Case study

Dan Young — MSc Planning

University of Plymouth

Dan Young explains how studying MSc Planning at the University of Plymouth was a rewarding experience, with a real sense of community among students and staff

Why did you choose this institution and course?

Plymouth is an exciting location for postgraduate study. You've got beaches, Dartmoor, the Devonshire countryside and the city itself and I think all that really lends itself to being an amazing place to live, work and play. The fact that Plymouth benefits from a coastal location, being urban but with easy access to the rural communities of Devon and Cornwall, is great not just for fun, but for studying planning too. The programme draws on all these environments throughout the year, which gives you a really varied experience in terms of study and research.

The MSc benefits from a strong balance between academic and professional content, which prepares you for working life. Plus, the speakers that visit throughout the year provide invaluable opportunities for opening your eyes to the routes graduates can take in their careers.

What does the course involve?

The Masters course covers everything you need to know about working in a planning role in the UK, be that in the public or private sector. Planning students benefit from exclusive access to our own study space on campus, which is stocked with resources and is where we have most of our lectures. There's a real sense of community among the students and staff. Our lecturers are always on hand and willing to support us, not just academically, but also in terms of advice and assistance with securing graduate employment.

What are your plans after graduation?

I have secured a job with a local authority in a strategic planning role, helping them to formulate their next local plan for how their area will develop over the next few decades. The Masters at Plymouth is professionally accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute
(RTPI), which will open the door to me attaining full professional accreditation once I've got relevant experience. I'm really interested in helping to create urban spaces resilient to climate change, which planning has a key role in doing. In the future I'd like to get involved in PhD research.

What advice would you give to those considering the course?

I'd say it's never too late to start postgraduate study. It's only been a couple of years since I graduated from my undergraduate course, but equally some of the students in my lectures have come back to education after years in a professional role. You need to be sure that you want to study a postgraduate course for the right reasons, be that career progression or just a strong passion for the subject. I've found postgraduate education to be a really fulfilling and rewarding experience.

Find out more

Explore your postgraduate study options at the University of Plymouth.