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Course content

Our MSc Planning course will provide you with the range of skills necessary for a career in urban or environmental planning. Accredited by the RTPI and RICS, it is aimed at graduates who intend to pursue a career in planning and development, either in the public or private sector.

The course will provide you with the core knowledge, competencies and skills necessary to become a chartered planning and development professional and member of both the RTPI and the RICS. Alongside the core requirements for a planning and development professional, we also offer you the opportunity for specialist study in urban regeneration, urban design, environmental planning, infrastructure, international urban development planning, or property valuation.

You will gain an understanding of the full range of professional skills relevant for practice, as well as the competencies appropriate to your chosen specialism.

Informal enquiries, prior to applications, are welcomed. Please contact: Dr Phil Bell (Programme Director) | Tel: +44(0)161 275 3627 | Email:  .

Special features

An overseas field visit is an optional part of the programme if students choose to undertake the relevant optional course unit: International Planning (Field Visit). The cost of the visit is partly covered by the course fee but there is a student contribution towards the cost of the trip, depending on the venue. Recent fieldtrip locations have included Barcelona, Amsterdam, Belfast, Dublin and Toronto.

Fieldcourses may be scheduled at any point during the twelve-month period of the degree programme and this may include time during University vacations. Successful applicants are expected to be available to attend. Countries to be visited may change their immigration and visa regulations at short notice. The School cannot guarantee that where visas are required for the field course, they will be granted. The School will ensure that, in the unlikely event that a visa is refused, affected students are not academically disadvantaged.

The programme also includes a module that introduces students to the excitement of working within a professional, 'real world' context on a 'live' consultancy project. Working with industrial partners, students will be asked to complete a piece of work on an area of planning, urban regeneration, or environmental management - depending on their chosen specialism - to a standard that is expected and demanded in the planning, environmental management or development professions. This core module is highly regarded by employers and students alike.

Teaching and learning

Part-time Study

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over 27 months.  There are no evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme, therefore if you are considering taking a programme on a part-time basis, you should discuss the requirements with the Programme Director and seek approval from your employer to have the relevant time off. Timetabling information is normally available from late August from the Programme Administrator and you will have the opportunity to discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

Coursework and assessment

Taught elements of this course are assessed on a continuous basis by a variety of methods, including essays, seminar papers and project reports.


The Arthur Lewis Building provides excellent resources including analytical laboratories, studio facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, an on-site cafe and dedicated computer clusters including GIS facilities.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

The course prepares you for employment in professional practice in planning in the UK or overseas, and will provide you with the academic knowledge and professional skills for employment in the private (consultancy, development industry) and public (local authorities, development agencies) sectors.

Accrediting organisations

The course fulfils the criteria for full dual accreditation from both the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Accreditation from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is under the Planning and Development (P&D) specialism.

Visit the Plannning (MSc) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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