (http://www.hkia.net), Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects (http://www.hkila.com), Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Hong Kong (http://www.cilt.org.hk), Hong Kong Institute of Housing (http://www.housing.org.hk) and Chartered Institute of Housing Asian Pacific Branch (http://www.cih.org.hk).