Urban and Regional Planning MSc

Planning guides the future development and use of land. It is about where development should happen, where it should not and how it affects the quality of our surroundings. Urban and regional planning strives to design and deliver equitable, inclusive and sustainable communities where people can live, work and enjoy their leisure time. This involves promoting and facilitating development while
protecting and enhancing the natural and built environment.

Our Urban and Regional Planning degree is designed to equip you with the knowledge and practical skills needed to work as a professional planner. You will develop the ability to ask the right questions and find creative solutions to the challenges facing communities and the built environment.

Flexible study options

This course can be studied full-time, part-time or via Independent Distance Learning (IDL), ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family.

Mode of studyDurationStart date Full-time 1 year September Part-time 2 years September Independent Distance Learning (IDL) 2-7 years* January/September

*On average, our Diploma courses studied via IDL are completed in 2-3 years, while the MSc is completed in 2.5-7 years. Most students intend to complete their studies via IDL within 2-3 years.

Career opportunities

This course equips you with the knowledge and skills to work as a professional planner. Our strong links to practitioners and employers are a vital part of developing these skills as well as your network of connections.

Students have the opportunity to engage with industry through guest lecturers, site visits and on research and coursework projects:

  • All students are given the opportunity to have an external mentor who is a local practitioner that provides career guidance and advice.
  • Previous companies who have provided guest lecturers include:
    • Met Office
    • Adaptation Scotland
    • Diageo
  • Students are given the opportunity to go on a tour of Scotland's central belt visiting Bo'ness, Helix Park and Stirling. Industry experts attend the tour and share their wealth of knowledge and expertise.
  • Staff and lecturers are actively engaged in a variety of research projects relating to building design, specification, management and operation and have extension knowledge to share.

Industry links

This course is delivered by the Royal Academy of Engineering  Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design. One of only four Centres established at UK universities and the only one in Scotland, forming a national network to demonstrate and exchange best practice in teaching and research for the sustainable built environment.

Our students and graduates

6 months after graduation in 2016, 100% of students surveyed from MSc Urban and Regional Planning have secured graduate level jobs across the UK, German and Nigeria.

Employers include:

  • SEPA
  • Colliers International
  • JLL
  • Scottish Borders Council
  • Scottish Borders Housing Association

Hear from some of our graduates:

  • Nikola Miller
  • Zheng Qian

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute which offers excellence links with local employers through their Partnership Board.

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma Award
September, January Start
Full-time, Part-time, Distance Study Mode

Entry Requirements For This Course

Masters (MSc) level entry applicants must have:

  • Minimum of 2:2 honours degree or equivalent academic qualification in a related subject area.
  • For postgraduate conversion programmes, non-related degrees will be considered.
  • Corporate (or chartered) membership of relevant professional institutions will also be considered.

PG Diploma level entry applicants must have:

  • Degree in a related subject area plus a minimum of 2 years of relevant experience post qualification.

Candidates who do not meet the above entry requirements or have no formal academic qualifications will be considered individually based on their CV and interview. Admission via this route will be at the discretion of the Director of Admissions and the number of successful applicants will be restricted.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Heriot-Watt University is committed to providing opportunities to applicants who have a wide range of prior experiences through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Prior learning at postgraduate level is normally recognised to gain exemption from individual modules within a course based on an existing academic qualification. Note that the prior learning must have been rated at the level of the modules for which RPL is sought, yet credits from an award already held by an applicant can only contribute to a higher award in the same discipline, e.g. from PG Diploma to MSc. If you believe that you qualify for RPL, please contact the Learning & Teaching Support Team via egis-enquiries@hw.ac.uk, who will guide you through the RPL application procedure.

The school will only consider students' requests for RPL at the time of application for their programme of study.

English language requirements

If English is not the applicant's first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above.

Applicants who have previously successfully completed courses delivered in the medium of English language may be considered and will be required to provide documentary evidence of this. Examples would be secondary school education or undergraduate degree. A minimum of at least one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required.

We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)

Distance learning students

Please note that independent distance learning students who access their studies online will be expected to have access to a PC/laptop and internet.

Distance learning students can choose to start their studies in January or September. The January intake is not available to students studying on-campus.

Latest Updates from Heriot-Watt University

Location of Heriot-Watt University