City Planning and Design

Solving the Problem of Urban Growth.

In an increasingly urbanised world, cities represent both the greatest social, environmental and economic challenges and opportunities for planners and urban designers alike to create more sustainable environments and just societies.

Our new Masters (MSc) in City Planning and Design develops planning research, urban analysis and design skills before allowing you to decide whether to complete an urban design thesis or dissertation. Both of these options can be completed as work-based studies in partnership with external organisations with opportunities for summer placements.

Design vs Planning

In practice, there is a common tension between those developing and interpreting planning policy on the one hand, and the designers of cities on the other. This programme brings these groups together to engage in industry-specific project-based learning.

Flexible Learning Opportunities

You will develop planning research, urban analysis and design skills before deciding whether to complete an urban design thesis or dissertation. Both of these options can be completed as work-based studies with opportunities for summer placements.

Get in touch

There are fantastic opportunities to work with planning and urban design both locally and globally. Belfast is a city that is developing rapidly and this reflects a wider confidence in urban regeneration and development at a national level.

Applications for 2021 entry are now open

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Fully Accredited

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredited as a standalone programme
Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accredited if completed following an accredited undergraduate planning degree.
MSc City Planning and Design

This course is unique having been driven by engagement with practice rather than adhering to traditional academic subject areas. The core skills that urban designers and planners need have been clearly defined and form the basis for the course.

Many recent graduates are working in planning authorities and consultancies throughout the UK and Ireland with others working in the related fields of housing, natural heritage and renewable energy.

The members of staff responsible for delivering the MSc are from a variety of professional and research backgrounds. Staff expertise includes international development, sustainable development, development economics and planning policy and practice. Each member will give a different perspective within the course, such that both theoretical and applied elements will be fully developed and a rounded high-level education will result.

Why choose Queen's

Ranked in the Top 140 Universities in the world for Graduate Prospects

(QS Graduate Employability rankings 2020)

Competitive Fees

Queen’s offers lower tuition fees than many other similarly well-regarded UK universities. (Natwest Student Living Index 2017).

Safe and affordable

Belfast offers the lowest cost of living in the UK and is the safest region in the UK. (Mercer 2016, British Crime Surveys, 2015/16).

Advanced Placement Opportunities

The option of a work placement for the thesis module reflects the local confidence within the planning and urban design sector of the quality of QUB student work. Placements can be in planning offices, architectural practices or with related heritage, environmental or community sector groups.

Career Options

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.

State-of-the-art Facilities

The Planning department has a devoted studio space along with several shared workshop facilities with 3D printers, plotters, laser cutters and traditional model-making equipment. In joining the larger School of the Natural and Built Environment in 2016, Planning students also have access to GIS labs.

Employment Links

Graduate employers include: Belfast City Council, Department for Infrastructure and other public and private sector planning consultancies. Examples of employment: Urban Design and Planning practices, Research institutions, GIS companies, Housing organisations, Community Advocacy Groups, Environmental and Community sector NGOs.