Planning and Sustainable Development MPlan

Fact File

Course Code: CKE69

Course Title: Planning and Sustainable Development

College: Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

Planning and Sustainable Development

Duration: 2 Years

Teaching Mode: Full-time

Qualifications: MPlan

NFQ Level: Level 9

Costs: 2017/2018 Irish/EU Fee: €6,700 (there will be a similar level fee payable in year 2 of the course); 2017/2018 Non-EU fee full-time: €13,000. Students will be asked to contribute towards the cost of field trips. First Year bursaries are usually available through the Royal Town Planning Institute, and we are hopeful this will continue for the 2017 intake.

Entry Requirements: To apply for this course you need to have a 2:2 (Hons) degree or higher in arts, social science, architecture, engineering, science, commerce, or law (or equivalent) [see detailed entry requirements]

Closing Date: See details in application procedure section below

Next Intake: 10 September 2018


The Master’s Degree in Planning and Sustainable Development (MPlan) is an internationally-recognised, professionally-accredited master’s course in spatial planning and development for cities, regions, towns, rural areas, and neighbourhoods. 

As chartered professionals, MPlan graduates tackle real-world sustainability and environmental challenges in public, private and community settings throughout the world.

The MPlan is a comprehensive, two-year course compatible with European standards and with international professional training models for planning. Our graduates come from many different disciplines, so our course offers a rich learning environment for people to fine-tune their areas of interest into a practical, ethical and effective field of action with relevance in the contemporary world.

Course Details

Modules will cover topics including:

  • place-making and design
  • community engagement
  • spatial planning at various different scales
  • environmental awareness
  • development and growth in rural and urban areas
  • legal and political know-how
  • technical competence and a deep understanding of the realities of sustainable development.

The degree, which has a strong theoretical and ethical foundation, develops a wide range of skills and abilities leading to a strong capacity for making real-world, imaginative and balanced proposals and recommendations about the future of places. 

Having graduated from the MPlan course you will be able to make a genuine and enduring contribution to society. The course content and learning progression of the MPlan has been designed around the professional accreditation requirements of the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Irish Planning Institute.

For detailed information on the current programme modules and module descriptions, see the Postgraduate College Calendar

Detailed Entry Requirements

To apply for this course you need to have a 2:2 (Hons) degree or higher in arts, social science, architecture, engineering, science, commerce, or law (or equivalent). In exceptional circumstances, and subject to the approval of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, candidates who have a primary degree other than an honours, and who demonstrate a high level of relevant work experience, may also be eligible for entry to the course.

Selection will be based on academic achievement, written expression of interest, an interview and any relevant work experience.

For applicants whose first language is not English, evidence of proficiency in English will be required.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

Application Procedure

Application for this programme is on-line at Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here. For full details of the application procedure click How to apply.

All required documentation must be either uploaded to your online application, or sent in hard copy to The Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway, immediately after an application is made.

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional/supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these additional/supplementary questions are available to view here: CKE69AdditionalQuestions

Late second round EU applications can be made online at


Course Practicalities

This programme is taken on a full-time basis over 2 years across two 12-week teaching terms.  Lectures will be scheduled on two to three days per week and there will also be afternoon studio sessions or tutorials each week, all supported by individual study/reading time.  There will be mandatory residential and day fieldtrips, both within and outside Ireland in both years, and students will be asked to contribute towards the cost of these.


MPlan modules are assessed almost entirely through coursework: essays, designs, field journals, tutorials, team projects, written reflection, individual presentations and research projects/dissertations. Around 25% of the modules also have a short written examination at the end of the relevant teaching period, making up 30-40% of the marks available for the module.

Postgraduate Diploma in Planning and Sustainable Development – Candidates who pass modules to a value of 60 credits in the Second Year may exit the programme and be conferred with the Postgraduate Diploma in Planning and Sustainable Development.


Who Teaches This Course

The core of this degree is taught by the full-time and part-time staff of the UCC Centre for Planning Education & Research (which is a full member Association of European Schools of Planning) and by lecturers from the UCC Departments of Law, Applied Social Studies and Sociology.  They are also assisted by visiting specialist lecturers for different subjects as required.

Core team:

Brendan O’Sullivan (Director)

Jonathan Hall

William Brady

Cathal O’Connell

Owen McIntyre

Jeremy Ward

Kieran Keohane

Karen Ray

Further Contact Information

Ms. Tina McSweeney
Programme Administrator
T: +353 (0)21 490 4356

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