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Ready for a career in urban planning? Our industry accredited MSc Infrastructure Planning and Sustainable Development will challenge your thinking and boost your expertise in tackling some of the most pressing issues facing cities in the Global South.
Understanding the latest thinking in infrastructure planning is key to your success. That’s why we’ve developed this course in collaboration with practitioners working in the industry. You’ll learn what it takes to bring together various stakeholders to achieve sustainable and equitable outcomes in an urban context.
We’ll arm you with the knowledge and problem-solving approaches you need to be a confident decision-maker. Transport, power and water are all important hard infrastructure to consider. You’ll also look at social infrastructure such as housing, schools and hospitals that are vital for the wellbeing of communities.
This course is the perfect if you want to develop your career working in:
- planning consultancies
- development NGOs
- international development agencies
- major development companies.
Why Oxford Brookes University?
Ours is the only course in the UK to focus on infrastructure planning in the Global South and how we can work for socially just and environmentally sustainable development.
Learn from practitioners
The course has a global focus and is delivered by a teaching team of academics and experienced practitioners working in the field.
More than theory
There’s a practical focus. We look at how ideas apply in real life and you’ll get first hand experience on our international field trip and our practice based module.
Your postgraduate qualification will be accredited by Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
This course is online and face-to-face. We encourage our full-time students to connect with our distance-learning students who are typically working in the field.
You’ll develop a critical understanding of planning approaches and methodologies fit for the 21st century. At the same time, you’ll see how the sector can tackle urgent global issues such as climate change, resource scarcity, and social inequalities in cities.
You’ll explore the social, environmental, and economic impacts of infrastructure development. And discover different approaches to enable informed and inclusive decision-making in rapidly growing cities.
You can take part in an international field trip. In recent years we have been visiting Rio de Janeiro. This gives you hands-on experience of processes of urban change and policy challenges in the urban context.
With a module focused on finance, you’ll look at financing strategies, financial appraisals, funding models, and cost recovery options. Our students enjoy the practice-based module. It gives you the chance to collaborate with practitioners and local stakeholders to propose infrastructure projects abroad or locally.
Complete your MSc award by writing a dissertation on a topic of your choice with regular tutorial support.
Learning and teaching
Full time students
- field trips
- skills workshops
- practical and project work.
Your study time is:
- two x 2-hour sessions per week and a one hour online group tutorial for each of the two core modules
- a weekly 1½ hour session for research methods
- independent learning and work on assignments.
Online learning is through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Teaching methods (available to both full-time and part-time students) in a semester include:
- two x 2-hour weekly teaching sessions and 1-hour group tutorial for each of the core modules online
- recorded lectures
- discussion forums
- online group working for assessments.
You'll have the opportunity for face-to-face contact for the Intensive Study Periods. Some practical elements of the teaching, in particular, in the module ‘Development in Practice’ requires part-time students to be present in teaching sessions, although this can take place online.
You will be assessed solely by coursework. There are no examinations on the programme due to the problem-solving nature of our teaching methods.
You will develop and practise different skills based on the range of assessment methods which include:
- verbal presentations
- journal entries
- problem solving exercises
- critical evaluations
- collaborative group assignments.
International Field Trip*
The course includes an overseas field trip that is part of the Governance and Political Economy module. The field trip is designed to expose you to practical examples of complex governance and planning issues in another country. Field trip attendance is not compulsory but all students are encouraged to attend wherever possible.
The field trip activities usually take place over 5/6 days. In the past students have visited Rio de Janeiro. Oxford Brookes pays for travel costs up to £700, you'll need to cover additional costs including visa, accommodation, travel and food. There is no option for a refund if you choose not to attend the trip once you have chosen to. Please see the Additional costs section of this page for international field trip costs.
Intensive Study Periods*
Twice a year open-learners are invited to join full-time students on campus for a three-day intensive study period.
*These activities carry an extra cost. Please see the Additional costs section of this page for more details.
Start this course in January
You have the option to start this course in January. You will study a range of modules between January and May. During the summer months of June, July and August you will study further modules and begin work on your dissertation. Between September and December you will complete your final modules and focus on your dissertation.
The School of the Built Environment has an impressive list of funders and clients covering UK and EU government, research funding councils and industry.
- the European Commission
- UK Government/Agencies
- local government
- the commercial sector.
Research areas and clusters
Infrastructure and energy continue to be a key focus as they are the essential components of a rapidly urbanising world.
A range of employers are looking for graduates in this area including local and international planning consultancies, local authorities, bilateral and multilateral development agencies and large NGOs.
Whether you’re looking to move into a new career or you’re using the course for career development, you’ll develop plenty of practical, career-enhancing skills at Oxford Brookes. We’ve designed the course collaboration with professional bodies and industry practitioners to ensure it responds to the needs and expectations of industry. You’ll find recent graduates from this course at employers like:
- Turner & Townsend
- Avison Young
- SWECO and BMWK working in international development
- UK local authorities working in planning.
To hear about opportunities and make new connections, we encourage you to become part of our virtual alumni network which is hosted on LinkedIn.
Specific 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.
Pathways courses for international and EU students
We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.
Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.
If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.
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.
Terms and Conditions of Enrolment
International qualifications and equivalences
How to apply
There is no formal application deadline. We advise applying in good advance to secure places.
Applicants should factor in any time needed to meet offer conditions, arrange accommodation, and obtain a UK Student visa (if applicable). Distance learning study can sometimes close sooner than on-campus study, as it requires additional Faculty preparation.
The January 2023 intake for our on-campus programmes is closed. To apply for our January distance learning programme please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
Questions about fees?
Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.
The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.
How and when to pay
Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.
|Additional costs||Amount (£)|
|Intensive study periods for open-learners: accommodation fees||From £100 per night|
European or international field trip
For any other field trips, you will need to cover the costs of your own travel. This does not normally extend beyond London. We do not normally visit exhibitions with entry fees, and if we did, visiting would be on a stricly voluntary basis.
It’s your responsibility to cover print / binding costs where coursework submission is required. Please note that a lot of the coursework is now submitted online.
|You may choose to purchase books to support your studies. Many books on our reading lists are available via the Library, or can be purchased secondhand.||£20-60 per book|
Accommodation fees in Brookes Letting (most do not include bills)
|£94-265 per week|
Accommodation fees in university halls (bills included, excluding laundry costs)
|£122-180 per week|
Graduation costs include tickets, gowning and photography. Gowns are not compulsory but typically students do hire robes, starting at £41.
Students are responsible for their own travel to and from university for classes. BrookesBus travel is subsidised for full-time undergraduate students that are on a course with a fee of £9,250 or more, or living in an Oxford Brookes hall of residence. There is an administration fee for the production of a BrookesKey.
Financial support and scholarships
Featured funding opportunities available for this course.