Master Regional and Urban Planning

  • On Campus
  • 24 months
  • EUR13500 Year (Non-EEA)
  • English (Find a course)
School of Geography, Planning & Environmental Policy | University College Dublin | Dublin, Ireland
The Master of Regional and Urban Planning (MRUP) is a two-year professional planning degree, which will provide you with the first steps to becoming a professional chartered planner. The MRUP offers you the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and values fundamental to a career in planning and skills and knowledge which are transferrable to other careers.

Description of Regional and Urban Planning


Who is the Master of Regional and Urban Planning for?

The Master of Regional and Urban Planning (MRUP) is a two-year professional planning degree, which will provide you with the first steps to becoming a professional chartered planner. The MRUP offers you the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and values fundamental to a career in planning and skills and knowledge which are transferrable to other careers. 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.

If you have already completed a 3 year undergraduate degree in spatial planning you should refer to our one year planning programmes the MSc in City Planning and Resilience and the MSc in Environmental Planning.

What will I learn?

Within the MRUP programme 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. You will become familiar with the use and application of GIS methodologies and will develop skills for plan making and transportation planning. You will also develop a suite of transferrable skills, including skills in spatial analysis, project management skills, mediation and advocacy skills, organisational management and leadership skills, problem solving and decision making skills and, communication skills. Depending on your interests you can choose to specialize in either development and design or environmental planning.

How will I benefit?

The Masters in Regional and Urban Planning is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Irish Planning Institute and these qualifications are recognised internationally. The degree is highly regarded by prospective employers and gives you a competitive advantage in the job market. The course is taught by both our academic staff and planning practitioners and as a result students benefit from research informed teaching and practical and professional insights.

What is the programme about

In today’s complex and rapidly changing world, with the threats posed by climate change, economic crisis, and rapid urban growth, planners face the challenge of creating places that combine good environmental quality, with a vibrant economy, good quality of life and distributive justice. This two-year professional planning degree develops the requisite conceptual knowledge and practical skills, required by planners in this increasingly complex environment.

Applications to this programme are considered on a rolling basis. Applications for September 2012 entry are now open. There are three admissions stages, the closing date for the first is Tuesday 17th January 2012, the closing date for the second is Friday 16th March 2012 and the closing date for the third and final stage is Friday 11th May 2012. Early application is highly recommended.


Graduates of the MRUP are to be found working as professional planners in both the public and private sector. Our graduates have found employment with international and national planning agencies and institutes, government departments, local authorities, transportation agencies, planning consultancy firms, and property firms.

Graduates have also pursued careers in a range of other areas which utilise the types of skills developed within the degree. These include graduates working with environmental and other NGOs, working as animators of local and community development, as GIS consultants, as researchers, as policy advisors and as planning advisors to utility companies, large retailers and transportation companies.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline As early as possible
Tuition fee
  • EUR 13500 Year (Non-EEA)
  • EUR 6500 Year (EEA)
Start date September  2016
Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

The MRUP combines core modules which are taken by all students covering the key knowledge and skills required by a professional planner, with a choice of electives and a core project within one of the two specialist areas, Development and Design or Environmental Planning.

In each year of the programme you will have the opportunity to develop and apply skills and knowledge developed in lecture based modules in an integrated practical project. In the final semester of your second year you will have the opportunity to undertake an independent piece of specialist research during the completion of a thesis.

Year 1

Core Modules MRUP

  • Planning, Society and Diversity
  • Placemaking
  • Geographical Information Systems for Policy and Planning
  • Economics and Property Markets
  • Research Design & methods
  • Planning and Development Methodology
  • Rural and Landscape Planning
  • Irish Planning Law
  • Transportation Planning

Development and Design Specialism

  • Studio
  • Urban Design (core)
  • Electives choose one from:
  • The Urban Environment: Risk, Resilience and Sustainability
  • Housing Dynamics and Policy
  • Smart Cities

Environmental Planning Specialism

  • Integrated Project
  • Tools for Sustainable Development (core)
  • Electives choose one from:
  • The Urban Environment: Risk, Resilience and Sustainability
  • Conservation and climate change
  • European Environmental Policy
  • Concepts and Principles of Environmental Law

Year 2

Core Modules MRUP

  • Public Policy and the Environment
  • Urban and Regional Development
  • Leadership and Development Project Management
  • Planning Studio Project

Development and Design Specialism

Electives Choose one from:

  • Community Resilience
  • Architectural Conservation History, Theory and Policy
  • Independent Study

Environmental Planning Specialism

Electives choose one from:

  • Community Resilience
  • Environmental Change and Processes
  • Environmental Economics
  • Independent Study

Programme Features:

  • 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.
  • Geography and Area Studies in UCD is ranked in the top 100 in the QS world university rankings by subject (51-100)
  • professional degrees under accreditation jurisdiction of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and Irish Planning Institute; member of the Association of European Schools of Planning
  • staff well engaged in the international (European and global) academic affairs (e.g. staff member of Academia Europea, int'l journal editors), as well as policy debates and professional practice
  • Lead member of 9 million EU project Transitioning Toward Urban Resilience and Sustainability

Requirements for Regional and Urban Planning

  • An undergraduate degree in any academic field, with a preference for fields of study related to Planning and/or equivalent relevant professional experience.
  • At a minimum applicants should have a second class honours degree (2.2) or equivalent (your transcript should include grades for each subject taken).
  • Names and contact details of two referees who can assess your intellectual ability, maturity and motivation. At least one of these should be a senior member of academic staff at your current institution or a senior member of staff at your current place of employment.
  • If English is not your native language, unless you have done your primary degree through English in an English speaking country, an English language qualification is required.
  • If you would like further information or to discuss the programme in more detail please contact Programme Director: Dr. Paula Russell or our graduate administrator

Work Experience for Regional and Urban Planning

No work experience is required.

More Information


The MRUP degree is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), UK and the Irish Planning Institute (IPI).

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University College Dublin, Ireland

Ireland University College Dublin (UCD) is Ireland’s largest provider of Graduate Education in Ireland. It has a rich heritage stretching back more than 150 years. Today, the university has a thriving graduate community of some 6,800 students who work and learn on two world-class campuses, and in numerous associated research and teaching institutions. As an internationally recognised and research-driven university, UCD attracts talented students from around the world.

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