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Eco-Cities (MSc)

Course Description

This MSc is suitable for graduates in planning, geography, architecture, engineering or other relevant disciplines, or mid-career professionals working in planning, development or similar fields. The course is appropriate for both international students and UK students interested in Eco-Cities.

It is estimated that there are about 170 eco-cities (towns) under development in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa, and the Pacific Area. In China alone, more than 90% of cities have expressed their interest in developing a new eco-city or to apply the principles of eco-city to their existing urban area. The scale of current and future eco-city development and its global reach means that the programme will appeal to those who:
• Are currently engaged in eco-developments and wish to develop their professional expertise and academic knowledge in a School of Planning.
• Those who wish to pursue a career in eco-development and wish to learn about best practice and leading edge academic thinking.

Course Aims:
Graduates of the programme in eco-cities will have:
• developed a critical theoretical understanding about processes of eco-city development and how they relate to the implementation and application of sustainable development policies worldwide
• developed sound methodological skills, in particular for undertaking independent international comparative research on a topic in the field of eco-city development
• international experience of planning practice in eco-city development and used this to critically reflect on the theory-practice interface
• developed cross-cultural awareness and cross-cultural communication skills that are important for eco-city planning and development

Course Description:
There is an ever growing interest in how to reduce the impact of climate change in an urbanising world. For the first time in human history there are now more people living in towns and cities than in rural areas. It is estimated by the UN that by 2030 more than 60% of the world’s population, some 4.9bn people, will be living in urban areas.
Urbanisation today is also associated with a number of other features that make it distinctive from the past. First, the scale of urban areas is increasing. There are now a number of megacities, with populations of over 10m, across the world, including Tokyo, Mumbai, Mexico City, Beijing and Shanghai. Second, the geography of urbanisation has shifted from the developed world of Western Europe and North America to the developing world of Asia, Africa and South America. For example, it is believed that over 90% of urban growth will occur in less developed nations, with 80% of urban growth occurring in Asia and Africa. Third, the pace of urbanisation is spatially variable. In parts of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa urban growth is increasing at over 3% a year, in more developed parts of the world growth is minimal (and numbers in some urban areas are falling).
Whilst urban areas can be sites of environmental degradation they offer the possibility of living in a more resource efficient way. Amongst the key questions that are emerging are: 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 ecological development that can mitigate climate change? How can urban areas adapt to climate change? The programme will equip students with a critical understanding of the variety of forms of development that badge themselves as sustainable or low carbon and will create practitioners who have the skills to take forward innovative environmentally friendly urban developments that are sensitive to the needs of sustainable spaces. The programme will provide opportunities for students to participate in real low carbon eco-city planning and developments though live projects.
Cardiff Masters Graduate School of City and Regional Planning can bring together the expertise of the Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACE), an intellectual setting that promotes the multi-disciplinary thinking (e.g. planning, human and economic geography, political science) that is essential to deliver a high quality postgraduate taught programme. In addition, the course will draw upon the specialist input of the School of Engineering's work on sustainable energy and from the School of Architecture's work on sustainability, energy and the management and measurement of resource use.

Visit the Eco-Cities (MSc) page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Nia Blank (PhD in City and Regional Planning)

"I enjoyed the MSc Course, felt that it provided a thorough introduction to city and regional planning and, to my surprise, emerged with a distinction. I decided to stay in the School for my PhD because it is well respected and because it is both large and friendly and the staff have a wide diversity of interests and backgrounds."

(Student Profile)

Stevie Upton (Regeneration)

I was initially attracted to the School of City and Regional Planning because of its excellent research rating, but when I came to Cardiff I was struck by the high level of engagement between the academic staff and their students. So much so, in fact, that after completing my MSc I stayed on for a year as a researcher, and am now studying for a PhD in the School.


Cardiff University Masters Excellence Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

“This scholarship package will give high-calibre students the opportunity to study at a world-leading, research-intensive university and help ease the associated financial burdens.”Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-ChancellorWe are pleased to announce that the Taught Master's Excellence Scholarship Scheme for 2016/17 entry has been confirmed.We are committed to invest up to a total of £500,000 in this high value competitive scholarship scheme to support UK and EU students who are planning to start an eligible master's programme in September 2016.The scholarships are each worth a minimum of £3,000 and will be awarded in the form of a tuition fee discount.Scholarships will be awarded based on academic excellence.

Value of Scholarship(s)

min. £3000


Eligible programmes include taught full-time and part-time taught programmes leading to a master's. Not included are our distance learning programmes and taught programmes leading to a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma, as well as research master's such as the MPhil and MRes.‘Home’ and ‘EU’ students only (as classified for fee paying purposes, tuition fee status is determined after submitting an application to study) who are accepted on to an eligible postgraduate taught programme leading to a master's degree, and with a firm focus on academic excellence.For applicants from countries outside the European Union, we also offer a range of highly prestigious international scholarships.

Application Procedure

We have two deadlines after which scholarship decisions will be made:6 April and 27 July 2016.The Masters Excellence Scholarship application form can be accessed once you have submitted an application to study to an eligible postgraduate taught programme leading to a master’s degree. Please note the additional details on our website and in the guidance documents provided.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A first or second class Honours degree in an appropriate subject. A minimum standard in English language of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent will be required for students whose first language is not English. Pre-course English Language tuition is available.

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