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Our MSc Spatial Planning is a benchmark qualification for those wishing to enter the planning profession. It is fully accredited by Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). 

The course takes a broad approach to the “traditional” field of city and regional or town and country planning. And combines core planning education with the development of expertise in specialist areas.

You will develop a broad and flexible level of knowledge and understanding which enables you to adapt to developing pressures during your career. You will learn to integrate concerns across the board, including those of:

  • economy
  • climate change
  • social need.

We have top-of-the-range facilities including studios, IT suites and computer programs. As well as three libraries and 24/7 online databases with all the academic material you need to be successful in your studies. Our links with practitioners in both the private and public sectors ensures that the course remains at the cutting edge of practice.

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods such as:

  • lectures
  • directed reading
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • practical and project work. 

Some modules include site visits and fieldwork.

Teaching is organised on a module-credit basis. This involves approximately:

  • 200 hours of personal study
  • 36 hours of staff contact, normally delivered through three-hour teaching blocks over a 12-week period.


Each course module is assessed individually, generally on the quality of written or design work, and to some extent on verbal presentations.

Assessment methods may include:

  • essays
  • seminar papers
  • formal written examinations
  • in-class tests
  • project work
  • design and verbal presentations
  • Workshops
  • simulations and practical exercises.

Field trips

The course includes a compulsory overseas field trip that is part of the two semester 1 core modules. We designed the field trip to provide you with practical examples and experience of planning in another European country.

The trip is usually three to four nights and takes place in mid-November. Past destinations have included Barcelona, Amsterdam and Lyon. The current destination is Dublin. Our teaching staff constantly review new destinations that will best contribute to your overall planning education.

This carries an additional cost. Please see the Additional costs section of this page for details.


The Department of Planning is widely recognised as a leading educator in environment, design and development subjects. We have a complement of over 60 teaching, administrative, technical and research staff. Together we perform a leading role in research and consultancy, with clients and projects covering subjects from local concerns to multi-national organisations, government and industry. 

Key areas of expertise and scholarship in the department form the research groups and units listed below. These research groups and units also comprise a substantial part of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD):

We have links with universities worldwide, including Canada, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Taiwan, Romanian, Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland and most EU member states. 

Career prospects

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.

Visit the Spatial Planning - PgDip/MSc page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!





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