Spatial Planning MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This professionally accredited postgraduate programme has been carefully designed as a 'fast-track' conversion course for graduates of any discipline who wish to make a career in planning or in related fields. It aims to broaden students' appreciation of planning and urban theory whilst providing them with the necessary skills to engage in critical and creative problem-solving.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£16,100
£8,050
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£32,100
£16,050
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

An upper second-class Bachelor's degree (or higher) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of equivalent standing. There is no particular subject requirement as the MSc provides an 'initial' planning education for graduates with cognate and 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, by admitted to the programme if they are able to demonstrate considerable senior-level professional experience in planning or a related field. In such situations, a special qualifying essay will be set.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Students analyse the definition of, and solutions to, urban and regional planning problems and the nature of existing planning systems and practices in the United Kingdom. We focus on the British tradition of planning in the programme. Emphasis is placed on the importance of a spatial and comparative perspective to planning and the need for integrated solutions to planning problems and the achievement of sustainable development.

Who this course is for

The programme is designed for graduates from any relevant discipline who wish to make a career in planning (in central and local government, private consultancy, voluntary bodies, etc.), in related fields (such as housing, urban regeneration, transport planning or urban design), or in teaching and/or research.

What this course will give you

UCL's Bartlett School of Planning (BSP) has a strong history of teaching and research. It has been at the forefront of planning research and teaching for over 100 years and is one of the foremost planning schools in the United Kingdom, with an international reputation. Based in the heart of London there is much for students to learn from being at the cutting-edge of policy-relevant critical debate, empirical study and research-led teaching. The staff profile is multidisciplinary and teaching staff are actively involved in shaping the theories and debates covered in their teaching. Our annual public lectures attract pre-eminent speakers from around the world and our student body has a broad, international profile.

Although situated within global and European contexts, the focus for the programme is primarily the UK, and particularly London. London is a complex setting that provides the natural and most accessible laboratory for BSP students. An emphasis on understanding the social and physical world will lead to a greater appreciation of how action or intervention shapes place. But at the same time, there is a concern with ethical issues as a framework for planned intervention.

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

The foundation of your career

The programme equips graduates with a wide range of skills beneficial to employability including planning specific skills, for example, an appreciation of policy-making and implementation, of spatial analysis, basic principles of urban design, social research and plan-making and decision-making processes. Students will also gain transferable skills, such as group work, independent research, communication skills including presentation and writing, and problem solving.

Employability

Graduates have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment, including core public and private sector planning careers (such as local government and local, national and international consultancies), as well as the housing and transport sectors; planning, urban regeneration and environmental agencies; public and private utility companies; think tanks and public policy organisations; environmental campaign groups; and teaching and research.

Our latest data on the destination of our programme graduates shows that within 15 months of leaving the programme, 95.1% of graduates were in graduate level employment or further study.

Accreditation

The programme is fully accredited by both Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Students successfully completing the MSc in Spatial Planning are eligible for licentiate membership of either or both bodies, regardless of the subject focus of their undergraduate degree.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through individual and group project work, skills-based practical and IT work, lectures, field trips, tutorials and seminars. Assessment is through individual and group work, essays, examination, skills-based practical work, and the dissertation.

For full-time students, typical contact hours are around 12 hours per week, supplemented by 24 hours of self-directed study.

Modules

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five compulsory modules, two linked optional modules from a specified list of ‘specialisms’ and a research dissertation.

Students undertake four 15 credit taught modules in the first year (BPLN0037, BPLN0042, BPLN0043, BPLN0047). Students take the 30 credit BPLN0002 module in their second year, as well as their two linked 15 credit specialism modules and the dissertation (BPLN0039).

The structure will be discussed between the student and the programme director dependent how long they wish to study for, but would usually start with module BPLN0037 in the first year and finish with the dissertation (BPLN0039) in the last year.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Spatial Planning.

Fieldwork

We will run field trips as part of our postgraduate degree programmes. We expect to be able to run our trips to continental European destinations unless there are any further Covid-19 restrictions.

In Term 1, we would usually offer a short overnight field trip to a British city outside London. In Term 2, there would normally be a week-long field trip to a European city outside the UK, for example Copenhagen or Delft/Amsterdam. The trips cover a range of spatial planning themes, linking directly to the Master's programme. Part-time students would need to be available to attend the trips during their first year of study.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Introduction to Planning

Dr Ben Clifford, Postgraduate Tutor at The Bartlett School of Planning, gives an overview of the subject, and the school.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £16,100 £8,050
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100 £16,050

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

The cost of the field trip (flights and accommodation) will be covered by UCL.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

Any additional funding available from the Bartlett School of Planning and the Built Environment Faculty Office are advertised on the respective websites.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Deadline: 31 May 2023
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Bartlett Promise Sub-Saharan Africa Masters Scholarship

Deadline: 31 March 2023
Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 8 June 2023
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Spatial Planning at graduate level
  • why you want to study Spatial Planning 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.

International students who require a Tier 4 visa are strongly advised to submit their application before June.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

Got questions? Get in touch

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