Planning with public interest
If you are passionate about current and emerging challenges facing our towns, cities and rural areas, want to help shape our future built and natural environments and want to study planning at the heart of one of the world’s most exciting cities then the MA or the PG Diploma Town and Country Planning* provide the answer. The courses focus on interactions between people and place and how to facilitate high quality developments in the right location.
At LSBU, ‘We Educate Britain’s Town Planners’ and focus clearly on the British Town Planning system but the course includes international perspectives to provide useful comparisons.
The MA is fully accredited by the RTPI. The PgDip is fully accredited when taken after completion of the BA UEP. With two years relevant work experience (with at least 1 year of this experience gained whilst registered as a licentiate), you can apply to take the RTPI Assessment of Professional Competence exam and become a chartered member of the RTPI
Our academic staff have expertise in a range of planning related fields and are all research active with a strong track record in national and international research networks, projects and publications.
*On completion of the PG Diploma it is possible to top up to a Masters by taking the dissertation module.
Why Town and Country Planning at LSBU?
- LSBU has been delivering professionally accredited planning courses for over 50 years.
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- Ranked 1st among London moderns for Graduate Prospects (outcomes) and Overall Score for Town & Country Planning and Landscape Design (Complete University Guide 2022)
- Studying planning in the heart of one of the most dynamic global cities on the planet with plenty of opportunities to participate in ongoing projects, complimenting the practical focus with theoretical understanding.
- Taught by staff with track records in research and relevant publications. Guest and visiting lecturers from professional practice supplement teaching throughout the course.
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- Specialise in the fields of Housing and Regeneration, Urban Design Project or Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobilities.
|Mode||Duration||Start date||Application code||Application method|
|ModeFull-time MA||Duration1 year||Start dateSeptember||Application code5560||Application method Direct to LSBU|
|ModePart-time MA||Duration2 years||Start dateSeptember||Application code5561||Application method Direct to LSBU|
|ModeFull-time PgDip||Duration1 year||Start dateSeptember||Application code5558||Application method Direct to LSBU|
|ModePart-time PgDip||Duration2 years||Start dateSeptember||Application code5559||Application method Direct to LSBU|
London South Bank University student union is located at 103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA.
If you are visiting our Southwark Campus, you may wish to use our downloadable campus map (PNG File 466 KB). For information on accessibility, see our DisabledGo access guides. See our location page for more details.
Register your interest
Entry Level Requirements
Applicants should have at least a UK lower-second first degree (2:2) or overseas equivalent, although priority will be given to applicants with an upper-second or first. All disciplines are acceptable in line with RTPI and LSBU objectives of widening participation.
Applicants with a non-cognate degree and several years’ relevant work experience may be offered a place, if they can demonstrate a suitable level of specialist subject knowledge.
International students additionally require an English Language qualification, with an IELTS score of 6.5, or equivalent.
Choose your country
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Tuition fees for home students
Tuition fees for international students
Tuition fees are subject to annual inflationary increases. Find out more about tuition fees
PgDip Town and Country Planning (PT) - Year 1
UK fee: £4020 International fee: £7511.11 AOS/LSBU code: 5559 Session code: 1PS00 Total course fee: UK: £6030 International: £11266.67
MA Town and Country Planning (PT) - Year 1
UK fee: £4020 International fee: £7511.11 AOS/LSBU code: 5561 Session code: 1PS00 Total course fee: UK: £9045 International: £16900
PgDip Town and Country Planning (PT) - Year 2
UK fee: £2010 International fee: £3755.56 AOS/LSBU code: 5559 Session code: 2PS00 Total course fee: UK: £6030 International: £11266.67
MA Town and Country Planning (PT) - Year 2
UK fee: £5025 International fee: £9388.89 AOS/LSBU code: 5561 Session code: 2PS00 Total course fee: UK: £9045 International: £16900
MA Town and Country Planning (FT) - Year 1
UK fee: £9045 International fee: £16900 AOS/LSBU code: 5560 Session code: 1FS00
PgDip Town and Country Planning (FT) - Year 1
UK fee: £6030 International fee: £11266.67 AOS/LSBU code: 5558 Session code: 1FS00
For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.
See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 391 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 775 KB).
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.
Postgraduate loan (PGL) for Masters study
If you are starting a Masters course, studying either full- or part-time, you may be entitled to apply for a postgraduate study loan. Find out more at our postgraduate fees and funding section.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on funding your studies on the scholarships and fee discounts page.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.
The course is not currently open to international students.
International (non Home) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
|Mode||Duration||Start date||Application code||Application method|
|Mode Full-time MA||Duration 1 year||Start date September||Application code 5560||Application method Direct to LSBU|
|Mode Part-time MA||Duration 2 years||Start date September||Application code 5561||Application method Direct to LSBU|
|Mode Full-time PgDip||Duration 1 year||Start date September||Application code 5558||Application method Direct to LSBU|
|Mode Part-time PgDip||Duration 2 years||Start date September||Application code 5559||Application method Direct to LSBU|
Postgraduate students and research students should apply through our dedicated application system. Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply section for postgraduate students and our How to apply section for research students.
See our admissions policy (PDF File 1,043 KB) and complaints policy (PDF File 516 KB).
Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses. Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.
It's a good idea to think about how you'll pay university tuition and maintenance costs while you're still applying for a place to study. Remember – you don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as a postgraduate student.
Postgraduate Application Service
Book a session with one of our specialist Postgraduate Advisors. Over a one on one Advice Session they'll advise you on postgraduate degrees at LSBU that match your interests and experience.
Prepare to start
We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read the How to apply tab for this course.
Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.
Before you start
You should try to:
- Attend a planning committee meeting of their local council
- Become familiar with basic information about the planning system and a professional planning career that can be found on the Planning Portal website and the Royal Town Planning Institute website
- Read the local newspaper for insights into journalistic opinions about planning
- Visit the National Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern – all for free!
It is valuable to do some background reading before starting the course, we suggest:
- Cullingworth B et al 2015 (15th edition) "Town & Country Planning in Britain", London: Routledge
This course is offered in full and part time modes. There are three modules per semester in the full time and two modules (day release mode) in the part time.
There are no examinations in this course. Instead, we have emphasised the skills and knowledge that planners will have to use in their professional lives. We have put an emphasis on research; writing, project development, map and policy analysis, presentations and critical reviews.
- Planning, politics and theory
This module provides a critical understanding of theories and ideas that have been used to justify spatial planning practice historically and in the current era. The political nature of spatial planning is a key focus. The aim of this module is to provide students with a critical understanding and knowledge of the history of spatial planning and the theoretical and philosophical ideas that have been, and continue to be used, to inform practice and interventions into the built and social environment. The module also discusses the ethics of spatial planning practice.
- The making of place
Place making is central to successful spatial planning and this module explores principles and processes for creating high quality and inclusive places. Planners must be able to visualise possible futures for sites in such a way that is positive and imaginative and can guide and stimulate the ideas of others who might implement them. The module focuses on an area of London that has undergone radical change and is the subject of complex and intense pressures for development. Students will be asked to analyse the area and then to prepare, visualise and justify their ideas for its future.
- Planning law in practice
This module deals in-depth with the legal framework for the planning and development of land in England and Wales. It provides students with a detailed knowledge and understanding of relevant legislation and case law relating to spatial planning and with the skills to find and interpret the law and apply it in practice.
- Sustainable places
This module examines sustainability issues and challenges and the initiatives and responses from spatial planning and related agencies, institutions and organisations in the context of a European field study visit. It aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge and understanding of the different forces at work within a region or city context. It will develop the students’ understanding of sustainability issues and the impact of climate change; recognise the processes of change and identify issues and mechanisms that allow an area to develop to fulfil its potential as well as respond to environmental and related challenges.
- Transitioning into practice
The module will facilitate the student’s transition from developing knowledge and academic skills towards becoming professional planners. It will include guest lectures from practitioners and student-led seminars, allowing students to: explore the current challenges facing the profession; identify and develop ways forward to grapple with the ethical implications of planning; and to develop their areas of specialism. In doing so, the module will enable students to develop with Personal Development Plans (PDPs) and plan for their Continuing Professional Development including preparing for their Accreditation of Professional Competence (APC).
Plus one specialist option from:
- Housing and regeneration
The module focuses on contemporary and diverse regeneration practices and housing delivery. By developing an understanding of the nature of development, the module will critically examine the economic, political and social contexts that shape the regeneration of cities, towns and neighbourhoods.
- Urban design project
This project based module provides students with the opportunity to extend and develop their urban design skills in a practical context in relation to the planning and development process and the urban context for design. It also reviews theories and approaches to urban design and explores and tests them against real places. It develops approaches from earlier parts of the students’ course and leads to design proposals which are expected to be of a professional standard. This is supported by the teaching of relevant computer-aided design skills.
- Sustainable infrastructure and mobilities
This module examines the infrastructures necessary to support sustainable and equitable forms of development. The role of spatial planning in infrastructural delivery is a particular focus. The aim of this module to for students to develop a critical awareness of the role of infrastructures to societal development and change. This will involve examining past trajectories of change and the implications of new technologies for more sustainable and equitable urban and rural futures. The role of spatial planners is a central focus.
- Dissertation or major project
The dissertation module is an opportunity to carry out a significant piece of independent research. Students are expected to demonstrate their independence as a scholar and should aim to make a contribution to the scholarly debates surrounding their chosen topic. Each student will submit a single piece of work of 12,000 words or equivalent where design projects are included. A dissertation is a chance for a student to carve out their identity as a scholar and/or a practitioner in that it is an opportunity to produce a sustained and personal project of their own design.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
- An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
- Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
There is currently a national shortage of professional planners and a demand from both the public and private sector after over a decade of public sector austerity. There is also demand for planners on the international scene. As the world struggles with climate change, urbanisation, population growth and changing work and living patterns it will be crucial to our futures to plan for these eventualities if we are to avoid major environment and social disturbances.
Employment prospects are excellent especially in London and the South East of England. Successful planning students may find jobs in central government, local government, non-governmental organisations, housing associations and quangos. Given our extensive links with public, private and voluntary sector employers we often find that employers often approach us first seeking suitably qualified and motivated applicants
A high proportion of our graduates find employment in the field within six months of graduation in the public, private and voluntary sectors. Some students take up jobs towards the end of the course. Local authorities and private consultancies are major employers as are companies and other organisations with large land and property assets and our alumni can be found in senior positions particularly in London and the South East of England. That said a significant proportion of alumni now practice (teach and research) across the UK and overseas.
Our alumni include three past presidents of the RTPI, and many senior planners in local authorities, government agencies and private sector consultancies, developers and housing providers. These regularly return to provide talks to our current students and have donated prizes for students on graduation.
We have been running post graduate planning courses for successfully for over 50 years, the second oldest planning school to be doing so in the UK.
The PgDip is fully accredited when taken after completion of the BA UEP. The MA is fully accredited by the RTPI. This means that after graduation you can become licentiate members of the RTPI. With two years relevant work experience (in some cases one year) graduates can apply to take the RTPI Assessment of Professional Competence exam and become full members of the RTPI.
Our planning school works closely with the RTPI Partnership Board, the body that oversees the professional currency and relevance of the teaching and learning programme.
A variety of taught modules include classroom sessions led by expert practitioners, sometimes our alumni. Students are encouraged to engage with real planning issues and organisation for the empirical research for their dissertation. Our one day and week-long residential study visits include presentations with practitioners in London, the UK and beyond. Our planning academics often hold posts within the RTPI and work on various developmental projects. We are often the first port of call when employers are looking to recruit planning post graduate.
- With 23,000 members the Royal Town Planning Institute is the largest planning institute for spatial, sustainable and inclusive planning in Europe. 2014 marks its centenary.
Teaching and Assessment
The teaching team has a track records of academic research, professional practice and consultancy, and have strong links to public, private and voluntary sector employers. Practitioners as guest speakers provide valuable input through lectures, tutorials and project visits
The course supports the employability agenda by enhancing the focus on an applied education. In addition, it provides an opportunity to develop closer links with employers, building professional credibility and academic reputation.
The course has been designed to:
- improve the student experience and course relevance by directly relating theory to practice;
- engage directly with employers via field work, industry guest lecturers, site visits, project work, and extra curricula activity;
- develop practical skills in the classroom (e.g. use of Sketch UP design programmes, staging of mock public inquiry, design exercises, presentations and the use of London and field work destinations as outside classrooms); professional behaviours (mock public inquiry, presentations, industry speakers
There are no examinations as they do not reflect the skills needs of the town planner. The assessments are as varied as possible including essays, reports, interpretative exercises, site analysis, development proposals, viability assessments, portfolios, analysis of skills and behaviours, PDP and CPD planning, research reports, presentations, posters, case study analysis, project management, comparative reports and policy analysis.
All students have a named personal tutor who will stay with them for the duration of their degree. The Division also has an employability coordinator.
Course Enquiries - UK
Tel: 0207 815 7500
International team enquiry
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6189Get in touch