My degree helped me develop my skills by working with a real client

Alumni standing with arms folded against urban backdrop
Gaby Medforth
Planner, David Lock Associates
MPlan Urban Studies and Planning
Gaby chose to apply to the University of Sheffield due to our reputation as one of the best planning departments in the country.
Alumni standing with arms folded against urban backdrop

Why did you choose to study at the University of Sheffield?

I chose to apply to the University of Sheffield as they are recognised to have one of the best planning departments in the country. Additionally, I loved the feel of the University, planning department and the city when I went to visit on the open day. The University of Sheffield just seemed to be the perfect fit for me.    

Which aspects of the course did you particularly enjoy?

Although I enjoyed the variety of modules in levels 1-3, I found my masters year the most enjoyable. In my masters (part 4) I was able to write my own essay questions to fit with the module and my own interests. I also thoroughly enjoyed the international consultancy project module in level 4 as it helped me develop my skills of working with a real client and gave me transferable skills for when I graduated.

What key advice would you give people considering applying for the course?

Studying Planning at University can feel like a bit of a gamble when it is not an option at A Level. Research into planning and try to undertake some work experience ahead of applying. Not only will this help with your personal statement and application, but also give you an insight into working as a planner and reassure you that you have chosen the right course for you.

What can students do during their degree to enhance their employability?

Where you can, research into current planning issues or changes in legislation and policy. Then discuss these issues with other people on your course as this may aid you in an interview. Otherwise, undertake a variety of work experience placements and get involved in extra curricular activities at University such as volunteering or being part of a society or sports committee. Showcase your planning interests, work experience placements and extra curricular activities on your CV and/or covering letter. Also seek advice from the University careers department to assist in the presentation of your CV.

What are the key areas of growth in your sector?

In particular, the private sector of Planning is growing significantly. This is across a variety of Planning areas such as new settlements, sustainable urban extensions, development of logistics sites, environmental planning, town and city centre regeneration and commercial/ employment development.

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