MSc
2022 start September 

Urban and Regional Planning

Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Faculty of Social Sciences

Equip yourself for the planning profession by examining the factors that shape cities and rural areas and exploring how research is used in policy-making and evaluation.
Postgraduate Urban Studies and Planning Student, Hussain Ziyath

Course description

Our one-year masters will help you get started in the planning profession. The course examines the factors that shape cities and rural areas. We’ll show you how research is used in policy-making and evaluation. You’ll develop research and design skills, and specialise in an aspect of planning.

Study in Europe

You have the option to spend the spring semester at one of our European partner universities in either Aalborg, Amsterdam, Lyon or Milan.

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Accreditation

Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

Modules

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

The first semester provides an introduction to planning and its practice at a variety of spatial scales. You'll learn to understand these scales and how planners act within them.

Core modules:

Perspectives on Spatial Planning and Development

This module is seen as core in developing initial knowledge and understanding of planning and urban development. It critically explores the role of spatial ideas in planning policy and practice and plays a key part in developing critical skills and understanding of different contexts and environments relevant to that practice. The module covers urbanisation in a range of contexts and examines how spatial planning seeks to respond to key economic, environmental and social challenges.

15 credits
Values in Planning

This course explores the inter-relationships between theoretical debates within planning and everyday practice. An awareness of theoretical debates is crucial to understanding the assumptions implicit in spatial planning practice and the challenges confronting practitioners - what frameworks are available to help planners to decide how to act and to determine whether their actions have been appropriate or otherwise? This raises fundamental questions about the very nature of spatial planning and the way it is currently practised. The course, therefore, addresses such questions as: what are the justifications for spatial planning and what goals should it have? What methods should guide the work of practitioners? Is the spatial planning system fair and just? What constitutes ethical action in spatial planning? Particular emphasis is placed on the dilemmas faced by individual practitioners in conducting their day-to-day work. The British planning system forms the focus for the course but it also draws on personal experiences derived from other work environments and planning contexts during the seminars.

15 credits
Research Methods

This module aims to develop core knowledge and skills required to undertake research in planning, housing, urban design and real estate. It provides grounding in the design of research projects, linking this to both underlying principles (intellectual and ethical) and the choice of methods for data collection and analysis. The emphasis is on engendering an understanding of the research design process, rather than on training in specific methods, and so forms a critically important part of the initial preparation for the Masters dissertation.

15 credits

Optional modules - one from:

Spatial Planning Systems

This unit provides an introduction to state-led planning. It considers the administrative, legal and political contexts in which planning decisions are made and the role of different groups in mediating land-use development. The unit will focus around work to understand how spatial planning systems are constructed and mediated by different actors. The unit will use practical scenarios to explore how action surrounding development might be organised, the ways in which the state is talked about and how it is organised, as well as the means by which the state makes planning policies and implements these.

15 credits
Urban Development in the Global South

This module looks at the challenges of urban planning and development in the global South: how are conflicting imperatives of ecological sustainability, social inclusion and economic competitiveness being balanced by practitioners, and what implications does this have for those living there? The unit will develop understanding of how urban planning systems are constructed and mediated by different actors. The unit will use a series of scenarios representing some of the diversity of conditions that exist in the global South to develop understandings of how planning systems shape and are shaped by the contexts in which they operate.

15 credits
Politics, Planning and the State

Understanding how cities function is central to the role of planners, urban policy advisers, and other built environment professionals. Drawing on cities from different national contexts, this unit provides an introduction to the administrative, legal and political contexts in which decisions are made about planning, regeneration and development and the role different groups play in mediating and affecting development. The module explores how practitioners approach urban development challenges, define problems and frame policy interventions. Conceptual and practice-based perspectives are employed to encourage students to think critically about the tensions and trade-offs that confront those involved in planning and managing cities.

15 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Duration

1 year full-time

Teaching

There are lectures, seminars, computer workshops and tutorials.

Assessment

You’re assessed on your coursework and a dissertation.

Your career

The employability of our graduates is of paramount importance to us. The development of skills, knowledge and personal attributes that enhance your career underpins our programme design. We have a dedicated Employability Manager, Amy Woolley, to support you. We’ll prepare you for employment after graduation.

How we'll help you prepare for your future career

Student profiles

The course was a valuable experience that provided me with the knowledge and skills to work in planning and the opportunity to apply for jobs across a wide range of sectors.

Helen Blenkharn
MSc Urban and Regional Planning

Entry requirements

For UK students, the usual entry requirement is a 2:1 degree or evidence of equivalent achievement (for example, a professional qualification combined with work experience).

We will consider your application if you have a 2.2 degree but we would expect you to have evidence of work experience or other relevant activity.

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Pathway programme for international students

If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Fees and funding

Costs for field classes are not included in the tuition fee. 

Apply

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

Apply now

Contact

usp-admissions@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 6900

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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