University Of Nairobi (uonbi) Urban Planning

University Of Nairobi (uonbi) Urban Planning

University Of Nairobi UoNBI Urban Planning – Details:


Degree Code: B65
Degree Type: BACHELOR
Degree Duration:
Degree Description:


The curriculum for the Degree of  Bachelor  of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning was prepared in 1969.  This syllabus has remained intact with minor revisions since then.  Between 1969 and 2000, there has been major changes in the field of planning all over the world, in response to changes in settlements patterns, social and economic conditions including changes in population and its life styles; as well our natural resources base.  The changes that have occurred  significantly impact on land as the key resource in human settlement development.


According to the Director of Physical Planning in Kenya, there is a serious shortage of planners in government and local authorities. With the introduction of the Physical Planning Act 1996, planning work has to be executed by registered planners, and this is causing a major crisis in terms of planners’ availability. At the moment there are only 206-trained planners in Kenya, most of who have been trained at department of Urban and Regional Planning University of Nairobi (DURP). Current training is an average of 6-8 planners per year through the existing Masters Degree curriculum.  At this rate it is expected that there would be a total of only about 510 planners by the year 2006, if the masters programme can train at least 15 planners per year. This number will be handling a population of close to 35million. University Of Nairobi UoNBI Urban Planning


The problem of demand for trained planners in Kenya is even more acute considering that the urban centres and cities with 100,000 population or more are on the rise and will need to employ their own planners to handle emerging urban development complexities.  Besides, regional planning bodies such as Tana and Athi River Development Authority (TARDA) and Lake Basin Development Authorities (LBDA) will also require planners in their own establishments, while the Non-Governmental Organisations and International Development agencies have also been key consumers of the trained planners.  Also, some planners will find their way into private consulting practice while others can be expected to join formal employment in private firms and others as the Universities and other training institutions. University Of Nairobi UoNBI Urban Planning


In the 1990s, the Government of Kenya recognised that the changes that have taken place in human settlements and natural resource base over the years. This recognition requires concrete commitment to steer the planning of cities and rural areas including the management of natural resources to more efficient and careful usage by all.  This is also in line with the United Nations Agenda 21 of 1992 and the Habitat Agenda of 1996, which among other things recognise the fact that human settlements will not be sustainable if proper management of resources and distribution in space is not right. All these demands have culminated in the enactment of various international regulations for improved human settlements management. In Kenya, the Physical Planning Act 1996 and the Physical Planners Registration Act 1996 which resulted are seen as the custodians of the physical environment, and as such the University of Nairobi is represented on Physical Planners Registration Board.  This is a great honour to the University. By mounting the Bachelors of Arts Degree in Planning the DURP is taking on responsibility that is rightfully its own. That responsibility must be seen through production of more planners.  As this is becoming difficult through the Master’s Programme with dwindling sponsorships and the length of period before one graduates, the Bachelor’s degree will provide an optimum solution.



Objectives of the Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning Degree Course are:-


  1. To improve the quality of the professional planner, to facilitate and guide society in spatial policy, plan formulation, plan preparation and implementation at village, community, neighbourhood, rural/urban district, urban/metropolitan, regional/sub-national, and national levels.
  1. To increase the number of trained and professionally qualified planners who are able to provide spatial planning services to small establishments such as the smaller urban and rural local authorities and private sector who are financially not able to employment services of Masters level in planning degree holders.
  1. To train planning professionals capable of working for the government, local authorities especially county councils and municipalities, regional development authorities, private firms, Non-government organisations, or to practice as planners in private consulting firms.
  1. To buttress the M.A. (Planning) and Ph.D. in planning programmes with an undergraduate training component in furtherance of disciplinary (theoretical/philosophical/research) and professional (practice/praxis) growth and development of planning in Kenya, East Africa and the rest of the world.
  1. To respond to the needs of the Kenya public generally and the Government of Kenya in particular, by enacting a wide range of planning legislation to guide, manage and regulate urban and regional growth and development.  Specifically through the proper allocation and use of private and public land as well as other land-based resources, the planner will be key decision-maker.
  1. To support the implementation of the:-
  1. The Physical Planning Act 1996,
  2. The Physical Planners Registration Act 1996, and;
  3. The Legal Notice No. 23, No. 24 and No. 25 on the Physical Planners (Professional Misconduct) (Procedure) Rules, 1998, all of which proscribe any one except registered planners from carrying out planning work in Kenya.

7).  To enhance professional education development in Kenya and in the continent in general.

8).  To enhance the institutional financial resource of DURP through increased student numbers.

Degree Courses:


Course Structure and Duration
1. The course is covered in seventy (70) course units consisting of lecturers, studio, workshops, class presentations, field work, demonstrations, supervisions/consultation and professional attachment.

2. Two contact hours will be equivalent to one lecture.

3. Students will undergo continuous assessment by written assignments and/or class presentations and/or studio.

4. Each candidate will be required to take all the course units shown during the semester. Each course unit will be 45 contact hours. The course units are provided as follows:-

  • 1st year – 16 units
  • 2nd year – 18 units
  • 3rd year – 18 units
  • 4th year – 18 units

5. Each academic year shall be divided into two semesters.

Entry Requirements
  • The Common regulations for the Bachelor of Arts degrees for all faculties of Arts will apply:
  • For JAB selected candidates, the following subject clusters shall apply:_
  1. Maths
  2. Any group II
  3. Any group III
  4. 2nd group II or
  • 2nd group III
  • Any group IV
  • Any group V

The following shall also be eligible for admission into the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Planning A holder of KCSE or equivalent: Overall Grade C+. A minimum of Grade C+ at the KCSE or bridging/Pre-University certificate examination in the following subject clusters English; chemistry or biology; geography; agriculture; building construction or drawing and design.  A holder of KACE (A-level) or equivalent; two principal passes in mathematics or economics and any of the following subjects: geography, biology, physics, chemistry, history and a credit in English language at KCSE or equivalent examination. A holder of ordinary diploma: KNEC diploma in land surveying, cartography, GIS/RS, photogrammetry, building construction, architecture, applied sciences or related fields with a credit pass or equivalent, or diploma certificates from science and technical colleges with credit pass in mathematics, geography, agriculture, forestry or agricultural engineering. A holder of University degree: A holder of a degree or its equivalent from a recognized University in the following subjects: economics, mathematics, geography, land surveying, architecture, building economics, planning, agriculture, design or any other relevant degree. University Of Nairobi UoNBI Urban Planning

Examinations Regulations
Examinations shall be conducted as follows:-

1. A candidate shall be allowed to sit for examinations only when he/she has satisfactorily attended a minimum of Two Thirds (2/3) of the prescribed course contact hours. University Of Nairobi UoNBI Urban Planning

2. Examinations shall consist of written papers, projects, studios and portfolios.

3. All course units except projects, studios/portfolios shall be examined during the semester in which they are taken. Such examinations shall consist of continuous assessment, course test and end of semester examinations. The end of semester examinations shall account for 70% of the total marks, while continuous assessment shall account for 30%.

4. All studio and portfolio examination shall be conducted at the end of the academic year in which they are taken.

5. In each case, all studio and presentation technique portfolios will be equivalent to three course units; planning research Project, and Portfolio Four course units, and Planning Development Project Portfolio Five course units.

6. The Pass Mark for each Course Unit shall be 40%.

7. In order to proceed to the next year of study, a candidate shall have:-

  • Passed all the course units taken for the year of study or,
  • Failed in not more than four (4) course units and obtained an aggregate mark of 40%.

8. A candidate shall be allowed to carry forward up to an equivalent four (4) failed course units in a year of study. Examinations for all courses carried forward shall be taken at the next ordinary University examinations.

9. A candidate who fails Studio/Portfolio examinations only as defined in regulation above may on recommendation of the Faculty Board of Examiners and approval by Senate be allowed to re-submit a failed studio/portfolio project within three months from the date results of ordinary University examinations are released.

10. Any candidate who:

  • Obtains less than aggregate mark of 40% and fails in more than four (40 course units and obtains more than nine (9) course units,


  • Fails in the re-submitted studio/portfolio examinations shall be on recommendation of the Faculty Board of Examiners and approved by the Senate be Not Allowed to proceed to the next year of study until he/she has satisfied the regulation above.

11. A candidate who:

  • re-sits a course unit will not be subjected to rule above.
  • Re-submits a studio/portfolio project under regulation will be expected to attend studios and be available to critics as appropriate.

12. Any candidate who:

  • Has failed more than 9 course units, or
  • Has failed in any course unit after four (4) attempts or
  • Has attended the course for more than twice the prescribed period of study for degree programme shall on the recommendation of the Faculty Board of Examiners and approval by the Senate, be DISCONTINUED.

13. A pass obtained in a re-sit examination shall be 40% in the students academic record.

14. Compensation may be allowed in a maximum of two failed course units only in any year of study, provided the mark for the failed subject is between 35% and 39% inclusive and the average mark for the candidate is 50%or above. The compensation shall not apply to Studio/Portfolio, and Planning Research Project and Planning Development Project. General compensation rules shall apply where compensation is allowed. University Of Nairobi UoNBI Urban Planning

Further Information
B.A. Planning
Course Structure and Duration
The PhD. Programme in Urban and Regional Planning shall be conducted by research and  thesis.

Duration and Form of Registration

A candidate registered for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Urban and Regional Planning shall carry out a programme of original research over a minimum period of 18 months after the date of registration or after completion of any required coursework and / or examination.

No candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Urban and Regional Planning shall be registered as a full-time student for more than four years or as a part-time student for more than five years, except by permission of Senate.

Subject to the approval of Senate, Department of Urban and Regional Planning may require candidates to attend such a course or courses as may be considered appropriate to remedy deficiencies in the candidate’s academics background or to endow the candidate with specialized skills or knowledge to assist in the proposed study or research.  Performance in courses offered may be assessed

Course Outline

  1. PhD. in the Department of Urban Planning is carried out by coursework, research and thesis.
  2. Depending on the assessment of the department, the candidate is expected to identify courses including Advanced Research Methodology and selected Theory courses as the case may be.
  3. The candidate completes PhD proposed under supervision.
  4. The candidate is required to make presentations in periodic seminar sessions (at least 6 months in number) before completing the degree work.
  5. After completion of accepted proposal, the candidate carries research including collecting data and analysis.
  6. The candidate writes a thesis report according to university regulations and format which is presented for examination.


Level : 1
Semester: 1
Course Code Course Name Course Hours
BUR101 Introduction To Planning 45
BUR103 Elements Of Physical And Biological Environment For Planners 45
BUR105 Social Concepts For Planners 45
BUR107 Quantitative Techniques For Planners 45
BUR109 Presentation Techniques I 135
CCS001 Communication Skills 45
CCS008 Elements Of Philosophy 45
Semester: 2
Course Code Course Name Course Hours
BUR100 Economics For Planners 45
BUR102 Rural Planning Principals And Techniques 45
BUR104 Statistics For Planners 45
BUR106 Presentation Techniques Ii 135
CCS010 Hiv And Aids 45
Level : 2
Semester: 1
Course Code Course Name Course Hours
BUR 201 Planning Theory And Methodology I 45
BUR205 Information Technology And Data Systems 45
BUR207 Land Economics And Administration 45
BUR209 Transportation Planning I 45
BUR211 Population And Demography For Planners 45
BUR213 Rural Planning Studio I 135
Semester: 2
Course Code Course Name Course Hours
BUR 203 Urban Planning Principles And Techniques I 45
BUR200 Planning Theory And Methodology Ii 45
BUR202 Urban Planning Principles And Techniques Ii 45
BUR204 Elements Of Land Surveying And Cartography 45
BUR206 Infrastructure And Utilities Planning I 45
BUR208 Housing And Community Services 45
BUR210 Transportation Planning Ii 45
BUR212 Rural Planning Studio Ii 135
Level : 3
Semester: 1
Course Code Course Name Course Hours
BUR301 Regional Planning Principle And Techniques I 45
BUR303 Infrastructure And Utilities Planning Ii 45
BUR305 Resource & Environmental Planning I 45
BUR307 Planning Law I 45
BUR309 Research Methodology 45
BUR311 Gis And Remote Sensing 45
BUR313 Urban Planning Studio 1 135
Semester: 2
Course Code Course Name Course Hours
BUR300 Regional Planning Principles And Techniques Ii 45
BUR302 Elements Of Building Design & Development 45
BUR304 Resource And Evironmental Planning Ii 45
BUR306 Urban Design & Site Planning 45
BUR308 Planning Law Ii 45
BUR310 Organizational And Political Context Of Planning 45
BUR312 Urban Planning Studio Ii 135
Level : 4
Semester: 1
Course Code Course Name Course Hours
BUR401 Management Techniques 45
BUR403 Regional Development Theory 45
BUR405 Planning Research Project 180
BUR407 Regional Planning Studio I Project I 135
Semester: 2
Course Code Course Name Course Hours
BUR400 Planning Practice And Administration 45
BUR 402 Planning Development Project 225
BUR404 Regional Planning Studio Project Ii 135

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