MSc Sustainable Planning and Environmental Management

Why choose Herts?

Funding Available: We offer three RTPI funded bursaries annually to Full Time UK students.

Industry Recognised Accreditation: Accredited by The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

Work-Related Learning: You will attend annual Careers Fairs and will benefit from interactions with our vast employer links and Planning Employers Network.

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.

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.

About the course

The MSc Sustainable Planning programme for 2019/2020 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.
  • It is structured around a modular short course structure to enable flexibility whilst working. This allows part-time student to not have to take more than 12 days off a year (if studying over 2/3 years).
  • Networking opportunities per module with lunch and refreshments provided within your fees.

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..

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. Most part-time students complete this course within two years but you are given a maximum of five to complete.

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, fieldwork, 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.

  • Level 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Place-making and Spatial Mediation 15 Credits Compulsory
    Planning law, policy & practice 15 Credits Compulsory
    Urban Design and Conservation 15 Credits Compulsory
    Development Viability 15 Credits Compulsory
    Sustainable Planning Dissertation 30 Credits Compulsory
    Sustainability and Environmental Systems 15 Credits Compulsory
    Research Methods 15 Credits Compulsory
    Sustainable Energy 15 Credits Compulsory
    Environmental Policy and Governance 15 Credits Compulsory
    Study Skills 0 Credits Compulsory
    European Planning Practice 15 Credits Compulsory
  • Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    MSc Sustainable Planning and Environmental Management Download
    Programme specifications
    MSc Sustainable Planning Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year

    n/a

    Applications open to international and EU students

    Yes

    Student experience

    At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including; student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying and having fun.

    Find out about how we support our students

    You can also read our student blogs to find out about life at Herts.

    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.