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Spatial Planning and Development (MSc)

1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Course Aims

The course aims to put you on the road to being a good planner. It has the following main aims:

Special Features

Course Description

The MSc Spatial Planning and Development is underpinned by a recognition that planning is undertaken in diverse (and sometimes unjust) societies, and that objectives and approaches to planning can be subjects of debate and struggle. The course attempts to provide students with resources to be sensitive to, and be able to form independent judgements on, these ethical, political and professional matters. While its focus is on planning in developed capitalist societies, especially the UK/Europe, its understanding of planning is comparative, and the skills taught are applicable in many planning contexts.

There is a mix of teaching methods and learning environments, including projects for 'real life' clients. There is an expectation that students will supplement class/workshop sessions by independently exploring library and internet resources.

Course Structure

The course is divided into two parts:

Available Modules

The following lists relates to the modules for the academic year 2015/16. Please note that these may be subject to change.

Full-time Programme (1 year)

Part 1: Autumn Semester

Core Modules
Optional Modules

* This module runs over both Autumn and Spring semesters.

Part 2: Spring Semester

Core Modules
Optional Modules


Students complete a compulsory 60-credit Dissertation either in Autumn or Spring Semester.

Part-time Programme (2 years)

Year 1

The following modules run over both Autumn and Spring semesters.

Core Modules

Year 2

Autumn Semester

Core Modules
Optional Modules

Spring Semester

Core Modules
Optional Modules

* This module runs over both Autumn and Spring semesters.
** Option available subject to timetabling constraints


Students complete a compulsory 60-credit Dissertation either in Autumn or Spring Semester.

For further details and up-to-date information on the course and modules, please see the course pages on the School's website.

Skills Acquired

Transferable skills:


Careers Prospects

Graduates of this course do extremely well in getting jobs they want. The input of people from practice into the degree keeps it relevant. It also gives students great contacts. Principal graduate employment destinations are UK and EU town and regional planning organisations, including local and regional authorities, national government agencies, private planning consultancy firms and voluntary organisations. We also have students employed in North America and Australia.

Our Alumni collectively represent the variety of potential careers and jobs that our current (and future) students may embark on.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a first or second class Honours degree in an appropriate subject. This MSc is suitable for graduates in most subjects and is a particularly popular choice for graduates in economics, geography, architecture, sociology, engineering, politics and history. Applications from mature students with a relevant professional background are also welcome. The course is specifically aimed at those wishing to gain a professional qualification in planning.

A minimum standard in English language of IELTS 7.0 or equivalent will be required for students whose first language is not English. Pre-course English Language tuition is available.

Study Visits:

A number of field study visits may be arranged during the course. The School does partly subsidise these trips but students should allow for travelling and subsistence expenses.


Cardiff's School of Geography and Planning is able to offer a reduction in tuition fees of £500 (or £250 reduction in each year of a part-time course) to all Cardiff University alumni.

For other funding opportunities available through the School, please visit their Tuition Fees and Funding webpage.

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

  UK & EU International
Full-time £6,750 £16,000
Part-time £3,375 £8,000
Deposit n/a Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Huw Thomas  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 74463 

Fax: +44 (0)29 208 74845 


School Website:

More information


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