MSc / PGDip in Spatial Planning
This one-year full-time and two-year part-time MSc programme is the benchmark qualification for those wishing to enter the planning profession and is fully accredited by both the RTPI and RICS.
The MSc in Spatial Planning takes a spatial approach to planning. This requires a much broader level of knowledge and understanding than traditional land-use planning, and today’s planners work alongside other built and natural environment professionals to deliver development that has the concept of sustainable living at its heart.
The course combines core planning education with the development of expertise in specialist areas. Our links with practitioners in both the private and public sectors ensures that the course remains at the cutting edge of practice.
Teaching learning and assessment
Learning methods include lectures, directed reading, workshops, seminars, and practical and project work. Some modules include site visits and fieldwork.
Teaching is organised on a module-credit basis, involving approximately 200 hours of personal study and approximately 36 hours of staff contact, normally delivered through three-hour teaching blocks over a 12-week period.
Each course module is assessed individually, generally on the quality of written or design work, and to some extent on verbal presentations. Assessment methods may include essays, seminar papers, formal written examinations, in-class tests, project work, design and verbal presentations, workshops, simulations and practical exercises.
Not only is the MSc in Spatial Planning seen as the benchmark qualification for professional planners, it is also widely recognised as providing the transferable skills and critical knowledge necessary in many fields of work in the built and natural environment. Local government, the traditional and stereotypical destination of the planning graduate, is just one of very many career opportunities available to MSc in Spatial Planning graduates.
Today our alumni can be found in senior positions in some of the largest international planning and environmental consultancies, in government agencies, in large NGOs and campaigning organisations. They can also be found in similar positions in organisations across the globe.
The long-standing reputation of the Department of Planning in producing highly skilled, enthusiastic and very capable professional planners aids the employability of our graduates. We are the first port of call for many employers when they are seeking new graduate planners.
Spatial Planning attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities. Applicants are welcome from any academic discipline, as well as from among those in work and seeking continuing professional development. Admission is normally open to those with a good undergraduate honours degree (2.1 or equivalent) or other professional qualification relevant to planning and development, or an appropriate professional background.
The course provides the opportunity to attain formal academic training and qualifications based on a diversity of professional backgrounds. Applications will also be considered from those who have no first degree but have three or more years' professional experience in planning and have completed the University's Certificate in Spatial Planning Studies.
English language requirements
Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate that their level of English is appropriate to study at postgraduate level. This course requires IELTS level 6.5 in the academic test, with a minimum score of 6 in reading and writing.