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Course content

Develop an innovative approach to planning grounded in theory and lively academic debate, and focused on the knowledge, skills and competencies required for employment in the area.

You base your studies on real life issues and case studies. This allows you to develop the range of skills and competencies to enter into a planning career. The course also allows you to develop your own interests and specialist areas of study. The course provides you with key knowledge and skills for a planning or planning-related career.

It covers topics and issues such as

  • planning practice, profession and ethics
  • planning theory and principles
  • planning policy development and policy evaluation
  • the English and wider approaches to planning
  • climate change and environmental issues and protection
  • transport and infrastructure provision
  • housing planning and development
  • the planning and development process
  • Viability
  • placemaking and design quality
  • design issues including urban design and sustainable design
  • social equity, inclusion and cohesion
  • economic growth and development

The course also enables you to develop key skills for your future career. These are gained through the modules and the assessment approach and include

  • negotiation skills
  • engagement and consultation
  • research skills
  • time and project management
  • self motivation and group working
  • policy evaluation
  • viability and appraisal skills
  • design awareness and design review
  • political and ethical awareness
  • networking and professional presence
  • communication and presentation skills.

The course has been running for over 25 years attracting students from a range of backgrounds including

  • graduates from a range of subjects such as geography, natural and built environment, humanities, scienceand design looking for a professional qualification
  • practitioners in planning and the wider built and natural environment fields who are looking to develop their career
  • people looking for new career or a change of career direction
  • international students from Europe, America and beyond

Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Course structure

Core modules

  • Planning theory and context
  • Applied research methods
  • Policy for space and place
  • Sustainable city ecologies
  • Environment and infrastructure
  • Planning and development process
  • Housing and economic development
  • Major project or dissertation

Optional modules

Choose one option module from

  • Comparative European planning
  • Consultancy project


Coursework and professional practice focused assignments. 


You can find opportunities in both private consultancy and public sector planning in planning and related careers including strategic planning and policy development • development implementation and management • environmental protection •infrastructure planning, housing development • regeneration • economic development • heritage and the historic environment • health • transport and accessibility planning.

Planners are also employed across a range of public and private sector bodies in wider roles, for example in wider policy development and in campaign bodies and pressure groups.

As an internationally recognised qualification the course also opens up wider career opportunities in the global job market. 

Visit the Urban Planning MSc page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!




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