Planning and Sustainable Development MPlan

Planning and Sustainable Development

The MPlan at  UCC is known for the high quality of its graduates and its broad-based approach to learning. With a core teaching team of experienced professional planners, the course sits at the meeting point between the rigour of academic thought and effectiveness of real-world practice. It has an international focus (with two study visits outside of Ireland) and a disciplinary ethos which strddles the physical sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.  This makes it especially interesting for English-speaking graduates from North America, Asia and from the global South who are interested in furthering their education in a progressive European university.

What can I do after I graduate with a Masters in Planning and Sustainable Development?

As the programme is a professional masters and fully accredited by the Irish Planning institute (IPI) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the most usual employment for graduates is in the planning industry. Traditionally conducted within the public sector at all levels of government, planning is now carried out in a wide variety of professional environments across the public and private sectors and across the housing, transportation, environment, retail, energy, heritage sectors. The accreditation from the RTPI is internationally recognised and many of our graduates have found work across the globe. Students graduate with an range of skills which include creative problem solving, environmental evaluation, analytical and research skills, policy development, physical planning, community engagement, team work and design techniques and appreciation. This applied skill set is particularly attractive to the public sector, businesses and third sector employment situations.

Occupations associated with an MPlan degree:

  • Working in central/regional/local government preparing spatial plans, managing development, protecting our heritage and countryside, working with communities and delivering regeneration;
  • Working in a planning/design consultancy, preparing development proposals, advising clients and assessing environmental impacts;
  • Working for yourself in your own planning consultancy.
Other environmentally based occupations:
  • Working with the third sector, promoting sustainability and regeneration, supporting essential development in the third world and campaigning to raise awareness of the importance of jobs, communities and places;
  • Working in transport, housing, recycling, property development, energy, community development and economic development.
Research and further studies:
  • Working for a PhD, teaching and academic research;
  • Carrying out environmental and property research.

Unlike most postgraduate options, an MPlan qualification leads directly to a professional career in planning or related fields. The M.Plan has an extremely strong reputation in Ireland and abroad for the quality of their graduates and this is reflected in their employment rates and early career progress. Demand for planners is increasing rapidly in Ireland and across the globe. The President of the Irish Planning Institute announced at the 2015 National Conference that recent research had indicated that in the light of the upturn in the economy there is likely to be shortage of planners in Ireland. In addition, the M.Plan team have developed strong relationships with employers and specialist planning recruitment agencies which has helped secure positions for graduates of the programme.

postgraduate student planning and sustainable development masters

Sean O’Leary 

Planning Manager

Irish Planning Institute


postgraduate student planning and sustainable development masters

Meadhbh Ni Challanain

Project Manager

sNett Travel Payment Solutions



postgraduate student planning and sustainable development masters

Tony Matthews PhD

Lecturer and Urban Planner at

Queensland University of Technology

Brisbane, Australia

postgraduate student planning and sustainable development masters

Evelyn Sikora

Planning and Environmental Consultant

McCarthy Keville O'Sullivan


postgraduate student planning and sustainable development masters

Stephen Fesler

Planning Officer.

Snohomish County,

Seattle Washington State,


postgraduate student planning and sustainable development masters ‌

Brian Kavanagh


Nicholas Taylor Ass



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