This course is aimed at built environment professionals and others with a relevant social or physical science background who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of planning and sustainable development, whether to improve career prospects in their country or enter international practice. Through the course, you'll examine the growing problems of sustainable development facing cities, regions and communities in a rapidly urbanising world, subject to growing climate change and other environmental, economic and social pressures and risks.
Based in London, you'll have access to the internationally recognised experience of spatial planning for sustainable development and explore contemporary theories, public policy thinking and good practice in planning in both the developed and developing worlds. The University of Westminster is the UK's first Habitat Partner University. We work with UN-HABITAT and other like-minded institutions to promote the socially and environmentally sustainable development of towns, cities and regions in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and New Urban Agenda.
The course benefits from having strong links with the Max Lock Centre, an international development research unit, which is part of the wider Research Community for Sustainable Cities and Urban Environments. Associated research and consultancy focus on the planning of cities and regions towards a sustainable and low-energy future and the exploration of the environmental and social impact of concentrating people and economic activity in cities and urban areas, including the consequences for surrounding rural areas.
This course explores contemporary theories, public policy thinking and good practice in planning that spans both developed and developing world contexts and offers you the opportunity to explore one area of specialism in a related field in some depth.
There are two Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accredited pathways through the course. The Spatial Planning Pathway has a strong urban design component and an emphasis on the development planning process. The Urban Resilience Pathway provides a sustainable development-focused route with a core emphasis on climate change mitigation and adaptation planning. Urban design, planning and sustainability are mainstream elements across the course with the pathways providing an additional opportunity to specialise.
Although there is an opportunity in the course to develop a range of communication skills, including graphic presentation, pre-existing design experience is a strong advantage for those considering the Spatial Planning Pathway. The Urban Resilience Pathway offers an opportunity to explore this growing area of planning interest in a world facing climate change and biodiversity emergencies.
Top reasons to study with us
Learn from experts – You’ll be taught by academics and practitioners, experts in the field, who are involved in the publication, research and consultancy for a variety of organisations in the UK and internationally.
Professional links – We have close links with professional practice, and members of our teaching team are active in professional associations.
Accredited course – The Spatial Planning and Urban Resilience MA pathways each have full Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accreditation as a ‘Combined Planning Programme’. This provides the basis for becoming a full Chartered Member of the RTPI following two years of professional practice as a Licentiate Member.
Why study this course?
Taught by expertsYou’ll be taught by academics and practitioners, experts in the field, who are involved in the publication, research and consultancy for a variety of organisations in the UK and internationally.
An accredited courseThe Spatial Planning and Urban Resilience MA pathways each have full Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accreditation as a ‘Combined Planning Programme’.
Field tripYou’ll go on an international planning field trip, which will introduce you to research methods and methodologies specific to urban and spatial research, design and planning.
The Spatial Planning and Urban Resilience MA Pathways each have full RTPI accreditation as a ‘Combined Planning Programme’.