City scape

Regional & Urban Planning

MRUP Regional & Urban Planning
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 120)
Please note the 1 year version of this programme (W178) is only available to UCD internal students progressing from UCD's Planning, Geography and Environmental Policy degree or UCD's City Planning & Environmental Policy degree. All other eligible applicants should apply for the 2 year Masters of Regional and Urban Planning programme (W032).

This two-year professional planning degree develops the requisite conceptual knowledge and practical skills required by planners in this increasingly complex environment. You will develop an understanding of the administrative, legal and policy frameworks in which spatial planning operates and the social, political, economic and environmental challenges facing planning. In addition students develop practical skills for plan & policy making, including environmental assessment, retail assessment, public participation methods, development & project management, and GIS.

Depending on your interests, you choose to specialise in either development and design, or environmental planning.
-A structured combination of theoretical discussion, practical studio-based learning and independent research.
-Intensive learning experience which is policy relevant and practice related.
-Potential in year 2 (based on competitive selection process) for 1 semester exchange with the Master in Urban Planning Program at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
-Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Irish Planning Institute, which are internationally recognised qualifications

The Master of Regional and Urban Planning programme is a two-year professional planning programme, providing graduates with the requisite skills and knowledge to begin a career as a professional planner, with specialisation in either development and design or environmental planning. The MRUP is aimed at providing an integrated and inclusive understanding of the challenges required to create places that combine environmental quality, with a vibrant economy, good quality of life and distributive justice. The programme is underpinned by a critical and questioning approach aimed at equipping our students with intellectual confidence and the professional and ethical judgement to make decisions, which promote and ensure sustainable spatial development and manage environmental change. The programme fosters a learning environment that draws on the research and expertise of our academic staff, combined with insights from innovative practitioners in the planning, development and environmental field. Uniquely, we can draw on our location in Dublin and Ireland to reflect on the challenges of a rapidly developing vibrant city and modern economy set in an unsurpassed natural environment. The MRUP utilises a mix of lectures, hands on computer lab based work, group projects in a studio setting, regular student presentations, independent research and academic and professional writing, to provide graduates with the requisite skills and knowledge needed in the rapidly changing global environment facing planning.

-On successful completion of the programme students should be able to: Understand how spatial planning operates within the context of political, institutional and legal frameworks, and understand the wider social, economic, political and environmental context for planning sustainable environments
-Appreciate planning and environmental policy research, exhibit the skills of autonomous researchers and recognize the value of research as an input into improved planning policy and practice.
-Apply their knowledge and research skills to generate integrated and well substantiated responses to spatial planning challenges at various spatial scales.
-Work effectively both on their own and as part of a team in an interdisciplinary context.
-Demonstrate effective research, analytical, evaluative and appraisal skills and the ability to reach appropriate evidence based planning decisions.
-Communicate effectively verbally, graphically and through written documents and to communicate ideas, concepts, knowledge and conclusions to peers, specialist and non-specialist audiences within an interdisciplinary environment.
-Diagnose problems, define solutions and make decisions based on balancing a range of competing professional and stakeholder interests.
-Understand the challenges and responsibilities of balancing competing economic, social and environmental requirements in shaping space, will be open to critically assessing these, reflecting on them and acting in a professional and ethical manner in the interests of the common good.
-Appreciate societal diversity and recognize the importance of equality and equality of opportunity in spatial planning processes.

Entry requirements

- Applicants should present an undergraduate degree with at least a lower class honours or equivalent (GPA at least 2.8), in any academic field, with a preference for fields of study related to Planning and/or equivalent relevant professional experience.

- 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.

Applications are welcome from graduates from any discipline, though undergraduate disciplines with a thematic link to Planning are preferred. The programme is also suitable for those with a professional background in a field related to Planning who might wish to develop and broaden their skillset.

Please note the 1 year version of this programme (W178) is only available to UCD internal students progressing from UCD's Planning, Geography and Environmental Policy degree or UCD's City Planning & Environmental Policy degree. All other eligible applicants should apply for the 2 year Masters of Regional and Urban Planning programme (W032).


1 or 2 years full-time.

Careers or further progression

Career Opportunities
Graduates of the MRUP are to be found working as professional planners in the public & private sector, as GIS consultants, as policy advisors, property development consultants, and as community & rural development coordinators. Our graduates have found employment with: national and international planning agencies, government departments, local authorities including urban and rural authorities in Ireland, the UK, Australia and New Zealand; transportation agencies including the National Transport Authority; planning consultancy firms including Tom Philips and Associates, John Spain Associates and Future Analytics consulting; urban regeneration companies, large house builders including Glenveagh Properties; wind & solar energy companies including Eirgrid and ABO Wind, and environmental NGOs including An Taisce. The recovery in the development and construction sector sector in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe is creating increasing opportunities for planning graduates here in Ireland and further afield.

Further enquiries

Contact Name: Katie O'Neill
Contact Number:+353 (0)1716 1781

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core
Research Design & Methods
Planning Law APEP
Planning Methodology
Placemaking: Urban and Rural Design
Planning, Society and Diversity
Rural & Landscape Planning
Economic and Property Markets
Environmental Assessment
Geographical Information Systems for Policy and Planning

Stage 1 - Option
Tools for Sust Development
Transportation Planning
Urban Design Studio
Governing Nature

Stage 2 - Core
Urban and Regional Development
Leadership, Project and Development Management
MRUP Thesis
Planning Studio: Plan Making

Stage 2 - Option
Conservation History, Theory and Policy
European Environmental Policy
Environmental Risk and Behaviour
Housing Policy and Planning
Comparative Planning
Planning Practice Ind. Project

Application date

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

The following entry routes are available:

MRUP (AP) FT (W178)
Duration 1 Years
Attendance Full Time
Deadline Rolling *

MRUP FT (W032)
Duration 2 Years
Attendance Full Time
Deadline Rolling *

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

Course fee

MRUP Regional & Urban Planning (W032) Full Time
EU Year 1 - € 7640
EU Year 2 - € 7640
non EU Year 1 - € 19200
non EU Year 2 - € 18700

MRUP Regional & Urban Planning (W178) Full Time
EU Year 1 - € 8705
EU Year 2 - € 8705

non EU Year 1 - € 24800
non EU Year 2 - € 24200

Second Year Fee applies to Students in 2nd Year in 2019 and who were a 1st Year Student on the programme in 2018/19
***Fees are subject to change

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 2019/2020 September

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