Course Overview

Attendance
UK/EU Fees £6,500 *
International Fees £11,500 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

This course is aimed at built environment professionals and others with a relevant background who wish to gain an in-depth understanding of planning and sustainable development, whether to improve career prospects in their country or enter international practice. Through the course you will examine the growing problems of sustainable development facing cities, regions and communities in a rapidly urbanising world, subject to growing climate change and other environmental, economic and social pressures and risks.

Based in London, you will have access to internationally recognised experience of spatial planning for sustainable development, and explore contemporary theories, public policy thinking and good practice in planning in both the developed and developing worlds. The University of Westminster is the UK's first Habitat Partner University. We work with UN-HABITAT and like-minded institutions to promote the socially and environmentally sustainable development of towns, cities and regions, in accordance with the UN Millennium Development Goals.

This course addresses the growing problems of sustainable development facing cities and communities in a rapidly urbanising world. It explores contemporary theories, public policy thinking and good practice in planning that spans both developed and developing world contexts, and offers you the opportunity to explore one area of specialism in a related field in some depth.

Course pathways

There are two Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)-accredited pathways through the course. The Spatial Planning Pathway has a strong urban design component and an emphasis on the development planning process. The Urban Resilience Pathway provides a sustainable development-focused route with a core emphasis on climate change mitigation and adaptation planning. Both pathways cover all these aspects to some degree.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. Other modules with course-related learning outcomes may be taken subject to timetabling constraints and the agreement of the Course and Module Leaders.

Core modules – both pathways

This module offers you the opportunity to research in depth a spatial planning or related topic through primary or desk-based research. The Dissertation is 12-15,000 words in length. You may undertake a Major Project on a similar topic, producing a written report of a similar length, or a report combining planning or design proposals, or data presented in other formats, with a written analytical report of 5-10,000 words.

40 credits.

Through the exploration of theoretical models of sustainable urban form and practical exercises, you will explore the principles, methods and techniques of land use, transport and infrastructure planning for new and existing towns and cities and their regions. The module examines strategic spatial planning policy and managing development in the context of rapid urbanisation and the challenge of urban governance in the developing world.

20 credits.

This module explores urban issues such as impacts of economic globalisation and sustainability in a range of development contexts (developed and developing worlds, and high, middle and low-income countries) using a comparative planning systems approach. You will analyse key urban policy concerns, debates, dynamics of urban change and planning responses comparatively and internationally, across different regional and historical contexts.

20 credits.

This module introduces you to research methods and methodologies specific to urban and spatial research, design and planning. You will explore the theory and practice of developing a research framework, with a particular emphasis upon methods, methodologies and frameworks used within the built environment professions. The module will allow you to begin developing your own research proposal for the Dissertation.

10 credits. 

This module introduces you to a range of planning skills not covered elsewhere in core modules. You will cover core planning skills, appraisal techniques and technical skills including project management and communications. The module introduces assessments of need and capacity (for example retail, housing, leisure, transport) and tools and techniques to assist with these assessments, such as impact assessment, GIS, effective project management and engagement techniques.

10 credits. 

In this module you will explore 'next generation' cities, investigating critical issues relating to climate change and other large-scale environmental threats and challenges. The module adopts a cross-disciplinary perspective, at a range of scales from the global to the local. Using a UK-based case study and hands-on sustainability appraisal, planning and urban design exercises, you will develop a critical understanding of the concept of sustainability, encompassing notions of resource conservation, environmental, social and economic impact, and quality of life.

20 credits. 

In this module you will address the range of social sustainability concerns including housing and livelihoods. As well as introducing you to techniques such as participatory planning and community asset management, this module is concerned with local neighbourhood planning and introducing conceptual frameworks for understanding localised social and governance structures.

20 credits.

Core module for Spatial Planning Pathway

In this module you will examine place-making in the context of the UK development process. Based on practical design projects supported by lectures and workshops, it enables students to gain an insight into the relationship between urban design theory and practice. The module is built around a site-based design project with a series of specific tasks relating to various stages of project development including area appraisal, strategic framework and design brief.

20 credits. 

Core module for Urban Resilience Pathway

You will explore spatial planning for risk management, including reducing vulnerability and building urban resilience as it relates to the built environment, urban governance and long-term climate change and development needs. The module integrates sustainable development and climate change mitigation and adaptation planning concerns with disaster and hazard risk management in an international urban context.

20 credits. 

Optional modules

In this module you will examine the role that effective environmental strategies and policies in planning and related fields can pursue to reach sustainable development. The module sets out the theoretical framework, and the international context for sustainable development, energy efficiency and climate change. In the module, you will explore the implications for the built environment in a range of development contexts. The module includes analysis of key policy concerns and planning and design responses comparatively across different institutional and cultural contexts and reviews techniques for assessing the impacts of development.

20 credits.

This module will provide you with an understanding of the relationship between housing, planning and economic development. The module reviews debates about the supply of housing and considers the role of public policy in promoting housing development. You will consider the problems and challenges of concentrations of deprivation, and examine the social, economic, political and environmental factors which shape urban regeneration.

20 credits.

In this module you will analyse key historical and contemporary debates about participation and community engagement as applied in planning and housing. You will consider the key social science concepts related to community, participation, social capital and governance, and also the legal and procedural powers. The module offers advanced study skills in information selection, referencing, essay planning and critical analysis.

20 credits. 

In this module you will focus on the public realm from the perspective of urban design and planning. You will have the opportunity to study and write about key theories and debates about public space in an international context. These include issues such as inclusion and exclusion, the 'publicness' of public space, identity, experience, movement, green spaces, crime, security and anti-social behaviour, and different approaches to management. In the module you will undertake a practical project to explore these issues 'on the ground', thereby enhancing your skills in critical evaluation and design appreciation.

Course accreditation

The course is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a "combined planning programme". 

Careers

Students on the course are most likely to be working in a relevant built environment or sustainable development-related profession. Overseas students may be receiving a government bursary. Graduates from the course may secure promotion within their existing or a new related area of work, or move onto more responsible positions within 18 months of completing their studies. This may include management posts or the responsibility for project or policy development. It is expected that graduates will enhance their potential to be considered for development positions outside their home country.

Graduates from this course can expect to find employment as planners or urban designers, urban regeneration or environmental management specialists in private consultancy, local and national government, and non-governmental sectors in their own country or internationally, including international development agencies.

Our Career Development Centre has just been shortlisted for the Best University Careers Service in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards for 2017.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we are here to help you succeed.

In 2015–16, we helped over 1,500 students find work placements across a range of sectors, with 250 employers attending 14 on-campus skills and careers fairs.

As a Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements related to your course
  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • find international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • market yourself effectively to employers
  • write better CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our careers consultants
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events throughout the year

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Entry Requirements

You should have a good first degree (normally Second Class Honours or above) in a relevant built environment or land planning related discipline (such as urban or transport planning, architecture, landscape design, surveying, civil engineering, or land management) from a higher education institute in the UK or EU, or a comparable qualification from another country.

Alternatively, you may have a good first degree (normally Second Class Honours or above) in a relevant human geography, social or environmental science subject from a higher education institute in the UK or EU (or a comparable qualification from another country), and relevant practical experience of working in a built environment discipline.

If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of at least 6.5 (or equivalent) with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process.

You should have a good first degree (normally Second Class Honours or above) in a relevant built environment or land planning related discipline (such as urban or transport planning, architecture, landscape design, surveying, civil engineering, or land management) from a higher education institute in the UK or EU, or a comparable qualification from another country.

Alternatively, you may have a good first degree (normally Second Class Honours or above) in a relevant human geography, social or environmental science subject from a higher education institute in the UK or EU (or a comparable qualification from another country), and relevant practical experience of working in a built environment discipline.

If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of at least 6.5 (or equivalent) with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component.

More information

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £6,500 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

International tuition fee: £11,500 (Price per academic year)

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Find out more

Studying Planning, Housing and Urban Design at Westminster

Watch our video to find out more about studying Planning, Housing and Urban Design courses with us.

Other International Planning and Sustainable Development courses

We also offer an International Planning and Sustainable Development Postgraduate Diploma and an International Planning and Sustainable Development Postgraduate Certificate. The Spatial Planning Pathway and The Urban Resilience Pathway are still open to you, depending on the modules you choose.

If you take the Postgraduate Diploma you take modules totalling 120 credits from the International Planning and Sustainable Development MA course (listed above) including three core modules worth 60 credits. The Postgraduate Diploma usually takes one year to complete full-time. To apply for the Postgraduate Diploma you should apply via UKPASS (UKPASS code 052061).

If you take the Postgraduate Certificate, you take modules totalling 60 credits from the International Planning and Sustainable Development MA course (listed above). To apply for the Postgraduate Certificate you should apply now via UKPASS (UKPASS code 052062).

Modes of attendance and time taken to complete these courses can be discussed with the Course Leader.

Course Location

Our Marylebone Campus has benefitted from a multi-million pound refurbishment resulting in new workshops, digital studios and development of the Marylebone Library. The campus is home to the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment and Westminster Business School. For more details, visit our Marylebone Campus page.

Contact us

Call our dedicated team on:

+44 (0)20 7915 5511

Opening hours (GMT): 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

[email protected]

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