Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Brief Background of the Department

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning which was established in 1974 at UTM’s original Jalan Gurney Campus is one of the departments under the Faculty of Built Environment. Long before the Department was established, the Technical College (the predecessor of UTM) had already offered the Diploma program in urban and regional planning under the Faculty of Architecture. The Bachelor degree in urban and regional planning was first offered in 1972 when the Technical College was upgraded to the university status and renamed the Institut Teknologi Kebangsaan (ITK). Later in 1974, the Faculty of Architecture was restructured and became the Faculty of Built Environment, comprising of the Department of Architecture, Department of Quantity Surveying and Department of Urban and Regional Planning. When UTM was relocated to the present main campus in Skudai in 1985, the Department was one of the earliest to move to the new campus.

In the 38 years of the running of the Bachelor of Urban and Regional (B.URP) Program, the Department has successfully produced a large pool of professional town planners who have contributed appreciably to the nation’s development and created an image of excellence for the town planning profession at both the national and international levels. This has led to the recognition of the program by the Public Service Department (JPA) and the Malaysian Institute of Planners (MIP) since early on until the present. The Department is committed to continuously elevating the B.URP program through ongoing enhancement of the curriculum quality; staff’s caliber; teaching, learning and research facilities.

Over the years, the program has seen a series of changes in the mode it was handled. The Department first conducted the Diploma and Bachelor URP programs separately under the ‘separate system’ in 1972. In 1976, the ‘integration system’ was introduced where students entered common lower years and would opt to pursue either the Diploma or Bachelor program at Year 3. The Department reverted to the separate system in 1984 and again to the integration system in 1997. The Department last returned to the separate system in 2003 and conducted the 4-year Bachelor program in the Skudai campus while the handling of the Diploma program was transferred to the Kolej Sains dan Teknologi (KST) in the Kuala Lumpur International Campus.

As the Department gained academic maturity, a host of urban planning related postgraduate research and taught programs were introduced in early 1990s, which have now grown into successful PhD, and Master of Science (M.Sc.) programs encompassing the fields of Information Technology (IT), Transportation, Urban Design, Tourism, Environment and Resource Management, Housing, and Urban and Regional Planning. The postgraduate programs have seen steady growth in enrolment of both local and international students, which is clear testament to the quality of the programs offerred.


To be recognised as a world-class centre of excellence for urban and regional planning education and research


To be a leader in the development of human capital and innovative technologies in Urban and Regional Planning that will contribute to the nation’s wealth creation


  • To produce competent and versatile graduates
  • To continuously enhance staff professionalism and excellence
  • To be the referral centre for research and development and publication
  • To enhance networking and collaboration with industry and institutions worldwide
  • To provide good support and facilities for excellent education and research