Urban Planning and Design (MSc)

students with building design
Now recruiting for September 2021 start

Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham

The MSc Urban Planning and Design will cater for those seeking to accept the challenges of managing rapid urban growth, whilst addressing the fundamental requirements of sustainability and of ethical and professional responsibilities.

The course will promote an integrated understanding of processes of spatial change in the built and natural environments and of the ways in which and reasons why societies manage and regulate those changes. The course will aim to promote critical thinking about 'space' and 'place' as the basis for action or intervention in order to secure an agreed range of social, economic and environmental objectives.

The MSc Urban Planning and Design course is intended to develop the core skills and knowledge required for a career in urban planning and design professions. The course does not require previous studies or experience in planning or design, although a strong interest in these subjects and an intention to seek work after graduating that is associated with the built environment should be regarded as desirable in students applying for entry to the course.

Whilst recruitment to the course is not be restricted to those having graduated from any particular discipline, it is expected that in all but exceptional circumstance a requirement for entry would be to have obtained a good standard of undergraduate honours degree, typically a second class honours or better, or an equivalent qualification showing some evidence of aptitude for independent study at Masters level.

Although the programme design does not explicitly assume any specific prior learning, it would be particularly suited to study by students who had previously studied disciplines associated with the built environment, such as surveying, architecture, landscape architecture, civil engineering or urban studies; or for graduates from cognate social or environmental science disciplines, such as geography, economics or environmental studies. Because of the potentially diverse background of its intended students, some of the modules studied at the start of the programme would be introductory in character.


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Study style

  • Learning takes place in a design and planning studio through lectures, tutorials, specialist IT workshops, collaborative group and individual projects, visiting expert lectures and student-led research.
  • Teaching techniques combine: theory, contemporary research and philosophies of urban planning and design with practical orientated design and planning projects. This is to explore master planning of city wide development, resource management, infrastructure projects and the design of places for people.
  • The course utilises built environment principles, together with a focus on digital transformation technologies, innovation, creativity, personal development, expression, professionalism and sustainability.
  • Our Architecture, Construction and Environment subject community comprises a broad range of cognate disciplines and a blend of UK, European and international students, which provides a rich mix of geographic, environmental, social and cultural influences, and further enriches the learning experience.
  • Course assessment will be through group and individual coursework projects, project reviews, individual written reports, presentations and a dissertation.

Entry requirements

  • 2:2 honours degree in a relevant subject such as architecture, landscape architecture, geography, architectural technology, surveying. 
  • Whilst an interview is not required, students will be required to demonstrate knowledge and ability of visual communication, graphic drawing, analogue drawing for purpose, as well as research writing skills.


See the further details of tuition fees when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.


This course will provide you with specialist expertise in urban planning and design, allowing you to study this discipline within the broader context of town planning and property development. You will develop skills which will be attractive for:

  • urban and rural planning
  • city regeneration
  • urban design
  • planning and property development employer
  • landscape / architectural practices dealing with master planning
  • infrastructure
  • transport development
  • government organisations
  • local authorities
  • research institutions as employers

Industry links

All of our existing programmes enjoy the benefit of links with local, national and international practices, business and organisations. Our strong industry links offer awards, intern positions, live challenges, visiting lectures and employability skills workshops that could result in your graduate career pathway.

Associated professional accreditations

Utilising competency frameworks and written towards accreditation of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Students looking at a laptop together

Collaborate with other courses and students

Unlike traditional built environment subject areas, our students learn from and collaborate with other constructed environments students’ disciplines from the start of their course - challenging the preconceived ideas of their disciplines, exploring strategies for constructing resilient futures, developing entrepreneurial business ideas and learning to work with others in the multi-disciplinary team.

Student with model building

A course that challenges you

Courses embed design, technology and sustainability within the core of the structure, challenging students to be innovative, adaptable and responsible designers within our ‘real site, real client and real issue’ projects, adding value to a client’s proposal. 

School of Arts

Our School of Arts provides specialist studios with the latest industry technology so you can develop your creative talent. You will collaborate with other artists and designers and be inspired by practising professionals to refine your own authentic voice.

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