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Course content

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accredited

This postgraduate diploma aims to extend the skills, knowledge and critical understanding of planning that you developed on an undergraduate course to a professional level of expertise.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Planning is centred on core modules that provide an in-depth understanding of professional planning practice and students also have the opportunity to broaden out their skills and knowledge by specialising in a specific area of planning practice.

Why choose this course?

  • Strong career prospects in international planning and environmental consultancies, government agencies, local government, NGOs and campaigning organisations.
  • Brookes' Department of Planning performs a leading role in research and consultancy, with clients and projects covering subjects from local concerns to multinational organisations, government and industry.
  • We feed our research directly into our teaching enabling you to learn directly from the most current areas of practice.
  • Experience of current practice and the professional world is gained through fieldwork, study visits and visiting speakers.
  • Oxford, with its excellent transport links to all regions of the UK, is a particularly convenient place to study for part-time students on day release from work.

The course is made up of two areas of study: core compulsory studies and specialisation studies. Because the course is run in tandem with other graduate courses offered by the department you will, for the specialisation modules, work alongside students who are on other specialist master's programmes.

As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module list you choose from may vary from what is shown here.

Core modules:

  • Development Economics, Management and Finance 
  • Contemporary Issues in Planning Law, Practice and Research 
  • Implementation Project

Specialisation modules:

As a postgraduate diploma student, you are offered a high degree of choice and flexibility in terms of your area of specialisation. You are required to complete 40 Credits of modules from the following list (subject to availability and student numbers).

  • Urban Design
  • Environmental Decision-Making
  • Historic Conservation
  • Urban Planning in Developing and Transitional Regions
  • Tourism Planning
  •  Urban Regeneration

Teaching and learning

The emphasis of this course is on small group teaching and active learning to help students acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. A variety of methods are used with project work and workshops tending to predominate, using topical national and local issues as a basis. Further experience of current practice and the professional world is gained through fieldwork, study visits and visiting speakers.

Teaching is organised on a module-credit basis involving three-hour teaching blocks delivered over a 12-week period. 

Approach to assessment

Each module is assessed individually, generally on the quality of written or design work, and to some extent on verbal presentations. Assessment methods may include essays, seminar papers, formal written examinations, in-class tests, project work, design and verbal presentations, workshops, simulations and practical exercises.

Field trips

Some of the modules may have compulsory day trips associated with them. The transport element is included in the fee.


Visit the PGDip Planning page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!

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