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  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date

    See Course

  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 1 year

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


Course content

Following decades of underinvestment, there is now a significant push from government and industry to invest in new forms of strategic and nationally significant infrastructure across the UK to meet the demands of a growing population. These projects encompass all development sectors and include projects relating to transport, energy, utilities, the environment, housing and commercial and retail projects. The MSc in Planning Major Projects responds to these needs and delivers a course that develops advanced skills and knowledge associated with the planning, design, appraisal and delivery of large scale projects.

By applying theory to practice, the course provides an opportunity to develop a strong understanding of the innovations and practices that are necessary to take a project from idea to reality. In doing so, you will delve into the details of political and community engagement, project appraisal, and the processes and steps that are necessary to secure project approval.

You will gain an appreciation of the policy context surrounding development and infrastructure across the UK and beyond. Additionally, you will acquire specialist knowledge, skills and competencies to help with the facilitation of projects in a sector that is expanding.

Key benefits

The course will incorporate a range of field trip opportunities to notable sites across the region. As well as giving you experience of projects in action, this will give you the chance to connect with practising professionals. These experiences will enable you to supplement the learning developed in class and online and will help to create some key contacts for the benefit of future career development.

Course detail

The course is suitable for graduates looking to specialise in the major projects sector, particularly those from spatial planning degrees. It is also suitable for planning professionals who currently work in, or are looking to branch into, the sector. The breadth of the course also makes it suitable for graduates from other degree paths and will provide opportunities for individual interests to be pursued (for example: from the application of good design to environmental protection).

Some of the modules will be offered individually as units of CPD which will be beneficial for people in related areas who have a need to understand the field more fully, such as marketing professionals and environmental assessors.


This Masters degree will adopt a mixed approach to learning and will comprise of both taught and distance learning elements. There will be a strong emphasis on project work, with much of this being based in the Bristol region, using live briefs where possible.

Throughout the course you will be encouraged to collaborate with a range of students to share ideas and practices. This will be key in project work although assessment will largely be undertaken independently. Fieldwork will be an important feature of the course with opportunities to explore projects in the UK and beyond.


Various assessment tools will be used throughout the course, including reports, debates, presentations, research projects and essays. Each assignment will target particular learning outcomes and will help to develop a range of transferable skills.

Careers / Further study

On graduation, you will be equipped to work within the major projects and infrastructure sector in a variety of areas, from consenting to project appraisal.

There is significant activity in this sector in Bristol and the wider area. With established links to many local companies and organisations, the course enables you to make contacts and explore potential employment paths.

Although the course will focus predominantly on UK law and practice, the skills and knowledge you will gain can be applied universally, allowing you to step into roles further afield. Many of the organisations actively involved in the planning of major projects tend to have an international profile, with UK professionals tending to be sought to help on projects across the world.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link:


- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –

The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here:

Visit the MSc Planning Major Projects page on the University of the West of England, Bristol website for more details!




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Recipient: University of the West of England, Bristol

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