In the UK moves to devolve government and decision-making to the regional and local levels are generating an increased requirement for well-trained professionals who are capable of providing the knowledge and analytical skills required. Across Europe increased economic and monetary union is emphasising the need for Member States to consider how those involved in urban and regional government can tackle the spatial disparities in economic growth and development that have been such an entrenched feature of the last 20 years.
In the Far East and North America a similar level of interest is being shown in how governments can best ensure more geographical balance in development. The design and implementation of spatial policies to manage the process of growth requires professionals with a multidisciplinary skill base and an international perspective on best practice.
This course is therefore designed to equip you with the analytical skills required to:
- Understand the factors that lead to variations in regional growth and development and to understand the consequences of regional imbalance - Assess the scope for policy intervention to manage regional growth - Design efficient and effective policies to manage growth at the regional level - Understand how best to implement growth and regeneration policies - Evaluate policy achievement and monitor and assess the effectiveness of policy initiatives.
The course emphasises the importance of adopting a multidisciplinary approach both to understanding the nature of growth and regeneration problems as well as creating successful policy solutions.
MPhil courses offered by the Department of Land Economy share common aims. These are:
i) to enable students of a high calibre to pursue their education at an advanced applied level drawing on the primary disciplines of economics, planning and environmental policy, with additional specialisms in finance and law;
ii) to provide students with opportunities both to build on and develop material which they may have studied at undergraduate level as well as to broaden their knowledge base;
iii) to equip students with the necessary skills to pursue careers at a high level in a range of areas, including business and finance, civil service, public service, property professions, environmental agencies and organisations, national/international agencies and further study;
iv) to provide opportunities for education in a multidisciplinary environment so as to advance the understanding of cognate disciplines and their applications;
v) to provide opportunities for learning with colleagues from different social, economic and legal systems;
vi) to provide students with appropriate skills and experience to enable them to use information and resources critically and to equip them with the means to undertake their own research;
vii) to provide an educational environment with a strong research ethos that brings together students from a wide variety of backgrounds and fosters an international approach to common problems.
On completion of the course, students will have acquired the following skills:
i) Knowledge and understanding of the subject matter of the various components of their course.
ii) Intellectual skills: the ability to study steadily, assimilate issues and large amounts of literature swiftly, evaluate countervailing positions and to produce succinct arguments to tight deadlines and to engage with those with whom they disagree. Particular methodologies used include: data evaluation, case evaluation, legal analysis, textual analysis, the convergence o theory and empirical data and advanced critical evaluation.
iii) Practical skills: identification and use of bibliographic materials, via libraries and electronically; taking notes effectively, thorough IT skills.
iv) Transferable skills: the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing; to work to deadlines and under pressure; to manage time; to set priorities; to formulate an argument; to work independently and with initiative; basic IT skills (email, data analysis and internet use); critical analysis; to present material in a seminar context; skills of analysis and interpretation; self-discipline, self-direction; and respect for other views. The ability to develop and present a major piece of written work.
v) Research skills: the ability to locate, utilise and organise a wide range of materials independently, on paper and electronically. The ability to assess and evaluate such material, to develop and pursue a critique of existing material. The ability to develop, structure and sustain a line of argument. The establishment of relationships with researchers in related areas. The ethical use of research material.
vi) Communication skills: the ability to marshal arguments and present them succinctly and lucidly. The ability to effectively criticise the views of others powerfully but fairly. The presentation of written material in a persuasive and coherent manner.
vii) Interpersonal skills: the ability to work with others in seminars and smaller groups towards common goals. The ability to share research data ethically. The ability to respect the views of others and to acknowledge deficiencies in one's own argument.
Candidates study a total of eight modules, some of which are compulsory, and submit a 12,000 word dissertation.
The modules offered for this course are confirmed on an annual basis but may include: - Quantitative research methods I - Mixed research methods - Urban and environmental planning I - Issues in public policy and regeneration and economic tools for spatial planning - Urban and environmental planning II - Real estate development
Plus optional modules from other taught MPhil courses offered by the Department of Land Economy.
Continuation to the PhD degree Approval of an application to continue to the PhD degree will depend on three criteria:
1. Availability of a supervisor 2. The approval by the Degree Committee of a research proposal 3. The achievement of a minimum overall mark and minimum dissertation mark in the MPhil examination as prescribed by the Degree Committee in any offer of admission