Planning Development & Urban Design

MSc Planning, Development & Urban Design
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The capacity to develop planning and urban design solutions, to analyse them critically and to provide guidance in regard to their implementation is one for which there is a growing demand. Furthermore, urban design lies at the interface of architecture and urban planning, with both disciplines contributing complementary but contrasting approaches to urban design theory and practice. In this context, the MSc Planning, Development & Urban Design has been specifically tailored to enable fully-qualified architects to further develop, build upon and enhance relevant pre-existing professional knowledge, understanding, and skills, to specialise in both spatial planning and urban design.

The programme also draws upon the particular research strengths of the School, providing students with the opportunity to engage with innovative approaches to sustainable and resilient urbanism, exploring emerging challenges surrounding the role of urban design in mitigating or adapting to climate change, in promoting ‘healthy’ cities or neighbourhoods, and the incorporation of ‘nature’ into design (e.g. nature-based solutions) to address habitat fragmentation and biodiversity loss.

This programme is open to Architects on the RIAI Register of Architects or persons eligible to seek registration as an architect in Ireland without further assessment.

Course Description
This is an intensive, taught graduate programme (90 ECTS), comprising core modules in spatial planning, and in the specialist area of urban design, encompassing key areas of theory and practice, three major studio modules, research methods training, a thesis / design thesis, and professional development skills training.

For full-time students, the programme is one year’s duration (three semesters / 12 months), and lectures, studios, etc., take place throughout the week. For part-time study options, please contact the college admissions office ( for further details.

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core
Street Life: Urban Design, an Introduction ARCT40660
Urban Design Studio ARCT40690
Planning Methodology PLAN40010
Planning, Society and Diversity PLAN40030
Urban and Regional Development PLAN40060
Planning Studio: Plan Making PLAN40160
Nature-Based Solutions PLAN40200
Research Design & Methods PLAN40330
Planning Law PLAN40540

Stage 1 - Option
Design Thesis PLAN40210
Thesis PLAN40240

Entry requirements

- The programme is open to Architects on the RIAI Register of Architects or persons eligible to seek registration as an architect in Ireland without further assessment.

- Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

Application dates

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:

MSc Planning, Development & Urban Design FT (T324)
1 Years
Full Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised


1 year full-time. Mode of Delivery: Face-to-Face.

Enrolment dates

NEXT INTAKE: 2024/2025 September.

Post Course Info

Career & Graduate Study Opportunity
Graduates will have the option of continuing a career in architectural practice, but with a specialism in the sought-after areas of spatial planning and urban design. However, alternative career paths include roles in the public, private and community sectors, including planning and urban design consultancies, local authorities, development firms, regeneration companies, and environmental and other NGOs.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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    Course provider