Become an accredited planner in one year from any undergraduate degree
The course’s primary focus is on attaining a professional qualification.
It is designed to take your broad knowledge of planning and provide the detail that will give you the professional skills and experience you’ll need to forge a career in this area.
Your dissertation will be a work based project, working for a client organisation on a brief that they commission.
You will learn the use of techniques (GIS, design software, statistical analysis) but more importantly, how to apply them to solve problems, create new solutions for the built environment and understand the complexity of environmental management.
You’ll be working in an applied problem-solving environment, confronting genuine challenges in the field and making a real contribution to sustainable environments.
We place an emphasis on projects on live planning problems such as a Development Plan exercise for a client (local authority), on studio work and applied learning outside the class including problem-solving with controversial proposals, such as fracking and windfarm applications.
You’ll work with your fellow students in teams to find practical approaches to the management and development of the built environment.
Planning and Development highlights
Please note: Applications for this course, received after 30th June may not be accepted. A deposit will be required to secure a place.
- This MSc is professionally accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and has a strong emphasis on the practical skills and knowledge required for theoretically-informed practice.
- The degree incorporates a week-long study visit to a venue outside Northern Ireland during the Semester 2, and work shadow experience in Northern Ireland on the planning appeals process after the end of Semester 2 examinations. Additionally a two-day planning practice study visit will be made to a venue in Great Britain or Ireland in early July. Students are expected to contribute to the costs of these study visits.
The programme provides opportunities to strengthen competencies in key skills such as numeracy, literacy, ICT, problem solving, team work and aspects of urban design; it develops awareness of the ethical responsibilities of those involved in Planning and Development and enhances the ability to undertake a substantial piece of specialist independent research.
Dr Stephen McKay
|Semester 1 Modules|
Introduction Planning Theory and Practice
Environmental Planning & Governance
Planning Skills & Ethics
International Planning Studies
GIS & Spatial Analysis
|Semester 2 Modules|
Design in the Built Environment
Professional Practice Project
Community Planning & Regeneration
Planning Law and Practice
|Semester 3 Module|
Independent Specialist Research Project
|Time spent in Classes, Tutorials/Seminars/Labs, and Private Study in a Teaching Semester|
Approximately 10 hours per week in lectures, 4 hours in practical project work and 4 hours in tutorials.
People teaching you
Dr Brendan Murtagh
Our graduates end up in leading positions in central and local government and as well as in planning consultancies in the private sector. Some of them have gone on to lead significant environmental campaigns such as opposition to fracking; work with NGOs such as Friends of the Earth; and work with communities to make their neighbourhoods better, such as with disadvantaged groups.
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
Learning and Teaching
This programme involves project-based team-working and field studies outside formally allocated lecture times. Full-time teaching is spread across 5 days (Mon-Fri) and part-time is designed to facilitate day-release with teaching on 1 day per week.
Contact teaching hours (per week): 18 hours full-time and 9 hours part-time.
Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:
Individual and group project submissions
60 credit 20,000 individual dissertation that combines oral presentation and written submission
Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.
Typically, entrants to the programme come from backgrounds in geography, sociology, estate management, environmental science, architecture and economics, although recent entrants have included those with backgrounds in arts and humanities.
Applicants with qualifications below 2.2 Honours degree standard (or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University) will be considered on a case-by-case basis, if they can demonstrate appropriate acceptable experience. The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL).
Please visit http://go.qub.ac.uk/RPLpolicy for more information.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *taken within the last 2 years
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£5,500|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£5,500|
|Other (non-UK) EU||£5,500|
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2018-19 and relate to one year of study only. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs. If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Planning and Development costs
Students are required to undertake a compulsory field trip to a European city. They are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs and should budget for approximately £500.
How do I fund my study?
From the academic year 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.
A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
* information shown is for 2017-18 and should be used as a guide until 2018-19 scholarships are confirmed.
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2018 Entry.
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