Planning and Development

Become an accredited planner in one year.

Study for your Masters (MSc) in Planning and Development from the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen's University, Belfast and engage with a degree which is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and is designed to educate you in a broad range of disciplines.

Through an intensive programme of project work, lectures, seminars, study visits and supervised research, this course will prepare you for a career in planning and development. It is overseen by professional Partnership Boards of practitioners, academics and members of the Institutes, which ensures that the knowledge, skills and value awareness imparted during education and training are always up-to-date and cutting-edge.

Boost Your Key Skills

"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

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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.

Applications for 2020 entry are now open

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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
MSc Planning and Development

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.

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.