The course aims to help green-minded individuals from a wide range of backgrounds to pursue an environmental career, enhance the skills of those working in the sector, and help prospective planners to understand more deeply the environmental implications and potential of planning work.
This MSc is recognized by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a ‘specialist’ masters, allowing those who have completed a three year RTPI recognized undergraduate spatial planning degree to complete the RTPI’s educational requirements for membership.
Also accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing completion of the educational requirement for RICS membership.
Scope to focus on particular environmental problems (e.g. climate change) and environmental policy in a range of sectors (planning, food/agriculture, transport and housing).
The MSc Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy is specifically aimed at those people wishing to gain expertise on contemporary sustainability issues. Students gain insights into the ways in which problems are defined, and the scope for applying cutting-edge policy and planning solutions to the environmental challenges faced by government, business and regulatory bodies.
The course links together theoretical debates about sustainability at different spatial scales with the practical dimensions of policy formulation and implementation. The planning system is given particular attention because it provides one of the most sophisticated mechanisms for regulating environmental change. A further core feature of the course is the focus on the latest social science research around environmental problems.
The course modules address three key dimensions:
Principles and processes – how policies may (or may not) achieve more sustainable development;
Resource sector studies – comparative and in-depth analysis of sustainability issues in key economic sectors (including food, transport and housing);
Research training – the development of sustainability and planning research skills.
The course is divided into two parts:
Part 1 comprises a teaching programme of core and option modules over two semesters (or four semesters for the part-time course).
Part 2 comprises an individual dissertation on a topic selected by each student in consultation with members of staff. Whilst there are few constraints on the choice of topic, it must address the core course themes of sustainability, environmental policy and planning.
The following list relates to the modules for the academic year 2015/16. Please note that these may be subject to change.
Theories and Principles of Sustainable Development
Debates in Eco-city Planning and Development
Environmental Behaviors: Citizens, Consumers and Communities
Environmental Policy and Climate Change
Planning for Sustainability
Renewable Energy Development and Planning
Spaces of Food consumption
Sustainable Food Systems
Sustainable Transport Policies
Urban and Regional Regeneration in Practice
Students will acquire a range of skills in the analysis and critical appraisal of policy, in the construction and presentation of written arguments, and in the oral presentation of their work. Students will also be introduced to relevant professional skills in the environmental assessment of projects and policies. Throughout the course, students will acquire skills in a range of environmental research methodologies.
The course offers the knowledge and expertise for developing a research career or taking advantage of the increasing professionalization of environmental jobs in the private and public sectors, including: government departments and environmental agencies; the business sector; consultancy, and environmental pressure groups.
Our Alumni collectively represent the variety of potential careers and jobs that our current (and future) students may embark on.
Applicants should normally hold a first or second class Honours degree in an appropriate subject. This MSc is suitable for graduates in subjects such as geography, sociology, politics or economics, and/or those with appropriate professional qualifications in planning. Applicants with a background in other subjects, and relevant work-based experience, will also be considered.
A minimum standard in English language of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent will be required for students whose first language is not English. Pre-course English Language tuition is available.
Students will be expected to demonstrate an interest in the field, and some familiarity with contemporary environmental policy and planning issues.
A number of field study visits may be arranged during the course. The School does partly subsidies these trips but students should allow for traveling and subsistence expenses
Notes:Next intake: September each year
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