The MSc Regional & Urban Planning Studies is a strongly focused and internationally based planning programme that has a long tradition in training both people seeking careers in urban and regional planning policy and mid-career professionals. Founded in 1966 by the departments of Economics, Geography and Government, the programme (now housed solely in the department of Geography & Environment) continues a strong interdisciplinary focus challenging students to understand cities and regions from an economic, social and environmental perspective. The MSc aims to provide a common understanding of the various influences affecting the planning process, and to teach a set of research skills that will help planners in practice. These skills include urban and regional economic analysis, the evaluation of environmental and regional policies and the study of institutional and political factors that impact city and regional development. These perspectives will be applied to London and to a wide range of countries and cities through lectures and seminar debate.
Students join the course from many countries and from many different backgrounds in the social sciences and the design, planning and property professions. Most graduates go on to work in city, regional or environmental planning, particularly on the research and consultancy side of practice.
A strong sense of identity is generated in the student body, and the alumni keep in regular contact with each other through an annual newsletter. A number of walks are conducted early in the first term to help students orient to London and a fieldtrip is held during the Easter vacation, the destination is chosen by the students. This is held in various British regions or cities or on continental Europe. Recent student cohorts have chosen Istanbul, Berlin, Moscow, Dublin and Amsterdam. The students also run a Planning Society, which organises speakers, shorter trips and social events.