Spatial Planning and Development (MSc)

The MSc Spatial Planning and Development aims to put you on the road to being a good planner.

The MSc Spatial Planning and Development is the ideal starting point for taking on the professional challenges of making liveable, prosperous places. You will develop core planning knowledge and skills, professional judgement and the specialist skills necessary to make you employable with a range of organisations.

The course is underpinned by a recognition that planning is undertaken in diverse, and sometimes unjust, societies, and that objectives and approaches to planning can be subjects of debate and struggle. The course will provide you with the sensitivity and ability to form independent judgements on these ethical, political and professional matters.

While its focus is on planning in developed capitalist societies, especially the UK/Europe, its understanding of planning is comparative, and the skills taught are applicable in many planning contexts.

 

Distinctive features

  • The skills and knowledge acquired through this course are of direct relevance to planning roles in public, private and voluntary sectors.
  • You will have the opportunity to work on projects for 'real life' clients.
  • This course is a combined planning course and is itself fully recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). The course provides the full RTPI educational requirement, so that successful completion of the MSc with the necessary RTPI practice requirements allows direct membership entry to the Institute.
  • It is also accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing completion of the educational requirement for RICS membership.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2018
Duration1 year
QualificationMSc
ModeFull-time
Other ways to study this course
AccreditationsRoyal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

Applicants should normally hold a first or second class Honours degree in an appropriate subject. This MSc is suitable for graduates in most subjects and is a particularly popular choice for graduates in economics, geography, architecture, sociology, engineering, politics and history.

Applications from mature students with a relevant professional background are also welcome. The course is specifically aimed at those wishing to gain a professional qualification in planning.

If English is not your first language a minimum standard in English language of IELTS 7.0 or equivalent will be required. Pre-course English Language tuition is available.

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 MSc Spatial Planning and Development is a one year full-time programme.

It is divided into two parts:

  • Part one comprises a teaching programme of compulsory and option modules over two semesters.
  • Part two comprises an individual dissertation. You will select your topic in consultation with members of staff. The topic must be planning related. If you are a student from a country outside the UK, the dissertation may focus on a planning issue in your country of origin. An important aspect of the dissertation process is student reflection on what is involved in researching a planning topic.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018.

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 supported?

  • Access to 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
  • Dedicated computer technician
  • 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
  • A detailed and comprehensive personal tutor scheme
  • English language support if English is not your first language
  • Access to Dyslexia resource facilities
  • Support if you are working/assessed through the medium of Welsh
  • Professional skills delivery during the induction week to provide you with training on computer use, presentation skills etc
  • Use of Blackboard in all modules  to provide module information and learning resources. 

Feedback

You will have the chance to regularly review your progress with your personal tutor. You will also be given written feedback on all assessments.

How will I be assessed?

The assessment methods used include:

  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Project work
  • Posters
  • Reflective journals
  • Verbal presentations.

Essays and reports will be used particularly 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 and reflective journals will be especially important in testing subject skills in planning.

Seminar presentations, debates and posters 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 communication skills.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will develop a range of professional and transferable skills including:

  • Analytical skills, including research skills
  • Communication skills, especially report writing and presentations
  • Time management
  • ICT skills
  • Team working
  • Using the planning policy process
  • Planning law (introductory)
  • Site planning
  • Development appraisal in relation to planning.

Graduates of this course do extremely well in getting the jobs they want and the input of people from practice into the degree keeps it relevant. You also benefit from making great contacts.

Principal graduate employment destinations are UK and EU town and regional planning organisations, including local and regional authorities, national government agencies, private planning consultancy firms and voluntary organisations. We also have students employed in North America and Australia.

Master's Excellence Scholarships

Scholarships available worth £3,000 each for UK/EU students starting a master’s degree in September 2018.

Find out more

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2018/19)

EU students entering in 2018/19 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2019/20 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£7,950None

More information about tuition fees, including for part-time and continuing students.

Students from outside the EU (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£17,650£1,000

Additional costs

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

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