MSc programme structure

The programme involves three compulsory half units, three half unit options and a 10,000 word dissertation. This dissertation will be on a topic of personal interest to you agreed with your tutor. It provides the opportunity for you to apply the material learned in the rest of the programme. Through your selection of options you can either study a wide range of different subjects or choose a package with a specialism such as environment planning, regional policy, economic development, or planning in developing countries.

You will also have the benefit of a series of visiting speakers and study trips exploring current planning issues, including the chance to go on a study visit to another city. In recent years we have visited Sarajevo, Moscow, Istanbul, Berlin and Athens; the cost of this visit (about £300) is not covered by tuition fees.

Course Content

View course content| in the graduate prospectus. Note that not all courses are offered every year.

Compulsory half-units

Economics of Regional and Urban Planning (Michaelmas Term)

The course provides an economic framework in which to analyse the structure of economic activity within the urban and regional context, the impact of this structure on urban form and the role of government at the local level. It includes the following topics: the determinants of industrial, commercial and residential location; the interaction between activities within a spatial context; the economics of land markets and of the development process; the determinants of rents and densities; models determining the structure of urban areas; sources of market failure in the urban economy; the rationale of government intervention; techniques of intervention in the urban and environmental context; the role of the public sector; pricing, allocation and investment decisions; urban and regional economic policy issues.

Social & Political Aspects of Regional and Urban Planning (Michaelmas Term)

The course explores the way in which regional and urban planning is influenced by political and institutional factors. Planning's role in both regulating development decisions and promoting public policy is explored. The course contents include: variety in the interaction between market processes and public intervention and its effect on planning; debates over the purpose and scope of planning; the processes of globalisation and the World City debate; the impact of political ideology on planning; institutional constraints on planning with a case study of Europe; the role of leadership and city Mayors; gentrification and social exclusion; opportunities for participation in planning. City Case studies, particularly London and New York.

Urban Policy and Planning (Lent Term)

The course provides a synthesised approach to the analysis of urban policy-making and plan formulation. It will explore the way in which economic, political and social forces interact to effect policy approaches in different spatial settings. We will cover urban regeneration policy and community development as they relate to neighbourhood planning. The aim is also to gain an understanding of the causes of similarity and difference in policy approaches. Students will undertake a group research project based on a London neighbourhood including an assessment of local planning policy.  The following videos are examples of one element of our student's research work.

Bromley-on-Bow acknowledgements: "Where we begin" by Nuform is used under license from Beatpick Ltd.

Vauxhall acknowledgements: "Siesta" by Jahzzar is licensed under a Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License|. "Rainbows Are Gay" by And. is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License|.

Other compulsory courses

Regional and Urban Planning Problems (Michaelmas and Lent Terms)

An interdisciplinary seminar with invited speakers from within the LSE and outside. The focus is on contemporary problems of regional and urban planning and speakers will either be engaged in relevant current research or be practitioners from central or local government, research agencies or consultancy.