Urban and Regional Development (MSc)

This MSc provides the opportunity to understand socio-economic change in different towns, cities, regions and city-regions globally.

The MSc Urban and Regional Development course is designed for those who want to understand more about spatial development theory and practice and help meet the policy challenge.

The course will provide you with the opportunity to understand socio-economic change in towns, cities, regions and city-regions; issues that are of increasing significance globally. There is a focus on developing knowledge of the key theoretical tools to understand the nature and source of this socio-economic change and its uneven impact on different social groups and different places around the world.

Drawing on leading-edge theoretical debates about uneven spatial development, you will develop the key skills required to shape local and regional development in the worlds of policy and practice. These skills include data analysis and research skills, problem-solving skills through project-based teamwork, and skills in engaging and working across different sectors and organisations, including public, private and third sector organisations. The course also enables you to focus in more depth on understanding the specific challenges of uneven development at particular spatial scales - from the broader regional and city-regional scale to the more localised community and neighbourhood scale.

The course also addresses the public policy agenda to enable you to understand, research and apply your knowledge and skills to the practical challenge of designing strategies to help cities and regions to become more innovative and resilient places in which to live and work.

Distinctive features

  • You will study the theory, policy and practice of urban and regional development in South Wales, which has the longest experience of regional policy development in the world.
  • This MSc 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.
  • 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 minimum of a 2:1 honours degree in an appropriate subject.

This MSc is suitable for graduates in planning, geography, architecture, engineering or other relevant disciplines (e.g. economics, sociology), or mid-career professionals working in planning, development or similar fields. The course is appropriate for both international students and UK students interested in urban and regional development.

A minimum standard in English language of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent will be required for students whose first language is not English. The UK Border Agency requires minimum sub-scores of IELTS 5.5 across the four competencies of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

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 University’s English language centre offers 10- and 8-week Pre-sessional Courses and a longer Bridge Programme and provides on-going support for international students.

This is a full-time MSc programme, taught over one year and comprised of modules totalling 180 credits.

It is divided into two parts:

  • Part one: a teaching programme of core and optional modules over two semesters.
  • Part two: an individual dissertation on a topic of your choice, selected in consultation with members of staff. Whilst there are few constraints on the choice of topic, it must address at least one of the core course themes of the Urban and Regional Development programme.

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.

Module titleModule codeCredits
DissertationCPT50860 credits
Urban and Regional DynamicsCPT88820 credits
Governing PlacesCPT88920 credits
Urban and Regional Development in PracticeCPT89220 credits
Researching Urban and Regional DevelopmentCPT89320 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Environmental ManagementCPT82620 credits
Live ProjectCPT83120 credits
Environmental Policy and Climate ChangeCPT85520 credits
Planning and Real EstateCPT85720 credits
Designing CitiesCPT86720 credits
Housing in a Globalising WorldCPT87120 credits
Sustainable Food SystemsCPT90220 credits
Renewable Energy Development and PlanningCPT90920 credits
Food DebatesCPT91320 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.

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.

Resources and facilities

  • Access to a dedicated 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
  • Two dedicated computer technicians
  • A 30-PC open-access laboratory in the Glamorgan Building
  • An excellent library containing more than 12000 specialised books, 280 journal titles and stock expenditure of over £100,000 per year
  • Access to dyslexia resource facilities
  • Support for students working/assessed through the medium of Welsh
  • Professional skills delivery during the induction week to provide students with training on computer use; presentation skills etc.

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?

A variety of summative assessment methods are used. These include formal written examinations, written texts, written assignments of a variety of lengths, projects requiring empirical data, case studies, student-led presentations, reviews of current research, library-based research, negotiated topics and formats.

With the exception of two modules (which use exams), all assessment is now done by coursework. This approach allows you to pursue and develop specific interests and themes across a range of different modules. It also provides further opportunities for you to work independently and demonstrate high-level practical, professional and transferable skills. 

Coursework will generally consist of one piece of work of 4000–5000 words unless otherwise specified. Some coursework assessment will take the form of project-based work where this is appropriate to the skill set and learning outcomes.

The major piece of project work will be the dissertation. This will involve an independent piece of analysis and empirical research. The dissertation will be an integrated part of the scheme with a preparatory module (Research Study Methods) which aims to provide you with the skills and the knowledge necessary to complete the exercise successfully.

You will be expected to complete the dissertation by the end of September of your final year.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills – discipline-specific as well as more generic employability skills.

As a student on this programme you will:

  • Develop a critical theoretical understanding about processes of socio-economic change in comparative perspective – in towns, cities, regions and city-regions across the world
  • Develop sound data analysis and research skills, in particular in the analysis of uneven development at the regional and more localised community scales
  • Gain practical skills in devising urban and regional development strategies
  • Be able to critically reflect on and engage with the practical and policy challenges of addressing uneven development between places
  • Develop an understanding of the social, economic, political and spatial frameworks which shape urban and regional development policy and practice
  • Develop competence in policy analysis in different institutional settings and spatial scales
  • Hone personal and communication skills in self-management, team-building, analysis, decision-making, report writing and presentation
  • Develop specialist skills and knowledge to an advanced level in particular areas
  • Appreciate and evaluate the interactions between theory, policy and practice and critical self-awareness of your own professional practice.

The course offers the knowledge and expertise to enable you to work within a large number of urban and regional development-related careers. These can range from research, policy development and implementation, planning roles within the public and private sectors to agencies and businesses involved in new and re-development projects.

The course is suitable for both UK and international students.

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