The primary focus of the MSc in Planning, Design and Development (PDD) will be on achieving an advanced understanding of delivery processes in planning and how planning can be more effective at delivering its desired outcomes.
Many of the modules taught at the Bartlett School of Planning involve contributions from practitioners and academics from other institutions who are experts in their field. Representatives from the following organisations have regularly contributed to the teaching programme:
- Technical University of Wroclaw
- BBP Regeneration
- London Development Agency
- Transport and Environmental Policy Research
- David Lock Associates
- Urban Initiatives
- Colin Buchanan
- Urban Design Skills
- Just Space Network
- GLA, Mayor's London Plan Team
- Design for London
- Terry Farrell and Partners
- British Land
- Lend Lease
- Clinton Climate Initiative
- Green Party
- London Borough of Camden
- Planning Inspectorate
The MSc PDD is primarily directed at those with an initial training in planning or other allied disciplines who wish to complete their professional education or to explore the purpose and potential of planning in greater depth. The programme examines:
- planning as an integrative and positive force for change
- the development and delivery of planning policy through in-depth study of one development sector - housing in the UK
- the potential of planning to better shape the quality of planning outcomes - in particular the design of urban environments
- the practice of planning and urban design as professional disciplines
MSc/Diploma in Planning, Design and Development is a specialist programme that is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as the final-year of study in a 3+1 integrated route. It means that if you have completed a BSc in an RTPI accredited programme, you can become RTPI accredited by doing either the diploma or MSc in this programme.
The MSc/Graduate Diploma programme is available
on either a full-time or a part-time basis. Core teaching (including
specialisms) takes place over one full day and a half day per week, although
students will be expected to do the equivalent of at least a day a week of
personal study during term time.
Further details of these modules can be found on our post-graduate modules page.
|Term 1||Term 2||Term 3||Summer|
|Systems & practice||
BENVGPL5 Spatial Planning or
BENVGPL6 International Planning
BENVGTC1 Planning Practice
BENVGPL3 Planning Research Techniques
BENVGSU4 Dissertation or Major Project (60 Credits)
BENVGPLC Urban Design: Place Making
or free choice
BENVGTC9 Critical Debates in Planning
BENVGPLE Planning for Housing: Process
BENVGPLF Planning for Housing: Project
BENVGTC2 Urban Design: Product, Process, Critique
BENVGTC4 Urban Design: Guidance, Incentive, Control
There are two different routes to the MSc PDD: one year, full time, or two years and up to five years through accumulation of programme modules for part-time students.
Timetables for core courses are arranged so that part-time students can normally attend on one day (or two half-days) per week during the 24 teaching weeks of each year, depending of the elective courses chosen. Please note that part-time students will typically need another day and a half of their own time for reading, coursework commitments, site visits, etc.
Students are required to take and pass 120 credits for the postgraduate diploma and 180 credits for the MSc. The postgraduate diploma consists of either six or seven core modules, plus either one or two optional modules:
Credits: 15 credits
Urban Design: Place Making
Critical Debates in Planning
Planning for Housing: Process
Planning for Housing: Project
Urban Design: Product, Process and Critique
Urban Design: Guidance, Incentive and Control
Credits: 0 (dissertation/project support module)
Dissertation or Major Project
All students joining the MSc Spatial Planning will participate in a short field course in term two of their first year. This course will be based in a European city and will cover a range of planning, design and development themes, linking directly to the master's programme.
Further details of these modules can be found on our post-graduate modules page.
BENVGPL5 Spatial Planning examines the evolution of the planning system in the UK at various scales; the current rules, regulations and procedures governing plan-making processes and development control decisions, including the impact of European Community interventions; and areas of planning law relevant to practice.
BENVGPL7 International Planning encourages international lesson-sharing and learning about planning systems and practices. It examines urban and regional policy-making and planning in a variety of countries in Europe, North America and Australasia that are increasingly influenced by forces of globalisation. In particular, the course highlights the importance of the economic, cultural and political context of planning systems and practices, and identifies generic lessons that better inform future planning practices internationally.
BENVGTC1 Planning Practice aims to provide students with an appreciation of the different aspects of planning practice. It seeks to enable the student to develop a fuller understanding of such practice by drawing on the research literature as well as empirical examples. Particular emphasis is placed on the links between theoretical concepts generalising about planning practice, and the everyday experience of such practice.
BENVGPLC Urban Design: Place Making cascades through a series of projects and layers of complexity from architecture and urban design to spatial planning scales of intervention. In doing so, the module aims to illustrate the potential of design as a creative, problem-solving process and the potential of planning as a 'positive' discipline able to exert a powerful and valuable influence on the overall shape and character of the built and natural environment.
BENVGTC9 Critical Debates in Planning provides students with an opportunity for in-depth reading, critical reflection and discussion around key planning themes and debates connected with Planning. This module is based on active small group seminar discussion. Reading material is structured around key themes relating to the core modules of the programme. The aim is to enable students to develop a deeper knowledge of forms, practices and theories of planning, and to form an integrated view of planning in relation to its key areas of knowledge.
BENVGPLE Planning for Housing: Process begins by looking at the drivers of residential development including the demographics of growth. It considers who provides housing and the evolution of the UK policy context and its current objectives. The component then looks at the residential development process from strategic and development planning and land acquisition to development viability. The lecture programme is divided into three parts: broad perspectives on housing growth, policy and planning; housing providers, processes and delivery; and critical debates and outcomes today.
BENVGPLF Planning for Housing: Project challenges students to apply and extend their knowledge of development drivers, actors and practices into real-life housing development opportunities in London. Via small group organisation, students will co-ordinate the completion of a comprehensive feasibility study and housing development brief for a specific site. Groups will be allocated strategic mandates reflecting the current policy contexts and objectives explored in Planning for Housing - Process and will then plan, design and initiate the implementation of a scheme from the perspective of a developer, reflecting tenure, design and organisational intentions. Schemes will be collectively proposed and managed and then presented by each team to an audience of peers, staff and relevant experts in the field.
BENVGTC2 Urban Design: Product, Process and Critique explores the relationships between urban design product (and qualities) and urban design processes, through examination of both existing/historical urban fabrics (a superposition of urban design interventions built up over time) and specific contemporary urban design proposals. The module is taught through a combination of lectures and project work, with tutors available for group tuition during the designated studio periods. The lectures will cover urban design properties and relationships between urban design processes and outcomes. The project work will cover site visits and analysis of the existing urban fabric, and a review/critique of an urban design proposal.
BENVGTC4 Urban Design: Guidance, Incentive and Control explores the processes and tools that will enable planners to demonstrate the power of the discipline to change real places for the better. Planning is undoubtedly a design discipline and planners need to be aware of, and concerned with, the design consequences of their decisions on the ground. The module is taught primarily through the undertaking and completion of project work, with tutors available for group tuition during the designated studio periods. Knowledge will be imparted through a lecture course, which includes visits from a range of practitioners, and developed through the completion of a single group project.
BENVGPL3 Planning Research provides an understanding of the way in which successful research is undertaken. It introduces a range of methods employed in both qualitative and quantitative analysis and assists students in the development of skills that are required to produce a self-contained piece of original research. More specifically, this course offers and introduction to the skills required when producing a dissertation or major project.
BENVGSU4 Dissertation or Major Project gives the student an opportunity for supported, independent study. The student (in conjunction with their tutor) will identify a topic/problem/question that they wish to study in greater depth. Over the designated period the student will pursue this topic through independent study (reading, data collection, site visits etc.) supported by regular meetings with their tutor. Output from the project may either be a 10,000 word dissertation or project work equivalent.
Staff teaching on the programme currently include:
Send Duncan an email
Send Matthias an email
Application procedures, fees, funding and scholarships
For information, please see the faculty admissions information here.
Recent records indicate that less than a third of those completing the 3+1 route take up employment in public sector planning. An increasing proportion (currently over a third) of graduates enter consultancy work while the remainder go on to work in a wide range of retail, utility, transport and development companies or in non-profit agencies. A minority continue in higher degree studies and research.
Some students gain valuable professional practice experience during their summer breaks, for which study in London provides unrivalled opportunities. The Bartlett School of Planning has a constant supply of employers seeking graduates for employment opportunities.