MA Urban Design and Planning

Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Faculty of Social Sciences

Planning and investing in the spaces where we live and work has never been so important. An accredited MA from one of the UK's top planning schools can help you make a positive impact.

Our masters can prepare you for a rewarding career in planning, real estate, development and/or GIS.

As an introduction to the profession, an accredited MA from Sheffield is hard to beat. Our teaching and research are internationally recognised. Our graduates work all over the world.

We organise work placements with planning agencies. Professionals teach on our courses and collaborate with our students on projects. Each year for this course we run a field trip to London.

About the course

Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

To deal with the complex challenges of urban development, planners have to know how to work with other professionals.

This course equips you with the skills to produce sensitive plans and creative designs, taking into account the financial and practical issues associated with property development.

You will develop your skills in urban design, planning and the development of cities.

The scope of the course is international. You’ll study the UK urban experience and also rapidly urbanising cities in Asia and Africa.

The course draws on leading teaching and research at the University, combining the urban design expertise of the School of Architecture and the international planning expertise of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. The course is accredited as a Specialist Planning Programme by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

There are lectures, seminars, computer workshops and tutorials. You'll take part in group work and exercises that simulate real-world challenges.

Core modules

Autumn semester:

  • Principles of Urban Design
  • Perspectives on Spatial Planning and Development
  • Research Methods

Spring semester:

  • Either Urban Development in the Global South or
  • Integrated Project

Optional modules

Autumn semester

A choice of two from a list including:

  • Spatial Planning Systems
  • Urban Development in the Global South
  • Conservation and Regeneration
  • Policy and Law

Spring semester

  • Advanced Software Skills in Urban Design
  • Natural Resources
  • Sustainability: a critical perspective
  • Transport Planning
  • Managing Cities: the Seoul case study
  • Cities of Diversity
  • Cities of the South


  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Computer workshops
  • Tutorials


  • Coursework
  • Dissertation

Apply now

Town and Regional Planning student

My inspiration: seeing the present situation in India. Due to rapid development and growth, planning is not given much consideration... I already have an option of going back to work with planners in India and make a difference.

Veena Narayan, MA Urban Design and Planning

Key facts

Course duration

1 year full-time

Entry requirements

You'll need a good honours degree or equivalent qualification in an appropriate subject from an approved institution.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Your career

Sheffield graduates have the skills to make it to the top in their chosen professions. Our graduates work in planning, real estate and related professions with private sector planning and real estate consultants, local authorities, policy analysts and international development and design agencies.

About us

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) says that we're the best RTPI-accredited planning school in the UK - 85 per cent of our research is classed as 'world leading' 'internationally excellent' with 'outstanding impacts'.

How we teach

Nothing is more important to us than your career. We work closely with industry to make sure our courses are up-to-the-minute and relevant so you'll learn the skills you need to make it the top in your chosen profession.

You'll go on site visits and and take part in exercises that simulate real global challenges. We run field trips to London, Istanbul and Seoul. We also organise work placements with planning agencies.

Bobby Nisha, MA Urban Design and Planning course director

Our MA Urban Design and Planning offers a unique opportunity to combine introspective planning strategies with practical urban design skills to help shape sustainable urban futures. Its diverse content will equip you with key urban analytical, research, visual communication skills and knowledge that will enable you to analyse, envision and design urban environments; thus opening out your prospect to tap into the significant career opportunities that lie in the world of urban design and planning.

Bobby Nisha, Course Director

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

T: +44 (0)114 222 6180