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K400 - Master of Planning

Master of Planning

MPlan Honours

  • UCAS code: K400
  • Full time
  • 4 years
  • Next start date: September 2020
Year :

Influence the way our environment is developed or conserved with this dual accredited Master of Planning degree.

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £19800

Entry requirements

  • A Level: ABB-BBC
  • IB: 28-32 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21
Work placement opportunity Study abroad opportunity Professional accreditation

Course overview

This degree incorporates a year in planning practice, equipping you with valuable work experience and putting you on the path to Chartered Town Planner status.

Newcastle provides the ultimate case study for planning students. The rise and decline of industry and the recent cultural renaissance have turned the city into a 'living laboratory' for exploration and study.

You'll study the same programme as our Urban Planning BA Honours degree for your first three years, developing a thorough grounding in planning processes, city design, conservation, housing policy and more.

In your final year, you'll be able to decide whether to specialise in either planning and regeneration, or environmental planning.

You'll study fascinating topics such as design awareness, environmental sustainability and housing policy, and participate in a range of field trips and projects to see planning in action.

Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

See our terms and conditions for more information

View our Frequently Asked Questions

Your course during COVID-19

Whilst things will not be the same when you join us in September, this course page is intended to give you insight into what to expect from your course and your learning experience for the duration of your degree.

We have updated all course information where there are specific changes in the first semester.


Most of our student services are now available online. As COVID-19 restrictions lift, we'll be opening up our on-campus facilities as soon as it is safe to do so, so that you can get the best out of your studies.

Your learning experience

Your teaching will be a mixture of online and in-person on-campus teaching. In semester one, as a result of physical distancing requirements, all lecture materials will be delivered online along with many tutorials, workshops and labs.

Our aim, if Government guidance allows us, is to deliver up to three hours of labs, seminars and tutorial teaching in-person on campus where this is possible and safe to do so. We'll review this regularly and plan to return to full in-person, on-campus teaching in semester two if restrictions allow.


In semester one, we will not be running face-to-face, on-campus examinations. We will instead use different approaches to assessment. These will test and support your learning.

Field trips

We will be running some but not all of our planned field trips. Some of those that do run, will be run virtually. For those that do not run, we will be offering alternative learning activities. These learning activities will give you the opportunity to achieve the same learning.

Terms and conditions and student complaints

The University has terms and conditions which create a positive environment for learning and academic achievement.

Further information

Our COVID-19 Study page gives more information about your Newcastle University 2020 study experience.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to the guidelines that may be in place at the time.

Quality and ranking

We have a long tradition of excellence in teaching, recognised in many external surveys and assessments, but also by our own students.

Our commitment to teaching quality and an excellent student experience is reflected through our results in national and international student satisfaction surveys.

Professional accreditation

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body.

Modules and learning


The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage. 

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

You'll build a firm foundation in urban planning. You'll learn to ‘read’ a city and understand the importance of design and sustainability. You'll also develop knowledge of the political, social and economic forces that shape society and cities.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Planning Processes and Outcomes 10
Design Awareness and Communication 10
Economics of Development I 10
Environment and Sustainability 10
Social Worlds 20
Understanding Place: Methods and Perspectives 20
Shaping Towns and Cities 20
Disciplinary and professional perspectives on planning 20
Community Building 0

You'll focus on professional development and skills. You'll learn vital research methods as well as developing an understanding of professionalism in the planning sector. You'll have a choice of optional modules to help tailor this year to your personal interests.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Researching Local Economies 20
Research Skills 20
Community Building 0
Optional Modules Credits
Participation: Theories & Practice 20
Houses and Homes 20
Design & Neighbourhood 20
Understanding Cities 20
Urban Poverty: A Global Perspective 20
Global Course on Institutional Design for Spatial Planning 20

You'll study modules concerned with strategic planning, planning politics and development management. A dissertation will give you the chance to study in depth a topic of interest to you, showcasing your knowledge and skills to future employers.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Strategies into Action: Planning 20
Development Management 20
Planning Theory and Politics 20
Dissertation 40
Community Building 0
Optional Modules Credits
Strategies Into Action: Urban Design 20
Contemporary Planning Issues 20

Following your one year paid work placement, you'll return to the University to complete a final year of advanced professional modules in planning. Based full-time at the University, you'll have the opportunity to work with outside planning and planning-related organisations on live reports, and attend practitioner workshop sessions. You'll choose from two specialist study themes: planning and regeneration, or environmental planning. You'll also have the opportunity to spend a semester studying in Europe.


Optional Modules Credits
Introduction to Surveying for Town Planning 10
Economics of Development (MPlan Version) 10
Economics of Development 10
Engaging With Information Sources in Planning 10
Consultancy Project 20
Linked Research Project 30
Green Infrastructure and Landscape Planning 1 10
Green Infrastructure and Landscape Planning 2 (Project) 10
Regenerating Places 10
Regenerating Places Project 10
Reflexive Practitioner (MPlan version) 10
Valuation and Appraisal for Planning 10
Back to the future: questioning the rebirth of common ownership, local democracy and post-FDI economic models' 10
Environmental Assessment 10

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

This programme is vocationally oriented and this is reflected in the teaching methods we use.

A typical week may involve online sessions, mini-lectures, and structured learning.

You’ll be guided to explore the city and the region, on your own and where possible in groups.

Our innovative teaching and assessment techniques involve the use of film, posters and presentations, making learning a creative and dynamic process.

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Essays

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Presentations

  • Projects

Skills and experience

Field trips

You’ll be guided to explore the city and the region, on your own and where possible in groups.

As a founder member of the Association of European Schools of Planning, we have strong European links, providing the chance to experience differences in planning approaches beyond the UK, such as the international field trip in Stage 2.

Research skills

Your dissertation on a planning topic of your choice, will help you develop high-level research and presentation skills.

Chat to a student

Newcastle is an excellent choice to study Urban Planning because the city itself is vibrant and dynamic. Moreover, you will be given opportunities for learning through experience from field trips as well!

Alison, Urban Planning student


Work placements - Certificate in Planning Practice

Between Stages 3 and 4 you'll complete a year in planning practice (Certificate in Planning Practice). The placement is paid (salaries up to £24,000) and provides practical planning experience. Many students return to permanent positions with their host organisations after completion of the MPlan.

We source placements on your behalf in a range of locations across the UK.

Our links to industry allow us to find you a host organisation for your final year in placement.

Previous host organisations include:

  • Transport for London
  • Fairhurst
  • Rolfe Judd
  • Bellway Homes
  • many local authorities

Study abroad

In Stage 2 you can choose to spend a whole semester studying in Europe through the Erasmus exchange programme.

Find out more about study abroad

Facilities and environment


As a planning student at Newcastle you'll be part of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape.

Our School has world-renowned expertise in:

  • urban planning
  • architecture
  • landscape architecture
  • urban design
  • digital architecture

Planning students are based in the Henry Daysh Building, reopening from major refurbishment in January 2020, and have access to a dedicated planning studio with computing facilities and social space.

Find out more about our facilities

Image of Architecture Building


You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.

Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have when starting university.

We also have a dedicated Learning and Teaching Co-ordinator (Student Support), who can offer you support if you are experiencing issues that may be affecting your performance at University. They can also offer advice about other University services that may benefit you depending on your circumstances.

Your future

Join a network of successful graduates

100% of our MPlan Honours graduates were employed or in further study within 6 months of graduating, with an average salary of £23,542.*

*Destinations of (undergraduate, UK and EU) Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17

Graduates in demand

Our graduates do exceptionally well in the job market, both regionally and nationally, with many going on to pursue accredited Town Planner status.

Graduate town planners are often employed by local authorities and by private planning consultancies that advise organisations and individuals on specific planning schemes.

Major companies also employ their own teams of planners to find appropriate areas for expansion and to oversee the planning and design of new premises. Such companies include utility companies, large retail businesses and transport organisations such as airports. In addition, many of our graduates gain employment sectors which work with environmental and conservation organisations.

Our graduates have also gone on to become teachers, accountants, solicitors, academics, business managers and officers in the armed forces.

Make a difference

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Careers support

We are committed to developing your employability and have a dedicated careers adviser to offer advice and guidance throughout your degree.

If you choose to change your degree to the Masters of Planning (MPlan) degree during your studies, we will help you to secure placement opportunities in a range of planning environments to which you can apply. This experience is a crucial element of reflective study used to inform Stage 4.

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.

A Level


International Baccalaureate

28-32 points

Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements


Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria. 

Find out more about PARTNERS

Entrance courses (INTO)

International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2020 entry (per year)

Home Fee Students


International Fee Students


The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.

As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).

The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

Year abroad and additional costs

For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year. 

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.

Find out more about:


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How to apply

Apply through UCAS

To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:

  • the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
  • the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
  • the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college

If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.

Apply through UCAS

Apply through an agent

International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.

Visit our International pages

Get in touch

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