3 Careers You Can Do with a Master’s in Urbanization, Planning and Development | Top Universities

3 Careers You Can Do with a Master’s in Urbanization, Planning and Development

By Stephanie Lukins

Updated March 20, 2021 Updated March 20, 2021

Sponsored by LSE

Cities are exciting and represent a coming together of a diversity of people, places and economies that require sustainable planning, and yet critical reflections on the production of power, wealth, and identities.

How we plan for housing and infrastructure, how we foster community development and how we balance this equability and sustainably all requires thoughtful and dedicated professionals. And with the ever evolving urbanizing landscape, novel career opportunities in urbanization, planning and development are beginning to emerge whilst conventional job roles are still going strong.

So, whether you’ve studied geography at undergraduate level, or want to advance your career, an MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies or MSc in Urbanisation and Development could help you get where you want to be.

Read on to find out what sort of career you can go on to pursue.

Planner and policy advisor

Over two thirds of the world's population are expected to live in urban areas in just 30 years’ time. To cope with this, there’s going to be a rising demand for urban experts – people who can utilize knowledge and technology to regenerate and sustainably develop urban environments.

As an urban planner you’ll be involved with the day to day management of the city. Whether it’s writing and implementing local plans, determining local transport policy or negotiating how housing gets developed, you’ll have a direct impact on the lives of local people.

If planning isn’t quite what you’re after, you might want to consider various tiers of (inter-)governmental and development organizations where you can work at an international, national or regional scale and deal with issues such as housing, migration, gender, transport, economy and the environment. 

This makes the profession of planning and policy advisor both rewarding and challenging, as balancing the economy as well as the environment to produce socially just outcomes isn’t always plain sailing. Studying an MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies or MSc in Urbanisation and Development is designed to make you, as a reflective practitioner, see the broader picture of urban and regional development.

Policy research

If you want to influence policy, a role in policy research may be for you. Working for policy think tanks that produce highly influential research that informs and often changes government policy is just one of many opportunities you can pursue. Developing good research method and design skills can help make you an ideal candidate for the fast paced, public facing environment of policy research.

Private sector planning and consulting

If you’re more interested in a career that puts you at the centre of the commercial sector, you may be interested in working as a planning and development consultant. Whether this is with an internationally renowned architectural or engineering firm, a planning or policy consultancy or in the field of property market or infrastructural analysis, your work will shape the future of the built environment for years to come. 

The MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies provides a common understanding of the various influences affecting the planning process, and teaches a set of research skills that will help planners in practice. These skills include urban and regional economic analysis, the evaluation of environmental and regional policies and the study of institutional and political factors that impact city and regional development.

While MSc in Urbanisation and Development students learn how a wide range of policy intentions and outcomes can be evaluated from economic, social, political and cultural perspectives, from international to local scales, and in ways sensitive to concerns for gender, ethnicity, social justice and democratic deepening.

Getting started…

Ranked as the second-best university in the world for a third consecutive year in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020: Geography, LSE is an impressionable institution where you can study a diverse range of master’s degrees, including the MSc in Urbanisation and Development, MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies as well as MSc in Human Geography and Urban Studies.

What’s more, the MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies has teamed up with LSE London to organize Progressing Planning combining events, blogs and films designed to engage with cutting edge planning issues and bring academics, alumni and current students together.

This article was originally published in March 2020 . It was last updated in March 2021

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