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Spatial Planning - MSc

Course Description

This professionally accredited postgraduate programme has been carefully designed as a ‘fast-track’ conversion course for graduates of any discipline who wish to make a career in planning or in related fields. It aims to broaden students’ appreciation of planning and urban theory whilst providing them with the necessary skills to engage in critical and creative problem-solving.

Degree information

Students analyse the definition of, and solutions to, urban and regional planning problems and the nature of existing planning systems and practices. Emphasis is placed on the importance of a spatial and comparative perspective to planning and the need for integrated solutions to planning problems and the achievement of sustainable development.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (90 credits), one specialism with two modules (30 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules from the list of possible specialisms available (30 credits), full-time nine months, is offered.

Core modules
-Urban Design: Place Making
-From Strategic Vision to Urban Plan
-Pillars of Planning
-Spatial Planning
-Critical Debates in Planning

Optional modules - students choose two linked modules from the following to form a specialist study area:
-Communities and Planning
-Housing for Planning
-Mega Infrastructure Planning
-Sustainable Governance
-Urban Design
-Urban Regeneration
-Historic Cities
-Smart City Theory and Practice

All MSc students undertake an independent research project, closely related to the specialist option chosen and linked to UK spatial planning. The project culminates in a dissertation of 10,000-words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through individual and group project work, skills-based practical and IT work, lectures, tutorials and seminars. A short field course based in a European city outside the UK will take place in the second term. Assessment is through individual and group work, essays, examination, skills-based practical work, and the dissertation.


Graduates have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment, including core public and private sector planning careers (such as local government and local, national and international consultancies), as well as the housing and transport sectors; planning, urban regeneration and environmental agencies; public and private utility companies; think tanks and public policy organisations; environmental campaign groups; and teaching and research.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Research Analyst, Knight Frank
-PhD in Planning, The University of Manchester
-Planning Adviser, The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
-Transport Planner, London Borough of Camden
-PhD in Environmental Management, Seoul National University

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Bartlett School of Planning (BSP) has a strong history of teaching and research. It has been at the forefront of planning research and teaching for 100 years and is one of the foremost planning schools in the United Kingdom, with an international reputation. Based in the heart of London there is much for students to learn from being at the cutting-edge of policy-relevant critical debate, empirical study and research-led teaching. The staff profile is multidisciplinary and teaching staff are actively involved in shaping the theories and debates covered in their teaching. Our annual public lectures attract pre-eminent speakers from around the world and our student body has a broad, international profile.

Although situated within global and European contexts, the focus for the programme is primarily the UK, and particularly London. London is a complex setting that provides the natural and most accessible laboratory for BSP students. An emphasis on understanding the social and physical world will lead onto a greater appreciation of how action or intervention shapes place. But at the same time, there is a concern with ethical issues as a framework for planned intervention.

This MSc programme is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Visit the Spatial Planning - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

UCL Graduate Support Bursary - 20+ Awards

UCL is making 93 individual bursary awards available. Each bursary will cover the full tuition fee cost for the programme and provide £10,000 in maintenance funding per year.

Value of Scholarship(s)



The scheme is aimed at supporting traditionally under-represented groups to progress on to graduate study at UCL. All applicants will be required to demonstrate that their annual household income is currently under £42,611. This scheme is open to prospective students domiciled in the UK (that is, UK is your country of "ordinary residence”) who have "Home" tuition fee status.

Application Procedure

This initiative is funded through the HEFCE Postgraduate Support Scheme. The UCL Graduate Support Bursary scheme forms part of UCL’s wider initiative to support graduate Master’s students.

Further Information



Brown Family Bursary - No. of awards TBC

Selection criteria:
The bursary will be awarded based on financial need only as determined by the Student Funding Office.Value, Benefits and Duration:
- The value of the bursary is £15,000. The payment is to be applied to tuition fees in the first instance, with any remainder being paid to the successful applicant towards maintenance in termly instalments.
- The bursary is tenable for one year only.
- The bursary may not be held alongside other tuition fee only awards.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- prospective full-time UK Master's students who are undertaking a one-year programme of study in the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences or Mathematical & Physical Sciences (BEAMS) in 2015/16
- currently holding a first-class Bachelor's degree; and
- in financial need.

Application Procedure

See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate/UK-EU-Master/uclalumniandfriends

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Upper second-class Bachelor's degree (or higher) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of equivalent standing. There is no particular subject requirement. Where candidates fail to meet the standard requirement (i.e. they hold a degree of a lower classification), the department will take into account professional experience in planning or a related field when deciding whether to admit a candidate. Applicants who do not hold a first degree may, in exceptional cases, by admitted to the programme if they are able to demonstrate considerable senior-level professional experience in planning or a related field.

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