MSc Sustainable Planning

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

About the course

The MSc Sustainable Planning programme for 2020/2021 consists of three courses in MSc Sustainable Planning, MSc Sustainable Planning and Environmental Management and MSc Sustainable Planning and Transport. The programme provides students with the skills and expertise they need in order to meet contemporary sustainability challenges in planning, allowing them to contribute to a much needed and fast changing professional area. 

The Royal Town Planning Institute has formally granted accreditation to the University of Hertfordshire for its Master’s degrees in Sustainable Planning.

The breadth of material covered in our MSc in Sustainable Planning gives students the skills they need in order to meet contemporary sustainability challenges in planning. Planning has a key role to play in improving the condition of life in our towns, cities and rural areas. Towns and cities themselves impact on global sustainability and can play a very influential role in tackling global environmental, social and economic problems. Equally, implementing sustainability principles within urban and rural areas is essential for the well-being of the local residents and improvement of the local environment. Creating more sustainable towns and cities will be central to the future of society and the planet. The planning system is so important because it provides one of the most sophisticated mechanisms for regulating environmental change. Recent policy changes have made planning in neighbourhoods and in communities even more important.

Increasingly planners are being required to facilitate the creation of more sustainable urban environments. This requires expertise and skills in a diverse range of disciplines and nationally there is a shortage of relevant skills. This course offers both personal opportunities for students to gain valuable skills that make them highly employable, and allows them to contribute to a much needed and fast changing professional area.

Why choose this course?

This exciting new course is specifically aimed at people wishing to gain expertise in contemporary sustainability issues. It provides graduates with excellent career opportunities in planning, environmental management, urban design, community development, regeneration, transport management, climate change mitigation and other planning related careers.

The course is suitable for:

  • Students who have work experience in planning or related discipline and require a postgraduate qualification and subsequent professional accreditation to develop their career further.
  • New graduates starting their career in planning with a first degree in geography, environmental science, conservation, sociology, architecture and urban studies.
  • Students from other disciplines who have developed an interest in planning from voluntary work, work experience or project work.

Key Features:

  • A combination of stimulating academic study and strong career orientation
  • Focus on the role of planning in addressing key sustainability concerns: climate change; urban sprawl; social cohesion; and demands for personal mobility
  • Using the latest techniques including GIS; urban design tools and community design engagement techniques such as charettes
  • Practical problem based approach to learning that uses real planning issues and case studies
  • Flexibility of study based on a programme of short courses scheduled over two or three days at weekends
  • UK field trips including visits to the start of town planning nearby at Letchworth and the first New Towns
  • International study visit to look at European best practice in France and Germany.

This course is available both full and part-time. Full time study in Semester A takes 1 year. Full time study beginning in Semester B will take 15 months. Part time study options typically take two years but students are given a maximum of five years to complete.

The School in which this programme is based enjoys a diverse student and discipline mix. As a subject area, Sustainable Planning would like to further encourage different perspectives, life experiences, and cultural heritage amongst our students so that we can play our part in breaking down barriers to progression in this field. We wholeheartedly encourage applications for this bursary from individuals with one or more protected characteristics so that there is more diversity amongst future leaders. Whilst studying with us, your success will be supported through flexible and blended learning, varied assessment methods, investing in support mechanisms for your well-being, and facilitating access to a range of role models through mentoring schemes and alike. More information about how the University is actively promoting inclusivity can be accessed via: https://www.herts.ac.uk/about-us/equality-and-diversity

To find out more about this course you can come to one of our Postgraduate Open events. If you wish to visit us outside of our postgraduate open events then please contact admissionsenvman@herts.ac.uk to arrange an appointment. You can also book onto a campus tour.

You can find out more about our staff in Geography, Environment and Agriculture here.

What will I study?

The MSc Sustainable Planning course structure is based on a series of two to three day short courses and tutorials that usually run Friday and Saturday, though some modules may require a Thursday as well.

For full time students the modules run approximately twice a month which means that you will be attending classes on four weekdays and two Saturdays.

Part-time students attend the MSc Sustainable Planning short courses over two years. This makes the course easy to attend and fit around a busy workload schedule.

Pathways through the MSc allow students to specialise in transport or aspects of environmental management such as water resources and environmental policy and governance.

All of the modules can be studied individually as a stand-alone course for your personal development or CPD training, so please enquire for further details.

The course integrates a blended learning approach combining face-to-face teaching and tutorials with online learning materials, easy contact with tutors and online submission of assignments. It includes workshops, field work, class exercises, investigations and group work. The costs of UK and European field visits are included in the course fee.

All of the modules are assessed through coursework. The nature of the coursework will vary but will include experience in report writing, practical urban design work (no drawing or architecture background is required), oral presentations and negotiation skills.

Students also carry out an extended individual project. This is an opportunity to follow a particular interest in depth and do primary research. We encourage and support students to link with external organisations such as local government, voluntary sector organisations or planning consultancies to produce a piece of primary research that is both academically challenging and of practical benefit.

Professional Accreditations

The Royal Town Planning Institute has formally granted accreditation to the University of Hertfordshire for its Master’s degrees in Sustainable Planning. Completion of this accredited course will allow future University of Hertfordshire graduates to progress towards chartered membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute. The School of Life and Medical Sciences has also recently become a member of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP), an international network of organisations promoting excellence in planning education and research.

Careers

When you graduate from this course you will have excellent career opportunities in planning, environmental management, urban design and urbanism, community development and regeneration, transport management, climate change mitigation and adaptation and other planning related careers - all with a special focus on maximizing your sustainability expertise. Prospective employers include: local government; private sector planning consultancies; specialist consultancies in environmental management, urban design, transport planning; public involvement bodies; national government agencies; third sector employers including charities with an urban and rural focus; and professional bodies.

What job can I get?

The course provides graduates with excellent career opportunities in planning, environmental management, urban design, transport planning and management, climate change mitigation and other planning related careers. Graduates from our degrees are now working in a wide range of national and international roles at the forefront of tackling contemporary planning and sustainability issues.

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.