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Course content

This MSc enables students to develop critical learning and applied skills in the field of contemporary sustainability.

Overview

The MSc Sustainability Planning and Environmental Policy will provide you with knowledge and understanding of sustainability theory, principles and practice. You will gain insights into the ways in which problems are defined, and the scope for applying cutting-edge policy and planning solutions to the environmental challenges faced by government, business and regulatory bodies.

The course is aimed at those wishing to gain expertise on contemporary sustainability issues. It links together theoretical debates about sustainability at different spatial scales with the practical dimensions of policy formulation and implementation. The planning system is given particular attention because it provides one of the most sophisticated mechanisms for regulating environmental change. A further core feature of the course is the focus on the latest social science research around environmental problems.

The course address three key dimensions:

  • Principles and processes - how policies may (or may not) achieve more sustainable development;
  • Resource sector studies - comparative and in-depth analysis of sustainability issues in key economic sectors (including food, transport and housing);
  • Research training - the development of sustainability and planning research skills.

Distinctive features

  • Scope to focus on environmental problems and environmental policy in a range of sectors, including planning, food/agriculture, transport and housing.
  • This course is recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a 'specialist' masters, allowing those who have completed a three year RTPI recognised undergraduate spatial planning degree to complete the RTPI's educational requirements for membership.
  • Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing completion of the educational requirement for RICS membership.

Learning and assessment

How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods used include examinations, essays, reports, project work and verbal presentations.

Written examinations are used to test your understanding of key environmental policy frameworks, knowledge of substantive law and ability to construct legal arguments.

Essays and reports will allow you to employ knowledge generated during the modules in pieces of policy evaluation or sustainable development in action.

Seminar presentations and debates are used to encourage you both to develop and clarify you understanding of a contemporary sustainability issues (in order to defend a debating a position) and give you an opportunity to enhance your oral presentation skills.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will have access to a range of facilities and resources, including:

  • A dedicated 40 PC laboratory with high quality peripherals including; network account laser printing, large format colour printing, A4 colour printing.
  • GIS facilities/workstation/access to Edina digimap digital mapping facility.
  • An additional 30 PC open-access laboratory in the Glamorgan Building.
  • An excellent Planning library containing around 12,000 books, 280 journal titles and substantial annual stock expenditure.
  • Access to online international databases/computerised library facilities.
  • Access to Dyslexia resource facilities.
  • Use of Learning Central in all modules to provide module information and learning resources. 

You will have regular meetings with your allocated personal tutor to review your progress.

English language support will be available if your first language is not English.

Support will also be available if you are working/being assessed through the medium of Welsh.

We will support the development of your professional skills during induction week by providing training on computer use and presentation skills.

Career prospects

This course offers the knowledge and expertise for developing a research career or taking advantage of the increasing professionalisation of environmental jobs in the private and public sectors, including government departments and environmental agencies; the business sector; consultancy, and environmental non-governmental organisations.


Visit the Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy - MSc page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

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