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Spatial Planning and Development (MSc)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

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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

Video containing details on MSc Spatial Planning and Development. School of Geography and Planning.

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

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Professionally recognised

Fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - providing access to membership.

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Gain practical experience

Work on live projects with real clients such as a planning authority or agency and benefit from the experience of a range of guest speakers from practices.

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Accelerate your career

Develop skills and knowledge directly relevant to planning and development roles in public, private and voluntary sectors in order to create stronger, liveable, and prosperous places.

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Flexible study

Full-time or part-time study is available allowing you the option to complete the degree in one year or work part time and complete it in two years.

Our MSc in Spatial Planning and Development (accredited by the RTPI and RICS) is the ideal starting point for your career as a planner or surveyor and will develop and strengthen your core planning and development skills, relevant and applicable to a range of spatial scales. It will provide you with the theoretical knowledge, critical insight and practical abilities to achieve your ambitions and positively contribute to the practices and policies of planning and development, in the UK and beyond.

Planning and development is often undertaken in diverse, and sometimes unequal or unjust societies and can be the subject of debate and struggle. This is why, while acquiring the specialist skills you will need to succeed, we’ll also help you nurture your professional judgement and be sensitive to wider ethical, political and environmental challenges. We'll empower you to question the status quo and challenge your own thinking to form and articulate independent conclusions.

Our focus is on planning and development in advanced market economies, especially the UK and Europe, but the programme’s exploration of planning and development is comparative, and the skills taught are applicable in many planning contexts.

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.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4022
  • 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 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 6.5(to include 5.5 in each sub-score) 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.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student 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

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 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.

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 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.

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.

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.

Tuition fees

Students from the UK

Tuition fee (2021/22)Deposit
£8,700None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals starting in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course.

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees for 2021/22 will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Tuition fee (2021/22)Deposit
£19,450£1,000

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

Financial support

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

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.

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Career prospects

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.

Funding

Master's Excellence Scholarships

An award open to students with a home fee status intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

UK Government master’s funding

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2021 or later, you may be able to apply for UK Government postgraduate funding to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount Scheme

The alumni discount is available for all master’s programmes in Cardiff Business School, as well as conversion courses in subjects including journalism, geography and planning, and creative writing, and master's programmes in clinical optometry, neuroimaging, education, global cultures, history, philosophy and translation.

Fieldwork

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.

Next steps

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Register for information about our 2021 dates.
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