Taught course

Planning Major Projects

UWE Bristol · Department of Geography and Environmental Management

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Entry requirements

Please see http://courses.uwe.ac.uk/K4931 for more information.

Months of entry


Course content

Following decades of underinvestment, there is now a significant push from government and industry to invest in new forms of strategic and nationally significant infrastructure across the UK to meet the demands of a growing population. These projects encompass all development sectors and include projects relating to transport, energy, utilities, the environment, housing and commercial and retail projects. The MSc in Planning Major Projects responds to these needs and delivers a course that develops advanced skills and knowledge associated with the planning, design, appraisal and delivery of large scale projects.

By applying theory to practice, the course provides an opportunity to develop a strong understanding of the innovations and practices that are necessary to take a project from idea to reality. In doing so, you will delve into the details of political and community engagement, project appraisal, and the processes and steps that are necessary to secure project approval.

You will gain an appreciation of the policy context surrounding development and infrastructure across the UK and beyond. Additionally, you will acquire specialist knowledge, skills and competencies to help with the facilitation of projects in a sector that is expanding.

Specialist skills for today's world

Large-scale projects require planners and leaders who can ensure that development happens in the most efficient, timely and sustainable way. The course will equip you with the communication, leadership, negotiation and project management skills to succeed and excel in the sector.

The course is suitable for graduates looking to specialise in the major projects sector, particularly those from spatial planning degrees. It is also suitable for planning professionals who currently work in, or are looking to branch into, the sector. The breadth of the course also makes it suitable for graduates from other degree paths and will provide opportunities for individual interests to be pursued (for example: from the application of good design to environmental protection).

Some of the modules will be offered individually as units of CPD which will be beneficial for people in related areas who have a need to understand the field more fully, such as marketing professionals and environmental assessors.

Engaging with Bristol's rich planning sector

The course will use case studies throughout to identify and explore some of the major projects that are being designed and delivered today. Learning material will require you to study a selection of projects in depth, thereby helping to draw out, and encourage reflection, on key areas of innovation and best practice. Your experience will be enhanced by site visits, real-life project briefs and presentations from practising experts.

Bristol is the home of the Planning Inspectorate that has a considerable stake in the appraisal of plans and projects, meaning this course is positioned to take advantage of the considerable body of knowledge and expertise that exists in the city. The course also benefits from Bristol's rich planning sector, that has a highly developed network of consultancies covering each of the key stages of project planning. Many of these companies have international portfolios, providing specialist advice in planning and environmental law, environmental appraisal, design and marketing.

The city is host to a number of bodies that initiate major projects as well as a range of development and engineering companies, which creates potential opportunities for graduates of the MSc Planning Major Projects. Example companies include Burges Salmon, Arup, Atkins, Aecom, Barton Wilmore, Land Use Consultants and the PPS Group.

The course will work with other key partners associated with project delivery, such as the Planning Advice Service and the Homes and Communities Agency. In addition, you will also focus on the wide-range of major projects underway in Bristol, a city that is renowned for its green and innovative ambitions. Current projects include a metro bus and rail system, the development of Hinkley Point, railine electrification, a new reservoir at Cheddar, and a series of large scale housing projects.

For up to date list of modules and course delivery please visit our website.

We hold a number of University-wide open evenings as well as a number of subject specific events throughout the year for anyone considering postgraduate and professional study. Visit http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/whatson/opendays/postgraduateopendays.aspx

Fees and funding

Please see our postgraduate funding pages for more information.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • Further details of qualification

    Full-time; individual modules can be taken as CPD

Course contact details

UWE Admissions
+44(0)117 32 83333