MSc Town and Regional Planning/MSc Urban Planning Watch

Featherstone1
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I'll try to be concise.

I'm British. I'm currently a senior undergraduate - majoring in economics - at an American university. My GPA is 3.94 and I'm hopeful re: the GRE, albeit not particularly interested in continuing education in the US. Career-wise my sights are firmly fixed on the public sector or working with nonprofit organizations.

Recently I've been looking in to the above mentioned masters programs, alongside Economics MScs, in the belief that they might afford me the opportunity to specialize into an area that I've always been interested in (while realizing, of course, that the pay of any related career won't be comparable to those in finance etc.).

A few questions, then:

. I'm largely interested in mainland European universities (KTH, Humboldt Berlin, Oslo...). Accordingly, they aren't likely to be certified by the RTPI. Is it a fairly smooth process achieving RTPI certified status from other countries (particularly those within the EU)? I'm liable to supplement whichever program with independent study of the relevant British law.

. If I were to apply to the UK in particular, which programs - to the best of peoples' experiences and knowledge - offer the most focus on technical skills (GIS, financial models and so on)?

Any advice that people can provide would be greatly appreciated.
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alleycat393
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This isn't my area of expertise at all but may I suggest you have a look at this RTPI process and what it entails (just do a search) and maybe ask the unis directly how they tie in with it all. In terms of picking a course the best thing to do is look at modules and course structures and work out what works best for you. It is quite personal.
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Tcannon
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The RTPI has certified courses at UK unis. European unis are not on this list as they are not accredited. There are excellent courses in Europe. I think the technical modules (GIS & financial valuation) are more transferable whereas the planning rules are more nationally driven. Generally, Technical Unis (TU) tend to offer the best courses and have concentrations in GIS: KTH, Delft and ETH Zurich with strong Geomatics group.

In Germany,
TU Dortmund has the largest and oldest Regional Planning department with real estate economics and land valuation modules. Plenty electives and practical group based projects.
TU Berlin (Urban design and management)
TU Munich
KIT (Spatial Analysis & Transport) is good. More on technical side and less concept
Kassel is a smaller and less famous uni with a good MSc with balance of art and technical modules, good student satisfaction and possibly lower entry requirement.
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elifem
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Hello!

I got offers for the MPhil Planning, Growth and Regeneration at Cambridge and for the Regional and Urban Planning Studies at the LSE. My undergrad was political science and my ideal career path is either doing community engagement work through NGOs or working in larger scale projects like UN habitat. I also would be interested in working planning refugee camps. I don't have any technical background (only that related to research methods, stats and so on). I am curious to know why you are not considering options in the UK. And would also love to hear your opinion on which of this programs I should pick! (I know it's a personal choice etc. but I could really use other people's opinion!)

Thanks!
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Featherstone1
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(Original post by elifem)
Hello!

I got offers for the MPhil Planning, Growth and Regeneration at Cambridge and for the Regional and Urban Planning Studies at the LSE. My undergrad was political science and my ideal career path is either doing community engagement work through NGOs or working in larger scale projects like UN habitat. I also would be interested in working planning refugee camps. I don't have any technical background (only that related to research methods, stats and so on). I am curious to know why you are not considering options in the UK. And would also love to hear your opinion on which of this programs I should pick! (I know it's a personal choice etc. but I could really use other people's opinion!)

Thanks!
Congratulations on the offers!

Regarding the preference for mainland Europe: it's not so much a professional decision as a personal one. I've always been fairly restless in that respect; I just see my professional/personal future outside of the UK. Maybe 18 years spent in the Black Country warped my perspective, who knows.

That said, I've actually applied to graduate programs all over the place. I'm putting together an application for the LSE MSc you've been accepted to, in fact, and I'm probably going to end up going for at least five or six in the UK (alongside the 10 or so worldwide I've already completed).

As to your choice, I would suggest going for the LSE program. Based on the disparity between an MPhil and an Msc alone, I would think that it's more liable to offer the sort of experience and technical skills that'll allow you to jump directly into the work you'd like to pursue. Check out the faculty and the modules they offer, anyway, see if there's overlap between their interests and yours, and whether previous students have trajectories you'd like to emulate.
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elifem
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(Original post by Featherstone1)
Congratulations on the offers!

Regarding the preference for mainland Europe: it's not so much a professional decision as a personal one. I've always been fairly restless in that respect; I just see my professional/personal future outside of the UK. Maybe 18 years spent in the Black Country warped my perspective, who knows.

That said, I've actually applied to graduate programs all over the place. I'm putting together an application for the LSE MSc you've been accepted to, in fact, and I'm probably going to end up going for at least five or six in the UK (alongside the 10 or so worldwide I've already completed).

As to your choice, I would suggest going for the LSE program. Based on the disparity between an MPhil and an Msc alone, I would think that it's more liable to offer the sort of experience and technical skills that'll allow you to jump directly into the work you'd like to pursue. Check out the faculty and the modules they offer, anyway, see if there's overlap between their interests and yours, and whether previous students have trajectories you'd like to emulate.
Thanks for your input! I totally understand where you are coming from re living outside of the UK, I am from Spain and really do not see myself there at all. I need to find the time to properly look into the research in each school, professors and so on, but I really appreciate your input because I was really leaning towards Cambridge and now you have given me something to think about.

Also, with the GPA you have and if you've done well in the GRE (which isn't even a requirement in most cases, as you sure know), I would not bother applying to so many masters programs. If you went to a decent US university I think you would be accepted in most programs. Applying costs money and you might exhaust professors with references... Just my two cents.
My grades in Spain were 9,27/10 (top of class), so your GPA is far higher than mine. I have under 1 year of work experience in sustainability and a bit in other fields and quite a compelling life story but I am sure you would get in too.

Good luck!!
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elifem
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Oh, and answering the last question in your initial post, I have heard that the Bartlett School at University College London is pretty technical and good.
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/
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