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Cardiff University, Full Time MSc Degrees in Geography

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The MSc Spatial Planning and Development is the ideal starting point for taking on the professional challenges of making liveable, prosperous places. Read more
The MSc Spatial Planning and Development is the ideal starting point for taking on the professional challenges of making liveable, prosperous places. You will develop core planning knowledge and skills, professional judgement and the specialist skills necessary to make you employable with a range of organisations.

The course is underpinned by a recognition that planning is undertaken in diverse, and sometimes unjust, societies, and that objectives and approaches to planning can be subjects of debate and struggle. The course will provide you with the sensitivity and ability to form independent judgements on these ethical, political and professional matters.

While its focus is on planning in developed capitalist societies, especially the UK/Europe, its understanding of planning is comparative, and the skills taught are applicable in many planning contexts.



Distinctive features

The skills and knowledge acquired through this course are of direct relevance to planning roles in public, private and voluntary sectors.
You will have the opportunity to work on projects for 'real life' clients.
This course is a combined planning course and is itself fully recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). The course provides the full RTPI educational requirement, so that successful completion of the MSc with the necessary RTPI practice requirements allows direct membership entry to the Institute.
It is also accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing completion of the educational requirement for RICS membership.

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The MSc Sustainability Planning and Environmental Policy will provide you with knowledge and understanding of sustainability theory, principles and practice. Read more
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.

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The MSc Urban and Regional Development course is designed for those who want to understand more about spatial development theory and practice and help meet the policy challenge. Read more
The MSc Urban and Regional Development course is designed for those who want to understand more about spatial development theory and practice and help meet the policy challenge.

The course will provide you with the opportunity to understand socio-economic change in towns, cities, regions and city-regions; issues that are of increasing significance globally. There is a focus on developing knowledge of the key theoretical tools to understand the nature and source of this socio-economic change and its uneven impact on different social groups and different places around the world.

Drawing on leading-edge theoretical debates about uneven spatial development, you will develop the key skills required to shape local and regional development in the worlds of policy and practice. These skills include data analysis and research skills, problem-solving skills through project-based teamwork, and skills in engaging and working across different sectors and organisations, including public, private and third sector organisations. The course also enables you to focus in more depth on understanding the specific challenges of uneven development at particular spatial scales - from the broader regional and city-regional scale to the more localised community and neighbourhood scale.

The course also addresses the public policy agenda to enable you to understand, research and apply your knowledge and skills to the practical challenge of designing strategies to help cities and regions to become more innovative and resilient places in which to live and work.

Distinctive features

You will study the theory, policy and practice of urban and regional development in South Wales, which has the longest experience of regional policy development in the world.
This MSc 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.

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Transport touches almost every aspect of our day-to-day lives. This course encourages you to address the challenges ahead for developing the transport systems of tomorrow. Read more
Transport touches almost every aspect of our day-to-day lives. This course encourages you to address the challenges ahead for developing the transport systems of tomorrow.

The MSc Transport and Planning is unique in offering you an opportunity to study different aspects of transport including planning, policy, operation and management, as well as other areas of urban planning.

The course will explain and demonstrate the principles and practice of transport scheme appraisal and evaluation and will enable you to understand and use statistical and modelling methods for analysing travel behaviour and a range of transport options.

You will be able to critically appraise a range of transport policies for promoting greater sustainability at national, regional and local levels, and to design transport policies at the local level that respond to the economic, social, health and environmental challenges of the society.

Distinctive features

This course is professionally recognised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT). This means that all graduating students are exempt from the qualifying examinations of the Institute.
Also 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.
The course also meets the academic requirements for the Transport Planning Professional Qualification from the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT).

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The MSc International Planning and Development aims to provide a broad education in international planning and development, enabling you to acquire the knowledge and critical understanding to make a significant contribution to the management of human settlements and urban systems. Read more
The MSc International Planning and Development aims to provide a broad education in international planning and development, enabling you to acquire the knowledge and critical understanding to make a significant contribution to the management of human settlements and urban systems. The course is suitable for those who want to work in the planning profession and especially those who want to gain an international perspective on planning and development issues.

The course tackles the challenges of urbanisation in the 21st century. Since 2008, more than half the world's population has lived in cities. Cities are crucibles of culture, knowledge and innovation, but also harbour poverty and exclusion; globalisation, environmental pollution, and climate change all threaten the well-being of urban residents.

This course spans the disciplines of spatial planning and development studies, enabling you to acquire the knowledge and critical understanding to make a significant contribution to the design and management of cities.

Core teaching focuses on issues of development and underdevelopment, city futures in a globalising world, and creation of space and place within different political, cultural, economic and environmental contexts. Options enable you to follow specialisms in urban design, real estate and housing – or a general route with options in planning, environment, transport, real estate, site planning, regeneration and housing. The dissertation is an opportunity for you to develop your specialist interests.

Distinctive features

The course capitalises on the research and teaching links the School has with countries throughout Europe and the world. Staff have experience and long-standing academic and professional links in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing completion of the educational requirement for RICS membership.
This is a combined planning course, fully recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). Successful completion of the MSc, followed by a period in practice as indicated in the RTPI’s Assessment of Professional Competence, allows direct membership entry.
No previous planning education or experience is required to undertake the course.

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The MSc European Spatial Planning & Environmental Policy prepares you for a career in environmental and spatial planning in Europe. Read more
The MSc European Spatial Planning & Environmental Policy prepares you for a career in environmental and spatial planning in Europe. It is designed to give you a better understanding of the influences of the European Union and international developments on space, the environment and the economy. You will develop skills to address large-scale spatial challenges such as climate change or transnational river management.

If you are interested in becoming a ‘European Spatial Planner’ who can effectively engage with the international policy context and in cross-cultural communication, this is the course for you. You will explore EU policy and legislation for spatial planning, environmental policy and regional economic development in European countries and regions.

The course will provide you with sound methodological skills, in particular for undertaking international comparative research, and independently conducted research on a topic in the field of European spatial planning, EU environmental policy and/or regional economic development.

Interactive teaching and learning on this course will challenge and stimulate you. You will work in small groups on contemporary themes and learn to think critically about new developments.

Distinctive features

The course is a two-year (120 European Credits) joint Masters Programme of Radboud University Nijmegen, Blekinge Institute of Technology and Cardiff University.
You will have opportunities to specialise in particular environmental or economic aspects of policy or spatial planning.
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.

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The MSc Eco Cities course addresses how cities can be planned and built to promote low carbon lifestyles. You will explore how ecological development can mitigate climate change and promote more sustainable ways of living. Read more
The MSc Eco Cities course addresses how cities can be planned and built to promote low carbon lifestyles. You will explore how ecological development can mitigate climate change and promote more sustainable ways of living.

The course addresses the serious and complex questions of how cities can be planned and managed in a more resource efficient way. These include:

What is a low carbon and ecological (sustainable) city?
How can city and regional planning effectively guide sustainable development?
Can cities be planned and built to promote low carbon lifestyles and foster ecological development that can mitigate climate change?
How can urban areas adapt to climate change?
You will gain a critical understanding of the forms of development that badge themselves as sustainable or low carbon and will develop the skills to take forward innovative environmentally friendly urban developments that are sensitive to the needs of sustainable spaces.

Distinctive features

You will travel to a global city and work in depth on a ‘live’ planning project and/or governance issue. Previous destinations have included Xiamen and Jakarta.
The 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.

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The MSc Food, Space and Society will prepare you to pursue an academic career in food studies; enhancing the skills of those already working in the sector and developing prospective practitioners and policy-makers to understand more deeply the interplay between food security, justice and sustainability. Read more
The MSc Food, Space and Society will prepare you to pursue an academic career in food studies; enhancing the skills of those already working in the sector and developing prospective practitioners and policy-makers to understand more deeply the interplay between food security, justice and sustainability. The course is specifically aimed at those wishing to gain expertise in contemporary food geographies.

You will gain insights into the ways in which food-related problems are defined, and the scope for applying cutting-edge policy and practical solutions to the challenges that an increasingly complex food system is raising for governments, researchers and regulatory bodies.

The course links together theoretical debates about food at different spatial scales with the practical dimensions of policy formulation and implementation. Based on your detailed knowledge of key tensions and debates related to food security, justice and sustainability, you will be able to develop suitable approaches to analysing and explaining trends and developments as well as to discuss appropriate policy responses.

The course addresses three key dimensions:

Principles and processes - how policies may (or may not) achieve more sustainable food systems;
Comparative case studies - comparative and in-depth analysis of food sustainability, justice and security issues in different geographic and governance contexts;
Research training - the development of methodological skills for undertaking both independent and team-based research on food.
Distinctive features

You will study with leading academics from the field of food research in the UK and worldwide.
The course brings an interdisciplinary approach to the study of food – one of society’s grand challenges.
The course focusses on the latest social science research around food, and the teaching team includes staff involved in live research projects.

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With over 50 percent of the world’s population now living in cities there has been an increasing trend to associate global issues with urban issues. Read more
With over 50 percent of the world’s population now living in cities there has been an increasing trend to associate global issues with urban issues. Cities have been seen as the causes of global problems – as sources of pollution and environmental damage; as concentrations of economic polarisation and sharpening social inequalities; as sites of privatised governance and non-democratic control. Alternatively, and increasingly, cities are seen as potential solutions to these global problems – from the benefits of urban density for reducing pollution and supporting sustainable energy regimes, through to sustainable economic transformations to reduce poverty, and as sites of experiments in new urban politics and social movements.

This course explores the dimensions of contemporary urbanisation in the context of the challenges and opportunities of contemporary processes of globalisation. There is an emphasis on analysing, from a theoretical and methodological point of view, the practical aspects of problem solving in the context of the globalised city and anticipated city futures.

We offer a programme that focuses on the changing nature of cities and urbanisation in a globalising world. It looks at the major problems and dilemmas of globalised urbanisation – urban growth and its environmental impacts, the role of cities in a globalised economic system; urban mobilities and transport systems; governing cities in a globalising world.

The course is aimed at those aiming to move onto further geographical/urban academic research or a career in a practice/policy environment (public, private, NGO, Third Sector) working on urban problems and solutions (economic, social, environmental) in an international context.

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Our Postgraduate Diploma in Social Science Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences. Read more
Our Postgraduate Diploma in Social Science Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences.

You will be provided with a thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of how to construct effective research studies, of the variety of data collection methods available to the social scientist and of the principal methods of analysing social scientific data. You will also be introduced to the political and ethical frameworks within which social science research is conducted, and to some of the ways in which the results of social science research are disseminated.

The course pathways have ESRC recognition and they each provide the appropriate training basis for proceeding to a PhD. These programmes provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study, the application of social research expertise for occupational career development, and the pursuit of substantive areas of interest at postgraduate level.

Environmental Planning pathway

This Postgraduate Diploma provides the opportunity to acquire generic research skills required by all social science researchers, as well as the subject-specific requirements of the ESRC’s Environmental Planning Subject Area Panel.

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