The Bartlett School of Planning


MSc/Dip Spatial Planning

Spatial planning is the management of space and development to create places that meet the needs of society, the economy and the environment.

About the course

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.

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Who should apply?

Graduates who wish to make a career in planning, related fields (such as housing, urban regeneration, transport planning or urban design), or teaching and/or research.


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

The degree is a ‘fast-track conversion course’. Graduates are eligible for entry routes to both professional bodies after completing our programme, regardless of subject background.

Further information on accreditation and routes to membership can be obtained from the RTPI and RICS websites.

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


The diagram below shows the structure of the one-year full-time MSc programme. The programme can also be taken flexibly over two to five years in which case students would normally complete the modules marked PT 1 before moving on to the modules marked PT 2.

The MSc Spatial Planning comprises 120 credits of taught modules and 60 credits of dissertation. It runs over a year full-time, and two years part-time (though the programme can be studied over a period of up to five years in modular mode) with most classes timetabled in the first and second terms. A research support module runs in Term 3, which is scheduled to coincide with the early stages of the production of an MSc Dissertation. 

For students studying part-time, we are usually able to timetable classes so that it is possible to have to attend the university only one day per week during the three teaching terms.  This enables students to complete the course on a ‘day release’ basis from their employment, although obviously considerable further study in their own time is also required.

Further details of these modules can be found in UCL's Module Catalogue.

Spatial Planning Structure Diagram

Compulsory Modules

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

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

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

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

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


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

Optional Modules

A choice of one of the following pairs:

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

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

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

BPLN0056 / BPLN0057 Urban Design Specialism
Credits: 30
Assessment: Coursework
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

Elena Besussi
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Professor Matthew Carmona
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Dr Elisabete Cidre
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Dr Claire Colomb
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Professor Harry Dimitriou
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Professor Nick Gallent
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Dr Nikos Karadimitriou
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Professor Janice Morphet
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Dr Claudio de Magalhães
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Dr Stephen Marshall
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Dr Jung Won Sonn
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Professor John Tomaney
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Dr Jo Williams
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Dr Filipa Wunderlich
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Careers and employability

Graduate students from the Bartlett School of Planning have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment. 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 the following areas:

  • housing and transport sectors
  • planning, urban regeneration and environmental agencies
  • public and private utility companies
  • teaching and research
  • public policy

Destination statistics for 2011 showed that 94% of those graduating from the School that year were in 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, Admissions Tutor Dr Qiulin Ke or Programme Administrator ; ">Lotte Bagshaw.