MRUP Regional & Urban Planning

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 120)

Download the course brochure (pdf)

Please note the 1 year version of this programme (W178) is only available to UCD internal students progressing from UCD’s Planning, Geography and Environmental Policy degree. All other eligible applicants should apply for the 2 year Masters of Regional and Urban Planning programme (W032).

In today’s complex and rapidly changing world, with the threats posed by climate change, economic crisis and rapid urban growth, planners face the challenge of creating places that combine environmental quality with a vibrant economy, quality of life and distributive justice.

This two-year professional planning degree develops the requisite conceptual knowledge and practical skills required by planners in this increasingly complex environment.

You will develop an understanding of the administrative, legal and policy frameworks in which spatial planning operates and the social, political, economic and environmental challenges facing planning. In addition students develop practical skills for plan & policy making, including environmental assessment, retail assessment, public participation methods, development & project management, and GIS.

Depending on your interests, you choose to specialise in either development and design, or environmental planning. 

  • A structured combination of theoretical discussion, practical studio-based learning and independent research.
  • Intensive learning experience which is policy relevant and practice related.
  • Potential in year 2 (based on competitive selection process) for 1 semester exchange with the Master in Urban Planning Program at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
  • Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Irish Planning Institute, which are internationally recognised qualifications

Careers & Employability

Graduates of this Masters are to be found working as professional planners in the public & private sector, as GIS consultants, as policy, advisors, property development consultants, and as community & rural development coordinators. Graduates find employment with a wide variety of companies including international planning institutes, national planning agencies, government departments, local authorities, transportation agencies, planning consultancy firms, urban regeneration companies, wind & solar energy companies, and environmental NGOs.

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Applications are welcome from graduates from any discipline, though undergraduate disciplines with a thematic link to Planning are preferred. The programme is also suitable for those with a professional background in a field related to Planning who might wish to develop and broaden their skillset.

Please note the 1 year version of this programme (W178) is only available to UCD internal students progressing from UCD’s Planning, Geography and Environmental Policy degree. All other eligible applicants should apply for the 2 year Masters of Regional and Urban Planning programme (W032).

The Master of Regional and Urban Planning programme is a two-year professional planning programme, providing graduates with the requisite skills and knowledge to begin a career as a professional planner, with specialisation in either development and design or environmental planning. The MRUP is aimed at providing an integrated and inclusive understanding of the challenges required to create places that combine environmental quality, with a vibrant economy, good quality of life and distributive justice. The programme is underpinned by a critical and questioning approach aimed at equipping our students with intellectual confidence and the professional and ethical judgement to make decisions, which promote and ensure sustainable spatial development and manage environmental change.  The programme fosters a learning environment that draws on the research and expertise of our academic staff, combined with insights from innovative practitioners in the planning, development and environmental field. Uniquely, we can draw on our location in Dublin and Ireland to reflect on the challenges of a rapidly developing vibrant city and modern economy set in an unsurpassed natural environment.  The MRUP utilises a mix of lectures, hands on computer lab based work, group projects in a studio setting, regular student presentations, independent research and academic and professional writing, to provide graduates with the requisite skills and knowledge needed in the rapidly changing global environment facing planning.

  • On successful completion of the programme students should be able to: Understand how spatial planning operates within the context of political, institutional and legal frameworks, and understand the wider social, economic, political and environmental context for planning sustainable environments
  • Appreciate planning and environmental policy research, exhibit the skills of autonomous researchers and recognize the value of research as an input into improved planning policy and practice.
  • Apply their knowledge and research skills to generate integrated and well substantiated responses to spatial planning challenges at various spatial scales.
  • Work effectively both on their own and as part of a team in an interdisciplinary context.
  • Demonstrate effective research, analytical, evaluative and appraisal skills and the ability to reach appropriate evidence based planning decisions.
  • Communicate effectively verbally, graphically and through written documents and to communicate ideas, concepts, knowledge and conclusions to peers, specialist and non-specialist audiences within an interdisciplinary environment.
  • Diagnose problems, define solutions and make decisions based on balancing a range of competing professional and stakeholder interests.
  • Understand the challenges and responsibilities of balancing competing economic, social and environmental requirements in shaping space, will be open to critically assessing these, reflecting on them and acting in a professional and ethical manner in the interests of the common good.
  • Appreciate societal diversity and recognize the importance of equality and equality of opportunity in spatial planning processes.

MRUP Regional & Urban Planning (W032) Full Time
EU          Year 1 - € 7455
EU          Year 2 - € 7455 aa
nonEU    Year 1 - € 18700
nonEU    Year 2 - € 18300 aa

MRUP Regional & Urban Planning (W178) Full Time
EU          Year 1 - € 8495
EU          Year 2 - € 8495 aa
nonEU    Year 1 - € 24200
nonEU    Year 2 - € 23800

aaSecond Year Fee applies to Students in 2nd Year in 2018 and who were a 1st Year Student on the programme in 2017/18
***Fees are subject to change
Tuition fee information is available on the UCD Fees website. Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see International Scholarships.

  • Applicants should present an undergraduate degree with at least a lower class honours or equivalent (GPA at least 2.8), in any academic field, with a preference for fields of study related to Planning and/or equivalent relevant professional experience. 
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

Luke Wymer

The variety of modules on offer initially led me to choose the MRUP as a postgraduate programme. The selection of classes available within the programme is diverse, ranging from practical studio based modules to planning theory, economics, and planning law. This diversity is enhanced further by guest lectures from planners and other experts working in state bodies, NGO’s, and private planning consultancies. An approachable group of lecturers and professors deliver the course, with lots of direct contact and feedback throughout. The MRUP leads to good employment opportunities in Ireland and abroad due to the accreditation of the course by the IPI and RTPI. Since I finished my degree in the Summer of 2017 I have been working with a busy planning consultancy here in Dublin.  Working as a planner is always interesting with lots of variety from day to day and many opportunities to keep learning. 

The following entry routes are available:

MRUP (AP) FT (W178)
1 Years
Full Time
Rolling *
MRUP FT (W032)
2 Years
Full Time
Rolling *

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised