MSc Planning

Year of entry: 2021

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Science (MSc)
Duration
12 months (full-time); 24 months (part-time)
Entry requirements

We require a UK bachelor's degree with a First or Upper Second classification or the overseas equivalent, in any discipline.

When assessing your academic record we take into account the grades you have achieved, your academic references and the standing of the institution where you studied your qualification.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Apply online

The deadline for applications is 31 August 2021. Later applications will be processed at our discretion.

Applications for this course are very competitive. Due to the high demand we may not be able to offer places to all applicants who have the entry qualifications that we require. If you meet our entry requirements but we are unable to make you an offer you may be placed on a waiting list. Candidates on a waiting list will receive an offer only if places become available.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y Y N N

Course overview

  • Study an accredited, practical course that examines how planning policies and theories relate to real-life situations.
  • Gain the skills necessary for flexible career options in planning and development.
  • Explore global real-life planning and development issues in-person with the option of an international fieldtrip.
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Planning and Environmental Management Taught master's (Alumni - The University of Manchester)

Open days

The University holds regular open days, where you will have the opportunity to tour the campus and find out more about our facilities and courses.

On this day, you will find out more about the School of Environment, Education and Development and our resources, and meet academic and admissions staff who will be able to answer any questions you have.

For more information, see  open days .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2021, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £10,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £20,000
  • MSc (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): £5,000
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £10,000

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for international students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit postgraduate fees

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Additional expenses

An overseas field visit is an optional part of the course.

The cost of the visit is partly covered by the course fee, but there is a student contribution towards the cost of the trip depending on the location.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

We offer a number of postgraduate taught scholarships and merit awards to outstanding applicants and international students.

In addition, the Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a first-class Bachelors degree within the last three years and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

For more information, see Fees and funding or search the University's postgraduate funding database .

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Environment, Education and Development
Contact name
School of Environment, Education and Development +44 (0) 161 543 4028
Email
Website
https://www.seed.manchester.ac.uk/
School/Faculty
See: The School .

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require a UK bachelor's degree with a First or Upper Second classification or the overseas equivalent, in any discipline.

When assessing your academic record we take into account the grades you have achieved, your academic references and the standing of the institution where you studied your qualification.

English language

Applicants whose first language is not English should meet the following language requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic) test score of 6.5 or more overall, with a minimum writing score of 6.5 and no other subsection below 6.0
  • TOEFL internet-based test score of 90 or more overall, with a minimum writing score of 22 and no other subsection below 20
  • Pearson Test of English score of 59 or more overall, with a minimum writing score of 59 and no other subsection below 51
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) overall score of 176 or above, with 176 in writing and no sub-section below 169 -OR- Grade C if taken before January 2015(Please note that the Cambridge First Certificate in English is not acceptable)

You are not required to submit an English language certificate at the time of application, however if you are eligible for an offer it will be subject to meeting our English language requirements.

Pre-sessional courses

We will consider applicants who do not meet these scores but you may be required to complete a pre-sessional English language course at the University of Manchester prior to the start of the course.

To be considered for a pre-sessional English language course for this programme we require the following minimum IELTS (Academic) scores:

10 week pre-sessional course: Minimum 5.5 overall with minimum 5.5 in each subskill

6 Week Pre-Sessional Course  :  Minimum 6.0 overall with minimum 6.0 in writing, no more than one subskill of 5.5 and no subskill below 5.5

If you have not yet completed your current academic study and are interested in studying a pre-sessional course, you must hold an IELTS for UKVI (Academic) test certificate

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Applicants from Majority English-speaking countries

If you are a national of a  majority English-speaking country  (or have studied for a full bachelor's degree or higher from one of these countries) you may be exempt from submitting further evidence of English language proficiency.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from across the globe. To help international students the university provides specific information for many individual countries. Please see our  country-specific information page for guidance on the academic and English language qualifications which may be accepted from your country.

Professional entry qualification

If you do not meet our academic entry qualification criterion, your admission may still be approved if satisfactory evidence of postgraduate study, research or substantial relevant professional experience can be provided.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online

The deadline for applications is 31 August 2021. Later applications will be processed at our discretion.

Applications for this course are very competitive. Due to the high demand we may not be able to offer places to all applicants who have the entry qualifications that we require. If you meet our entry requirements but we are unable to make you an offer you may be placed on a waiting list. Candidates on a waiting list will receive an offer only if places become available.

Advice to applicants

Please submit the following documents with your completed application form:
  • copies of official degree certificates and transcripts of your previous study, showing the subjects taken and grades obtained. If these documents are in languages other than English please provide official translations;
  • two written academic references on official institution letterhead, signed, dated, stamped and containing the official university email address of your referees. Alternatively, your referees can send us the reference letters directly from their official university email address. If you have had a substantial period away from any formal learning, professional references may be considered. Professional references should be written on official company letterhead, signed, dated, stamped and containing the professional email address of your referees. Alternatively, your referees can send us the reference letters directly from their professional email address.
  • a personal statement (maximum 500 words) detailing why you wish to study the course, your experiences, what you can bring to the course and any other information that you see as relevant to your application;
  • your CV;
  • copies of English Language Certification, eg IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson test score report.
Ensure that you enclose all the necessary documents, as the delay caused in having to seek any missing documents from you might adversely prejudice your application.

How your application is considered

Applications for MSc Planning are very competitive. Due to the high demand for the programme we may not be able to offer places to all applicants who have the entry qualifications that we require. If we are unable to consider you for an offer you may be placed on a waiting list. Candidates on a waiting list will only be considered for an offer if places become available.

Once your application has been received, our admissions team will contact you. We may ask you to submit additional information, if necessary.

If you decide to accept your offer, when you arrive in Manchester you will be required to show to us the original documents which demonstrate your academic qualifications and your English language ability.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. 

In your new application, you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

MSc Planning will provide you with the range of skills necessary for a career in urban or environmental planning.

The course is aimed at graduates who want a career in planning and development, either in the public or private sector.

It will provide you with the core knowledge, competencies and skills necessary to become a chartered planning and development professional and a member of both the RTPI and the RICS.

You will gain a solid understanding of planning procedures, urban theories and spatial analysis. You will study the processes that frame planning projects, from project inception, site assessment and initial design through to the planning, implementation and scheme disposal.

Aims

You will:

  • tailor the course to your professional interests by choosing from numerous optional units;
  • develop specialist knowledge for a career in planning;
  • gain an international perspective of planning

Special features

  • Benefit from small-group teaching, close staff-student relationships, and guided one-to-one supervision.
  • Develop practical skills in project studios with drawing facilities, model-making workshops, and specialist design and spatial analysis software.
  • Enjoy fieldwork opportunities in the UK and abroad (if permitted by the current pandemic situation), exploring real-life issues on one-day trips, site visits, and overseas residential visits. Past locations included Manchester, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Toronto, Amsterdam, Belfast, Seattle, Dublin and Istanbul.
  • Have the flexibility to mix discipline units or specialise, and choose from a range of optional course units.
  • Study in Manchester, a city where planning has been taught for more than 50 years, and urban development and environmental impacts are on your doorstep.

Teaching and learning

Overseas field visits are currently subject to significant constraints due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Recent locations of international fieldwork have included Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Belfast, Dublin, Seattle and Toronto.

Fieldwork may be scheduled at any point during the course, and this may include time during University vacations. Successful applicants are expected to be available to attend.

Countries to be visited may change their immigration and visa regulations at short notice. The School cannot guarantee that where visas are required for the field course, they will be granted. The School will ensure that, in the unlikely event that a visa is refused, affected students are not academically disadvantaged.

The course also includes a course unit that introduces students to the excitement of working within a professional, 'real-world' context on a 'live' consultancy project. 

Working with industrial partners, you will be asked to complete a piece of work on an area of planning, urban regeneration, or environmental management - depending on your chosen specialism - to a standard that is expected and demanded in the planning, environmental management or development professions. This core course unit is highly regarded by employers and students alike.

Part-time students complete the course over 24 months. There are no evening or weekend course units available. You should discuss course requirements with the Programme Director and seek approval from your employer. Timetabling information is usually available from late August. You can discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

The School of Environment, Education and Development aim to run advertised fieldwork in the 21/22 Academic Year and we very much hope that students will be able to enjoy the fieldwork experience in the usual way.

The ability of fieldwork to proceed, and whether any changes to proposed fieldwork might be necessary, will remain subject to the current global situation and factors such as the:

  • rules and guidance on travel and activities implemented and published by the UK and overseas governments;
  • outcome of any risk assessments conducted by the University;
  • educational value and student experience of the fieldwork, if significant changes to the proposed fieldwork would be necessary;
  • availability of appropriate insurance cover; and
  • availability of appropriate travel and accommodation and any significant changes to their financial costs.

We will therefore assess on a regular basis the viability of any travel and fieldwork and communicate any decisions to our students at the earliest possible opportunity. Any fieldwork that does go ahead will be subject to a rigorous risk assessment process and the implementation of any protective measures identified by the risk assessment to ensure the health and safety of all of our students and staff. If the fieldwork does not go ahead as planned then the School's focus will be on seeking to offer a suitable alternative and ensure that the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) of the programme are met.

Coursework and assessment

You are continuously assessed via a range of methods, including essays and report writing, topic papers and critical reviews, project portfolios, and assessed workshop presentations.

Formative feedback is provided through the courses both orally and in written forms to help you develop further key skills.

A 15,000-word dissertation on an approved topic is discussed and chosen at the beginning of the second semester and a suitable supervisor allocated.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Planning Powers and Procedures PLAN60021 15 Mandatory
Urban Theory, Planning Theory and Professional Ethics PLAN60041 15 Mandatory
Dissertation [MSc Planning] PLAN60090 60 Mandatory
Land and Development PLAN60102 15 Mandatory
Applied Spatial Analysis for Planning PLAN60761 15 Mandatory
Neighbourhood Planning Project PLAN60812 15 Mandatory
Infrastructure Planning PLAN60872 15 Mandatory
Professional Placement PLAN60070 15 Optional
Design for Healthy Places PLAN60111 15 Optional
Property Valuation PLAN60331 15 Optional
International Urban Design PLAN60491 15 Optional
Local Economic Development PLAN60511 15 Optional
Urban and Regional Policy PLAN60712 15 Optional
Urban Design Project PLAN60722 15 Optional
Planning for Environmental Change PLAN60772 15 Optional
Neighbourhood Planning Project PLAN60812 15 Optional
International Planning: Systems and Frameworks PLAN60861 15 Optional
Urban Development Planning in Cities of the South: an international perspective PLAN72061 15 Optional
Best practice case studies in urban development planning in cities in the South PLAN72072 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 course units

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a number of postgraduate taught scholarships and merit awards to outstanding applicants and international students.

In addition, the Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a first-class Bachelors degree within the last three years and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

For more information, see Fees and funding or search the University's postgraduate funding database .

Facilities

You can develop your practical skills in our project studio, model-making workshop, and computer suites with specialist design and spatial analysis software.

For more information, see  Facilities

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

For more information, email  dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

The course prepares you for employment in professional practice in planning in the UK or overseas, and will provide you with the academic knowledge and professional skills for employment in the private (consultancy, development industry) and public (local authorities, development agencies) sectors.

More generally, MSc Planning graduates are popular with employers, particularly in consultancy, where the ability to analyse and propose policies and implement strategies is vital. After London, Manchester hosts the largest number of planning and environmental consultancies in the UK.

Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in areas including environmental management and consultancy, urban planning and design, real estate development, urban and regional development policy, central and local government, international development, energy and water, non-governmental organisations, and research.

Top employers include AECOM, Arup, Atkins, BP, EDF Energy, the Environment Agency, Jacobs, and Rolls-Royce, among several other international consultancy companies and agencies.

If you decide not to follow a vocational career, your wide knowledge base and transferable skills in problem-solving, strategic thinking, teamwork, creativity and communication fit what most employers are seeking.

Careers support

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .

Careers support for international students

The Careers Service provide specialist resources, advice and events for international students to help with career planning and making the most of your time while studying in Manchester.

Global networks

The University of Manchester is proud to have the largest global alumni community of any campus based university in the UK. International alumni groups are a great way to keep in touch with fellow Manchester graduates in your country. It is an opportunity to build professional and social networks.

You can view the alumni networks already operating across the globe, here .

Accrediting organisations

  • Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)