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MSc Spatial Planning with Geographic Information Systems

Course Description

The father of town planning, Patrick Geddes was a professor of botany at this University hence our strong historical links to the planning profession. The University of Dundee has been running town and regional planning programmes for over fifty years with a proud list of its graduates who went on to take up positions of influence in shaping the development of quality cities and spaces across the world. Dundee, the city, is located in an idealistic location for learning planning.

This course attracts students from a wide network of countries and varied professional backgrounds and this a unique environment to collaborate different experiences from other students.

This programme is accredited to the Royal Town Planning Institute and provides options for specialisms in Environmental Assessment, Marine Spatial Planning, Sustainable Urban Design and Urban Conservation. Our academic staff have a strong research and practice background in these specialist areas. The programme has strong links with practitioners so our students have the opportunity to engage with 'live' projects as part of their learning.

The course offers options for part-time study for those in full time employment.

What is so good about this course?

The idealistic location of Dundee enables students to 'live what they learn'. This is made possible by collaborative relations that the programme has with the key planning agencies in and around Dundee and thus allowing students to engage with practitioners through lectures, seminars and fieldwork. The programme has dedicated learning and IT facilities to enhance the students learning experience.

Teaching & Assessment

- How you will be taught

This course can either be taken on a full-time (1 year) or part time basis (2 years). The mode of teaching is generally through class lectures, guest speaker seminars and student-led seminars. Time is allowed to encourage individual study using the library and other facilities.

The course is done over three semesters. The first semester covers core modules in, Statutory Planning, Spatial Analysis and Property Development Processes. The second semester covers two core modules, Concepts of Planning and Sustainability in Contemporary Cities and an optional specialism module.. The third semester is for the dissertation based on the specialist option. Each semester allows for 60 credits leading to a total of 180 credits for the full MSc Award.

- How you will be assessed

This course has a mixed approach to assessment including report writing, essay writing, oral presentations and group-work tasks. The dissertation is an individual investigation researched by the student in line with the selected specialism. All assessments are 100% coursework with no examinations.

What you will study

- Semester 1:

Spatial Analysis has two key components. The first component analyses built and natural environments particularly from a conservation perspective. The second part of the module focuses on socio-economic analysis of data at a city scale and the relevance of this to planning.

Statutory Planning is a practice based approach to learning processes processes of plan-making and the management of development.

Property Development Processes deals with complexities and challenges in the property development sector and the role of different stakeholders involved.

- Semester 2

Concepts of spatial planning introduces students to the role of planning and planning systems. The other part of this module introduces students to various planning theories and their relevance to practice.

Sustainability in Contemporary Cities examines various challenges facing the growth of cities globally and the implications of these to planning of cities and the countryside.

The third second semester module is optional depending on the selected specialism. Students select one specialist module from the following:

Environmental Assessment
Marine Spatial Planning
Sustainable Urban Design
Urban Conservation
Applied Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Data Analysis

- Semester 3:

A 60 credit dissertation in line with the selected specialism


Our MSc programmes equip our students with a variety of skills required to support spatial planning field such as stakeholder engagement, renewable energies, urban design, urban conservation, property development, housing development, public policy and environmental impact assessments. Most of our graduates take up employment in the UK and beyond. Typical employment is with the public and private sectors involved in a variety of built and natural environments. Generally, students from international destinations either return to their employers to take up new challenges or venture into new opportunities.

The University's Careers Service continues to offer support to our graduates for up to 5 years from completing our programmes.

Visit the MSc Spatial Planning with Geographic Information Systems page on the University of Dundee website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally have an upper-second class of honours degree, or equivalent, in a suitable discipline. Applications from individuals, without an honours degree, but with substantial work experience relevant to spatial planning, will be considered. IELTS of 6.5 (or equivalent) if first language is not English.

Course Fees

UK/EU 2016-2017 £4,500 OS 2016-2017 £12,950

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