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Course content

This professionally accredited postgraduate programme has been carefully designed as a 'fast-track' conversion course for graduates of any discipline who wish to make a career in planning or in related fields. It aims to broaden students' appreciation of planning and urban theory whilst providing them with the necessary skills to engage in critical and creative problem-solving.

About this degree

Students analyse the definition of, and solutions to, urban and regional planning problems and the nature of existing planning systems and practices. Emphasis is placed on the importance of a spatial and comparative perspective to planning and the need for integrated solutions to planning problems and the achievement of sustainable development.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (90 credits), one specialism with two modules (30 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, five core modules (90 credits), two optional modules from the list of possible specialisms available (30 credits), full-time nine months, is offered.

Core modules

  • Urban Design: Place Making
  • From Strategic Vision to Urban Plan
  • Pillars of Planning
  • Spatial Planning: Concepts and Contexts
  • Spatial Planning: Critical Practice

Optional modules

Students choose two linked modules from the following to form a specialist study area:

  • Communities and Planning
  • Housing for Planning
  • Infrastructure Planning
  • Governance for Sustainability
  • Urban Design
  • Urban Regeneration
  • Historic Cities
  • Smart City Theory and Practice

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project, closely related to the specialist option chosen and linked to UK spatial planning. The project culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through individual and group project work, skills-based practical and IT work, lectures, tutorials and seminars. A short field course based in a European city outside the UK will take place in the second term. Assessment is through individual and group work, essays, examination, skills-based practical work, and the dissertation.

Fieldwork

Students undertake two field trips (if studying on a part-time basis, both in the first year); one two-day trip in November to a British city and one five-day trip in February to a continental European city to learn about planning policies and issues in different contexts.

The cost of the field trip (flights and accommodation) is included in the programme fee.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Spatial Planning MSc

Funding

There are a number of sources of funding available specifically for students in The Bartlett School of Planning.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Graduates have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment, including core public and private sector planning careers (such as local government and local, national and international consultancies), as well as the housing and transport sectors; planning, urban regeneration and environmental agencies; public and private utility companies; think tanks and public policy organisations; environmental campaign groups; and teaching and research.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Graduate Town Planner, Savills
  • Urban Planner, Arup
  • MA in Landscape Architecture, Architectural Association School of Architecture
  • Planning Adviser, The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
  • PhD in Environmental Management, Seoul National University

Employability

The programme equips graduates with a wide range of skills beneficial to employability including planning specific skills (an appreciation of policy-making and implementation, of spatial analysis, basic principles of urban design, social research and plan-making and decision-making processes) as well as more generic skills (group work, independent research, communication skills including presentation and writing, and problem solving skills).

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL's Bartlett School of Planning (BSP) has a strong history of teaching and research. It has been at the forefront of planning research and teaching for 100 years and is one of the foremost planning schools in the United Kingdom, with an international reputation. Based in the heart of London there is much for students to learn from being at the cutting-edge of policy-relevant critical debate, empirical study and research-led teaching. The staff profile is multidisciplinary and teaching staff are actively involved in shaping the theories and debates covered in their teaching. Our annual public lectures attract pre-eminent speakers from around the world and our student body has a broad, international profile.

Although situated within global and European contexts, the focus for the programme is primarily the UK, and particularly London. London is a complex setting that provides the natural and most accessible laboratory for BSP students. An emphasis on understanding the social and physical world will lead to a greater appreciation of how action or intervention shapes place. But at the same time, there is a concern with ethical issues as a framework for planned intervention.

This MSc programme is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Accreditation:

The programme is fully accredited by both the RTPI and RICS. Students successfully completing the MSc in Spatial Planning are eligible for licentiate membership of either or both bodies, regardless of the subject focus of their undergraduate degree.


Visit the Spatial Planning (MSc/PGDip) page on the University College London website for more details!

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