In October 2006, the foundation class of graduate planning students at UCC began studies on the two year Masters in Planning and Sustainable Development - the M.Plan. This pioneering group, drawn from a variety of different discplinary backgrounds and life experiences embarked on an intensive period of formation in a multidisciplinary environment with a real-world local and international focus. By the time they graduated in 2008, the M.Plan course was fully accredited by both the Irish Planning Institute and the Royal Town Planning Institute enabling them to avail of chartered and corporate professional recognition across the globe.
The M.Plan remains the flagship course of the UCC Programme in Planning and Sustainable Development which, as Ireland's newest planning school, is a full member of the Association of European Schools of Planning. Based around a core team of professionally qualified and experienced planners, together with support lecturers from many other disciplines across the University and from professional practice, the programme is also in a position to carry out research and consultancy work in a variety of generalist and specialist fields. With a strong intellectual and disciplinary home in the social sciences the programme also extends to learning within the fields of physical sciences, urban design, community engagement, administration and the law.
Programme staff also provide undergraduate planning modules within the College of Arts Celtic Studies and Social Sciences as well as doctoral supervision for the degree of PhD in Arts (Planning and Sustainable Development). The programme, which is overseen by an interdisciplinary Board of Studies, is currently in the process of being established formally as a new discipline within the re-organised University structure of Colleges and Schools.