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Full time September MA 1 year full time Award winner

About the course

Develop your skills in urban design and the planning and the development of cities by studying both the UK urban experience and rapidly urbanising cities in Asia and Africa.

This innovative one-year masters will prepare you for a career in the planning and urban design professions and includes opportunities to learn about development and design issues faced in the Global South.

You'll learn about the factors that shape cities and rural areas, and gain a deeper knowledge of a selected specialist aspect of planning. The course will develop your research, policy making and design skills, and your understanding of how to apply research to public policy making and evaluation.

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Entry Requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree.

We may also consider your application if you do not meet the standard academic requirements but you have relevant professional experience.


Home (2023 annual fee) : £10,800
Overseas (2023 annual fee) : £23,200

Students applying for this accredited masters programme are eligible for the RTPI Future Planners bursary.

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Student Profiles

Ana Maria Monsalve Sanchez

I chose to study at Sheffield because of its good international rankings and the scholarship I was awarded. After completing my MA I would like to stay in the UK to acquire professional experience and then return to work in my home country. Urban studies is all about social research, I see myself working with communities to improve the physical and social conditions of urban areas.

Liqiong Han

Graduated in 2021

Why did you decide to study USP, and why did you choose Sheffield?

I was enlightened by Dr. Liu Thai Ker's project that transformed an island country from a concentration of slums into one of the world's most livable megacities and decided to learn urban planning and design to improve people's dwelling environment. The University of Sheffield has a well-known reputation in the planning area where the urban design expertise of the School of Architecture and the international planning expertise of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning are combined.

What is your favourite thing about your course? Any favourite modules?

I have always been interested in how real people are engaged in urban planning process and how their voices are heard and considered in the design scheme by urban planner and designers. Therefore my favourite module this year is Civil Participation in Planning and Development.

What is your favourite thing about Sheffield?

Sheffield is a city that grew from industry and is now undergoing regeneration. From the perspective of urban design and planning, there are many parts of the city that can correspond to what is studied in the course. Also, as an international student from China, I think it is hard to find any other British city with a greater abundance of Chinese restaurants than Sheffield.

What are your plans for when you complete your degree? And how do you think your degree will help with career prospects?

I hope to find an internship in an enterprise related to urban development and construction in the UK, and then decide whether to go back to China or continue working in the UK depending on the situation. The postgraduate courses not only introduce the theory but also have a lot of courses that assume the formal working situation so that we can understand and participate in the practice, which will make me move from the campus to the actual work faster.

What advice would you give to new students in the department?

What we learn is closely related to our everyday life. Paying attention to the details of city life is of great benefit to the study of this department.

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