Welcome to Urban Studies and Planning 

We are internationally renowned as a globally leading centre of excellence in both teaching and research in planning and urban studies. We very much look forward to engaging with you, whether you are a prospective student, researcher, policy maker, or professional involved in the built environment.

Studying in USPMalcolm Tait

These days, you can barely open a newspaper without reading about planning and urban development. It's at the forefront of current debates: think of the housing crisis, the impact of climate change on cities, flooding, transport, regeneration, and sustainability just as a few examples. Our courses uniquely allow our students to engage with these issues and develop careers that put them at the forefront of tackling them.

There are a growing range of exciting careers available to our graduates. Varied and flexible courses are designed to equip our students with the core knowledge and skills they need to be successful across a diverse range of professions in the field. But they will also allow them to specialise and choose their own path, whether that's becoming a consultant or property developer in the private sector, a strategic planner in the public sector, or an international development specialist for a charitable organisation.

When you choose to study with us, you are joining the top-rated RTPI Planning School in the UK. We consistently achieve excellent scores in the National Student Satisfaction Survey. These results place us above other planning schools in the country, and they flow from the genuine care we take to ensure that our department is vibrant and diverse, and that students are fully included, supported and listened to.

Your future career

Our degrees are accredited by professional bodies, but they are also recognised across the sector as the stamp of a world-class planning education.

Employability is of paramount importance to us. We are proud of the fact that, six months after they leave us, our graduates have a far higher rate of employment than those from other planning schools in the UK. An impressive 95% are currently in work six months after graduation.

We have very strong links with practicing planners and other professionals, and our emphasis on work placements enables our students to network and build connections before they even graduate. This 'real world' experience often proves invaluable in securing that all-important first job, as well as giving an insight into the complex nature of professional planning, real estate and urban design. We also provide international opportunities ā€“ over the past few years, our students have attended international summits with staff, witnessing global decision-making at first hand.

Our World-class research

All our staff are active researchers, across a wide range of topics. We employ world-leading scholars in fields such as environment, infrastructure and sustainability, and housing and real estate. In the benchmark Research Evaluation Framework exercise, 85% of our work was rated 'world leading' and 'internationally excellent' with 'outstanding impacts' ā€“ the highest of any RTPI-accredited planning school in the country.

We have an intellectual reputation for theoretical strength, especially in the fields of urban inequalities and social justice. Alongside this, many of our staff are involved in practical projects with a commitment to producing positive change in the world. We work with national governments, international bodies such as the UN, research councils, private business, the voluntary sector, and local communities in the UK and abroad.

Currently, we have over 50 students working on cutting edge projects with a view to gaining a PhD. Our cohort is highly international, with aspiring scholars from all over the world accessing the expertise we have to offer. We combine personal supervision with a rigorous programme of training to ensure that our students receive the best possible start to their academic or research career.

Iā€™m privileged to be leading such a diverse, dynamic department, within a world-leading university.

Please do explore our website via the links on the left and discover how we can help you make better places.

Malcolm Tait signature

Head of Department