University of Plymouth planning for the future

The University of Plymouth has received provisional accreditation from the Royal Town Planning Institute for a new course aimed at professionals in the South West.

The MSc in Planning is set to launch this September and will respond to demands from employers in the region for professional training in planning.

As well as covering the core elements required by students wishing to become ‘Chartered Town Planners’, the course will offer distinctive specialisms around the University’s expertise in coastal and marine planning and regeneration, rural planning and sustainable transport and development.

It will offer the opportunity for students wishing to study on either a full time or part time basis, and combine theory and practice. The University will now liaise with the Royal Town Planning Institute on reaching full accreditation status by 2011.

Chris Balch, Professor of Planning, in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, said: “With the new Government’s emphasis on localism, the University of Plymouth is ideally positioned to lead on teaching and research for planners who wish to practise in the South West. The expertise and knowledge available through the University will ensure that students will be equipped to deal with the challenging urban and rural planning issues which the region will face in the future.”

Professor Balch has recently joined the University and is a Chartered Town Planner and Chartered Surveyor with extensive experience as a consultant in urban planning, regeneration and development both in the UK and overseas.

He has advised on a wide range of policies and programmes and has developed strategies and plans for the transformation of underperforming places, including work in major cities such as Leeds and Bristol, as well as market and coastal towns. He has worked on the planning and funding of major projects such as the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and and the Lowry arts complex in Salford.

Professor Balch added: “The course will focus on planning issues of particular significance to South West England, but set within the context of national and international experience.

“And like many of our courses, we have placed an emphasis on applied and experiential learning through fieldwork, promoting key skills and professionalism to prepare individuals for an effective contribution to the workplace and lifelong learning.”


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