Planning & Sustainable Development
The Master's Degree in Planning and Sustainable Development (MPlan) is an internationally-recognised, professionally-accredited master's course in spatial planning and development for cities, regions, towns, rural areas, and neighbourhoods.
As chartered professionals, MPlan graduates tackle real-world sustainability and environmental challenges in public, private and community settings throughout the world. :
The MPlan is a comprehensive, two-year course compatible with European standards and with international professional training models for planning. Our graduates come from many different disciplines, so our course offers a rich learning environment for people to fine-tune their areas of interest into a practical, ethical and effective field of action with relevance in the contemporary world.
The degree, which has a strong theoretical and ethical foundation, develops a wide range of skills and abilities leading to a strong capacity for making real-world, imaginative and balanced proposals and recommendations about the future of places.
Having graduated from the MPlan course you will be able to make a genuine and enduring contribution to society. The course content and learning progression of the MPlan has been designed around the professional accreditation requirements of the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Irish Planning Institute.
Modules will cover topics including:
place-making and design
spatial planning at various different scales
development and growth in rural and urban areas
legal and political know-how
technical competence and a deep understanding of the realities of sustainable development.
For detailed information on the current programme modules and module descriptions, see the Postgraduate College Calendar.
Who teaches this course
The core of this degree is taught by the full-time and part-time staff of the UCC Centre for Planning Education & Research (which is a full member Association of European Schools of Planning) and by lecturers from the UCC Departments of Law, Applied Social Studies and Sociology. They are also assisted by visiting specialist lecturers for different subjects as required.
Why Choose This Course
The MPlan at UCC is known for the high quality of its graduates and its broad-based approach to learning. With a core teaching team of experienced professional planners, the course sits at the meeting point between the rigour of academic thought and effectiveness of real-world practice. It has an international focus (with two study visits outside of Ireland) and a disciplinary ethos which strddles the physical sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. This makes it especially interesting for English-speaking graduates from North America, Asia and from the global South who are interested in furthering their education in a progressive European university.
To apply for this course you need to have a 2H2 (Hons) degree or higher in arts, social science, architecture, engineering, science, commerce, or law (or equivalent). In exceptional circumstances, and subject to the approval of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, candidates who have a primary degree other than an honours, and who demonstrate a high level of relevant work experience, may also be eligible for entry to the course.
Selection will be based on academic achievement, written expression of interest, an interview and any relevant work experience.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.
For more information please contact the International Office.
MPlan modules are assessed almost entirely through coursework: essays, designs, field journals, tutorials, team projects, written reflection, individual presentations and research projects/dissertations. Around 25% of the modules also have a short written examination at the end of the relevant teaching period, making up 30-40% of the marks available for the module.
Postgraduate Diploma in Planning and Sustainable Development – Candidates who pass modules to a value of 60 credits in the First Year may exit the programme and be conferred with the Postgraduate Diploma in Planning and Sustainable Development.
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
2 years full-time
This programme is taken on a full-time basis over 2 years across two 12-week teaching terms. Lectures will be scheduled on four to five days per week and there will also be afternoon studio sessions or tutorials each week, all supported by individual study/reading time. There will be mandatory residential and day field trips, both within and outside Ireland in both years, and students will be asked to contribute towards the cost of these.
Start Date: 7 September 2020
Post Course Info
Skills and Careers Information
As the programme is a professional masters and fully accredited by the Irish Planning Institute (IPI) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the most usual employment for graduates is in the planning industry. Traditionally conducted within the public sector at all levels of government, planning is now carried out in a wide variety of professional environments across the public and private sectors and across the housing, transportation, environment, retail, energy, heritage sectors. The accreditation from the RTPI is internationally recognised and many of our graduates have found work across the globe. Students graduate with a range of skills which include creative problem solving, environmental evaluation, analytical and research skills, policy development, physical planning, community engagement, teamwork and design techniques and appreciation. This applied skill set is particularly attractive to the public sector, businesses and third sector employment situations.
Occupations associated with an MPlan degree:
Working in central/regional/local government preparing spatial plans, managing development, protecting our heritage and countryside, working with communities and delivering regeneration;
Working in a planning/design consultancy, preparing development proposals, advising clients and assessing environmental impacts;
Working for yourself in your own planning consultancy.
Other environmentally based occupations:
Working with the third sector, promoting sustainability and regeneration, supporting essential development in the third world and campaigning to raise awareness of the importance of jobs, communities and places;
Working in transport, housing, recycling, property development, energy, community development and economic development.
Research and further studies:
Working for a PhD, teaching and academic research;
Carrying out environmental and property research.
Unlike most postgraduate options, an MPlan qualification leads directly to a professional career in planning or related fields. The M.Plan has an extremely strong reputation in Ireland and abroad for the quality of their graduates and this is reflected in their employment rates and early career progress. Demand for planners is increasing rapidly in Ireland and across the globe. The President of the Irish Planning Institute announced at the 2015 National Conference that recent research had indicated that in the light of the upturn in the economy there is likely to be a shortage of planners in Ireland. In addition, the M.Plan team have developed strong relationships with employers and specialist planning recruitment agencies which has helped secure positions for graduates of the programme.
MPlan - Graduate Profiles
See how some of our GRADUATES have been doing...
Please also click HERE for further information on MPlan Graduates