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Town & Regional Planning graduates

Town and Country Planning

MA (Distance Learning)

This is a distance learning course, and the only course of its kind in the UK. It offers a broad coverage of the social and economic context within which the profession of town and country planning operates, and gives students the opportunity to specialise in an area of their own interest.

Why study Town and Country Planning at Dundee?

The University of Dundee Town and Regional Planning programme operates in a consortium together with the Open University, the University of the West of England (Bristol), Leeds Metropolitan University, and London South Bank University to teach this distance learning course. The course is fully recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI accreditation) and is the only course of its kind in Britain. It combines a consideration of activities and skills in relation to town and country planning practice (as part of the planning elements) with an understanding of the social, economic and technological context within which takes place (as part of the OU elements).

What's so good about Town and Country Planning at Dundee?

The MA in Town and Country Planning allows students to specialise to a degree by choosing an optional element in line with their personal interests and the course involves the production by students of a dissertation which allows students to explore in depth a topic of their own choosing.

Who should study this course?

The Distance Learning MA gives an opportunity for people who are not in a position to embark upon conventional full-time or part-time courses to qualify as professional planners. This course is suitable for those who want to qualify as a town planner but are:

  • Living outside the UK.
  • Living in a remote location.
  • Unable to allow time for conventional study

It offers great flexibility in terms of how and when studies are undertaken, and at what pace, as well as giving some choice in the subjects included.

Modified courses exist for those who are:

  • Working as a planner in Europe but without a recognised planning qualification (the Adaptation Mechanism is an individually tailored programme for RTPI membership).
  • Working in a related activity but wish to know more about planning (the Certificate in UK Planning Law and Practice).
  • Qualified planners seeking Continuing Professional Development (you can purchase individual modules of the course for CPD).

Related courses

Teaching & Assessment

This course is taught by staff in the School of the Environment.

The start date is January each year.

How you will be taught

The MA in Town and Country Planning is a distance learning programme.

All students are allocated a 'study base' (Dundee for students from Scotland, Ireland or Northern Ireland) together with a personal tutor at that study base. The personal tutor will act as the normal first point of contact, and there is opportunity for face to face contact from time to time with the personal tutor, as well as other course tutors and other students, at the university-based sessions. Students also have the opportunity to make use of library facilities at the study base.

What you will study

There are two distinct but complementary elements of the course, the precise structure followed will depend on the student's previous qualifications and experience (especially whether graduate or non-graduate), though a sequence of courses will have to be followed which will allow new material to build on that already covered.

Planning Courses are devised and run by the four universities in the consortium, and focus specifically on town and country planning practice, considering both the activities involved and the skills required, often related directly to the use and development of land.

Open University Courses provide a contextual understanding of the social, economic, and technological context within which the activity of town and country planning takes place.

How you will be assessed

The course is assessed by a mixture of examinations, tutor-marked assignments undertaken individually by students, and participation in exercises at university-based sessions.


We maintain close links to the planning profession and our graduates readily find work in Scotland, the UK and abroad. As well as jobs in central and local government, planners are employed by planning consultancies, regeneration companies, house builders, supermarkets and utilities such as water companies.

They perform a variety of tasks such as:

  • preparing national and regional development strategies
  • regenerating declining urban areas
  • shaping new and sustainable housing
  • protecting and enhancing historic buildings
  • promoting biodiversity
  • conserving sites of nature conservation value
  • negotiating with property developers
  • engaging with local people

The MA degree provides students with a sound knowledge and understanding of the built and natural environment and a range of transferable skills such as problem-solving, IT, communications and team work. These qualities have allowed some of our graduates to obtain rewarding jobs in careers other than planning such as business management, retailing, computing and tourism.

Entry Requirements

EU and International students visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country.

This course is available for graduate or non-graduate entry - We welcome applications from students without the conventional entrance requirements but who have substantial relevant work or other experience and whose motivation and skills would enable them to succeed on the course.

English Language Requirement: IELTS minimum overall score of 6.0, with a minimum of 6.0 in the writing component and a minimum of 5.5 in the other 3 components.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes throughout the year and Foundation Programme(s) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students which start at the beginning of the academic year.  These programmes are all designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.  Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

The 24 week Pre-Sessional programme (March – August) provides additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and the 10 week Pre-Sessional programme  (June – August) (October – December) provides specialist English Language tuition for students who are 0.5 IELTS below the requirement for their degree programme.

Fees and Funding

Academic Year Home/EU Overseas
2012-13 £5,500 £8,700
2013-14 to be confirmed to be confirmed

Sources of Funding

Information about the School of the Environment scholarships can be found on the School of the Environment scholarships webpage.

Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.

Living Costs

  • Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
  • Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
  • As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.

Your Application


Course contact

Dr Mohammad Radfar
Town & Regional Planning
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 385 246 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 385 246 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 388 588 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 388 588 (from outside the UK)


Admissions Contact

Postgraduate Admissions
Admissions and Student Recruitment
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 384 384 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384 384 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 385 500 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 385 500 (from outside the UK)