Doctor of Philosophy In Planning (PhD)



    The Doctor of Philosophy programme in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning offers opportunity for advanced academic and scholarly working the field of planning encompassing both Urban and Regional Planning.  The Programme blends norm of development theories with planning theory and practice by exploring through research work, the central theoretical and methodological issues in development studies and, the various streams and planning theory. The aim is furtherance of knowledge on changing development and planning paradigms and their applicability to understanding the processes of development and practices of planning for them.


    The Doctor of Philosophy In Planning programme is founded on philosophical principles that underpin the discipline of planning. It explains what planning is, why plan, how planning is carried out and the importance of planning, thus building a knowledge database on the discipline. Planning is people-centred and takes place in space. Philosophy enables a fusion of society and space. The composite of space and society needs articulated by the contemporary issues of rapid urbanization such as sprawl; urban poverty well exhibited by slums; the need for sustainable utilization of natural resources and the effects and impacts of climate change and governance.


    The rural planning and design specialization will equip students with the knowledge to effectively analyze rural challenges and plan for appropriate interventions which, when implemented will contribute to faster and sustainable rural development and slowing of the rural-urban exodus. The urban planning and design specialization is anchored on philosophy, analysis, design, and practicum, with the aim of broadening the scope of the planner in the field of urbanism and enhance the planner’s ability to intervene in the urban environment through reading, interpreting and detailing the city. It also seeks to strengthen the link between academia, professional planning practice and the built environment.

    The regional planning specialization aims at training professionals that are highly grounded in theory, concepts and technical skills of development planning and management at the regional level to enhance national development vision and goals. The environment and natural resources specialization emphasizes on planning for sustainable utilisation and management of the environment and natural resources particularly land, forests, water catchment areas and water, wildlife and tourism resources, minerals, livestock and crops. The infrastructure specialisation covers planning for all travel systems and utilities.

    Goal of the Programme

    The course emphasizes the importance of creativity, optimal utilisation of all resources, public involvement, social justice, professional ethics, and environmental sustainability. It is intended for graduates and professionals with relevant educational background and experience who wish to specialise and practice in planning at the local, urban, county, national and international levels and contribute to the attainment of Vision 2030, national constitutional goals and Africa 2063 strategy.


    By the end of the Course, the student should be able to:

    (i) Demonstrate an understanding of academic, analytical and professional knowledge and skills needed to address complexities of planning and development at the rural, urban, county, regional, trans-regional and national levels.

     (ii) Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of the complex interactions within the natural and the built environment, institutional/organisational systems and the dynamic nature of rural, urban and regional development.     

    (iii) Demonstrate enhanced student capacity to work with communities and other relevant stakeholders to formulate integrated development plans/programmes and disseminate outputs in the fields of urban and regional planning.  

    Schedule of Intakes

    The Department admits new students at the beginning of every academic calendar year (which is usually September)

    Application Information

    You will be required to enter some basic information, including your email address and to choose a password. We will then send you an email to the address you entered, so that we can validate your account. When you have clicked on the validation link (sent to you in the email), you will be able to log in to the application system using the "Login" box below

    For instructions on how to apply click here

    To apply online here

    Mode of Delivery

    • Face-to-Face Mode

    This is through lectures and tutorials using notes, electronic presentations, instruction manuals, group discussions, practical laboratory demonstrations and fieldwork.

    • Open, Distance Learning and e-Learning

    In case of delivery through ODeL, special arrangements shall be made for the practical laboratory, field work and computing sessions. Where not feasible alternative arrangements will be made to do them on campus. 

    • Blended Learning

    This is a hybrid of face to face with Open, Distance Learning and e-learning.

    Contact of Support Persons


    Telephone: +254-020-491 3526,

    P.O Box 30197-00100, Nairobi


    Notable Alumni

    Course Structure

    The PhD Programme in Planning at the University of Nairobi shall be conducted by research and thesis.

    Candidates for the PhD programme may be exempted from part of or all coursework requirement provided the Senate is satisfied that the candidate had done and passed at Masters level course equivalent to the proscribed courses.

    Minimum Admission Requirements

    The following shall be eligible to apply for registration for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Planning:

    1. A holder of Master's degree in Development Studies or any other social science discipline for the University of Nairobi;
    2. A holder of a Master's degree in any other discipline from the University of Nairobi, who provides evidence of social science base study, research or publications;
    3. A holder of Master's degree or equivalent academic qualifications from other institutions recognized by the University of Nairobi Senate as of comparable status.

    Attachment Opportunities

    • The programme aims to prepare students for senior positions in the field of development studies both as researchers and policy analysts with the primary aim of making the development process meaningful, interactive and sustainable.  
    • Graduates of Urban and Regional Planning can find employment in NGO's, County Governments, Central Governments UN Bodies- UNCRD, UNEP, UN-Habitat, Parastatals – Nairobi County Council (NCC), Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA), ENNDA, Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning Departments, National Lands Commission (NLC), Regional Development Authority and Water and Sewerage Companies under the Water Act.


    Career Prospects

    Urban planners work with teams of related professionals such as architects, landscape architects, engineers, environmental scientists, economists, property valuers, real estate developers, lawyers and sociologists.

    Some of the firms our graduates work for are:

    • Department of Environment
    • Land
    • Water & Planning
    • local, provincial, and federal governments
    • consulting firms
    • real estate development companies
    • school boards
    • non-profit organizations
    • economic development and tourism agencies
    TUITION            480,000             480,000         480,000            1,440,000
    ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)                7,000                 7,000             7,000                 21,000
    THESIS EXAMINATION                     -                        -             50,000                 50,000
    REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)                4,500                 4,500             4,500                 13,500
    ID CARD ( PER YEAR)                1,000                 1,000             1,000                   3,000
    CAUTION - (ONCE)                5,000                      -                     -                     5,000
    MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)                6,500                 6,500             6,500                 19,500
    ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)                2,000                 2,000             2,000                   6,000
    LIBRARY (PER YEAR)                5,000                 5,000             5,000                 15,000
    STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)                1,000                 1,000             1,000                   3,000
    Grand TOTAL            512,000             507,000         557,000            1,576,000
    Exam Regulations

    The Common Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in all Faculties shall apply to the Doctor of Philosophy in Planning