International Planning and Development (MSc)

Urban planning is fascinating and tackles the challenges of change and development in an urbanising world, and this course is designed to help you shape your future career in professional practice.

The MSc International Planning and Development aims to provide a broad education in international planning and development, enabling you to acquire the knowledge and critical understanding to make a significant contribution to the management of human settlements and urban systems. The course is suitable for those who want to work in the planning profession and especially those who want to gain an international perspective on planning and development issues.

The course tackles the challenges of urbanisation in the 21st century. Since 2008, more than half the world's population has lived in cities. Cities are crucibles of culture, knowledge and innovation, but also harbour poverty and exclusion; globalisation, environmental pollution, and climate change all threaten the well-being of urban residents.

This course spans the disciplines of spatial planning and development studies, enabling you to acquire the knowledge and critical understanding to make a significant contribution to the design and management of cities.

Core teaching focuses on issues of development and underdevelopment, city futures in a globalising world, and creation of space and place within different political, cultural, economic and environmental contexts. Options enable you to follow specialisms in urban design, real estate and housing – or a general route with options in planning, environment, transport, real estate, site planning, regeneration and housing. The dissertation is an opportunity for you to develop your specialist interests.

Distinctive features

  • The course capitalises on the research and teaching links the School has with countries throughout Europe and the world. Staff have experience and long-standing academic and professional links in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
  • Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing completion of the educational requirement for RICS membership.
  • This is a combined planning course, fully recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). Successful completion of the MSc, followed by a period in practice as indicated in the RTPI’s Assessment of Professional Competence, allows direct membership entry.
  • No previous planning education or experience is required to undertake the course.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration1 year
QualificationMSc
ModeFull-time
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

Applicants should normally hold a first or second class Honours degree in an appropriate subject. The course is appropriate for both international students, and UK students interested in international planning.

A minimum standard in English language of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent will be required for students whose first language is not English.

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.

This course is offered full-time over 12 months and is divided into two parts:

  • Part one includes the taught programme of core and optional modules, allowing you to develop specialist skills and knowledge to support a range of career paths. Cutting-edge techniques in planning and international development are taught where relevant.
  • Part two is the individual dissertation which allows you to develop advanced postgraduate research skills.

Your taught modules will have a credit value of 120 and the dissertation is 60 credits. Acquisition of 120 credits will lead to an award of a Diploma in International Planning and Development, and acquisition of 180 credits to the award of MSc International Planning and Development.

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?

Core teaching focuses on issues of development and underdevelopment, city futures in a globalising world, and creation of space and place within different political, cultural, economic and environmental contexts.

Optional modules will enable you to follow specialisms in urban design, real estate and housing – or a general route with options in planning, environment, transport, real estate, site planning, regeneration and housing.

The dissertation provides an opportunity for you to develop your specialist interests.

How will I be supported?

You will have access to a range of facilities and resources, including:

  • A dedicated 40 PC laboratory with high quality peripherals including; network account laser printing, large format colour printing, A4 colour printing
  • GIS facilities/workstation/access to Edina digimap digital mapping facility
  • An additional  30 PC open-access laboratory in the Glamorgan Building
  • An excellent Planning library containing around 12,000 books, 280 journal titles and substantial annual stock expenditure
  • Access to online international databases/computerised library facilities
  • Access to Dyslexia resource facilities
  • Use of Learning Central  in all modules  to provide module information and learning resources. 

You will have regular meetings with your allocated personal tutor to review your progress.

English language support will be available if your first language is not English.

Support will also be available if you are working/being assessed through the medium of Welsh.

We will support the development of your professional skills during induction week by providing training on computer use and presentation skills.

Feedback

Formative feedback is given in tutorials, discussion classes and problems classes as well as through individual written comments on coursework.

How will I be assessed?

Modules are summatively assessed by way of coursework. Assessment methods used may include essays, reports, project work and verbal presentations.

Essays and reports will be used to test your core knowledge and powers of analysis. They will allow you to employ knowledge generated during the modules in pieces of policy evaluation or sustainable development in action.

Project work will develop your skills in project design and implementation, and spatial awareness to test subject skills in planning.

Seminar presentations and debates will encourage you both to develop and clarify your understanding of core knowledge (in order to defend a debating a position) and give you an opportunity to enhance your oral presentation skills.

What skills will I practise and develop?

As a graduate of the programme you will be critical and analytical, and will develop the conceptual resources to appraise and influence the foundations of planning in different contexts – legislation, institutions, or practice – with particular expertise in applied research and in evaluating policies and interventions.

You will be able to:

  • Develop critical skills as a foundation for the understanding of spatial planning (making space and mediating place), and will contribute to high quality planning and development practice in a wide range of international contexts.
  • Develop a framework for comparative assessment of the potential for planning and development interventions in different international contexts.
  • Understand the potential of spatial and development planning to contribute to the agendas of poverty reduction, good governance and sustainable development.
  • Evaluate the interaction of theory, policy and practice, and develop a critical self-awareness of their own work and practice.
  • Develop transferable and specialist skills within the broad specialism of international planning research and practice, based on independent and critical thought about the resolution of urban planning problems and policy issues.
  • Assess the roles of key actors in planning and development processes, including government, private sector and civil society, and the value of transparent governance in the creation of equitable urban policy.

Transferable skills:

  • Analytical skills, including research skills
  • Communication skills, especially report writing and presentations
  • Time management
  • ICT skills
  • Team working.

Professional:

  • Using the planning policy process
  • Planning law (introductory)
  • Site planning.

This course offers the knowledge and expertise for a career in academia, government and the private sector, in a wide variety of organisations including international agencies, central or local government, consultancy and NGOs.

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

You will need to pay towards your field study visit. This will be partly subsidised by the School.

You will take part in a UK-based field study visit. The trip is subsidised by the School but you should be prepared to pay towards this yourself.