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Masters Degrees (Marine Spatial Planning)

We have 35 Masters Degrees (Marine Spatial Planning)

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Summary. This course is designed to provide an advanced education in the principles and practice of marine spatial planning. Graduates of the course are expected to have a broad overview of the management of the marine and coastal resources and allied fields of integrated coastal zone management. Read more

Summary

This course is designed to provide an advanced education in the principles and practice of marine spatial planning. Graduates of the course are expected to have a broad overview of the management of the marine and coastal resources and allied fields of integrated coastal zone management. The award is intended to provide students with an appreciation of the scientific basis underpinning the management of coastal land and water resources and to enable those successfully completing the course to operate at a professional level in the emerging field of marine governance, planning and management.

About

The specific objectives of the course are to develop:

  • a thorough understanding of how coasts "work" and inter-relate with the marine environment;
  • the ability to identify, synthesise and analyse the multifarious roles of humans in altering coastal systems and exploiting the marine resource in a sustainable way;
  • a detailed knowledge of integrated coastal zone management approaches and a sound appreciation of emerging marine planning and management initiatives.

To take this course, you will need access to a computer with a fast internet connection. The course uses the Blackboard learning environment and the modules are delivered using online lectures, including practical and tutorial material. Students and staff interact via email, discussion boards, online chat and telephone. You will find that this course is much more flexible than traditional on-campus university courses as you can study using your own computer and the internet, at your own pace, any place and any time (within given timeframes).

Attendance

Fully online - part-time by distance learning. You do not need to visit Ulster at any stage to successfully complete this course.

The Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) Marine Spatial Planning and the Master of Science (MSc) Marine Spatial Planning are linked courses. You must successfully complete the PgDip (120 credit points) before transferring to the MSc (a further 60 credit points), i.e. to get the full MSc you complete 180 credit points in total.

The PgDip takes two years part-time (4 semesters) as one module is taken each semester. Modules are available on a two year rotational basis so the order in which they are studied is dependent upon when you start the course.

For the MSc an additional two semesters are required to complete the project module i.e. three years in total part-time. (6 semesters).

Career options

The students taking this course predominantly fall into two groups; those who are already working in the field and who wish to up-skill and refresh their knowledge; and those who are interested in making a career change. For the former group the progression opportunities focus on promotion within their current workplace or a change of job but within the same discipline. Others who are working within either the coastal environment or the planning environment will see this course as an opportunity to broaden their knowledge base and make themselves more employable by developing a wider range of skills.

There is already evidence from within Government and Local Authority planning departments that personnel from a terrestrial planning background are being required to work within newly created posts in Marine Spatial Planning but in addition to this students will be seeking to enter jobs in the newly developing field of Marine Spatial Planning within governments, policy making bodies, Non-Governmental organizations and charities.



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Spatial Planning determines the design of places, the relationships between land uses, and identifies infrastructure requirements. Read more
Spatial Planning determines the design of places, the relationships between land uses, and identifies infrastructure requirements. The planning process makes provision for the needs of households and the requirements of the economy, and planning aims to mitigate the adverse impacts of development upon our natural environment.

Marine Spatial Planning is a new field arising from new legislation geared to sustainable use of the marine environment. New planning procedures are being introduced and new skills are required to engage with the process. It is aimed at environmental planners and consultants working with local authorities, regulatory bodies, government, land owners and NGOs.

Why choose spatial planning?

Spatial Planning is concerned with creating sustainable places, Planners achieve this in a number of ways:

Planners work with building firms and housing organisations to help make available sites addressing the housing needs of local areas. They meet with local communities to learn about their concerns and to discuss ways of tackling issues such as the protection of homes from flood risk. They provide guidance on how to promote quality in the design of places and buildings.

Planning makes possible investment in sustainable economic development. Through preparing medium and long-term plans, planners ensure that land is available for development within and around our cities and towns. Planners often lead on regeneration projects and work in partnership with engineers to bring forward the infrastructures necessary to relieve transport congestion and to provide for long-term energy solutions.

Climate change is making achieving sustainability increasingly important. Planners, work with the environmental agencies and with conservation interests to ensure that the potential environmental impacts arising from development proposals are first established and then they use planning powers to promote a sustainable balance between social and economic development and the protection of the environment.

Who becomes a planning students?

Spatial Planning is a multi-disciplinary activity and attracts a wide mix of graduates. Often these are geography graduates, but increasingly graduates with social science, law, architecture and surveying degrees, as well as graduates from the environmental sciences find that Spatial Planning makes use of their knowledge and training.

Aims of the Programme

The Spatial Planning programmes are designed to provide the knowledge, skills and understanding required for graduates wishing to enter into professional careers in urban planning and development.

Programme Content

Semester 1:
Spatial Analysis has two key components. The first component analyses built and natural environments particularly from a conservation perspective. The second part of the module focuses on socio-economic analysis of data at a city scale and the relevance of this to planning.

Statutory Planning. is a practice based approach to learning processes processes of plan-making and the management of development.

Property Development Processes deals with complexities and challenges in the property development sector and the role of different stakeholders involved.

Semester 2:

Concepts of spatial planning introduces students to the role of planning and planning systems. The other part of this module introduces students to various planning theories and their relevance to practice.

Sustainability in Contemporary Cities examines various challenges facing the growth of cities globally and the implications of these to planning of cities and the countryside.

The third second semester module is optional depending on the selected specialism. Students select one specialist module from the following:

Environmental Assessment
Marine Spatial Planning
Sustainable Urban Design
Urban Conservation
Applied Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Data Analysis
Semester 3:

A 60 credit dissertation in line with the selected specialism

Methods of Assessment

Assessment methods cover a mix of formats including 'live' project-work and a research project. There are no written examinations. The educational aims are to develop subject understanding and to equip students with research and practice skills. Assignments call for visioning, problem-solving, forward-planning and critical reflection. Assignments are informed by students making effective use of available literature, conducting investigations and accessing sources of data. Attention is paid to building the effective communication and partnering skills vital for practicing professional planners.

Sources of Funding

Information about the School of the Environment scholarships can be found on the School of the Environment scholarships webpage. Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.

SAAS tuition fee loans are available for this course for students who meet the eligibility criteria. Visit our SAAS tuition fee loan webpage for more information and links.

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Do you want to pursue a professional career in planning? As the UK’s newest planning school, our programme has been designed to offer a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing the formulation and delivery of spatial planning policy across the built and natural environments. Read more
Do you want to pursue a professional career in planning? As the UK’s newest planning school, our programme has been designed to offer a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing the formulation and delivery of spatial planning policy across the built and natural environments. You will be prepared to develop or enhance a career as a chartered town planner in a rapidly changing world. Choose to take this programme either full-time over one year or part-time over two years.

Key features

-Develop broad-based, multidisciplinary and cross-professional approaches to place making and the planning and management of the built and physical environment for sustainable development.
-Deepen your understanding through our programme’s specialist options on urban coastal, marine planning, rural planning or sustainable transport issues.
-Explore planning issues of particular relevance to South West England, set within the context of national and international experience.
-Expand your skills through applied and experiential learning, including fieldwork, practicals, case studies, role play, debates and engagement with professional practitioners.
-Benefit from a supportive learning environment with an emphasis on small-group teaching and high levels of staff-student interaction.
-Fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
-Develop the key skills and professionalism to prepare you for an effective contribution to the workplace, including lifelong learning and preparation for the RTPI’s Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).

Course details

Develop a comprehensive knowledge of planning, enabling critical evaluation of evidence from a range of perspectives related to the natural and built environment. As an RTPI combined programme, core modules cover the general foundation of spatial planning (including urban design), and specialisms reflect planning issues relevant to South West England and existing strengths within the University: marine and coastal planning, rural planning and sustainable development. Our programme will enable you to develop a professional career in planning in the public, private or voluntary sector. We offer a supportive learning environment with small-group teaching and extensive interaction with our staff, emphasising the critical skills necessary for professional effectiveness in planning-related careers.

Core modules
-PLG503 Environmental knowledge: from field to stakeholder
-PLG502 Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development
-PLG505 Urban Design: theories, methodologies and practice
-PLG501 Issues and Values in Planning Practice
-PLG504 Development Management and Delivery

Optional modules
-PLG510 Dissertation (full-time route)
-PLG511 Dissertation (part-time route)
-PLG506 Rural Planning
-PLG508 Coastal Urban Regeneration
-PLG507 Sustainable Transport Governance: Policy and Practice
-PLG509 Marine Planning

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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This multidisciplinary programme is designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills required to take up the exciting job opportunities arising from the recent adoption of marine spatial planning and related developments in marine conservation and the maritime industries. Read more
This multidisciplinary programme is designed to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills required to take up the exciting job opportunities arising from the recent adoption of marine spatial planning and related developments in marine conservation and the maritime industries.

Marine spatial planning is now developing as a key component of marine management. It aims to deliver a more organised sharing of sea space between demands as diverse as nature conservation, tourism, ports and shipping, renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture and mineral extraction. It seeks to integrate social, economic and environmental uses of the coast and sea.

Marine planning is being taken up by coastal nations around the world, including Australia, China, the United States of America, South Africa and several European nations, such as Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Some nations, such as the UK, now have statutory provisions for planning their coastal and marine waters and bodies and procedures for preparing marine plans and implementing them. All European Union coastal states are now required to introduce marine planning, following a Directive passed in 2014.

So there is a growing demand for professionals who understand marine science and management on the one hand, and spatial planning, as has long been practised on land, on the other. This postgraduate programme bridges the gap between these two disciplines, and equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to embark on a career within marine management.
This programme leads to the award of a Master of Science degree. It is a full-time, one-year course, though it is also possible to study part-time over two years, combining studies with other responsibilities. This is the first programme of its kind to be accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute as a specialist Masters course. Gaining the degree is a step towards professional membership of the Institute.

Here is a selection of the topics recently chosen by the MSc students for their dissertations:
• Implementation of Marine Spatial Planning in Portugal
• Global food security: finding space for aquaculture
• Stakeholder Participation in Marine Planning in the UK
• Success factors for offshore wind energy
• China’s system of Marine Functional Zoning
• Assessing the value of sand dune systems in the North West of England
• Stakeholder involvement in the Irish Sea Conservation Zone project
• Reducing the impact of offshore wind farms on seabirds
• Mitigating the impacts of tidal barrages

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Your programme of study. Read more

Your programme of study

If you want to save our oceans from ever increasing amounts of development affecting the natural world or you want to study man made effects on marine life, or you want to work in statutory conservation bodies, government regulators, departments, consultancies assisting private and public sector organisations with their marine environmental reports and assessments, this programme will support you towards that goal.

Human activity in our oceans affect marine environments and conservation. We have increasing shipping lanes and worldwide logistical needs, marine based wind farms, energy production and extraction, and many other industry sectors impacting on the marine environment. There is a need to ensure that the balance for economic benefit does not conflict with the natural world and its long term sustainability. There are also sensitive receptors and geographical areas which must be protected and sustained and which provide essential knowledge to transfer.

You develop practical and analytical skills to apply to marine ecosystems. Contributors to the programme include Marine Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and you study ecology, fish biology, design and analysis of experiments, population, GIS, conservation management, literature in ecology, conservation and environment, research and conservation management in the marine environment

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Marine Ecology and Ecosystem Management
  • Fish Biology
  • Experimental Design and Analysis
  • Population and Community Ecology
  • Introduction to GIS

Semester 2

  • Readings in Ecology, Conservation and Environment
  • Research Project Planning

Optional

  • Ecology, Conservation and Society
  • Marine Spatial Management and Top Predators
  • Advanced Modelling for Ecology and Conservation
  • Spatial Information Analysis
  • Sustainable Management of Marine Resources
  • Catchment Management

Semester 3

  • Research Project

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • The programme is supported by contributions from Marine Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and others
  • You are taught by renowned researchers and leading practitioners with outdoor field work at research sites and Aberdeen Harbour
  • You have access to laboratories to monitor water quality
  • You have tours of Marine Scotland's fleet of research vessels

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time
  • 12 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs 



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This course provides you with an exceptional grounding in marine environmental research. You’ll develop your understanding of key concepts and issues. Read more
This course provides you with an exceptional grounding in marine environmental research. You’ll develop your understanding of key concepts and issues. You’ll also develop the skills and qualities required for a career in academia or industry.

Through a combination of taught and research modules, our course develops your understanding of:
-The roles of science, policy, technology and economic development in the marine environment
-Marine environmental issues, their origins and possible solutions
-The principal processes maintaining and altering structure, function and ecosystem services of coastal waters
-The key concepts and methodologies used in ecosystem, environmental management and conservation science
-The context, purpose and implementation of resource mapping and evaluation
-The theory, principles, concepts and practices in marine governance

Our staff have over 30 years of research and teaching experience, both in the UK and overseas. Their expertise spans the natural and social sciences in coastal-marine science and management.

Our taught modules will ground your understanding of marine ecosystem dynamics, research methodologies and environmental governance. You will develop your research skills by designing and completing a supervised project.

Major sites for projects include the:
-Red Sea
-Maldives
-Bahamas
-Northumberland coast (UK)

The project will develop a detailed knowledge of your chosen research topic by drawing on the research communities within the School of Marine Science and Technology. These include:
-Marine Biology, Ecosystems and Governance (MBEG)
-Oceans and Climate (OC)

These research groups have had notable successes in their work on:
-Coral reefs (Prof John Bythell, Prof Alasdair Edwards, Prof Nicholas Polunin)
-Physical oceanography and climate modelling (Prof Andrew Willmott, Dr Miguel Maqueda)
-Marine spatial mapping and systems planning (Dr Clare Fitzsimmons)
-Marine protected areas and management (Prof Nicholas Polunin, Prof Selina Stead)
-Food webs (Prof Nicholas Polunin)

They are also active in:
-Marine mammal monitoring (Dr Per Berggren)
-Citizen science and outreach (Dr Jane Delaney)
-Deep sea ecology and marine time series (Dr Ben Wigham)

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This MSc Programme is based at our ORKNEY CAMPUS in the far north of Scotland - a unique opportunity to study a live marine environment. Read more

MSc Marine Resource Management

This MSc Programme is based at our ORKNEY CAMPUS in the far north of Scotland - a unique opportunity to study a live marine environment.

As man increases his demands upon the oceans, their sustainable development will depend on a rational management strategy for the total resource.

The professional working in the marine environment is constantly required to be multidisciplinary, and able to appreciate the conflicts that arise between conservation and development.

The MRM programme (See http://www.postgraduate.hw.ac.uk/prog/msc-marine-resource-management-mrm-/ ) considers the sustainable development, use, conservation and management of marine resources.

Core themes include:
- Marine environmental systems.
- Resource management and conservation.
- Valuation and project management.

For more information visit http://www.hw.ac.uk/schools/life-sciences/research/icit.htm

Overview

This is a 12 month full-time MSc degree course taught at our Orkney Campus. It involves studying 8 taught courses. If you can demonstrate that you have already mastered the subject, you may apply for an exemption from one of the taught courses and undertake a Design Project instead. The MSc programme is completed with a research dissertation equivalent to 4 taught courses.

Programme content

- Conservation, Sustainable Development & Resource Management
This course takes a broad look at the principles of sustainability and sustainable resource use, including environmental ethics. You will explore the challenges faced by policy makers and marine managers when incorporating these broad principles into policy and practice. You will learn about how sensitive habitats and the species they support are managed and protected, and how impacts from development are mitigated. The course gives an introduction to biodiversity conservation and the biodiversity action planning process, as well as examining issues around the relationship between conservation and science.

- Environmental Policy & Risk
This course explores the legal and policy context in which renewable energy is being exploited. You will gain an understanding of international law, particularly the Law of the Sea, property rights and how these relate to different energy resources. The course also looks at regulatory issues at the international, European and UK level, which affect how energy developments are taken forward, as well as risk assessment and management in the context of renewable energy developments.

- Oceanography & Marine Biology
This course is designed to give you an understanding of the science of waves and tides, and how this affects efforts to exploit energy from these resources. You will also learn about marine ecosystems and how these may be impacted by energy extraction and about the challenges and impacts associated with carrying out engineering operations in the marine environment.

- Resource Development
This course examines the exploitation and use of marine resources (including oil and gas, fisheries, transport, renewables, aquaculture and tourism), issues associated with development in the marine environment (including pollution and waste) and how these activities are regulated. You will learn about marine technologies and the challenges of developing and deploying technologies to exploit resources in the marine environment.

- Introduction to Marine Spatial Planning
This course introduces students to the emerging policy and practice of marine planning (global and regional). It examines political, jurisdictional and rights issues in the introduction of economic activities into the marine commons (the ‘Blue Growth Agenda’). The framework of marine legislation is explained and methods of conflict resolution are explored. A series of international case studies will identify the various tools and techniques being used around the world to manage human activity and balance conservation interests with demands for economic growth.

- GIS
Geographic Information System mapping is a tool which is now widely used by both developers and regulators in the management and development of marine resources. Within the context of Marine Spatial Planning the use of GIS has rapidly become the standard means of collating and analysing spatial information regarding resource use. This course will explain the principles and provide hands-on experience of applying state of the art mapping software in project based case studies.

- Development Appraisal
Looking at what happens when renewable energy technologies are deployed, this course examines development constraints and opportunities: policy and regulatory issues (including strategic environmental assessment, environmental impact assessment, landscape assessment, capacity issues and the planning system). It also looks at the financial aspects (valuation of capital asses, financing projects and the costs of generating electricity) and at project management.

- Development Project
This is a team project, where students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned through the other courses in relation to a hypothetical project. You have to look at a range of issues including resource assessment, site selection, development layout, consents, planning and economic appraisal, applying the knowledge and tools you have studied.

- Additional information
If you study at our Orkney Campus, you will also benefit from a number of activities including field trips, guest lectures and practicals, which help to develop your skills and knowledge in your field of study, and offer opportunities to meet developers and others involved in the renewable energy industry.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. We offer a range of English language courses (See http://www.hw.ac.uk/study/english.htm ) to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:
- 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
- 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
- 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)

Find information on Fees and Scholarships here http://www.postgraduate.hw.ac.uk/prog/msc-marine-resource-management-mrm-/

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The father of town planning, Patrick Geddes was a professor of botany at this University hence our strong historical links to the planning profession. Read more
The father of town planning, Patrick Geddes was a professor of botany at this University hence our strong historical links to the planning profession. The University of Dundee has been running town and regional planning programmes for over fifty years with a proud list of its graduates who went on to take up positions of influence in shaping the development of quality cities and spaces across the world. Dundee, the city, is located in an idealistic location for learning planning.

This course attracts students from a wide network of countries and varied professional backgrounds and this a unique environment to collaborate different experiences from other students.

This programme is accredited to the Royal Town Planning Institute and provides options for specialisms in Environmental Assessment, Marine Spatial Planning, Sustainable Urban Design and Urban Conservation. Our academic staff have a strong research and practice background in these specialist areas. The programme has strong links with practitioners so our students have the opportunity to engage with 'live' projects as part of their learning.

The course offers options for part-time study for those in full time employment.

What is so good about this course?

The idealistic location of Dundee enables students to 'live what they learn'. This is made possible by collaborative relations that the programme has with the key planning agencies in and around Dundee and thus allowing students to engage with practitioners through lectures, seminars and fieldwork. The programme has dedicated learning and IT facilities to enhance the students learning experience.

Teaching & Assessment

- How you will be taught

This course can either be taken on a full-time (1 year) or part time basis (2 years). The mode of teaching is generally through class lectures, guest speaker seminars and student-led seminars. Time is allowed to encourage individual study using the library and other facilities.

The course is done over three semesters. The first semester covers core modules in, Statutory Planning, Spatial Analysis and Property Development Processes. The second semester covers two core modules, Concepts of Planning and Sustainability in Contemporary Cities and an optional specialism module.. The third semester is for the dissertation based on the specialist option. Each semester allows for 60 credits leading to a total of 180 credits for the full MSc Award.

- How you will be assessed

This course has a mixed approach to assessment including report writing, essay writing, oral presentations and group-work tasks. The dissertation is an individual investigation researched by the student in line with the selected specialism. All assessments are 100% coursework with no examinations.

What you will study

- Semester 1:

Spatial Analysis has two key components. The first component analyses built and natural environments particularly from a conservation perspective. The second part of the module focuses on socio-economic analysis of data at a city scale and the relevance of this to planning.

Statutory Planning is a practice based approach to learning processes processes of plan-making and the management of development.

Property Development Processes deals with complexities and challenges in the property development sector and the role of different stakeholders involved.

- Semester 2

Concepts of spatial planning introduces students to the role of planning and planning systems. The other part of this module introduces students to various planning theories and their relevance to practice.

Sustainability in Contemporary Cities examines various challenges facing the growth of cities globally and the implications of these to planning of cities and the countryside.

The third second semester module is optional depending on the selected specialism. Students select one specialist module from the following:

Environmental Assessment
Marine Spatial Planning
Sustainable Urban Design
Urban Conservation
Applied Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Data Analysis

- Semester 3:

A 60 credit dissertation in line with the selected specialism

Employability

Our MSc programmes equip our students with a variety of skills required to support spatial planning field such as stakeholder engagement, renewable energies, urban design, urban conservation, property development, housing development, public policy and environmental impact assessments. Most of our graduates take up employment in the UK and beyond. Typical employment is with the public and private sectors involved in a variety of built and natural environments. Generally, students from international destinations either return to their employers to take up new challenges or venture into new opportunities.

The University's Careers Service continues to offer support to our graduates for up to 5 years from completing our programmes.

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Your programme of study. Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology gives you the skills and knowledge to understand environmental and other impacts to fish ecology and aquaculture applied to fisheries industries and management. Read more

Your programme of study

Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology gives you the skills and knowledge to understand environmental and other impacts to fish ecology and aquaculture applied to fisheries industries and management. The programme is relevant internationally to major areas of fisheries industries around the Scottish mainland and islands with a need to help to manage and maintain the industry in the short term and long term. There are many new industries within Scotland and established industries which supply mainstream supermarkets and specialist retailers with fish supplies on a regular basis and which need to be managed. Many of these industries are global or specific to the geographical area and type of fish available in that vicinity.

Run in collaboration with staff at Marine Scotland Science, this MSc programme will provide you with an appreciation of the key issues that are central to the management of marine resources, practical skills and field work experience that you can apply to real world situations, and opportunities to expand your professional network.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Compulsory
  • Marine Ecology and Ecosystem Management
  • Fish Biology
  • Population and Community Ecology
  • Experimental Design and Analysis
  • Introduction to GIS

Optional

  • Field Trip - Cromarty
  • Aquaculture
  • Statistics for Complex Study Designs
  • Molecular Ecological Techniques
  • Introduction to Bayesian Inference

Semester 2

Compulsory

  • Fisheries Technologies and Surveys
  • Fishery Analysis and Assessment
  • Research Project Planning

Optional

  • Sustainable Management of Marine Resources
  • Marine Spatial management and Top Predators
  • Spatial Information Analysis
  • Advanced Modelling for Ecology and Conservation
  • Ecology, Conservation and Society
  • Catchment Management

Semester 3

  • Research Project

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Aberdeen is an excellent university to study this programme with field sites at Cromarty, Oceanlab and other facilities
  • You are taught by renowned researchers and industry experts
  • You have opportunities to work with Marine Scotland Science, Scottish Natural Heritage, and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee
  • You get a great range of electives to study according to your own interests

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time
  • 12 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

  • Your Accommodation
  • Campus Facilities
  • Aberdeen City
  • Student Support
  • Clubs and Societies

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs 



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Why Study with Us?. Join an established course with excellent reputation and feedback. Get support and advice from experienced lecturers, tutors, librarians, e-learning and IT staff. Read more

Why Study with Us?

  • Join an established course with excellent reputation and feedback.
  • Get support and advice from experienced lecturers, tutors, librarians, e-learning and IT staff.
  • Access a wide range of online resources such as e-books, digital lectures and podcasts, discussion boards and video-conference tools all within a dedicated e-learning platform.
  • Develop and improve your employability, professional and academic skills and gain extensive hands-on practice with key software.
  • Obtain free student copies of GIS, remote sensing and statistical software.
  • Be assessed entirely by coursework – there are no formal examinations.
  • Pay your fees by instalments.
  • With a fully online course, you can study from almost anywhere and there is no need to travel to classes.
  • You can enrol to study part-time or full-time and choose the times you study each week to suit yourself.
  • Substantial relevant work experience may be accepted in place of standard entry requirements.
  • Study for a Master’s degree, a PG Diploma, PG Certificate or enrol for individual modules.

Why Study GIS?

The benefits of GIS are increasingly recognised within government, business, education and the voluntary sector, and the applications of geospatial data technologies are steadily growing. Using GIS, it is possible to combine data from a broad range of sources and in a variety of formats, such as paper and digital maps, routinely collected administrative data, censuses and population surveys, satellite imagery, aerial photography, GPS tracking and surveys, LiDAR and crowd-sourcing. The uses of GIS are very diverse, and include mapping, spatial analysis, planning and decision-making within a wide range of disciplines and sectors – common examples include environmental management and conservation, resource management, emergency service planning and humanitarian assistance, health care provision, land use planning and urban development, the utilities, transport, geo-demographics, mineral extraction and retail analysis. Increasing uptake of GIS and associated techniques and technologies means that there is a growing demand for qualified personnel who have the skills to manage spatial data effectively. Strong industry links help ensure that our course is relevant to the needs of employers.

Course Summary

The course is designed to help people gain understanding and experience of GIS concepts, functionality and applications. Content focuses on the representation, acquisition, management, manipulation and analysis of spatial data. It also includes modules on remote sensing, spatial databases, web-GIS and GIS in the commercial environment. Additional optional modules include GIS work experience, spatial analysis and modelling, GIS for environmental management, and Customising GIS.

In addition to acquiring substantial theoretical knowledge of the subject, you will gain extensive practical experience using a variety of software, focusing primarily on ArcGIS but also including ERDAS Imagine, PostgreSQL, PostGIS, MySQL, OpenLayers, Geoserver, QGIS, Excel, SPSS and a number of GIS extensions and plug-ins. One of the core modules provides experience of web-based programming languages such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, whilst an optional module in customising GIS applications introduces Esri’s ModelBuilder and the Python programming language.

After successfully completing the PgDip modules, you may transfer to the Masters part of the programme. This requires the completion of a substantial independent research project, written in the form of a research journal article (which may, with agreement of your supervisor, be submitted for publication).

As part of the course resources, you will be provided with a free copy of ArcGIS, the remote sensing package ERDAS Imagine, and the data analysis package SPSS.

Work placement / study abroad

Gaining experience in the workplace and being able to apply academic learning within that context is very beneficial for students preparing to enter the workplace, so we offer the option of undertaking a GIS Work Experience module to full-time students. This entails working within an organisation for 2.5 days per week over a six-week period. Placements (which are unpaid) may be in the public sector, private companies, charities or education. Students who take this module find it extremely helpful for both their professional and personal development and refer particularly to benefits such as broadening their technical skills, gaining experience of team-working and of independent problem-solving, improved confidence and of learning about the geospatial industry and employment through exposure to real-world applications of GIS.

Part-time students who are in GI-related employment may opt to undertake the GIS Workplace Project.

Career options

GIS and geospatial technologies underpin a rapidly growing, multi-billion dollar industry, and are becoming increasingly mainstream within both the public and private sectors, resulting in a need for graduates who have a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Graduates of this course have secured employment in a variety of GIS-related roles worldwide, in GIS positions including technicians, analysts, scientists, surveyors, data specialists, mapping officers, consultants, project managers, development, sales and marketing, customer support, GIS training, lecturing and research (including funded PhD projects). The breadth of potential uses of GIS ensures a great diversity of job opportunities; for example, our graduates have found employment with mapping agencies, GIS and SatNav companies, environmental consultancies, ecological and marine resource management and environmental agencies, renewable energy companies, forestry, fisheries, town planning departments, heritage agencies, health and emergency services, housing authorities, local government, aid agencies, countryside recreation, rural development, retail analysis, utilities and infrastructure, Further and Higher Education, mining and mineral exploitation and the oil industry, among others. Knowledge and understanding of geo-spatial data is also increasingly required in a variety of jobs outside of the GI profession, making a GIS qualification a valuable asset enhancing employability in a range of fields.



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Why Study with Us?. Join an established course with excellent reputation and feedback. Get support and advice from experienced lecturers, tutors, librarians, e-learning and IT staff. Read more

Why Study with Us?

  • Join an established course with excellent reputation and feedback.
  • Get support and advice from experienced lecturers, tutors, librarians, e-learning and IT staff.
  • Access a wide range of online resources such as e-books, digital lectures and podcasts, discussion boards and video-conference tools all within a dedicated e-learning platform.
  • Develop and improve your employability, professional and academic skills and gain extensive hands-on practice with key software.
  • Obtain free student copies of GIS, remote sensing and statistical software.
  • Be assessed entirely by coursework – there are no formal examinations.
  • Pay your fees by instalments.
  • With a fully online course, you can study from almost anywhere and there is no need to travel to classes.
  • You can enrol to study part-time or full-time and choose the times you study each week to suit yourself.
  • Substantial relevant work experience may be accepted in place of standard entry requirements.
  • Study for a Master’s degree, a PG Diploma, PG Certificate or enrol for individual modules.

Why Study GIS?

The benefits of GIS are increasingly recognised within government, business, education and the voluntary sector, and the applications of geospatial data technologies are steadily growing. Using GIS, it is possible to combine data from a broad range of sources and in a variety of formats, such as paper and digital maps, routinely collected administrative data, censuses and population surveys, satellite imagery, aerial photography, GPS tracking and surveys, LiDAR and crowd-sourcing. The uses of GIS are very diverse, and include mapping, spatial analysis, planning and decision-making within a wide range of disciplines and sectors – common examples include environmental management and conservation, resource management, emergency service planning and humanitarian assistance, health care provision, land use planning and urban development, the utilities, transport, geo-demographics, mineral extraction and retail analysis. Increasing uptake of GIS and associated techniques and technologies means that there is a growing demand for qualified personnel who have the skills to manage spatial data effectively. Strong industry links help ensure that our course is relevant to the needs of employers.

Course Summary

The course is designed to help people gain understanding and experience of GIS concepts, functionality and applications. Content focuses on the representation, acquisition, management, manipulation and analysis of spatial data. It also includes modules on remote sensing, spatial databases, web-GIS and GIS in the commercial environment. Additional optional modules include GIS work experience, spatial analysis and modelling, GIS for environmental management, and Customising GIS.

In addition to acquiring substantial theoretical knowledge of the subject, you will gain extensive practical experience using a variety of software, focusing primarily on ArcGIS but also including ERDAS Imagine, PostgreSQL, PostGIS, MySQL, OpenLayers, Geoserver, QGIS, Excel, SPSS and a number of GIS extensions and plug-ins. One of the core modules provides experience of web-based programming languages such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, whilst an optional module in customising GIS applications introduces Esri’s ModelBuilder and the Python programming language.

After successfully completing the PgDip modules, you may transfer to the Masters part of the programme. This requires the completion of a substantial independent research project, written in the form of a research journal article (which may, with agreement of your supervisor, be submitted for publication).

As part of the course resources, you will be provided with a free copy of ArcGIS, the remote sensing package ERDAS Imagine, and the data analysis package SPSS.

Work placement / study abroad

Gaining experience in the workplace and being able to apply academic learning within that context is very beneficial for students preparing to enter the workplace, so we offer the option of undertaking a GIS Work Experience module to full-time students. This entails working within an organisation for 2.5 days per week over a six-week period. Placements (which are unpaid) may be in the public sector, private companies, charities or education. Students who take this module find it extremely helpful for both their professional and personal development and refer particularly to benefits such as broadening their technical skills, gaining experience of team-working and of independent problem-solving, improved confidence and of learning about the geospatial industry and employment through exposure to real-world applications of GIS.

Part-time students who are in GI-related employment may opt to undertake the GIS Workplace Project.

Career options

GIS and geospatial technologies underpin a rapidly growing, multi-billion dollar industry, and are becoming increasingly mainstream within both the public and private sectors, resulting in a need for graduates who have a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Graduates of this course have secured employment in a variety of GIS-related roles worldwide, in GIS positions including technicians, analysts, scientists, surveyors, data specialists, mapping officers, consultants, project managers, development, sales and marketing, customer support, GIS training, lecturing and research (including funded PhD projects). The breadth of potential uses of GIS ensures a great diversity of job opportunities; for example, our graduates have found employment with mapping agencies, GIS and SatNav companies, environmental consultancies, ecological and marine resource management and environmental agencies, renewable energy companies, forestry, fisheries, town planning departments, heritage agencies, health and emergency services, housing authorities, local government, aid agencies, countryside recreation, rural development, retail analysis, utilities and infrastructure, Further and Higher Education, mining and mineral exploitation and the oil industry, among others. Knowledge and understanding of geo-spatial data is also increasingly required in a variety of jobs outside of the GI profession, making a GIS qualification a valuable asset enhancing employability in a range of fields.



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On this course you will investigate solutions for conserving our coastal zones, seas and oceans through the development of a coordinated strategy to distribute environmental, socio-cultural and institutional resources. Read more

Why take this course?

On this course you will investigate solutions for conserving our coastal zones, seas and oceans through the development of a coordinated strategy to distribute environmental, socio-cultural and institutional resources. It is a dynamic process and you will possess a genuine desire to ensure the long-term sustainability of the world’s coast lines.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Benefit from a wealth of coastal and marine environments on your doorstep – internationally important wildlife, urban development, maritime heritage and the busiest waterway in Britain
Complement your studies with case study analysis, lectures from guest speakers and fieldtrip opportunities
Learn alongside students from diverse international backgrounds and politico-economic cultures

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). On graduating from this course, you can expect to find roles within government agencies, environmental consultancies and observational or research institutions that oversee the investigation and application of resource management issues.

Module Details

You can opt to take this course in full-time or part-time mode.

You will be introduced to technical and analytical frameworks and concepts, which will enable you to study these three major themes:

The physical environment
The institutional frameworks that have been developed for coastal and ocean areas
The value of coastal and marine resources

The course is divided into three parts. The first two comprise the taught units of the course covering the key conceptual, institutional and applied bases of the subject. The third focuses on your dissertation.

Here are the units you will study:

Coastal and Marine Resource Management: You will examine the theory, concepts and frameworks of coastal and marine management, and use topical issues as examples of practical application.

Coastal Physical Processes and Shoreline Management: You will study the biophysical behaviour of contemporary coastal systems. You will then investigate how and why coastal risk management is practiced and examine the effects of management upon ‘natural’ systems.

Law of the Sea and Marine Spatial Planning: You will examine the nature of coastal and marine policy and the forces instrumental in creating such a policy. You will also learn about the law affecting the utilisation of marine space and resources and consider the stages, key stakeholders and approaches to marine planning in the UK, Europe and internationally.

Fieldwork and Research Methods: Firstly, you will examine the role and importance of fieldwork in coastal and marine resource management studies and practice. The concepts, issues and practices covered will mean you can undertake a field-based project on the compulsory residential trip. Secondly, you will have an introduction to research design and methods so you can conduct field research in two contexts: 1) the residential field trip and 2) for your dissertation/independent study.

Dissertation: This provides you with an opportunity to independently study a topic of your choice related to coastal and marine resource management.

Programme Assessment

The course provides a balanced structure of lectures, tutorials and laboratory work. You will generally be taught in small classes, providing an informal, friendly and supportive atmosphere for your studies.

Assessment is varied, aimed at developing skills relevant to a range of working environments. Here’s how we assess your work:

Preparation of web pages
Poster and oral presentations
Project reports
Literature reviews
Book chapters
Essays

Student Destinations

If you work or hope to work in an organisation involved in marine resource policy or in the use or development of maritime resources, or would like to contribute to the conservation of natural resources of coasts and oceans, this could be the course for you.

It will prepare you to work in industry, for central or local government, with community groups, for landowners or in a consultancy role. Alternatively, you might wish to pursue a career in research or education.

We aim to provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.

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Spatial Planning is concerned with creating sustainable places. Planners achieve this in a number of ways. Planners work with building firms and housing organisations to help make available sites addressing the housing needs of local areas. Read more

Why choose spatial planning?

Spatial Planning is concerned with creating sustainable places. Planners achieve this in a number of ways:

Planners work with building firms and housing organisations to help make available sites addressing the housing needs of local areas.

They meet with local communities to learn about their concerns and to discuss ways of tackling issues such as the protection of homes from flood risk. They provide guidance on how to promote quality in the design of places and buildings.

Planning makes possible investment in sustainable economic development. Through preparing medium and long-term plans, planners ensure that land is available for development within and around our cities and towns. Planners often lead on regeneration projects and work in partnership with engineers to bring forward the infrastructures necessary to relieve transport congestion and to provide for long-term energy solutions.

Climate change is making achieving sustainability increasingly important. Planners, work with the environmental agencies and with conservation interests to ensure that the potential environmental impacts arising from development proposals are first established and then they use planning powers to promote a sustainable balance between social and economic development and the protection of the environment.

The MSc is approved by the Royal Town Planning Institute as satisfying the first year requirements of the Assessment of Professional Competence route to gaining full chartered membership.

Aim of the Programme

The Spatial Planning programmes are designed to provide the knowledge, skills and understanding required for graduates wishing to enter into professional careers in urban planning and development.

Programme Content

Semester 1:
Spatial Analysis has two key components. The first component analyses built and natural environments particularly from a conservation perspective. The second part of the module focuses on socio-economic analysis of data at a city scale and the relevance of this to planning.

Statutory Planning. is a practice based approach to learning processes processes of plan-making and the management of development.

Property Development Processes deals with complexities and challenges in the property development sector and the role of different stakeholders involved.


Semester 2:

Concepts of spatial planning introduces students to the role of planning and planning systems. The other part of this module introduces students to various planning theories and their relevance to practice.

Sustainability in Contemporary Cities examines various challenges facing the growth of cities globally and the implications of these to planning of cities and the countryside.

The third second semester module is optional depending on the selected specialism. Students select one specialist module from the following:

Environmental Assessment
Marine Spatial Planning
Sustainable Urban Design
Urban Conservation
Applied Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Data Analysis
Semester 3:

A 60 credit dissertation in line with the selected specialism

Methods of Assessment

Assessment methods cover a mix of formats including 'live' project-work and a research project. There are no written examinations. The educational aims are to develop subject understanding and to equip students with research and practice skills. Assignments call for visioning, problem-solving, forward-planning and critical reflection. Assignments are informed by students making effective use of available literature, conducting investigations and accessing sources of data. Attention is paid to building the effective communication and partnering skills vital for practicing professional planners.

Sources of Funding

Information about the School of the Environment scholarships can be found on the School of the Environment scholarships webpage. Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.

SAAS tuition fee loans are available for this course for students who meet the eligibility criteria. Visit our SAAS tuition fee loan webpage for more information and links.

Read less
Spatial Planning determines the design of places, the relationships between land uses, and identifies infrastructure requirements. Read more
Spatial Planning determines the design of places, the relationships between land uses, and identifies infrastructure requirements. The planning process makes provision for the needs of households and the requirements of the economy, and planning aims to mitigate the adverse impacts of development upon our natural environment.

The planning system is currently undergoing change to be better able to address the challenges of competitiveness and sustainability. There is a pressing requirement in both the public and private sectors for planners with appropriate understanding and skills to plan for development and protect the environment.

The University is a long-established provider of planning education. MSc Spatial Planning will be attractive to individuals with a real interest in tackling the challenges of important urban planning issues; MSc Spatial Planning with Sustainable Urban Design is designed to equip graduates with the professional skills for resolving environmental, economic, social, cultural and spatial dimensions in designing for sustainable development.

Why choose spatial planning?

Spatial Planning is concerned with creating sustainable places. Planners achieve this in a number of ways:

Planners work with building firms and housing organisations to help make available sites addressing the housing needs of local areas. They meet with local communities to learn about their concerns and to discuss ways of tackling issues such as the protection of homes from flood risk. They provide guidance on how to promote quality in the design of places and buildings.

Planning makes possible investment in sustainable economic development. Through preparing medium and long-term plans, planners ensure that land is available for development within and around our cities and towns. Planners often lead on regeneration projects and work in partnership with engineers to bring forward the infrastructures necessary to relieve transport congestion and to provide for long-term energy solutions.

Climate change is making achieving sustainability increasingly important. Planners, work with the environmental agencies and with conservation interests to ensure that the potential environmental impacts arising from development proposals are first established and then they use planning powers to promote a sustainable balance between social and economic development and the protection of the environment.

Who becomes a planning student?

Spatial Planning is a multi-disciplinary activity and attracts a wide mix of graduates. Often these are geography graduates, but increasingly graduates with social science, law, architecture and surveying degrees, as well as graduates from the environmental sciences find that Spatial Planning makes use of their knowledge and training.

Aims of the Programme

The Spatial Planning programmes are designed to provide the knowledge, skills and understanding required for graduates wishing to enter into professional careers in urban planning and development.

Programme Content

Semester 1:
Spatial Analysis has two key components. The first component analyses built and natural environments particularly from a conservation perspective. The second part of the module focuses on socio-economic analysis of data at a city scale and the relevance of this to planning.

Statutory Planning. is a practice based approach to learning processes processes of plan-making and the management of development.Property Development Processes deals with complexities and challenges in the property development sector and the role of different stakeholders involved.

Semester 2:
Concepts of spatial planning introduces students to the role of planning and planning systems. The other part of this module introduces students to various planning theories and their relevance to practice..

Sustainability in Contemporary Cities examines various challenges facing the growth of cities globally and the implications of these to planning of cities and the countryside.

The third second semester module is optional depending on the selected specialism. Students select one specialist module from the following:

Environmental Assessment
Marine Spatial Planning
Sustainable Urban Design
Urban Conservation
Applied Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Data Analysis

Semester 3:
A 60 credit dissertation in line with the selected specialism

Methods of Assessment

Assessment methods cover a mix of formats including 'live' project-work and a research project. There are no written examinations. The educational aims are to develop subject understanding and to equip students with research and practice skills. Assignments call for visioning, problem-solving, forward-planning and critical reflection. Assignments are informed by students making effective use of available literature, conducting investigations and accessing sources of data. Attention is paid to building the effective communication and partnering skills vital for practicing professional planners.

Sources of Funding

Information about the School of the Environment scholarships can be found on the School of the Environment scholarships webpage. Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.
SAAS tuition fee loans are available for this course for students who meet the eligibility criteria. Visit our SAAS tuition fee loan webpage for more information and links.

Read less
Spatial Planning determines the design of places, the relationships between land uses, and identifies infrastructure requirements. Read more
Spatial Planning determines the design of places, the relationships between land uses, and identifies infrastructure requirements. The planning process makes provision for the needs of households and the requirements of the economy, and planning aims to mitigate the adverse impacts of development upon our natural environment.

The planning system is currently undergoing change to be better able to address the challenges of competitiveness and sustainability. There is a pressing requirement in both the public and private sectors for planners with appropriate understanding and skills to plan for development and protect the environment.

The University is a long-established provider of planning education. MSc Spatial Planning will be attractive to individuals with a real interest in tackling the challenges of important urban planning issues; MSc Spatial Planning with Urban Conservation is designed to equip graduates for professional management roles concerned with the critical interplay of transport and spatial planning.

Why choose spatial planning?

Spatial Planning is concerned with creating sustainable places. Planners achieve this in a number of ways:

Planners work with building firms and housing organisations to help make available sites addressing the housing needs of local areas. They meet with local communities to learn about their concerns and to discuss ways of tackling issues such as the protection of homes from flood risk. They provide guidance on how to promote quality in the design of places and buildings.

Planning makes possible investment in sustainable economic development. Through preparing medium and long-term plans, planners ensure that land is available for development within and around our cities and towns. Planners often lead on regeneration projects and work in partnership with engineers to bring forward the infrastructures necessary to relieve transport congestion and to provide for long-term energy solutions.

Climate change is making achieving sustainability increasingly important. Planners, work with the environmental agencies and with conservation interests to ensure that the potential environmental impacts arising from development proposals are first established and then they use planning powers to promote a sustainable balance between social and economic development and the protection of the environment.

Who becomes a planning student?

Spatial Planning is a multi-disciplinary activity and attracts a wide mix of graduates. Often these are geography graduates, but increasingly graduates with social science, law, architecture and surveying degrees, as well as graduates from the environmental sciences find that Spatial Planning makes use of their knowledge and training.

Aims of the Programme

The Spatial Planning programmes are designed to provide the knowledge, skills and understanding required for graduates wishing to enter into professional careers in urban planning and development.

Programme Content

Semester 1:
Spatial Analysis has two key components. The first component analyses built and natural environments particularly from a conservation perspective. The second part of the module focuses on socio-economic analysis of data at a city scale and the relevance of this to planning.

Statutory Planning is a practice based approach to learning processes, processes of plan-making and the management of development.

Property Development Processes deals with complexities and challenges in the property development sector and the role of different stakeholders involved.

Semester 2:
Concepts of spatial planning introduces students to the role of planning and planning systems. The other part of this module introduces you to various planning theories and their relevance to practice.

Sustainability in Contemporary Cities examines various challenges facing the growth of cities globally and the implications of these to planning of cities and the countryside.

The third second semester module is optional depending on the selected specialism. You'll select one specialist module from the following:

Environmental Assessment
Marine Spatial Planning
Sustainable Urban Design
Urban Conservation
Applied Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Data Analysis

Semester 3:
A 60 credit dissertation in line with the selected specialism

Methods of Assessment

Assessment methods cover a mix of formats including 'live' project-work and a research project. There are no written examinations. The educational aims are to develop subject understanding and to equip students with research and practice skills. Assignments call for visioning, problem-solving, forward-planning and critical reflection. Assignments are informed by students making effective use of available literature, conducting investigations and accessing sources of data. Attention is paid to building the effective communication and partnering skills vital for practicing professional planners.

Sources of Funding

Information about the School of the Environment scholarships can be found on the School of the Environment scholarships webpage. Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.
SAAS tuition fee loans are available for this course for students who meet the eligibility criteria. Visit our SAAS tuition fee loan webpage for more information and links.

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