European Spatial Planning and Environmental Policy (MSc)

PLANET Europe is a joint Master’s programme of Radboud University Nijmegen, Blekinge Institute of Technology and Cardiff University. Designed to help students understand the influences of the European Union and international developments on space, the environment and the economy and who would like to address large-scale spatial challenges such as climate change.

The MSc European Spatial Planning & Environmental Policy prepares you for a career in environmental and spatial planning in Europe. It is designed to give you a better understanding of the influences of the European Union and international developments on space, the environment and the economy.  You will develop skills to address large-scale spatial challenges such as climate change or transnational river management.

If you are interested in becoming a ‘European Spatial Planner’ who can effectively engage with the international policy context and in cross-cultural communication, this is the course for you. You will explore EU policy and legislation for spatial planning, environmental policy and regional economic development in European countries and regions.

The course will provide you with sound methodological skills, in particular for undertaking international comparative research, and independently conducted research on a topic in the field of European spatial planning, EU environmental policy and/or regional economic development.

Interactive teaching and learning on this course will challenge and stimulate you. You will work in small groups on contemporary themes and learn to think critically about new developments. 

Distinctive features

  • The course is a two-year (120 European Credits) joint Masters Programme of Radboud University Nijmegen, Blekinge Institute of Technology and Cardiff University.
  • You will have opportunities to specialise in particular environmental or economic aspects of policy or spatial planning.
  • This course is recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a 'specialist' masters, allowing those who have completed a three year RTPI recognised undergraduate spatial planning degree to complete the RTPI's educational requirements for membership.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration2 years
QualificationMSc
ModeFull-time other
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

A first or second class Bachelor’s degree in disciplines such as planning, human or economic geography, environmental planning, or other relevant social science. Relevant job and life experience, or extra-curricular activities (e.g. board memberships; voluntary work) can also be considered in the selection process.

Students whose first language is not English will be required to pass the IELTS exam, obtaining a minimum of 6.5 as an overall score.

If your offer to study at Cardiff University is conditional on IELTS, we recommend that you take the ‘IELTS for UKVI’ test at an approved centre. This will give you greater flexibility regarding how to meet the English Language conditions of your offer. Please note that ‘IELTS for UKVI’ is the only test outside the UK that can be accepted for entry to Pre-sessional English Language programmes.

The application process consists of two steps:

  • 1. Fill in and submit the digital application form
  • 2. Send your application in hard copy

If one of the forms (digital or hard copy) is missing after the deadline, your application will not be considered as part of the selection procedure.

This is a two-year Master’s programme.

Year one

Module titleModule codeCredits
Planning for SustainabilityCPT87820 credits
Researching SustainabilityCPT87920 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Environmental ManagementCPT82620 credits
Urban and Regional Development in PracticeCPT89220 credits
Sustainable Food SystemsCPT90220 credits

Year two

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationCPT50860 credits
Professional developmentCPT90160 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

An array of teaching and learning styles are used throughout this programme.

You will attend lectures, participate in seminars and discussions, and attend field study visits. Most of the taught modules in the programme are compulsory, though there is some scope for choice in the second semester at Cardiff University.

You should attend all timetabled sessions of the programme – lectures, seminars and presentations – but are also expected to engage in independent study of at least 20 hours per week.

In the third semester (first semester of the second year), you will participate in a professional work placement, giving you the opportunity to engage with a substantive planning problem.

You will also receive detailed training in social science research methodologies to enable you to complete your dissertation. You will choose your own dissertation topic under the guidance of your allocated supervisors.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor at the start of the course. You will retain this tutor throughout the two years.

All modules make extensive use of Learning Central, our Virtual Learning Environment, where you will find your course materials.

You will be given the chance to reflect on your abilities and performance through the Personal Development Planning module, available on Learning Central, through the Professional Development module that forms an integral part of the third semester experience, and through personal tutor meetings.

You will also be allocated two nominated supervisors when undertaking your dissertation – one from Cardiff and one from Nijmegen. They will meet with you regularly to discuss progress, provide advice and guidance, and give written feedback on a draft. You will retain prime responsibility for designing and executing this piece of work.

Feedback

You will receive written feedback on all assessments. Formative guidance is provided on unassessed exercises, including an oral presentation based on the draft dissertation. 

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through the following in-course assessments;

  • Written reports;
  • Essays;
  • Oral presentations;
  • Exams;
  • Reflective journals;
  • Dissertation (not more than 20,000 words).

 

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic employability skills.

As a student on this programme you will:

  • work within multi-national teams on cross-border and multi-level governance issues;
  • develop skills in the collation of evidence and the marshalling of arguments;
  • develop skills in the written and oral presentation of material for academic and practitioner audiences;
  • acquire substantive knowledge and a sound theoretical understanding about the European dimension of spatial planning and the role of EU policy and legislation for spatial planning, environmental policy and regional economic development in European countries and regions;
  • develop a sound understanding of spatial planning for Europe as well as differences of spatial planning in Europe;
  • acquire substantive and theoretical knowledge about European spatial planning and EU environmental policy and sustainable development, or about European spatial planning and regional economic development, innovation and cohesion, depending on the specialisation you have followed;
  • develop sound methodological skills, in particular for undertaking international comparative research;
  • independently conduct research on a topic in the field of European spatial planning, EU environmental policy and/or regional economic development;
  • experience planning practice in Europe and critically reflected on the theory-practice interface;
  • develop cross-cultural awareness and cross-cultural communication skills that are important for spatial planners in Europe.

The dissertation also provides a vehicle to test your skills in the design and execution of research. The Professional Development module in the third semester will give you an opportunity to apply your knowledge to ‘real world’ problems.

On completion of this course you will be well prepared for the new challenges of undertaking spatial and environmental planning in the EU and an important asset for the European labour market and employers in the field.

Graduates of this programme have gone on to work in EU institutions, national and regional public authorities, private companies and NGOs dealing with spatial planning, regional policy and environmental planning.

The international orientation and the thorough academic foundation of this programme means you will also be well prepared to pursue an academic career.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Additional costs

While we do partly subsidise field trips, you should allow for travelling and subsistence expenses.

In the third semester (first semester of the second year), you will participate in a professional work placement, giving you the opportunity to engage with a substantive planning problem.

It is your responsibility to identify your work placements but you will be aided in this task by the partner universities.

A number of field study visits may be arranged during the course. We do partly subsidise these trips but you should allow for travelling and subsistence expenses.