Kingston University planning and conservation students claim they could be left without places if a proposal to close their department is approved.

Staff in the department emailed students yesterday to tell them of the plans, which would see the School of Surveying and Planning in Penhryn Road closed from the end of this academic year.

Staff were told at 4pm on Wednesday, they said.

Planning and historic conservation courses would be closed this summer, while surveying and other courses would move to other university departments, according to the email.

The number of lecturers could also be cut. Students claim 10 would lose their jobs while five would move.

The email signed 'staff in the School of Surveying and Planning' said: "Colleagues within the School of Surveying and Planning are determined to do everything they can to both safeguard the education of ongoing students and to retain what a recent external review of the school described as an efficient model."

The email said the plans have not been ratified by the university governors or the academic board.

First-year planning student Rachel Stanislaus, 18, said she was “shocked” to receive the email.

She added: “What they have said is they will try and help us to find new places.

“It is not something you expect when you sign up to do a degree.

“You make life changes. You move out to a different area, which you are getting used to.”

And Latoyah King, 20, a first-year building surveying student, said: “They have put it as a proposal but it sounds like it is already happening.

“We’re being squeezed in somewhere else.

“They are trying to put it as, ‘This will enhance your education,’ but they are just cutting back.”

Nick Beers, a building surveying undergraduate who has launched Twitter campaign @KUSaveOurSchool said: “We were told at four o clock yesterday that the school of surveying and planning was going to be disbanded.

"It doesn’t fit in with the dean’s vision of the faculty. He wants to make it a 60s art school.

"I think 14 members of staff could lose their jobs, and our teaching experience will be massively disrupted."

Kingston University has not yet commented. Attempts were being made by the press office this morning to contact the dean of the faculty for comment.