Taught course

Urban Planning: Developing and Transitional Regions

Oxford Brookes University · School of the Built Environment

Entry requirements

Admission is normally open to those with a good undergraduate honours degree (2.1 or equivalent) or other professional qualifications 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 seek to formalise their prior experiential learning or qualifications.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

This RICS - and RTPI - accredited course is concerned with the theory and practice of urban planning in societies undergoing rapid economic, social, environmental and spatial change. It examines the phenomenon and processes of rapid urban growth and the nature of planning interventions within the broader framework of political, economic (including macro-economic) and cultural factors. The emphasis of the course is on institutional aspects of planning and management interventions in the urban sector and the scope of various policy instruments and planning modes to manage the emerging spatial patterns, impacts and processes of urban growth.

The course is offered as a master's degree (MSc), a postgraduate diploma (PGDip) or a postgraduate certificate (PGCert).

Compulsory modules:

Development and urbanisation examines the theories, processes and consequences of rapid urbanisation in the developing world within the context of economic development and social change. You will explore the changing paradigms of development - modernisation, growth with equity, market enablement.

Urban land policy and urban management examines the processes of urban land development under conditions of rapid urban growth. The concept and development of land policy are examined.

Globalisation: environment and development
examines globalisation and global environmental problems and their relationship with the development process. The module reviews theories of globalisation and the structure of the global system; global population growth, global urbanisation and industrialisation trends and policies; the globalisation of trade, aid, investment and debt; the revolution in global transport and communications; the changing role of global institutions; the emerging geopolitics of the post-Cold War era; and a range of global environmental issues.

Urban policy in practice: programme and project implementation provides a practice-based exploration of urban projects and programmes. It covers aspects such as urban policy analysis, feasibility studies, the project cycle, project and programme evaluation (particularly in relation to the housing needs of low-income groups), and implementation resources.

Research methods
develops your knowledge of research methods and methodology. It provides a forum for debate about research as well as giving students the opportunity to gain practical skills.

MSc specialist elective modules, of which two must be chosen from the following indicative list:

  • Armed conflict and international humanitarianism;
  • Principles of environmental assessment;
  • Environmental management systems;
  • Designing the city;
  • World of refugees;
  • International transport planning;
  • Strategic environmental assessment;
  • GIS and environmental modelling;
  • Designing the neighbourhood;
  • Global institutions;
  • Delivering sustainable futures;
  • Destination and event development;
  • Statistical research using SPSS;
  • Independent Study.

Please note that not all electives may be available in any given year.

PGDip compulsory modules:

  • Development and urbanisation;
  • Urban land policy and urban management;
  • Globalisation: environment and development;
  • Urban policy in practice: programme and project Implementation.

A similar choice of two elective modules from the same options as the MSc course is required.

PGCert compulsory modules:

  • Development and urbanisation;
  • Urban land policy and urban management or independent study;
  • Globalisation: environment and development or independent study.

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

For more information please visit our website

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 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