Entry requirements

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.

Months of entry


Course content

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.

Our Spatial Planning Masters takes a broad approach to the traditional field of city and regional or town and country planning. Above all, planners learn to integrate concerns across the board, including those of economy, climate change, and social need.

The course is offered at two levels: a master's degree (MSc) and a postgraduate diploma (PGDip).

The MSc course is based on the completion of the following compulsory elements, plus elective specialisations and a 15,000-word master's dissertation.

As courses are reviewed regularly, the module list you choose from may vary from what is shown here.

Compulsory elements:

Spatial Planning in Context;
Spatial Planning in Action;
Place-Making Delivering Sustainable Futures;
Contemporary Issues in Planning Practice and Research;
Research Methods MSc Dissertation.

MSc students are offered a high degree of choice and flexibility in terms of their area of specialisation, and (subject to availability and student numbers) these currently include:

Environmental Decision-Making -
Principles of Environmental Assessment and Management;
Strategic Environmental Assessment.

Historic Conservation -
Design for Conservation;
Conservation Economics.

Planning in Developing and Transitional Regions

Development and Urbanisation -
Urban Land Policy and Urban Management.

Tourism Planning -
Sustainable Tourism Planning;
Destination and Event Development.

Urban Design -
Urban Design Studio I;
Urban Design Theory I and II;
Urban Design Development.

Urban and Regional Regeneration -
Introduction to Regeneration;
Regeneration and Neighbourhoods.

The PGDip level of the course is based on the completion of the compulsory element listed above, but replaces the dissertation with a 10,000-word Planning Practice Project. This is a major piece of independent study culminating in the production of a report that analyses the implementation process of a planning policy, a development programme or a major project. The postgraduate diploma can be completed in two semesters full-time or four semesters part-time, and must be combined with an approved specialist planning programme to fulfil the RTPI requirements.

Specialist planning programmes:

MSc in Environmental Assessment and Management (EAM);
MSc in Historic Conservation;
MSc in Tourism: Environment and Development;
MA in Urban Design;
MSc in Urban Planning: Developing and Transitional Regions.

Information for international students

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.

Fees and funding


Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment70
Dissertation30 (15000 words)

Course contact details

Programme Administrator
+44 (0)1865 483573