In practice, there is a common tension between those developing and interpreting planning policy on the one hand, and the designers of cities on the other. This programme brings these groups together to engage in project-based learning. You will develop planning research, urban analysis and design skills before deciding whether to complete an urban design thesis or dissertation. Both of these options can be completed as work-based studies with opportunities for summer placements.
City Planning and Design highlights
This course is unique having been driven by engagement with practice rather than adhering to traditional academic subject areas. The core skills that urban designers and planners need have been clearly defined and form the basis for the course.
•There are fantastic opportunities to work with planning and urban design both locally and globally. Belfast is a city that is developing rapidly and this reflects a wider confidence in urban regeneration and development at a national level. Many recent graduates are working in planning authorities and consultancies throughout the UK and Ireland with others working in the related fields of housing, natural heritage and renewable energy.
•Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredited as a standalone programme. Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accredited if completed following an accredited undergraduate planning degree.
Internationally Renowned Experts
•The members of staff responsible for delivering the MSc are from a variety of professional and research backgrounds. Staff expertise includes international development, sustainable development, development economics and planning policy and practice. Each member will give a different perspective within the course, such that both theoretical and applied elements will be fully developed and a rounded high-level education will result.
•Significant emphasis is placed on the development of problem-solving skills during live projects in this programme. The option of a work placement for the thesis module reflects the local confidence within the planning and urban design sector of the quality of QUB student work. Placements can be in planning offices, architectural practices or with related heritage, environmental or community sector groups. The environs of the university are extremely pleasant: Northern Ireland and Belfast have been highlighted by The Sunday Times in 2018 as the best places to live in the United Kingdom. Belfast and the Causeway Coast have been listed as the best regions to visit in the world by Lonely Planet in 2018. Moreover, the manner in which Northern Ireland is positioned after Brexit may make it the most convenient location in the UK for ready interaction with the EU.
Learning and Teaching
Learning and teaching is split into the following:
Demonstrator-led IT skills tutorials to ensure students develop GIS and data visualisation skills such as proficiency in Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch Up.
A key component to all group projects whereby tutors offer feedback on student ideas in small groups during the completion of live projects for professional clients.
This is an essential part of life as a Queen's student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Student-led thematic presentations that address major global themes are a crucial part of this programme. Placing the emphasis to research and interpret relevant information on the student allows for the programme to incorporate and fulfil their interests.