Planning & Sustainable Development
The Postgraduate Diploma in Planning and Sustainable Development is an introductory graduate-level course in spatial planning and development for cities, regions, towns, rural areas, and neighbourhoods. It has an international flavour and exposes students to the kind of real-world sustainability and environmental challenges that are found in public, private and community settings throughout the world.
Our graduate students 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. For students who perform well on this course and wish to progress to a professionally recognised masters-level qualification there is an option to transfer to the second year of the UCC M.Plan course which is a comprehensive, two-year course compatible with European standards and with international professional training models for planning.
The course will be of particular interest to students from developing countries who want to gain a foundation training in Planning and Sustainable Development as well as other international students who have a particular interest in studying in Ireland and have a wider interest in the theory and practice of planning. Students who do not feel able or ready to commit to two years study for the accredited qualification will find that the Course is an excellent way to gain a foundation qualification and fully assess their motivation to progress to the second year of the accredited MPlan Course.
This programme is taken on a full time basis over 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 residential and day fieldtrips, both within and outside Ireland, and students will be asked to contribute towards the cost of these.
Modules will cover topics including:
place-making and design
spatial planning at various different scales
development in urban areas
legal and political know-how
International and global planning issues and processes
technical competence and an understanding of the realities of sustainable development.
The course develops a wide range of skills and abilities leading to a strong capacity for making real-world, imaginative and balanced contributions about the future of places in many different sectors.
Transfer to the MPlan
Students who pass all modules with an aggregate score of 50% (i.e. 600 out of 1200 marks) may opt not to be conferred with the Postgraduate Diploma and may transfer their registration to the Second Year of the Masters in Planning and Sustainable Development (MPlan2) in the following academic year (full-time). For details of this programme, see http://www.ucc.ie/en/cke69/. Such students must inform Student Records and Examinations Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) that they will not be conferred with the Postgraduate Diploma and opt instead to progress to Second Year of the Masters in Planning and Sustainable Development (M.Plan2) in the following academic year (full-time).
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.
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
Applicants must have a Second Class Honours in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or higher, in an appropriate subject in Science, Arts, Humanities, Social Science, Law, Commerce, Health, Engineering or Architecture. Selection will be based on academic achievement, written expression of interest, an interview and relevant work experience (if any).
Applicants who do not hold a degree at Second Class Honours in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) may also be accepted under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) subject to the requirement that they demonstrate, at interview, a very high level of engagement and interest in the subject, a proven track record of significant experience in a relevant field, and a clear capacity for carrying out studies at postgraduate level.
For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.
For full details of the non-EU application procedure 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.
Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Please visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 31 March 2023
How Do I Apply
1. Check Dates: Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.
For Irish and EU applicants we operate a rounds system and you can check the rounds closing dates here.
Note that not all our programmes are subject to the rounds system so check the opening and closing dates for your specific programme in the fact file boxes above.
2. Gather Documents: Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:
Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.
3. Apply Online: Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.
Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
Please enter the details of a referee who can provide a reference for either previous relevant work experience and professional performance OR previous relevant academic performance, qualifications and aptitude.
1 year full-time.
Post Course Info
Skills and Careers Information
This Diploma is an ideal postgraduate platform for people who wish to build on their primary degree into an applied and relevant subject area. This means that their initial foundation in geography, arts, social science, politics, law, design, humanities, science or other fields can be built on in ways that enable them to make a real contribution to how cities, towns, regions and places can be designed and managed into the future in the interests of society and the common good. With a built in option to convert to a full masters in this subject area graduates will have opportunities to work in the public, private, education and community sectors and their skills and competencies are recognised by a range of employers in a wide variety of contexts both in Ireland and internationally