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 MA course will give you the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to practise professionally as a spatial planner. It is designed to meet the growing employer needs for staff who can investigate changes in the natural and built environments, manage the challenges of climate change through sustainable development, and debate and critically reflect upon the knowledge and values underpinning current approaches to land use development. Completion of the MA course is the first step to become a full member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

The course will support your personal and professional development. You will be able to work in the interdisciplinary and cross-sector environment of urban and regional development, in a variety of private, public and community contexts, and apply your knowledge to practise in specialist areas of planning. The course builds on the University's experience of delivering postgraduate courses in town planning for more than 60 years.

The course explores the current context and content of spatial planning. It does so from a UK and European perspective, and also investigates underlying theoretical debates.

If you want to gain a greater understanding of spatial planning, but do not want to study for a full Masters course, we also offer an Urban and Regional Planning Postgraduate Diploma and an Urban and Regional Planning Postgraduate Certificate. Scroll to the bottom of this page to find out more about these courses. Alternatively you can study a single module(s) from the Urban and Regional Planning MA course as stand alone short courses.

Course structure

For the award of the MA students need to pass modules totalling 180 credits. MA students take all core modules and choose one specialist option module.

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules

The module will provide you with the opportunity to explore in depth a spatial planning or related topic through primary or desk-based research. You will investigate and evaluate the process of planning policy making and delivery. This will involve setting research objectives, carrying out a literature review, developing and implementing a research design, incorporating appropriate methodologies, analysing your findings, drawing conclusions, and making recommendations. Your research may take the form of dissertation or a policy implementation project.

40 credits

In this module you will focus on the financial and policy context of urban planning, and the application of urban design principles to urban development. It will provide you with an overview and analysis of the procedures and practices of project briefing and development control, and will introduce urban design issues and techniques. You will develop your understanding of the key actors in the development process, and the basic principles of property development, site appraisal and methods of financial appraisal. The projects will involve area, market and site appraisal, design briefing and site layout through the development of a proposal for a site in the context of local planning guidelines. Group work is an important element of this module.

40 credits

This module involves a study tour over four to six days, usually to a single European city, with a range of urban forms from a variety of periods and which is currently growing. The trip will provide you with an opportunity to analyse urban form and its evolution and the impact of planning policies, and to evaluate the qualities of the environment produced.

Non-credit bearing module

This module will equip you with a critical understanding of the environmental, social and economic forces which influence spatial development and the qualities of place. It will introduce you to key historical and contemporary debates in planning, and the concept of sustainable development.

20 credits

In this module you will examine the governance of planning and theoretical ideas about planning, and further explore the social and economic dimensions of sustainable development. You will explore debates about social exclusion, diversity and community engagement in planning. You will also examine how planning operates at different geographic scales, and investigate planning for economic development and for the provision of housing and infrastructure.

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 will provide you with the skills needed to collect, manage, analyse and present data for evidence-based planning practice. It will develop your understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of needs, capacity and impact assessments. The module will also provide an opportunity for you to reflect on the inter-personal skills needed for planning practice and project management including negotiation and community engagement.

10 credits

This module explores 'next generation' cities, investigating critical issues relating to climate change and other large-scale environmental threats and challenges through a cross-disciplinary perspective, at a range of scales from the global to the local. A critical understanding of the concept of sustainability, encompassing notions of resource conservation, environmental, social and economic impact, quality of life and urban resilience, is essential.

20 credits

Optional modules

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 focus on the interaction between transport and land-use, including the effect of land-use on travel patterns and the contribution of transport to development. Topics you will explore include changing planning system impact on transport systems and their sustainability, LUTI modelling and the role of forecasting in relation to transport planning, sustainable accessibility planning, transit oriented development, perspectives on planning major transport infrastructure, and scenario planning.

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

20 credits

Professional accreditation

On successful completion of the MA course students can become licentiates of the RTPI. After two years' experience in practice, they may make a submission for their Assessment of Professional Competence and, if successful, are then entitled to full RTPI membership.

Entry Requirements

You will need a good first degree from the UK, or a comparable qualification from overseas, or membership of an appropriate professional body.

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

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

You should normally have the equivalent of a good Honour's degree and demonstrate strong motivation in the subject area. Alternative qualifications with relevant professional experience will also be considered.

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

More information

Careers

Most of the students on the course are already in planning or planning-related posts. Full-time students graduating from the course as qualified planners will normally be offeredplanning positions in the public or private sector on graduation.

Examples of companies that have recruited our graduates include:

  • Belinda Greenwell
    Graduate Planner, Savills UK
  • Marisa Teuma
    Town Planner, Transport for London (TfL)
  • Yvonne Sampoh
    Project Officer (Planning), Southwark Council
  • Kiran Curtis
    Managing Director, Kiran Curtis Associates
  • Adam Hunt
    Tottenham Planning and Regeneration Manager, London Borough of Haringey

Visiting lectures are given by a wide range of external practitioners. The teaching team has extensive links with planning institutions including the RTPI and the Town and Country Planning Association. The course includes part-time students working in planning-related positions in private and public sectors.

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.

What our students say

Adam Hunt

Adam Hunt

Urban and Regional Planning MA

I chose Westminster due to its reputation for research and the lecturers’ reputations for being able to communicate how spatial planning theories can be applied in real world situations. The University’s location is also ideal, as it is so well connected within central London.

Kiran Curtis

Kiran Curtis

Urban and Regional Planning MA

Studying as a mature student part-time was a challenging experience. I certainly gained lots of practical knowledge in my chosen discipline but it also helped me further develop a number of other skills such as being able to research, appraise and assimilate information rapidly. However it was also very refreshing to take the time to explore subjects academically, for their own sake.

Yvonne Sampoh

Yvonne Sampoh

Urban and Regional Planning MA

The course is delivered through 100% coursework (encompassing workshops and project based studies), which was suitable for my work life balance, as I worked full-time. The course was also well known for its strong emphasis on urban design, which was particularly important for me.  I have gained a deeper knowledge of the concepts of sustainable development, regeneration and urban design within the built environment. I had no previous academic training in this area as my undergraduate degree was in law. The skills I gained from the course have been essential for my employment.

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 Urban and Regional Planning courses

We also offer an Urban and Regional Planning Postgraduate Diploma and an Urban and Regional Planning Postgraduate Certificate. These qualifications on their own do not provide a route to RTPI membership. They are intended for professionals in related fields to deepen their understanding of spatial planning.

If you take the Postgraduate Diploma you take modules totalling at least 120 credits from the list of MA modules above, of which 100 credits must be from the core modules. The Postgraduate Diploma usually takes one year to complete full-time. The Postgraduate Diploma usually takes two years to complete part-time. To apply for the Postgraduate Diploma you should apply now via UKPASS (UKPASS code 052063).

If you take the Postgraduate Certificate you take modules totalling at least 60 credits from the list of MA modules above, of which 40 credits must be from the core modules. The Postgraduate Certificate usually takes one to two years to complete part-time. To apply for the Postgraduate Certificate you should apply now via UKPASS (UKPASS code 052064).

View the fees for the Urban and Regional Planning Postgraduate Diploma and Certificate courses

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.

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.

More information

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