MSc Planning student profiles

Read more about our MSc Planning students experiences of the course and their subsequent careers

MSc Planning is a great course with good modules and a supportive. motivating faculty. 

It also has a wide range of career options later. My favourites modules were coastal urban regeneration and urban design. My focus is on the sustainability of building/construction materials in coastal towns. This plays a vital role in meeting net-zero energy needs and also in maintaining the architectural values of English coastal towns. 

<p>Swechchha Bhattarai<br></p>
<p>Joe Smithyman<br></p>

Joe Smithyman, Marine Resources Manager, The Crown Estate

Staff were chartered members of the Royal Town Planning Institute and therefore had the relevant expertise and working experience to guide my cohort through the course.
The course helped me attain the career path I’m now on and set me up with a solid foundation that’s helped me push on quickly.

Joe now works for the Crown Estates

“Seeing people living in the homes that you worked on, or visiting the shops you applied for, is pretty exciting and makes you feel like you are actually shaping the built environment.”

Since completing her degree in 2017, Jennifer has gone on to work as a Planner for Lichfields and a Planning Officer for Teignbridge District Council.

<p>Jennifer Joule, MSc Planning graduate<br></p>
<p>Jonathan Hill, MSc Planning graduate</p>

Craig Leger
I think one of the main benefits of the planning programme is that it prepares students to walk out of the programme and into a planning job with the skills to positively contribute. 

I feel that I am able to effectively apply the skills that I have learned into my professional work. I also found the programme had the appropriate mix of the academic and professional worlds. The use of field trips and guest speakers/lecturers from the local councils and private industry was great; as was the input from those part-time students who are working in planning. It is really important to be able to see how the material and skills we were learning can be applied professionally. 
Additionally, I felt that the program also prepared me to continue on in academia if I wanted to - which, again, speaks to the balance of the programme.
Craig now works for a consultancy company in Canada.

Jamie Staples

Participating in the MSc Planning programme was the highlight of my academic achievements to date. The University facilities and dedicated planning lecture room was fantastic and could not have been better.
 Dr Stephen Essex and Professor Christopher Balch were both extremely supportive and knowledgeable and delivered lectures in an entertaining and informative way where questions were never discouraged. 
The knowledge and skills that I gained from the MSc Planning definitely helped me in my professional career as a district enforcement officer because it increased my ability to put forward sound spatial planning arguments in consideration of appropriate enforcement actions.

Within a month of completing the MSc, I secured a job as the line manager for planning, advice and compliance at county level. 

This promotion increased my wage by over £10K and I am positive that the quality of the MSc had a lot to do with my appointment.
Jamie is the Lead Officer for Planning, Advice and Compliance, Buckingham County Council

Samaria Bezzina, Planning Officer, Malta

Given all the benefits the study programme has to offer, I have grown to be more confident, to think more critically and to further expose myself to the real world outside.

Read more about Samaria’s experience
Samaria Bezzina

Ole Petter Løtvedt and Ida Martine Kästel

We feel that the MSc has prepared us for the variety of challenges that surfaces when planning in the built environment. It gave us an insight into what it means to be a planner, teaching us the various aspects of planning, we were encouraged to think critically, be reflective and the importance of comprehensive planning.

Ole Petter Løtvedt and Ida Kastell, MSc Planning graduates in 2015, now working as planners in Bergen municipality, Norway
It was a great fit for us as international students. The lectures were held by knowledgeable and inclusive lecturers. Through the degree we were introduced to a variety of challenges one might face in planning and what we can learn from previous actions taken. The historic development of planning in the UK was an important part of the module, and we gained knowledge on how planning has gradually changed from focusing on the motor vehicle, towards a focus on the people between the buildings and sustainable development. Even though the planning hierarchy is somewhat different here in Norway, we have been able to transfer the main principles of planning and apply our knowledge towards planning for a more sustainable development. We both work in Bergen municipality, where our job is to receive planning applications prepared by planning consultants. Our job is to make sure that the planning applications are within the rules and regulations, which is set by the local government. We face various challenges, often in regards to a reluctance of private owners to see beyond their own projects. 
We are very happy with our experience of MSc Planning and recommend other international students to consider University of Plymouth for further studies.