Planning guides the future development and use of land. It is about where development should happen, where it should not and how it affects the quality of our surroundings. Planning strives to design and deliver equitable, inclusive and sustainable communities where people can live, work and enjoy their leisure time. This involves promoting and facilitating development while protecting and enhancing the natural and built environment.
The Urban and Regional Planning programme is designed to equip students with the knowledge and practical skills needed to work as a professional planner. Students will develop the ability to ask the right questions and find creative solutions to the challenges facing communities and the built environment.
About the programme
The programme has been structured around three core project-based courses:
• The Strategic Spatial Vision Project: develop advanced understanding of, and skills in, the preparation and evaluation of spatial visions and strategies and competence in the professional skills of analysis, evaluation and prescription of policy in an urban context
• Governance, Participation and Community Planning: develop experience and understanding of community participation and engagement, and develop the soft skills of partnership working, through a practical exercise in a local community
• Sustainable Design and Development: develop a critical understanding of the complexity of urban design principles and practice, including sustainability issues and of the development process, incorporating evaluating the financial implications of development and the factors influencing the development decision.
These projects are supported by core taught courses: • Spatial Planning • Planning Theories • Environmental Planning • Social Sustainability • Optional course
The MSc gives full exemption from all the educational requirements of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
Flexible study options
The MSc in Urban & Regional Planning is available full-time and part-time at Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh campus, or via flexible online Independent Distance Learning (IDL). Study via IDL is ideal for students in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family. IDL students graduate with the same degree as students who undertake the programme on campus.
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.