Programmes

MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies

  • Graduate taught
  • Department of Geography and Environment
  • Application code L8U4
  • Starting 2018

MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies is a unique planning programme as it is based on the economics, geography and the politics of land-use planning, drawing on LSE’s strength in interdisciplinary teaching.

The programme has a long tradition in training both people seeking careers in urban and regional planning policy and mid-career professionals. It attracts students from all over the world including North and South America, Asia and Europe.

The MSc aims to provide a common understanding of the various influences affecting the planning process, and to teach a set of research skills that will help planners in practice. These skills include urban and regional economic analysis, the evaluation of environmental and regional policies and the study of institutional and political factors that impact city and regional development.

We provide strong professional linkages through our very active alumni network and links to the Association of European Planning Schools. This programme benefits from a partnership agreement with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), thus conferring professional recognition upon graduation.

Programme details

Key facts

MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies
Start date 27 September 2018
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time 
Applications 2016 138
Intake 2016 31
Availability UK/EU: Open 
Overseas: Open 
Tuition fee UK/EU: £13,536
Overseas: £20,904
Financial support Graduate Support Scheme (deadline 26 April 2018), ESRC funding as part of a four year award (deadline 8 January 2018), Oram-Stott-Schlusche Scholarship
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in relevant social science, or professional qualifications and experience
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Standard (see 'assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Programme structure and courses

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.

If you are planning to apply for a PhD within the Department, please be advised that you need to take some methods training as part of the MSc. Contact your MSc programme director and the Director of Graduate studies to discuss this requirement.

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. 

(* denotes a half unit)

The Economics of Regional and Urban Planning*
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 and local economic policy applications.

Social and Political Aspects of Regional and Urban Planning*
Explores the impact of key social and political processes on the activity of urban and regional planning.

Urban Policy and Planning*
A fieldwork-based course that examines the way in which economic, political and social forces interact to effect policy approaches in different spatial settings.

Planning Practice and Research
(not assessed) provides an understanding of the current planning issues faced by practitioners and their policy responses.

Dissertation

Courses to the value of one and a half units from a range of options

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Contact hours and independent study

Within your programme you will take a number of courses, often including half unit courses and full unit courses. In half unit courses, on average, you can expect 20-30 contact hours in total and for full unit courses, on average, you can expect 40-60 contact hours in total Teaching is based primarily on lectures, seminars, a fieldwork project and tutorials. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide.

You are also expected to complete independent study outside of class time. This varies depending on the programme, but requires you to manage the majority of your study time yourself, by engaging in activities such as reading, note-taking, thinking and research.

Teaching methods

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students and in the majority of cases, teach on undergraduate courses only. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide

Assessment

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment may be conducted during the course or by final examination at the end of the course. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Academic support

You will also be assigned an academic adviser who will be available for guidance and advice on academic or personal concerns.

There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Preliminary reading

P Hall Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design in the 20th Century (Wiley Blackwell, 2012)

J Friedmann Insurgencies: essays in planning theory (Routledge, 2011)

Careers

Our graduates typically go on to careers in planning consultancies, local and regional government, real estate and property development, and community advocacy organisations.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme 

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Student stories

Teis Hansen

MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies
Copenhagen, Denmark

teisHansen170x230

The programme covers a lot of different aspects of regional/urban geography, and one of its great strengths is the way London is used as a case. Most of the subjects discussed in class can be related to the world right outside the classroom.

The teaching is of very high quality, and the social life within the programme is very good. There are lots of people from abroad and that has two positive consequences. Firstly, people have many different experiences which they can contribute to the teaching; and secondly you don't feel like you are a foreigner – because many people are, and people are very open towards you. Once I leave LSE, I will be working as an analyst in a consulting firm in Copenhagen, working within the field of regional policy and local economic development. 

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- personal statement
- two academic references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

This programme is available as part of an ESRC-funded pathway onto a PhD programme. The 1+3 scheme provides funding for a one year research training master's linked to a PhD programme and is designed for students who have not already completed an ESRC recognised programme of research training. An application must be submitted for the relevant master’s programme, including a research proposal for the PhD aspect of the pathway. Applicants must also indicate their wish to be considered for the 1+3 pathway within their personal statement.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details. 

Minimum entry requirements for MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies

Upper second class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent in a relevant social science, or professional qualifications and experience.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet the minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

See international entry requirements

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2018/19 for MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies

UK/EU students: £13,536
Overseas students: £20,904

Fee status

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education.

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Fee reduction

Students who completed undergraduate study at LSE and are beginning taught graduate study at the School are eligible for a fee reduction of around 10 per cent of the fee.

Please refer to the Fees Office website for further information.

Scholarships and other funding

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country, and we provide over £11.5 million in scholarships each year to gradaute students from the UK, EU and overseas.

This programme is eligible for needs-based awards from LSE, including the Graduate Support SchemeMaster's Awards,  Anniversary Scholarships. and Oram-Stott-Schlusche Scholarship.

This programme is available as part of an ESRC-funded pathway onto a PhD programme. The 1+3 scheme provides funding for a one year research training master's linked to a PhD programme and is designed for students who have not already completed an ESRC recognised programme of research training. An application must be submitted for the relevant master’s programme, including a research proposal for the PhD aspect of the pathway. Applicants must also indicate their wish to be considered for the 1+3 pathway within their personal statement.

Selection for any funding opportunity is based on receipt of an application for a place – including all ancillary documents, before the funding deadline. 

Funding deadline for needs-based awards from LSE: 26 April 2018.
Funding deadline for ESRC funding: 8 January 2018. 

In addition to our needs-based awards, LSE also makes available scholarships for students from specific regions of the world and awards for students studying specific subject areas.

Check the latest information about scholarship opportunities

External funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans
Find out more about external funding opportunities

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