The course is made up of two areas of study: core compulsory studies and specialisation studies. Because the course is run in tandem with other graduate courses offered by the department you will, for the specialisation modules, work alongside students who are on other specialist master's programmes.
As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module list you choose from may vary from what is shown here. Core modules:
- Development Economics, Management and Finance examines the general elements of economic development and management which are applicable in a local government and development setting. You will focus on communication and negotiation techniques required in the implementation of policy. Financial frameworks and controls exercised by local and central government are also considered.
- Contemporary Issues in Planning Law, Practice and Research gives you the opportunity to study emerging issues in spatial planning and to develop your own skills in the analysis of planning debates and in problem-solving techniques. The module is practice based and examines key issues in planning practice including the legal and policy context of development control and forward planning, and probity in professional practice.
- Implementation Project represents a project of professional advice for a client according to a pre-set brief in the form of a report of 7,500 words maximum. The module provides an important link between the generality of the implementation of policies and proposals and your specialist knowledge. The content of the report will normally depend on your choice of elective specialisation.
As a postgraduate diploma student, you are offered a high degree of choice and flexibility in terms of your area of specialisation. You are required to complete 40 Credits of modules from the following list (subject to availability and student numbers). Urban Design
- Urban Design Studio I is project-based, applying the theoretical and operational concepts of urban design to a live study site of more than 10 hectares. Groups produce design policy, site analysis, site proposals at appropriate scales and design rationales for the site in question.
- Urban Design Theory I introduces the theoretical concepts underpinning current urban design practice approaches. The module includes the history and theory of urban design, the introduction of design approaches such as responsive environments, and urban morphology.
- Urban Design Theory II explores design issues in more detail, including design for the sensory experience of space, problematic building types and mixed use, density issues, regeneration, guiding and promoting urban design development, sustainability in urban design, coding and briefing, issues of local identity, urban landscape design, movement and mobility, and emerging issues concerned with the provision of good urban design in relation to globalisation.
- Urban Design Development consists of a set of specialist topic seminars. The specialist topics will vary but will normally cover coding and briefing, issues of local identity, urban landscape design, movement and mobility, and emerging issues concerned with the provision of good urban design in relation to globalisation.
- Environmental Assessment examines the organisation, preparation, presentation, prediction, assessment and decision-making in environmental assessment techniques. Key skills in screening, scoping, review and the methods of assessment for noise, landscape, archaeology, ecology, traffic and socio-economic impacts are emphasised.
- Environmental Law and Decision-Making examines the international, European and UK legal context of environmental decision-making. This considers the development of environmental law from international treaties and conventions into European and UK legislation. In particular, the module focuses on key areas of environmental law and the assessment procedures established by European directives.
Urban Planning in Developing and Transitional Regions
- Design for Conservation provides an introduction to the differing philosophies underlying approaches to building in historic places, and familiarises students with the concepts of townscape appraisal and urban design. It examines the role of design guides, design codes and site briefs in securing 'appropriate' development in sensitive historic locations. The unit also provides an opportunity for you to develop their own skills in briefing for historic locations and in developing graphic presentation/design skills.
- Conservation Economics provides an introduction to financial and economic aspects specific to the conservation of buildings and areas including construction costing, development appraisal for the use of historic buildings and the particular characteristics of conservation area land markets. The module combines with Historic Conservation in Context which provides an introduction and critical examination of the legal measures which preserve and enhance the historic environment. The module includes a review of how these powers may operate in practice is also provided. It also examines the public policy framework to achieve implementation of conservation and regeneration objectives and the agencies involved in the process.
- Development and Urbanisation examines the theories, processes and consequences of rapid urbanisation in the developing world within the context of economic development and social change.
- Urban Land Policy and Urban Management examines the processes of urban land development under conditions of rapid urban growth. The concept and development of land policy is examined.
- Sustainable Tourism Planning examines the growth, development and impact of tourism, introducing students to the broad issues affecting the planning and development of tourism as a base-line understanding of tourism planning and sustainable development. Core elements include a discussion on tourism's impacts (economic, social and environmental), issues of sustainability, carrying capacity, eco-tourism and other alternative forms of tourism.
- Introduction to Regeneration introduces the context within which urban regeneration takes place and examines different approaches to securing desired change. Contemporary policies, objectives, strategies, funding and agencies are introduced and critically analysed.
- Regeneration and Neighbourhoods critically examines key issues in current regeneration theory, policy and practice, focusing on neighbourhood renewal and people-based approaches to regeneration. As well as looking at particular initiatives the module explores issues involved in community participation in regeneration.
Teaching and learning
The emphasis of this course is on small group teaching and active learning to help students acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. A variety of methods are used with project work and workshops tending to predominate, using topical national and local issues as a basis. Further experience of current practice and the professional world is gained through fieldwork, study visits and visiting speakers.
Teaching is organised on a module-credit basis involving three-hour teaching blocks delivered over a 12-week period.
Approach to assessment
Each module is assessed individually, generally on the quality of written or design work, and to some extent on verbal presentations. Assessment methods may include essays, seminar papers, formal written examinations, in-class tests, project work, design and verbal presentations, workshops, simulations and practical exercises.
Field trips Some of the modules may have compulsory day trips associated with them. The transport element is included in the fee.
Additional Cost Students will need to cover the costs of printing for submissions and presentations associated with assessment.
Home/EU - full time fee: 2017/18: £9,000
Home/EU - part time fee: 2017/18: £750 per single module
International - full time: 2017/18: £13,200
Where part time fees are quoted it is for the first year only.
Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.
Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
Funding and scholarships
For general sources of financial support, see:
Admission to the course is primarily open to candidates who are progressing from the third year of an RTPI-approved undergraduate programme, namely students holding the BA in City and Regional Planning, or students who have graduated from equivalent programmes from other universities and whose transfer has been approved by the department in collaboration with the RTPI. In all cases, a minimum of a 2.2 (Hons) is required.
Students with planning experience and/or other degrees and qualifications may be accepted. Their applications are normally considered on the basis of the syllabus and pass mark of the student's earlier course or the presentation of a folio of work.
Please also see the university's general entry requirements.
English language requirements
If your first language is not English you will require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in all components.
An equivalent English language qualification acceptable to the University.
Please also see the university's standard English language requirements
English requirements for visas
If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the university's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.
Preparation courses for International and EU students
We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.
- Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
- If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.
If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.
How to apply
You apply for this course through UCAS Postgraduate.
Through UCAS Postgraduate, you should use the UKPASS portal to make your application, which will then be forwarded directly to our Admissions Office. You should send supporting documentation to us directly using the email addresses on the UKPASS application form.
Conditions of acceptance
When you accept our offer, you agree to the conditions of acceptance. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.
How this course helps you develop Not only is the Postgraduate Diploma in Planning a qualification for professional planners, it is also widely recognised as providing the transferable skills and critical knowledge and understanding necessary in many fields of work in the built and natural environment.
Local government, the traditional destination of the planning graduate, is just one of many career opportunities available to Postgraduate Diploma in Planning graduates. Today our alumni can be found in senior positions in some of the largest international planning and environmental consultancies, in government agencies, in large NGOs and campaigning organisations. They can also be found in similar positions and organisations in countries across the globe.
The long-standing reputation of the Department of Planning in producing highly skilled, enthusiastic and very capable professional planners aids the employability of our graduates. We are the first port of call for many employers when they are seeking new graduate planners.
Free language courses for students - the Open Module
Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.
Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.