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Masters in Real Estate and Planning

Masters in Spatial Planning and Development (full and part-time)

This Masters programme prepares you for a career in urban planning and development  in both the private and public sector.

At a glance

  • Accredited by the Royal Town Planning  Institute (RTPI)  and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) 
  • Undertake an  in-depth  European field visit
  • Shape and consider development proposals, plans and  policies
  • Undertake community consultations and present reports to clients and decision makers
  • Focus on planning as it engages with economic and property development processes 
Subject area(s)
Real Estate & Planning
12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
Full-time , Part-time
Programme Director
Gavin Parker 75e5pfioc
Professor Gavin Parker

This Masters programme will prepare you for a career in urban planning and development. You will be required to shape and consider development proposals and devise or interpret plans and policies. Also, negotiate and regulate development schemes, undertake community consultations, develop evidence and present reports to clients and decision-makers.

Our academic strengths lie in planning and development and real estate markets and investment. This programme will develop your specialist knowledge and skills in planning and development. The MSc Spatial Planning and Development is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The programme focuses on planning as it engages with economic and property development processes at all levels. From the site, the neighbourhood, to local, national and international. You will be able to concentrate on particular aspects of development planning to suit your interests and career aspirations. For example, this may include strategic, economic, environment, regeneration or countryside. You will have the opportunity to undertake in-depth study, within a framework that emphasises integration. You well also apply your learning to another country through the European field study.

The MSc Spatial Planning and Development course is recognised in the UK and more widely, to be one of the foremost planning programmes. You will develop spatial planning competencies, become market-aware planners and be prepared for the orchestration and negotiation of development schemes. The programme’s blend of analytical rigour and practicality has a strong appeal to employers in the private and public sectors. Many graduates of this programme, and its forerunners, have progressed to senior positions in the real estate and planning sector.

This programme is available on a full-time or part-time basis.

Real Estate & Planning

Our School is the largest in the UK for teaching and research in real estate and planning. Established in 1968 at the University of Reading, we are the only major UK real estate and planning centre to be located within a business school. Being part of the Henley Business School reflects our close and longstanding collaborative relationship with industry.

We have a worldwide reputation for excellence in both teaching and research and we are consistently highly ranked in all major league tables. We undertake internationally recognised, leading edge research into real estate, planning and land. We offer a comprehensive range of courses, all of which are accredited by the  Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Our planning courses are also fully accredited by the  Royal Town Planning Institute.

Our programmes are held in high regard by leading employers. Many of whom come to us each year to recruit our graduates. We are proud of our outstanding employment record. More than 95% of our students enter graduate-level jobs within 6-months of leaving us.

Compulsory Modules

  • Cities, Regions and Strategic Governance - 20 credits
  • Development Planning Projects - 30 credits
  • Planning Theory, Politics and Practice - 20 credits
  • Real Estate Economics - 20 credits
  • Real Estate Development and Planning Law - 20 credits
  • Spatial Planning Dissertation - 30 credits
  • Urban Design and Sustainability - 20 credits

Plus elective modules from a range that may include: Comparative International Planning Studies, Countryside Planning and Policy, Sustainability and Real Estate, Regeneration, Land, Property Rights and Housing Markets and Policy

The module or course content descriptions set out on this page are correct for those being taught in the current academic year. Modules or course content marked as optional are indicative and may be subject to change.

Our Real Estate & Planning postgraduate programmes are designed and delivered by internationally-renowned experts, with a wealth of academic and professional experience. All of our programmes are regularly updated to maintain their relevance in a rapidly changing industry.

Our programmes adhere to the highest academic and professional standards, with lectures given by academic members of staff and visiting speakers from senior positions in relevant professions. They are well supported by leading industry organisations who provide our students with valuable professional insight and feedback.

All our Masters programmes feature a mix of core and optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree towards your individual interests and career ambitions. Teaching methods will vary depending on your chosen programme; they include lectures, workshops, tutorials, individual and group assignments, case studies and site visits. All our full-time postgraduate programmes include a residential study tour.

Our research is internationally renowned as academically rigorous and policy relevant. It has a major influence on our programmes and is fully integrated into our teaching. As a postgraduate student you will have access to this cutting-edge research, a vital resource that will keep you at the forefront of the latest thinking.

We aim to create a stimulating academic environment; you will be encouraged to develop individual interests and general skills as a basis for a career in the property industry, a related field or for further study.

How can Henley Careers work with you?

We have an award-winning careers team that will support you through your postgraduate studies and four years after graduation.

Here is how Henley Careers can help you:

  • Careers Consultant appointments: Our Careers Consultant are here to help and support you with any careers related concern that you might have. Whether it’s CV advice, practicing for an interview, providing feedback if applications aren't successful or support planning your career goals. We are here to help empower you to progress in your career.
  • Events: Henley Careers organise numerous events aimed to help you build your confidence, develop the skills employers are looking for. Additionally, network with employers and expand your industry knowledge.
  • Alumni support: You can continue to book one-to-one appointments with your Careers Consultant and use our online resources. For up to four years after graduating we’re here to help and support in your career.
  • Career Smart: Get a head start in securing a graduate job by taking part in our online course, Career Smart. You can expect to learn about the graduate recruitment cycle in the UK. As well as where to look and how to start applying to jobs, and the different roles available to you.

For more information  please see our Careers page.

Continuing your career

With the MSc Spatial Planning and Development programme you'll benefit from its strong connections to industry and across the profession generally. Many successful graduates have been highly sought after by both private and public sector employers, including planning consultancies, development companies, local planning authorities and large multidisciplinary property firms.

The University has an excellent reputation with the planning profession in both the private and public sectors. Our postgraduates tend to be sought after by employers and many find employment before graduating.

Our alumni association, The Reading Real Estate Foundation (RREF), organise career development and recruitment events for real estate students throughout the year. These include an evening lectures series with key industry speakers and an annual Careers Fair. To support your career development and interpersonal skills, you will also be assigned an industry mentor through the RREF mentoring scheme. Our innovative mentoring programme pairs your with professionals in the industry, both in the UK and overseas.

We have a professional Careers Development Advisor, Jane Batchelor, who helps our students with every aspect of the career development process, including identifying work placement, internships and permanent career opportunities.

Typical examples of recent employment found by our graduates are with planning consultancies such as: Nathaniel Lichfield Associates, Terence O'Rourke Partnership, RPS, DTZPieda. The bigger surveying firms with planning and development departments also recruit our students, for example: Drivers Jonas, Gerald Eve, GVA Grimley.

In the public sector there are varied options at the local, regional and national levels: government offices and departments, regional agencies and local planning authorities. The range and diversity of jobs and careers offered under the mantle of 'planning' is really very wide and stimulating. We will be happy to advise you in finding work experience and talk to you about your employment options during your time with us.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

RICS-accreditation demonstrates a globally-recognised standard of surveying education.

This programme is fully accredited within the University of Reading - Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) partnership arrangement.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Royal Town Planning Institute

The RTPI accredits Planning Schools at universities within the UK, Ireland and internationally that meet 5 core criteria on quality. They assess the ability and effectiveness of the Planning School to deliver a planning programme that includes spatial and specialist teaching.

Royal Town Planning Institute

The MSc Spatial Planning and Development is accredited by the RICS and the RTPI.

Our students and alumni are always keen to share their Henley experience. Whether you are a prospective applicant or already applied to a Masters programme at Henley Business School. You can ask questions to a current student by clicking the “Chat to our students” button below.

When contacting one of our students, please introduce yourself and the Masters programme you have applied for.

Speak to a current student

Contact us

For more information, you may also contact the programme director, Dr Chris Maidment by email at or by phone +44 (0) 118 378 6590.

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at or by phone on +44 (0)118 378 7593.

An image of Xiaochen Guo

The programme is in line with the trend of future property market development. You are able to benefit from top educational and industry resources which is a rare opportunity to understand the real estate financial market.

An image of Olga Maria Vrochopoulou

The program was very interesting and useful for building a professional career in human resources. The professors were creating activities to better understand the theories and this was a small simulation of a professional environment.

Olga Maria Vrochopoulou MSc International Human Resource Management Masters in International Human Resource Management
An image of Jiwan Guron

A mix of theory and practical classes helped apply what I had learnt into real business scenarios was something I had not experienced before in my previous education.

Jiwan Guron MSc Business Technology Consulting Masters in Business Technology Consulting