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International Planning and Development (MSc)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

Start date
conversion-course

Conversion course

This is a conversion course. No prior knowledge or degree in the subject is required.

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Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

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.

Accreditations

Where you'll study

School of Geography and Planning

Join us as we explore and tackle the social, political, economic, development and environmental challenges which affect where and how we live.

  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 208 74022
  • MarkerKing Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA

Admissions criteria

This is a conversion course. Conversion courses allow you to study a subject unrelated to your undergraduate degree or current career, and support you with a change of career path. No prior knowledge or degree in the subject is required.

Applicants should normally hold a minimum 2:2 degree in Economics, Geography, Planning, Architecture, Sociology, Engineering, Politics and History, Crop Protection, Land Resource Management, Finance/Business. The course is appropriate for both international students, and UK students interested in international planning.

English Language Requirements: For students whose first language is not English, a minimum standard in English language of either IELTS total score 6.5 (no sub-score may be below 5.5) or the equivalent.

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.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

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 modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Development and Urbanisation ProcessesCPT78120 credits
Planning City FuturesCPT86620 credits
Space and Place: International Planning PracticeCPT87020 credits
Research MethodsCPT92620 credits
DissertationCPT50860 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.

Learning and assessment

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 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.

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.

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.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£8,700None

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

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

EU students entering in 2020/21 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 2020/21 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.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£19,450£1,000

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

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

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

Career prospects

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.

Funding

Master's Excellence Scholarship

This award worth £3000 is open to UK and EU students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate Master’s Finance

If you’re starting your master’s degree in September 2020 or later, you may be able to apply for postgraduate student finance to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount Pilot Scheme

An alumni discount scheme for all master’s programmes offered by Cardiff Business School and conversion courses in subjects including journalism, geography and planning, and creative writing.

Fieldwork

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.

Next steps

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