The Bartlett School of Planning


MSc Spatial Planning Degree Apprenticeship

This degree apprenticeship is designed for those wishing to understand and practice spatial planning in the UK as chartered town planners.

3D map of London

About the course

The MSc Spatial Planning Degree Apprenticeship combines the educational elements of UCL’s existing MSc Spatial Planning with supported workplace learning and practical experience meeting the requirements of the RTPI’s Chartered Town Planning Apprenticeship standard. Successful completion of the apprenticeship will give you an MSc Spatial Planning and the status of being a Chartered Town Planner (MRTPI) having gained practical experience in the workplace.

The MSc Spatial Planning provides:

  • an integrated programme, with all modules linked by common principles
  • a programme dealing with real places and the role of planning in place-making
  • a spatial perspective on planning systems and cultures
  • lecture- and seminar-based modules, project work, site visits and the preparation of a 10,000 word dissertation

The degree looks at how people, places and the environment interact and change, and the ways this might be influenced. The focus is on UK practices. They’re considered within a European and global context, and approached through critical analysis and evaluation.

The degree includes both core modules, providing an introduction to key knowledge, and specialist modules, allowing you to tailor your studies to your interests.

After completion of the degree, apprentices then continue with workplace learning and then an End Point Assessment administered by the RTPI, in order to become a fully qualified professional planner at the end of the third year. The approved standard and End-Point-Assessment documentation outlines the required planning knowledge, skills and behaviours for the apprenticeship.

Who should apply?

The apprenticeship is primarily for graduates of any undergraduate degree who wish to make a career in planning or gain professional status as a chartered planner.

In order to join the programme, an applicant will need to have an offer of employment from a sponsoring employer in England, who will employ them as an apprentice and provide a mentor for the workplace learning element of the apprenticeship, or already be employed by a sponsoring employer in England who will support them to attend the course and upskill. An employer agreement needs to be made between the employer and UCL in relation to this. The apprentice will also need to meet the entry criteria of the MSc Spatial Planning:

  • In all cases a level 2 award (e.g. GCSE graded A*-C in English and in Mathematics)
  • Ordinarily, an upper second-class or first class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university or overseas qualification of equal standing (any subject acceptable). This criteria can be waived in certain circumstances
  • Motivation to study the MSc Spatial Planning and become a Chartered Town Planner, as expressed in a personal statement


The MSc Spatial Planning is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The MSc Spatial Planning Degree Apprenticeship incorporates the MSc Spatial Planning degree qualification plus the RTPI’s Assessment of Professional Competence assessment in order to become a full, professional Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute – a Chartered Town Planner – at the end.

Why choose The Bartlett?

We offer:

  • a programme that draws on UCL's position as a leading research-led university
  • an opportunity to acquire a broad range of skills and knowledge, while setting foot on the path towards specialisation
  • a principle- and theory-driven programme giving both conceptual understanding and the skills needed to tackle practical problems

More information

  • For key information, including how to apply, a brochure is available for sponsoring employers and potential apprentices, who should email Dr Ben Clifford
  • Unlike other MSc programmes at the Bartlett School of Planning, this course requires the student apprentice to meet UCL’s entry requirements but also to have a sponsoring employer who is willing to make an employer agreement with UCL
  • Browse the sections below for more detailed course information.

The diagram below shows the structure of the three year degree apprenticeship programme.

The MSc Spatial Planning comprises 120 credits of taught modules and 60 credits of dissertation. It runs over two years part-time. Classes are usually timetabled so that it is only necessary to attend the university only one day per week (although in year two, depending on the choice of specialism, it may either be one whole day per week or two different half days). Further details of these modules can be found in the UCL Module Catalogue.

MSc Spatial Planning Apprenticeship Diagram

Compulsory Modules

BPLN0037 Spatial Planning: Concepts and Context
Credits: 15
Assessment: Examination
Year 1, Term 1

BPLN0042 Urban Design: Place Making
Credits: 15
Assessment: Coursework
Year 1, Term 1

BPLN0043 From Strategic Vision to Urban Plan
Credits: 15
Assessment: Coursework
Year 1, Term 2

BPLN0047 Spatial Planning: Critical Practice
Credits: 15
Assessment: Coursework
Year 1, Term 2

BPLN0107 Professional Planning Skills
Credits: 0
Assessment: No summative assessment as prepares students for workplace learning
Year 1, Term 3

BPLN0002 Pillars of Planning 
Credits: 30
Assessment: Coursework
Year 2, Terms 1 and 2


BPLN0039 Dissertation in Planning
Credits: 60
Assessment: Dissertation
Year 2, Term 3 and summer

Optional Modules

A choice of one of the following pairs:

BPLN0063 / BPLN0065 Urban Regeneration Specialism
Credits: 30
Assessment: Coursework
Year 2, Terms 1 and 2

BPLN0044 / BPLN0045 Planning for Housing Specialism
Credits: 30
Assessment: Coursework
Year 2, Terms 1 and 2

BPLN0024 / BPLN0027 Infrastructure Projects Specialism
Credits: 30
Assessment: Coursework
Year 2, Terms 1 and 2

BPLN0056 / BPLN0057 Urban Design Specialism
Credits: 30
Assessment: Coursework
Year 2, Terms 1 and 2

BPLN0102 + BPLN0049 Governance for Sustainability and Inclusion and Participatory Urbanism
Credits: 30
Assessment: Coursework
Terms 1 and 2

BPLN0102 + BPLN0054 Governance for Sustainability and Inclusion and Climate Change
Credits: 30
Assessment: Coursework
Terms 1 and 2

BPLN0067 / BPLN0068 Historic Cities
Credits: 30
Assessment: Coursework
Terms 1 and 2

CASA001 / CASA008 Smart Cities
Credits: 30
Assessment: Coursework
Terms 1 and 2

NB – These modules are run by CASA, a separate department in the Bartlett Faculty and a cap on the number of Spatial Planning students able to take these modules will apply.

Further details of these modules can be found in the Module Catalogue.

Delivery in 2022-23

For the 2021-22 academic year, we have been delivering this programme through ‘blended’ delivery, incorporating some elements face-to-face and some elements online, allowing us to respond to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, for example in case we need to have social distancing in place on the UCL Campus. Elements delivered in person have not been replicated online. Delivery in 2022-23 may also be impacted by the pandemic, however applicants should not expect to be able to complete the programme remotely. Given the practical nature of the programmes we deliver at the Bartlett School of Planning, we do expect the delivery and achievement of core learning outcomes on this degree course to require students to attend in person teaching activity in London.

Field trips

We are hoping to run field trips as part of the programme in 2022-23, however these may be subject to restriction due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, for example we might be able to offer a UK field trip more readily than one to elsewhere in Europe albeit this would normally be our intended destination. Offer holders / enrolled students will be kept updated on our plans.


Programme Director

Dr Ben Clifford
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Staff teaching on the programme currently include

Yasminah Beebeejaun
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Elena Besussi
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Professor Matthew Carmona
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Dr Claire Colomb
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Dr Lucy Natarajan
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Dr Michael Short
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Dr Tse-Hui Teh
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Professor John Tomaney
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Careers and employability

As a degree apprentice, students will be employed by a planning organisation throughout your apprenticeship, usually on the basis that they continue to work for that organisation after the completion of the apprenticeship.

Through completion of the apprenticeship, students will gain an MSc Spatial Planning degree from UCL. This existing qualification is widely recognised in the sector and graduate students from the Bartlett School of Planning have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment over recent years. There is growing demand for our Masters' graduates from a wide range of both public and private employers. While the main source of employment remains in local government and central government planning and in planning-related consultancy, graduates are also employed in wider contexts related to housing, transport, urban regeneration, public policy and teaching and research.

Destination statistics for 2018 showed that 98.5% of those graduating from the Bartlett School of Planning postgraduate programmes that year were in graduate level employment or further study within six months of leaving us.

Still can't find what you're looking for? Get in touch with Programme Director Dr Ben Clifford or Programme Administrator ; ">Lotte Bagshaw.