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Become an accredited planner in one year from any undergraduate degree

Course Content

The course’s primary focus is on attaining a professional qualification.

It is designed to take your broad knowledge of planning and provide the detail that will give you the professional skills and experience you’ll need to forge a career in this area.

Your dissertation may be a work based project, working for a client organisation on a brief that they commission.

You will learn the use of techniques (GIS, design software, statistical analysis) but more importantly, how to apply them to solve problems, create new solutions for the built environment and understand the complexity of environmental management.

Semester 1 Modules:

  • Introduction Planning Theory and Practice
  • Environmental Planning & Governance
  • Planning Skills & Ethics
  • International Planning Studies
  • GIS & Spatial Analysis

Semester 2 Modules:

  • Design in the Built Environment
  • Property Development
  • Professional Practice Project
  • Community Planning & Regeneration
  • Planning Law and Practice

Semester 3 Module:

  • Independent Specialist Research Project

Time spent in Classes, Tutorials/Seminars/Labs, and Private Study in a Teaching Semester is approximately:

  • 10 hours per week in lectures
  • 4 hours in practical project work
  • 4 hours in tutorials


Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

  • Formal examination
  • Individual and group project submissions
  • 60 credit 20,000 individual dissertation that combines oral presentation and written submission

The Environment

You’ll be working in an applied problem-solving environment, confronting genuine challenges in the field and making a real contribution to sustainable environments.

We place an emphasis on projects on live planning problems such as a Development Plan exercise for a client (local authority), on studio work and applied learning outside the class including problem-solving with controversial proposals, such as fracking and windfarm applications.

You’ll work with your fellow students in teams to find practical approaches to the management and development of the built environment.

Career Prospects

Our graduates end up in leading positions in central and local government and as well as in planning consultancies in the private sector. Some of them have gone on to lead significant environmental campaigns such as opposition to fracking; work with NGOs such as Friends of the Earth; and work with communities to make their neighbourhoods better, such as with disadvantaged groups.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.


Professional Accreditations

This MSc is professionally accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and has a strong emphasis on the practical skills and knowledge required for theoretically-informed practice.

Student Experience

The degree incorporates a week-long study visit to a venue outside Northern Ireland during the Semester 2, and work shadow experience in Northern Ireland on the planning appeals process after the end of Semester 2 examinations. Additionally a two-day planning practice study visit will be made to a venue in Great Britain or Ireland in semester two. Students are expected to contribute to the costs of these study visits.

How to Apply

Apply using the online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Visit the Planning and Development (MSc) page on the Queen’s University Belfast website for more details!





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