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MSc/Dip Urban & Regional Planning

Course Description

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

For more information on the programme content, including course descriptions, please visit: http://www.postgraduate.hw.ac.uk/prog/msc-urban-and-regional-planning/

Professional recognition

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.

We offer a range of English language courses: http://www.hw.ac.uk/study/english.htm

Visit the MSc/Dip Urban & Regional Planning page on the Heriot-Watt University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Jet Cameron

1661.jpg I am currently a Senior Consultant at Halcrow, a multidisciplinary consultancy in Edinburgh. My role is to deliver urban design and masterplanning solutions for Local Authorities and private clients around Scotland. I perform a range of tasks including producing tender submissions in order to win work; attending inception meetings; and producing development frameworks, planning statements, design guides, masterplans and urban design guidance of various types. I usually work in a project manager role coordinating the input from other members of the project team to deliver the project on time and within budget. It is my responsibility to keep track of the project through each stage including all finances.

I chose to study part time so I could continue working at Halcrow. I wanted to attend a taught course and meet other students face to face. I had previously studied full time and distance learning courses and wanted a different experience that would fit in with my commitments. I would recommend part time study. It gives a whole new dimension to your working week and it is easier to stay motivated than through distance learning.

The course I took is RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute) accredited – important to be a charted planner. I enjoyed having a day a week out of the office to develop my skills and learn in a different way than through work experience. I was then able to take my knowledge back to the office and use it in my day to day job.

I improved my report writing skills through compiling and writing my dissertation. This has been very helpful in my current role. We had various site visits throughout Scotland and I enjoyed the real life aspect of the work we did. It was also interesting to have a range of guest lecturers come to speak to us about their work in practice.

I still maintain contact with several of my student colleagues around the country. This has been a real support network for me as well as a way to make new friends with similar interests. Through my team working experience at Heriot Watt I am now more comfortable working in a team/group environment and relating to people with different skills than I have. I have attended events at Heriot Watt since I left and enjoy having a continued connection with academia.


Entry Requirements

2:2 or suitable professional qualification and experience. 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 to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme. Please note that independent distance learning students who access their studies online will be expected to have access to a PC/laptop and internet.

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Recipient: Heriot-Watt University

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