Urban and Regional Planning (with RTPI accreditation) MSc/PG Diploma

Start date
MSc: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Taught

£10,530 FT (UK students)
£26,280 FT (International Students)
More detail

Fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), our Urban and Regional Planning MSc is designed to develop students as reflective practitioners in the planning profession and related disciplines in the built environment.

The use of land and space is a hotly contested issue of fundamental importance to creating healthy communities and maintaining a good quality of life for local residents. Planners play a critical role in mediating between competing interests and building the foundations for equitable growth, sustainable environments and livable communities.

Fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), this programme is designed to develop students as reflective practitioners in the planning profession and related disciplines in the built environment, and can be studied either full-or part-time. It is ideal for those who wish to gain a professional qualification that will enable them to pursue and build a career in spatial planning and related areas of regeneration, economic development, housing and transport.

The structure enables students to combine the core modules and material in spatial planning with a specialist focus in fields such as urban regeneration, community based planning, economic development and urban resilience.

In addition to the MSc Urban and Regional Planning, for students who are currently employed in a Planning role, we now offer a Level 7 Chartered Town Planner Degree Apprenticeship. This represents a new and exciting opportunity for learners to gain an Msc in Urban and Regional Planning as well as Chartership of the RTPI. This route requires the support of employers and it is funded by the Degree Apprenticeship Levy.

My degree was directly related to my profession so it provided a solid foundation for my planning career. It provided a good balance of academic debate with practical application, especially as people working in the field were often integrated into the lecture programme. In particular, I loved that it used Birmingham as a case study for so much of what we were learning, it helped to see such things playing out in the city in reality.

Jenny Adams, MSc Urban and Regional Planning alumna

Why study this course?

Our students benefit hugely from the diversity of activity undertaken by the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) within the School of Geography. Our extensive research and consultancy work ensures that our teaching is relevant, up-to-date and research-led, while losing none of its intellectual rigour.


Core modules 

  • The Planner in Contemporary Society
  • Introduction to Spatial Planning
  • Urban Property Development
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Place-making in Practice
  • Integrated Planning Project
  • Planning Methods and Techniques
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

  • Urban Regeneration and Renewal
  • Community Involvement in the Built Environment
  • Green Infrastructure and Health

Students study eight core modules, plus one optional module and a dissertation of 12,000 words. In terms of the progression through the programme the choice of option must be related to the dissertation.

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


RTPI logoWe are delighted to confirm that students who apply to our MSc are also eligible to apply for the Royal Town Planning Institute's Future Planners Bursary programme for the 2024/25 academic year. Full details, including eligibility criteria, and the application process can be accessed on the RTPI website. If you have any queries about the bursary or about the MSc more widely please contact programme director Dr Austin Barber.

Fees for 2024/25

  • Code 7048: UK students £10,530 FT
  • Code 7049: UK students £5,265 PT
  • Code 7048: International students £26,280 FT only

Learn more about fees and funding.

Are you an international applicant?

All international applicants to this course will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £2,000 on receipt of an offer, to secure their place.

Find out more about the deposit >>.

Scholarships and studentships

Birmingham Masters Scholarship

We are offering over 200 awards of £2,000 to support the brightest and best applicants wishing to undertake Masters study at the University during 2024-2025.

Find out more and apply now  

Postgraduate Progression Award

Our Postgraduate Progression Awards offer final year undergraduates at the University of Birmingham a fee discount of £1,500 for postgraduate taught study.

Find out more and apply now  

Our database contains details of postgraduate taught and research scholarship and funding opportunities available to support your studies at the University of Birmingham. Find out more. 

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

For further information contact the School directly or get in touch with the Funding, Graduation & Awards via the online enquiries system.

How To Apply

International students requiring visas

26th July 2024 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2024 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2025.

UK students

31 August 2024 is the application deadline for UK students. We are not able to consider applications for 2024 made after this date; a new application will need to be made for September 2025.

Making your application

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

The normal admission requirement for our taught postgraduate programmes is a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline. For a Graduate Diploma you should have a degree or diploma or equivalent qualification in an appropriate field. Graduate Diploma students who achieve Masters level in their modules may be transferred to the Masters level.

Learn more about entry requirements.

International Requirements

International Students

English language requirements

Standard English language requirements apply (IELTS: 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any band)

  • IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band
  • TOEFL: 80 overall with no less than 19 in Reading, 19 in Listening, 21 in Speaking and 19 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: Academic 64 with no less than 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 169, with no less than 162 in any component

As a Birmingham postgraduate student you are part of an academic community and will learn from both academics and place-based specialist practitioners. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner, and we want you to be challenged and to think for yourself.

As a student you will be exposed to a variety of learning and teaching methods including lectures, small group teaching sessions, seminars, student-led workshops and tutorials. The teaching emphasis is on participative approaches to learning that enable students to reflect critically on important current debates in the practice and principles of spatial planning in diverse urban regions. To provide a “real world” feel for the programme there are a number of planning practitioners who directly input into the programme and we make good use of Birmingham and the wider West Midlands as part of our overall “learning laboratory”.

Studying with us you will enjoy a favourable staff–student ratio and full tutorial support. The department is centrally located on the campus close to the library, and provides access to photocopying and computer facilities. You will have access to a comprehensive support system throughout your time at Birmingham that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

As well as having access to professional journals and magazines within the department, students can also use the University’s main library and the increasingly large variety of learning materials and library research services (eg, e-journals and our Virtual Learning Environment platform 'Canvas') via the internet.

Assessment Methods

The MSc Urban and Regional Planning programme places an emphasis on applied, real world study, ensuring you gain those essential skills valued by all employers, including group and project work, IT skills, presentations and report writing skills. There will be a variety of assessments that you will have to complete including essays, reports, project-based work, reflective think-pieces and a 15,000 word dissertation.


This programme is ideal for those who wish to gain a professional qualification that will enable them to pursue and build a career in spatial planning and related areas of regeneration, economic development, housing and transport.