This one-year full-time and two-year part-time MSc programme is the benchmark qualification for those wishing to enter the planning profession and is fully accredited by both the RTPI and RICS.
It takes a broad approach to the “traditional” field of city and regional or town and country planning. You will learn to integrate concerns across the board, including those of economy, climate change, and social need. The emphasis is on developing a broad and flexible level of knowledge and understanding, enabling you to adapt to developing pressures during your career.
The course combines core planning education with the development of expertise in specialist areas. Our links with practitioners in both the private and public sectors ensures that the course remains at the cutting edge of practice.
Why choose this course?
It is viewed as the first choice for planning training by a range of employers including local authorities, the Environment Agency and major planning consultancies. Frequent guest lectures from industry leaders give you the chance to make important contacts for your future career.
Learn more about current developments from professionals and academics through our Planning seminar series. The department is based in the modern and well equipped Abercrombie building, part of an award-winning recent redevelopment of the campus.
Access to top-of-the-range facilities including studios, IT suites and computer programs, as well as three libraries and 24/7 online databases which contain all the academic material you require to be successful in their postgraduate studies. Study in the world-famous student city of Oxford, a particularly fascinating place for those interested in cities, transport and sustainability.
This course in detail
The course is offered at two levels: a master's degree (MSc) and a postgraduate diploma (PGDip).
The MSc course is based on the completion of the following compulsory elements, plus elective specialisations and a 15,000-word master's dissertation.
The PGDip level of the course is based on the completion of the compulsory elements listed above, but replaces the dissertation with a 10,000-word Planning Practice Project. This is a major piece of independent study culminating in the production of a report that analyses the implementation process of a planning policy, a development programme or a major project. The postgraduate diploma can be completed in two semesters full-time or four semesters part-time, and must be combined with an approved specialist planning programme to fulfil the RTPI requirements.
The MSc in Spatial Planning is fully accredited by both the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This means that on graduation you can complete the Assessment of Professional Competence programmes of these professional bodies and become a full member.
In order to attain full accreditation for both the RTPI and RICS, graduates must combine the Postgraduate Diploma in Spatial Planning with one of our specialist master's programmes. These include: an MSc in Environmental Assessment and Management, an MSc in Historic Conservation, an MSc in Urban Planning: Developing and Transitional Regions, or the MA in Urban Design.
Careers and professional development
Not only is the MSc in Spatial Planning seen as the benchmark qualification for professional planners, it is also widely recognised as providing the transferable skills and critical knowledge necessary in many fields of work in the built and natural environment.
Local government is just one of very many career opportunities available to MSc in Spatial Planning graduates.
Today our alumni can be found in senior positions in some of the largest international planning and environmental consultancies, in government agencies, in large NGOs and campaigning organisations. They can also be found in similar positions in organisations across the globe.