University of the West of England, Bristol
MSc Urban and Rural Planning

Urban and rural planning plays an important role in society, and affects the way we all live. Its main concern is with managing acceptable and sustainable environmental change in a constantly changing world, and being at the forefront of shaping that world for future generations.

The MSc Urban and Rural Planning is led by UWE Bristol and delivered by a group of four UK planning Schools and the Open University. The four planning schools are:

Ÿ   Department of Geography and Environmental Management, UWE

Ÿ   Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology, Leeds Beckett University

Ÿ   Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences, London South Bank University

Ÿ   School of the Environment, Dundee University

Course Structure

Year one

Context and law

This module explores planning history to provide a context for further study, before moving onto considering the regulatory framework in place today for managing the built and natural environment.

Local planning

An in-depth look at planning at local and community level, considering plan making, policy, and community participation and involvement with planning.

Strategic planning

Planning on a larger scale and in a strategic context, considering sub-regional, regional and national planning activity. It includes a focus on strategic infrastructure issues.

Urban and sustainable design principles

Here you'll explore urban design and the creation of exceptional and high quality places and spaces.

Year two

International planning

This module introduces supranational planning, looking at the scale of European and international planning activity.

Implementation and management

Planning must consider implementation, so this module looks at the development process, finance and effective management strategies.

Research techniques

This is a research methodologies-based module considering planning philosophies, approaches and techniques in an applied manner.

Integrated planning project

Bringing all your prior study together, here you will take on a project based on creating a deliverable neighbourhood scale plan.

Year three

Open University specialism option module

You will choose one from a series of module options to contribute towards one of the following RTPI specialisms: Environmental Decision-making; Social Policy; Management, decision-making and leadership.


An individual piece of in-depth research related to your choice of Open University module to form your RTPI specialism for this module.

Mode of Study

The programme will be delivered via on-line mode.


September/ January


September Intake: 26 months

January Intake: 27 months

Entry Requirement

 an honours degree of 2.2 or above.