PDF version of Planning, Design and Development MSc

Contact details

Ms Angela Fattibene

Email: a.fattibene@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8600

Fees and funding

UK/EU 2013/14:

£10,750 (FT)

Overseas 2013/14:

£16,250 (FT)

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website

More information

Prospectus Entry


Key facts

Research Assessment Rating

60% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
(What is the RAE?)

The programme information on this page relates to 2013 entry. 2014 content to appear here shortly. 

Planning, Design and Development MSc

This specialist programme is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The primary focus of the programme will be on achieving an advanced understanding of delivery processes in planning: in other words, on how planning can be more effective at delivering its desired outcomes.

Degree summary

What will I learn?

The programme explores:

  • Planning as an integrative and positive force for change
  • The development and delivery of planning policy through in-depth study of one development sector - housing in the UK
  • The potential of planning to better shape the quality of planning outcomes
  • The practice of planning as a professional discipline

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Bartlett School of Planning has a strong history of teaching and research. The School has been at the forefront of planning research and teaching for nearly 100 years and is one of the foremost planning schools in the United Kingdom, with an international reputation.

Based in the heart of London, one of the most exciting and vibrant urban laboratories in the world, the Bartlett School of Planning offers the unique opportunity for students to study the complexities of contemporary planning processes with a particular emphasis on creative problem solving, interdisciplinary working and urban sustainability.

See subject website for more information:

Degree structure

Availability: Full-time 1 year (flexible 2-5 years)

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of eight compulsory modules (105 credits) an optional module (15 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is offered.

Core Modules

  • Either Spatial Planning or International Planning
  • Planning Practice
  • Critical Debates in Planning
  • Planning for Housing: Process
  • Planning for Housing: Project
  • Urban Design: Product, Process and Critique
  • Urban Design: Guidance, Incentive and Control
  • Research Methods Workshop


  • Either Urban Design: Place Making or free choice module
  • Space and Place A
  • OR:
  • Free choice module

Dissertation or Major Research Project

MSc students have the choice between a 10,000-word dissertation or final major research project. The dissertation being by nature a more analytical exercice and the project a rather propositional one.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of individual and group project work, skills-based practical and IT work, lectures, tutorials and seminars, field trips and direct practitioner involvement. Student performance is assessed through individual and group work, essays, exams, project work and other skills-based practical work.

Further details available on subject website:

Entry and application

Entry requirements

The normal minimum qualifications are a good second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

There is no particular subject requirement as the MSc provides an 'initial' planning education for graduates with cognate or non-cognate degrees. 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, be admitted to the programme if they are able to demonstrate considerable senior-level professional experience in planning or a related field.

A high level of competence in both spoken and written English is also required. Overseas students whose first language is not English will be asked to provide evidence of competence in English. A minimum overall score of 6.5 for IELTS or 580 in TOEFL is required.

For overseas equivalencies see the relevant country page.

How to apply

You may choose to apply online or download application materials; for details visit www.ucl.ac.uk/gradapps

The deadline for modular/flexible programmes is 6 September 2013. If you require a Tier 4 visa in order to study in the UK, then you are not eligible to apply or be made an offer of a place on a programme as a part-time (modular flexible) student. Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The MSc is primarily directed at those with an initial training in planning or other allied discipline (such as architecture, urban design, geography, environmental studies, civil engineering) who wish to complete their professional training or use the opportunity of further study to explore in greater depth the purpose and potential of planning.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Planning, Design and Development at graduate level
  • why you want to study Planning, Design and Development at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


The programme has been accredited as a 'specialist' planning programme by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as the final part of a 3+1 accredited route. It has also been given dual accreditation by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Recent records indicate that less than a third of those completing the 3+1 route take up employment in public sector planning. An increasing proportion (currently over a third) of the graduates enter consultancy work while the remainder take up employment in a wide range of retail, utility, transport and development companies or in non-profit agencies. A minority continue in higher degree studies and research.

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:

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