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Course content

Spatial Planning determines the design of places, the relationships between land uses, and identifies infrastructure requirements. The planning process makes provision for the needs of households and the requirements of the economy, and planning aims to mitigate the adverse impacts of development upon our natural environment.

Marine Spatial Planning is a new field arising from new legislation geared to sustainable use of the marine environment. New planning procedures are being introduced and new skills are required to engage with the process. It is aimed at environmental planners and consultants working with local authorities, regulatory bodies, government, land owners and NGOs.

Why choose spatial planning?

Spatial Planning is concerned with creating sustainable places, Planners achieve this in a number of ways:

Planners work with building firms and housing organisations to help make available sites addressing the housing needs of local areas. They meet with local communities to learn about their concerns and to discuss ways of tackling issues such as the protection of homes from flood risk. They provide guidance on how to promote quality in the design of places and buildings.

Planning makes possible investment in sustainable economic development. Through preparing medium and long-term plans, planners ensure that land is available for development within and around our cities and towns. Planners often lead on regeneration projects and work in partnership with engineers to bring forward the infrastructures necessary to relieve transport congestion and to provide for long-term energy solutions.

Climate change is making achieving sustainability increasingly important. Planners, work with the environmental agencies and with conservation interests to ensure that the potential environmental impacts arising from development proposals are first established and then they use planning powers to promote a sustainable balance between social and economic development and the protection of the environment.

Who becomes a planning students?

Spatial Planning is a multi-disciplinary activity and attracts a wide mix of graduates. Often these are geography graduates, but increasingly graduates with social science, law, architecture and surveying degrees, as well as graduates from the environmental sciences find that Spatial Planning makes use of their knowledge and training.

Aims of the Programme

The Spatial Planning programmes are designed to provide the knowledge, skills and understanding required for graduates wishing to enter into professional careers in urban planning and development.

Programme Content

Semester 1:
Spatial Analysis has two key components. The first component analyses built and natural environments particularly from a conservation perspective. The second part of the module focuses on socio-economic analysis of data at a city scale and the relevance of this to planning.

Statutory Planning. is a practice based approach to learning processes processes of plan-making and the management of development.

Property Development Processes deals with complexities and challenges in the property development sector and the role of different stakeholders involved.

Semester 2:

Concepts of spatial planning introduces students to the role of planning and planning systems. The other part of this module introduces students to various planning theories and their relevance to practice.

Sustainability in Contemporary Cities examines various challenges facing the growth of cities globally and the implications of these to planning of cities and the countryside.

The third second semester module is optional depending on the selected specialism. Students select one specialist module from the following:

Environmental Assessment
Marine Spatial Planning
Sustainable Urban Design
Urban Conservation
Applied Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Data Analysis
Semester 3:

A 60 credit dissertation in line with the selected specialism

Methods of Assessment

Assessment methods cover a mix of formats including 'live' project-work and a research project. There are no written examinations. The educational aims are to develop subject understanding and to equip students with research and practice skills. Assignments call for visioning, problem-solving, forward-planning and critical reflection. Assignments are informed by students making effective use of available literature, conducting investigations and accessing sources of data. Attention is paid to building the effective communication and partnering skills vital for practicing professional planners.

Sources of Funding

Information about the School of the Environment scholarships can be found on the School of the Environment scholarships webpage. Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.

SAAS tuition fee loans are available for this course for students who meet the eligibility criteria. Visit our SAAS tuition fee loan webpage for more information and links.

Visit the MSc Spatial Planning with Marine Spatial Planning page on the University of Dundee website for more details!

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