- A level requirements: ABB
- UCAS code: K400
- Study mode: Full-time
- Length: 4 years
The Town and Regional Planning MPlan programme is designed for those who wish to pursue a professional career in urban, regional and environmental planning. The MPlan offers two pathways with distinct specialisms in transforming cities and regions and spatial planning for environmental change.
Attention is focused on approaches to planning for the urban environment in a rapidly changing world. An interdisciplinary approach to study provides learning opportunities that draw upon the expertise of academics in Planning as well as academics in the Departments of Geography, Sociology and Architecture.
With major changes occurring in how we address transport infrastructure, housing and green belt development studying a degree in Planning from the University of Liverpool provides the practical skills, as well as, the theoretical understanding required to balance the needs of urban and rural development.
You will develop a broad overview of how our towns, cities and regions have developed and have an opportunity to specialise in environmental or urban regeneration issues. With a pioneering approach to planning and regeneration, Liverpool is an ideal location in which to study town and regional planning. Over the past 30 years Liverpool has been transformed economically, socially and environment. Staff and students from Planning at the University of Liverpool have been part of these changes as they have been observing, reflecting and helping local planners, developers and communities to shape these changes. This makes Liverpool an ideal urban laboratory to study how our world is changing.
The Town and Regional Planning (MPlan) programme is designed to satisfy the professional accreditation requirements of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and enables you to fast track into the planning profession. It is a combined programme that meets both spatial and specialist RTPI planning requirements.
You will have the opportunity, from year three onwards, to specialise in either Spatial planning and environmental change or Transforming cities and regions. The four year programme provides you with a more in-depth understanding of the practice-orientated nature of planning and its context than can be achieved in a one-year intensive masters programme.
Work experience opportunities
You will have the opportunity to work with real practitioners as we work with local and international experts on projects and field trips. You are also encouraged to undertake internships or placements with planning agencies throughout your programme.
A flexible approach
The Town and Regional Planning (MPlan) programme has been developed alongside our other planning programmes allowing you to transfer between programmes within the first two years should your interests or career aspirations change.
A number of the School’s degree programmes involve laboratory and field work. Fieldwork is carried out in various locations, ranging from inner city to coastal and mountainous environments. We consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same basis as all other students, and reasonable adjustments will be considered to address barriers to access.
The programme is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), providing combined spatial and specialist accreditation (dependent upon module selection in year three).
Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.
Your first year of study introduces you to planning issues and the circumstances in which they arise. It provides an understanding of how planning powers, agencies and policies work to overcome the challenges that face cities and communities. You will also improve your oral, written and visual communication skills and engage in group-based problem solving and practical work with a residential field trip so you can put your newfound skills into practice in a real-life setting.
You will take the following compulsory modules and select two choices from the optional modules detailed below.
Planning is about providing good quality places for people to live in. This is an issue at different scales, from the global through the national to the local, and the community level. This module focuses on the latter; it investigates the factors which affect the quality of places at the neighbourhood scale and the role played by communities. The module features a mixture of interactive learning styles, including lectures, seminars and workshops. In the second half of the module, a real-life project is introduced, building on the skills developed in this and other modules.
The aim of this module is to extend your understanding of the form and operation of planning systems at the local level;
To provide practical experience of surveying, analysis and policy relevance for planning purposes;
To develop skills ingroup working, written and graphic presentation.
The zone of life on earth, or the ‘biosphere’, is a highly dynamic system responding to external pressures including changing human activities. The biosphere obeys a numbers of simple natural principles, but these often interact to create complex and sometimes unexpected responses. Using a wide range of examples we will explore these interactions between organisms and the environment. We will examine how species organise into communities, and how energy and other resources flow through ecosystems. We will explore how ecosystems respond to change, including gradual environmental shifts, sudden disturbance events and the effects of human activities. We will also learn how the key principles of ecology can be applied to conservation. We will assess the current state of the biosphere, and evaluate the major current threats. We will also look towards the future of ecosystems, including whether we can restore degraded habitats, and recreate “natural” landscapes.
Town and Country Planning: An Introduction provides an overview of the history of the town planning movement in Britain, an overview of the current workings of the planning system, and the practical applications of planning thinking.
This year-long module is delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, practical exercises and tutorials. It provides students with the insight and skills to understand how places are planned through academic papers, policy reports and planning proposals. The module provides some of the core academic skills needed to write essays and reports for other modules. It also introduces the students to the documents used in planning practice. The module includes a field activity.
The module prepares students with a grounding of contemporary planning issues as they pertain to urban and environmental economics. The module is assessed by 50% coursework and 50% examination.
History of architecture survey course.
The aim of the module is to introduce key areas of human geography through the lens of Liverpool and Merseyside. The module has a strong practical and field element and focuses on four aspects of the discipline: Population Geographies; Health and Economic Geographies; Social and Cultural Geographies; and Historical and Political Geographies. These aspects are explored through thematic blocks, each posing a research question about Liverpool and Merseyside. The module also aims to develop skills of data collection, analysis and interpretation and to enable you to link conceptual ideas with real word examples.
This module examines a number of global scale challenges facing humans on the planet earth related to climate and environmental change.
This module introduces new aspects of geographical thought to the First Year students which are unlikely to have been encountered via an A level geography syllabus. It also aims to enhance students’ understanding and awareness of complex global issues, focusing on two sub-disciplinary themes in human geography. Exact content will vary each year to reflect changes in the discipline, but broadly, one area will focus on understanding human population changes and geographical data (e.g. health or population geographies), whilst another will explore social, cultural and political approaches to geography (e.g. geopolitics, borders and nation-states).
Contemporary Human Geography is a diverse discipline which offers unique insights into many of the most pressing challenges facing the world in the 21st Century. Many of the issues that reach the headlines on a daily basis are inherently geographical and research within human geography makes important contributions to knowledge of a broad range of social, cultural, political, economic, environmental and development challenges. This module provides an introduction to cutting edge debates within contemporary human geography, highlighting the ways in which the discipline contributes to interdisciplinary knowledge production across the humanities and social sciences. Each week, module lectures will provide an introduction to a different sub-disciplinary field, which will be explored with the aid of specific worked examples which encourage students to apply the theoretical issues discussed to ‘real world’ issues. Assessment is by coursework (mid-term essay) and a written exam (end-of-term).
This module has been crafted to appeal to students who would like to live in a better world and are interested in exploring and discussing critical approaches to inequality. It is designed to assist students in understanding the multiple and contested ways in which "global challenges" and "international development" are defined and studied. Indeed, a degree in either the environmental or social sciences is arguably incomplete if it has not paid critical attention to uneven processes of "development" over time and space, particularly if one is concerned with challenges related to global environmental change, inequality, and health. Similarly, a solid foundation in any field found within the environmental or social sciences must include a fulsome and nuanced analysis of the historical, political, and economic forces related to globalisation, not to mention be critically informed about what globalisation produces for differing communities, cultures, and ecosystems. This module provides precisely those two things: a comprehensive and critical understanding of challenges and inequalities related to "development" and the discourses surrounding it; and a breadth and depth of critical analyses related to the driving forces, processes, and products of globalisation. Students will also gain insight into how varying communities in different places are responding to development, globalisation, environmental injustices, and inequality through both resistance and building alternatives.
Year two is when you develop your specialism for either transforming cities and regions or spatial planning for environmental change. You will be introduced to the social, economic, and environmental causes of urban and regional change and the concept of environmental sustainability and its connections with patterns of human development. Project work helps you develop an awareness of the issues that arise in the development of planning schemes while a field trip examines social, economic and environmental planning challenges in a rural setting.
You will take the following compulsory modules and select one choice from the optional modules detailed below.
Cities and regions have undergone tremendous changes over the past decades. The world is undergoing an unprecedented wave of urbanisation, particularly in the developing world. In this module students will explore the process of urban restructuring from a social, economic and environmental perspective and its spatial manifestations. The module teaches students to analyse change, and discuss and reflect on current policy responses. This module will be delivered through lectures, each highlighting a specific theme of urban and regional change and through self-directed learning. The assessment is based on two seminar papers (each 50%).
Environmental concerns have become increasingly pressing over the last few decades, especially the global challenge of climate change. Environmental sustainability directs our attention to finding new approaches and methods for many of our activities and is an increasingly accepted principle that many professions are seeking to work out in practice.
This module explores the notion of environmental sustainability particularly within the context of urban planning. In this context, it can help us to develop the places where we live in a way that makes them cleaner, more energy efficient and better adapted to climate change, and that provides more biodiversity and a better quality of life. Planners, geographers and environmental scientists can all contribute to achieving a more sustainable world around us.
This module explores the need to carefully think about the planning, development and change that affects our rural areas, particularly in terms of the goods and services they provide to a predominantly urban population. The module is taught through lectures and workshops and includes a compulsory residential field class to rural Britain.
Through this module you will gain competence in the use of GIS for applications related to Planning. You will develop skills in the use of cutting edge software and analytical techniques through the exploration of real world case study applications. The module is delivered through guided practical classes and independent study, supported by programme of lectures and illustrative material.
This year-long module focuses on the relationships between people and the places they live, work, study and relax in. Through reflecting upon these relationships, students continue to develop the skills they need to study and practice planning, including the ability to carry out independent research. Much of this work is done through exploring real-life issues in the city of Liverpool, its wider city region and neighbouring counties.
This module provides an introduction to the methods and techniques that are used in the preparation and implementation of strategic plans and policies.
The aim of this module is to introduce the history, theories and practice of urban design as the principal means of creating and protecting the quality of ‘place’ in the urban fabric. It teaches the basic techniques and skills required to achieve an understanding the character and quality of places, including the key components of urban form and the main theories behind place making.
In your third year of study, you will select your specialist pathway, either transforming cities and regions or spatial planning for environmental change. You will also take three compulsory modules.
The module provides an in-depth analysis of how planning and economic developmenrt are intertwinned. It covers a range of assessment and evaluation methodologies to illustarte the complexity of urban economic and property development.
Understanding how the different parts of the planning system relate to each other and to the legal and constitutional framework which underpins that system is a critical part of planning education. This module aims to provide that understanding from both theoretical and practical perspectives, by bringing in practitioners to deliver different sessions and by asking students to research different aspects of planning law and governance in theory and practice.
Planning has long been characterised by the cross-national exchange of ideas, models and approaches. The emergence of modern planning in the 19th and early 20th centuries, for example, was shaped by similar perceptions of the problems of urbanisation in different national settings and geopolitical processes such as colonialism. Today globalisation and the rise of global challenges such as climate change and policy agendas which seek to address these, have focussed attention on how planning addresses particular ecological, social, economic and cultural questions in different parts of the world. Informed by this context, this module explores the international dimension of planning including: how planning systems can be characterised; the purposes of comparative planning study; how ‘learning from other countries’ might be approached; the context for spatial planning in Europe and other global regions; and, approaches to key planning challenges in different places.
This module explores key aspects of a sustainable, people-oriented environment. What makes a successful ‘place’? Can safety be ‘designed in’? What is a ‘walkable’ neighbourhood? Students will gain in-depth knowledge through lectures and hands-on design exercises on topics including master planning, public realm and open space design.
Over the last decade the environment, and perhaps more importantly the concept of sustainable development, is claimed to have become a critical dimension that underpins decision making at a variety of different spatial scales, more particularly international, European, national, regional and local arenas. In this module we explore the extent to which environmental concerns are taken into account in various decision-making processes within the public, private and third sectors. The module will be assessed by an essay (50%) and an open book exam (50%) which provides students with significant choice to explore those parts of the module they find most interesting.
Marine planning is a recent endeavour, taking shape internationally as a new approach to the management of the seas and oceans, in the interests of marine nature conservation and the sustainable use of the seas for shipping, energy, fishing, minerals extraction, tourism, etc. It is developing as a means of organising the use of national sea space in a growing number of countries around the world. This module provides an introduction to the theoretical and practical foundation in marine planning for students with interests in spatial planning or marine science and management. Assessment is by two assignments: presentation and essay.
This module will introduce students to the nascent field of Geographic Data Science (GDS), a discipline established at the intersection between Geographic Information Science (GIS) and Data Science. The course covers how the modern GIS toolkit can be integrated with Data Science tools to solve practical real-world problems. Core to the set of employable skills to be taught in this course is an introduction to programming tools for GDS – specifically the programming language ‘Python’, which is the only scripting language officially supported by the industry-leading GIS packages ‘Arc/GIS’ and ‘QGIS’. The programme of lectures, guided practical classes and independent study illustrate how and why GDS is useful for social science applications.
Humans have constructed visions of a better world throughout history: in fact, social movement scholars argue that the history of humanity is the history of this struggle. Certain forms of protest have existed throughout time: taking up arms to fight for what you believe in, or to defend a way of life. Some forms of resistance date back centuries: the revolt, the uprising, the rebellion, the strike, the march, the petition, sabotage, etc. More recently, social movements have used social networks and media to create what some argue are new forms of protest. This course surveys how geographers and others have theorised protest, resistance and other strategies for change though a range of approaches and case studies.
This course explores contemporary population dynamics across Europe. Students will explore fertility, mortality and migration dynamics across selected countries in Europe; review explanations for population change; and examine the policy challenges posed by such population change. Students will also explore these debates in a local context through a field-walk in Liverpool.
The module aims to introduce the field of Green Infrastructure and green space planning by addressing its principles, values and utility within urban planning. By examining the relationship between the landscape, planning policy and human interactions, the module highlights opportunities to implement positive green infrastructure at a number of scales. The module also draws links between the role of Green Infrastructure planning in supporting sustainability objectives and the process of management and monitoring. This is achieved by assessing what methods are appropriate in the evaluation of urban and landscape development. By writing an independent essay through performing literature review and critical analysis, students will gain an understanding of the planning mechanisms in place that govern the development of Green Infrastructure resources. The assessment also requires students to independently complete a project poster. Throughout completing the project poster, students will undertake tasks that mirror real-world professional practices, which helps students to be well-prepared in advance to becoming professionals. The module will also enable students to learn and practically use the skills they may require to evaluate the role and added value of Green Infrastructure in real-world planning scenarios.
This module provides insight into social and spatial inequalities, and their inter-relations. The module will consider how and why inequalities might have persisted over time, how social inequalities have specific geographies, and the implications of this unevenness for those who are marginalised. The module is structured through four major themes: for example, inequalities and the labour market; ethnicity and inequalities; spatial understandings of poverty; amd theories about inequality. The difficulties in defining and measuring social and spatial inequalities, and how such definitions may relate to broader theories, perspectives or frameworks of relevance are issues covered in the module, as well as how these terms are interpreted and (mis-)represented. The module draws on empirical evidence, theoretical approaches and policy responses. The module provides insight into government responses that aim to combat social and spatial inequalities and related issues in the UK, at the regional and sub-regional level.
The design project offers students the opportunity to explore urban design issues in more depth. Sites to be designed include a choice of mixed use urban infill and residential extensions. During the module students move from site appraisal and area framework to designing a smaller plot to explore the relationship of buildings and their ‘interface’ with the street.
This module examines climate change impacts on humans and ecosystems. The module is designed to give the student a good overview of the strength and weaknesses of climate modelling approaches. Elements of the global carbon cycle are discussed.
Environmental Assessment is applied throughout the world in the preparation of policies, plans, programmes and projects several 10s of 1,000s of times each year. Whilst specific requirements differ between different countries, underlying conceptual and procedural ideas are similar in all contexts. This module introduces the environmental assessment process and applied methods and techniques as practiced both, nationally and internationally. The module forms part of IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment) accreditation. IEMA accreditation is a key requirement for those aiming at working in an environmental assessment consultancy. Obtaining it through this and the associated ENVS360 modules means a future employer will save a considerable amount of money and time they would otherwise need to spend to ensure there is accreditation. This gives graduates a competitive advantage.
The module will discuss a broad range of urban planning issues related to regeneration to equip students with a more in depth understanding of the theory and practice of urban development and the ability of planners (and the planning system) to generate effective policy responses to areas of decline.
This is a client-led module, which is based upon the execution of a mini-project that is carried out in groups by students. The project allows the students to apply their knowledge of Environmental Assessment and Management (EAM) in practice and gain experience of being engaged with a real life client. This module essentially delivers authentic assessment. The project experience offered within the module helps in developing skills of analysis, interpretation and policy prescription within the context of EAM. They are well grounded in the Department’s own research activities and draw upon established links with a number of local authorities and other public bodies. This module along with ENVS529 is IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment) accredited.
The module builds on previous Urban Regeneration modules to provide a more reflective and hands on experience of project work.
The module will explore a client’s view of regeneration and then identify evidence for defining regeneration needs, consider best practice examples of regeneration and undertake a planning exercise to design a regeneration plan or policy.
Year four focuses on professional planning practice and includes a major project in the module spatial planning in action; coverage of planning theory and ethical questions in planning practice. This year also includes an assessed work placement for a minimum of three weeks working with a planning-related agency. Previous students have undertaken their placement in Merseyside, elsewhere in the UK or overseas, for example in Denmark, Poland, and Hong Kong.
You will take the following compulsory modules.
The dissertation is a key part of your studies during this final year. It is the equivalent of two standard modules and spans two semesters. It is also the part of your studies that demands the most in terms of personal initiative and organisation. Students will select their own topic and work through an individual research project that culminates in the dissertation itself. It is also the part of your studies that allows you to develop a personal specialism to the fullest extent which you can highlight in your CV and which can therefore be a very rewarding and fulfilling exercise.
The module is primarily assessed through a 10,000 word dissertation which evidences your ability to conduct independent primary research. You will also have the opportunity to develop and shape your ideas by submitting drafts of a literature review and an overall research plan.
This module is designed to encourage and teach students to make the intellectual shift from being a student to being a professional planner. As such, it is unlike other modules, and relies heavily on project-based work and interactive teaching through seminars/tutorials, with students working under their own initiative.
The module provides an opportunity for students to apply knowledge gained in other aspects of their studies to a plan-making exercise. In this project-based module, students will work with a client on the development of a strategy for the improvement of a selected area. Student will work in groups on a project brief that will allow them to address issues that are both relevant for the local client and reflect relevant planning debates (e.g. on urban sustainability, climate change, etc.)
The focus of this module is on the institutional perspective on planning across different spatial scales and the different strands of theories that are relevant to the understanding of the role and purposes of planning.
The module integrates the taught elements of the MPlan programme with real world experience in planning practice. The module provides opportunities for students to work for a client agency to gain experience of planning related work.
Planning education has an important vocational focus and in Liverpool we consider a real world connection to be extremely important. Our students gain a broad understanding of planning, from the ways in which towns and cities have evolved and are being reshaped to meet the challenges of the 21st century to the effects of planning on the environment and planning’s role in urban regeneration.
To do this we have designed varied programmes of study with a range of teaching styles. You will learn by doing through place-based projects and field classes as well as be introduced to real-life examples from around the world.
Our programmes also include specialised training in geographic information systems, mapping and urban design. Together these approaches ensure that you gain valuable transferable skills whilst studying with us.
Assessments are designed around developing skills and styles of communication that will be relevant to future employers. So, in addition to exams and essays, you will also undertake assessments that include computer-based exercises, oral presentations, policy briefs, poster presentations, field projects, research reports, design work, group work, seminar presentations and papers. Students complete a compulsory dissertation or project module in the final year on a topic of your choice. This is your opportunity to develop skills as an independent academic researcher, supported on a one-to-one basis by an expert in the field.
We have a distinctive approach to education, the Liverpool Curriculum Framework, which focuses on research-connected teaching, active learning, and authentic assessment to ensure our students graduate as digitally fluent and confident global citizens.
Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.
All of our programmes benefit from the expertise of our academic staff who are leading global discussions in spatial planning, planning economics, marine planning, and environmental assessment and management. This means you will benefit from research-led teaching, bringing the latest planning theory and practice into the classroom. Within the Department we also edit two respected peer-reviewed academic journals (Town Planning Review and Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal) and host the Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Cities and the Environmental Assessment and Management Centre. All of this means you can be confident that your learning is at the forefront of the discipline.
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Our Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) accredited programmes ensure that you are fully qualified to enter this dynamic profession on graduation.
Our programmes are varied, interdisciplinary, and have a strong vocational focus, meaning that Liverpool planning graduates enter a wide range of planning related careers in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
We have graduates who are working in the UK and across the world in what is becoming an increasingly global profession. Many of our graduates have senior positions in private practice, central and local government, and academic institutions, and 11 former Presidents of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) were graduates from the department.
We take the employability of our graduates seriously and have taken care to build into our degree programmes the development of transferrable skills as well as making sure our graduates develop the necessary professional skills to begin their careers.
If you wish to continue your education beyond your undergraduate degree we also offer a range of postgraduate degrees, including our RTPI accredited Master of Civic Design. We also offer a series of specialist postgraduate programmes including: MSc Marine Planning and Management (RTPI accredited), MSc Environmental Assessment and Management (IEMA accredited), and MA Town and Regional Planning. Many of our postgraduate programmes can also be preparation for further PhD study.
Our recent graduates have found employment with the following:
Career paths taken by our recent graduates
At Liverpool, our goal is to support you to build your intellectual, social, and cultural capital so that you graduate as a socially-conscious global citizen who is prepared for future success. We achieve this by:
Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.
|UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)|
|Full-time place, per year||£9,250|
|Year abroad fee||£1,385|
|Full-time place, per year||£22,400|
|Year abroad fee||£11,200|
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about tuition fees, funding and student finance.
We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This may include a laptop, books, or stationery. Additional costs for this course could include field class and project costs.
Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.
Scholarships and bursaries you can apply for from the United Kingdom
The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.
My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.
Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is BBB with A in the EPQ.
You may automatically qualify for reduced entry requirements through our contextual offers scheme.
|GCSE||4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics|
|BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma||
D*DD in relevant diploma.
33 points, with no score less than 4.
|Irish Leaving Certificate||H1, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3|
|Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher||
Not accepted with out Advanced Highers at grades ABB.
|Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced||Accepted at grade B, including two A levels at AB.|
|Access||Access - 45 Level 3 credits in graded units in a relevant Diploma, including 30 at Distinction and a further 15 with at least Merit.|
Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our entry requirements. Completing your Foundation Certificate, such as that offered by the University of Liverpool International College, means you're guaranteed a place on your chosen course.
Have a question about this course or studying with us? Our dedicated enquiries team can help.
Last updated 16 February 2023 / / Programme terms and conditions /