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About the course

Planning guides the future development and use of land. It is about where development should happen, where it should not and how it affects the quality of our surroundings. Urban and regional planning strives to design and deliver equitable, inclusive and sustainable communities where people can live, work and enjoy their leisure time. This involves promoting and facilitating development while protecting and enhancing the natural and built environment.

Our Urban and Regional Planning degree is designed to equip you with the knowledge and practical skills needed to work as a professional planner. You will develop the ability to ask the right questions and find creative solutions to the challenges facing communities and the built environment.

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Where is Heriot-Watt University


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Student Profile(s)

Nikola Miller

"I decided to study the Urban and Regional Planning one year MSc programme at Heriot-Watt as it fitted my requirements better than those of other planning schools in Scotland, and the good reputation of the University's built environment courses attracted me.

"The teaching staff members at Heriot-Watt were excellent during my time there, and I have kept in touch with several of them through volunteering for Planning Aid for Scotland, and also my involvement as a mentor in the Heriot-Watt planning student mentoring programme.

"I work on a range of consultancy work including masterplanning and the preparation of development frameworks, site promotion for development plans and large and small scale planning applications for a range of uses including rural, semi-rural and renewables sites.

"I am also very involved in the RTPI in Scotland and am a volunteer for Planning Aid for Scotland - delivering training to members of the public and planning professionals on planning issues, presentation skills and the planning system. I am also the current RTPI Young Planner of the Year.

"My experience at Heriot-Watt allowed me to discover my love for planning and really set me on track for my career. Some of the students and staff I met during my time at Heriot-Watt have gone on to become valued colleagues and friends, and have helped to build my network of planning contacts."


Zheng Qian

"My undergraduate degree is Landscape Architecture from Beijing Forestry University. I wanted to study an MSc in urban regional planning and asked my supervisor for suggestions for places to study. He has a PhD (Hons) from Heriot-Watt and recommended the Urban Studies programme at Heriot-Watt because it was ranked number one in Scotland and in the top ten in the UK.

Also Edinburgh is one of the most beauful places in the UK. So when I received the off I didn't hesistate to accept.

I think studying at Heriot-Watt Unviersity is more flexible than in China. You can manage your time more flexibly.

The other positive was the way way of thinking - weven the same knoweldge you already have, the lecturers at Heriot-Watt University would bring it out in other ways.

My future work will benefit from my experience here, for sure! It's not only for learning here, it's also the experience of cultural diversity. You can meet a lot of foreign students here. And it's amazing!"


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