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Course content

The MSc Spatial Planning and Development is the ideal starting point for taking on the professional challenges of making liveable, prosperous places. You will develop core planning knowledge and skills, professional judgement and the specialist skills necessary to make you employable with a range of organisations.

The course is underpinned by a recognition that planning is undertaken in diverse, and sometimes unjust, societies, and that objectives and approaches to planning can be subjects of debate and struggle. The course will provide you with the sensitivity and ability to form independent judgements on these ethical, political and professional matters.

While its focus is on planning in developed capitalist societies, especially the UK/Europe, its understanding of planning is comparative, and the skills taught are applicable in many planning contexts.

Distinctive features:

• The skills and knowledge acquired through this course are of direct relevance to planning roles in public, private and voluntary sectors.

• You will have the opportunity to work on projects for 'real life' clients.

• This course is a combined planning course and is itself fully recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). The course provides the full RTPI educational requirement, so that successful completion of the MSc with the necessary RTPI practice requirements allows direct membership entry to the Institute.

• It is also accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing completion of the educational requirement for RICS membership.

Structure

The MSc Spatial Planning and Development can be completed full-time in one year or part-time in two years.

It is divided into two parts:

Part one comprises a teaching programme of compulsory and optional modules over four semesters.

Part two comprises an individual dissertation. You will select your topic in consultation with members of staff. The topic must be planning related. If you are a student from a country outside the UK, the dissertation may focus on a planning issue in your country of origin. An important aspect of the dissertation process is student reflection on what is involved in researching a planning topic.

Core modules:

Site Planning, Design & Development
Live Project
Planning and Real Estate
Planning: Nature, Purpose and Instruments
Dissertation
Researching Spatial Planning (Part-time only)

Assessment

The assessment methods used include:

Essays
Reports
Project work
Posters
Reflective journals
Verbal presentations.

Essays and reports will be used particularly to test your core knowledge and powers of analysis. They will allow you to employ knowledge generated during the modules in pieces of policy evaluation or sustainable development in action.

Project work and reflective journals will be especially important in testing subject skills in planning.

Seminar presentations, debates and posters will encourage you both to develop and clarify your understanding of core knowledge (in order to defend a debating a position) and give you an opportunity to enhance your communication skills.

Career Prospects

Graduates of this course do extremely well in getting the jobs they want and the input of people from practice into the degree keeps it relevant. You also benefit from making great contacts.

Principal graduate employment destinations are UK and EU town and regional planning organisations, including local and regional authorities, national government agencies, private planning consultancy firms and voluntary organisations. We also have students employed in North America and Australia.

Visit the Spatial Planning and Development MSc page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

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