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Course content

Focus on the interactions between society, economy, space and land use. Explore how opportunities, tensions and conflicts are managed by planners in the public interest.

We explore the role of planning as a set of regulatory mechanisms but more importantly as a means of identifying opportunities and assisting developers (be they in the private, public or not-for-profit sectors).

We have been running professionally accredited planning education courses at LSBU successfully for over 40 years (50 in 2018).

This MA is aimed at graduates from a variety of disciplines who are looking to pursue a worthwhile and challenging course that can lead to an exciting and stable career in spatial planning and related fields.

The qualification is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute, which means you can become a licentiate member on graduation. With two years' relevant work experience (in some cases one year) you can apply to take the RTPI Assessment of Professional Competence and become a full member. Students will get free RTPI membership and RTPI bursaries (subject to availability).

The qualification includes a compulsory one week residential European field study visit. In recent years students have visited Barcelona. Venice or Dortmund. For all new entrants, field study visit fees are included in the tuition fees. Our one-day and week-long residential visits include presentations and Q&A with practitioners in London, the UK and beyond.

The course director Dr Michael Leary-Owhin is the co-editor (with Dr John McCarthy) of a major internationally-orientated book 'The Routledge Companion to Urban Regeneration' (2013).

6 reasons to study here...

1. Located in the heart of central London: We use our distinctive location to investigate the societal challenges and opportunities facing planning in the 21st century.
2. Taught by experienced academics and practitioners: Taught by staff with track records in research and relevant publications. Guest and visiting lecturers from professional practice supplement teaching throughout the course.
3. Site visits and live projects: One day and half-day site visits to exciting live projects - the practical focus is complimented by theoretical understanding.
4. Residential field study visit: Opportunity to participate in residential field study trips and site visits in Europe – at no additional charge to you.
5. Set the direction: Choice of specialism module provides flexibility and depth to explore issues relating to a particular aspect of planning 6. National and international perspective: Be part of an academic community dedicated to social justice and global responsibility - with inspiring schedule of guest speakers, events, volunteering opportunities and exchange of ideas.


Year 1:

Planning history and theory
Planning law and practice
Sustainable places (with EU field study visit)
Development and regeneration
Urban design - the heart of planning
Dissertation (For MA award)

One specialist module from:

Urban design project (urban design specialism)
Regeneration strategies and projects (urban regeneration specialism)
Environment and resource management (environmental policy specialism)
Global planning challenges (international planning specialism)

Part-time mode is taught one-day-per-week, with one or two modules being taught in each semester; plus the dissertation being completed by the end of January in the third year.


Modules are assessed by a range of coursework including: essays, professional reports, design and practice based projects seen exams, presentations and a dissertation. The MA is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute. This means that after graduation you can become licentiate members of the RTPI. With two years relevant work experience (in some cases one year) graduates can apply to take the RTPI Assessment of Professional Competence exam and become full members of the RTPI.

We have extensive links with planning and private sectors with visiting speakers delivering presentations at LSBU and during field study visits and project visits. Practitioners also provide valuable inputs through a short lecture series.


Currently there is a national shortage of qualified town and environmental planners in the UK so the demand for our postgraduate courses is particularly high.

Employment prospects are excellent especially in London and the South East of England. Successful planning students may find jobs in central government, local government, non-governmental organisations, housing associations and quangos. Given our extensive links with public, private and voluntary sector employers we often find that employers often approach us first seeking suitably qualified and motivated applicants.

A significant proportion of our graduates are employed by public sector bodies and private consultancies in planning, property, utilities companies, the transport sector, and in the property sections of large PLCs, such as the major retailers.

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

• Direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
• Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
• Mentoring and work shadowing schemes.

Visit the Planning, Policy and Practice - MA page on the London South Bank University website for more details!






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