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Real Estate Masters Subject Area 2

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

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
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Dr Christopher Maidment


89% of students would recommend their programme
Masters Careers Survey 2021
97% employed post graduation
Masters Careers Survey 2021

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.

The Henley Pre-Masters Course Suite

Exclusively available to Henley Business School offer holders, the Pre-Masters course suite comprises of innovative short courses designed and developed by Henley faculty on the Futurelearn platform, one of the leading online learning platforms.

Optional modules Credits

This course will provide building blocks of knowledge to help you prepare for your learning journey in the area of your choice as well as equip you with key employability and study skills for successfully navigating your studies and professional career.

This pre-study interactive course is designed by Henley Business School faculty, the University of Reading Study Advice Team and the International Study and Language Institute. The course aims to prepare you for your learning journey at Henley and focuses on helping you build important study skills to succeed in your Masters and beyond. Skills such as curiosity and independent thinking, effective communication and collaboration, digital capabilities, storytelling, empathy and professional integrity are not only important in your course itself but are also sought after by employers in all areas of business. Therefore, they are instrumental in succeeding in your professional career. The learning journey of our Masters programmes is designed in a way that allows you to build such skills and this course intends to demonstrate exactly how, and therefore help you to make the most of your Masters.


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

Compulsory Modules

Optional modules Credits

This module provides an introductory level overview of basic urban design concepts and sustainability principles.

Academic authors
Richard Nunes 75e5pfiod
Dr Richard Nunes
20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module covers the economic principles underlying land and property markets, as well as the economics of land markets.

Academic authors
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Dr Yi Wu
20 [10 ECTS credits]

The module discusses various conceptions of planning intervention in theoretical terms and relates this to the politics of planning in practice.

Academic authors
Gavin Parker 75e5pfioc
Professor Gavin Parker
20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module provides a course of study that focuses on the property development process.

The content of the module is focused on some of the practicalities of real estate development, as well as on the broader political context in which development takes place. There is an emphasis on applying and linking concepts from economics, political economy and finance in order to help students to develop their understanding of property development as a multidisciplinary and social process. In addition, students will develop a practical and applied understanding of affordable housing viability appraisal as well as UK planning law.

20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module includes independent student research on a group work and an individual basis.

During the module, students will study the ways in which the strategic planning and governance of cities and regions in England have developed. This will include studying the ways in which strategies have been restructured over time and in relation to changing local and global operating environments and contemporary sustainable development imperatives. The module comprises two assessed elements - one group presentation, and one individual research paper.

Academic authors
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Professor Kathy Pain
20 [10 ECTS credits]

The module integrates a range of knowledge and skills important for practicing planners and puts them into practice through group project study exercises, reports and presentations.

Academic authors
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Dr Christopher Maidment
30 [15 ECTS credits]

This module brings together teaching and learning across the programme, incorporating taught and assessed research methods.

Academic authors
Richard Nunes 75e5pfiod
Dr Richard Nunes
30 [15 ECTS credits]

Elective Modules

Optional modules Credits

The appreciation of issues and approaches to spatial planning in different countries, regions, states or provinces is an important part of learning and understanding the different contexts in which planning has evolved and the different tools, techniques and impacts of planning in these contexts.

This module provides such an opportunity at postgraduate level. The module also introduces different themes that planning is often concerned with and discusses how planning might make a difference in particular thematic areas.

Academic authors
Angelique 1v2
Professor Angelique Chettiparamb
20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module focuses on developing a conceptual understanding of sustainable development models and their applications in real estate markets.

The focus is on the adoption of sustainability in the UK property industry throughout real estate life cycles, including how the concept is relevant to and manifests itself at various life cycle stages, i.e. development, design, construction, operation, refurbishment, retrofitting and regeneration. The module also focuses on drivers and barriers for the adoption of sustainable development principles in the property industry, including the business case for sustainability.

Academic authors
Jorn van de Wetering 75e5pfioc
Dr Jorn van de Wetering
20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module is designed to provide a theoretical and practice-based understanding in the fields of urban regeneration and planning.

It will focus on the relationship between the economic, social, environmental and political forces shaping approaches to urban regeneration, offering an overview of the evolution of urban regeneration policy.

Academic authors
Emma Street 75ee1i73f
Dr Emma Street
20 [10 ECTS credits]

This module covers issues relevant, and tools used, to manage rural areas through both the land-use planning system and wider policy considerations.

Academic authors
Gavin Parker 75e5pfioc
Professor Gavin Parker
20 [10 ECTS credits]

Historic buildings and sites are a major part of the built environment. Many will be hundreds of years old, but there are also more modern buildings considered as heritage. The construction industry’s work is evenly split between new-build and work to existing buildings, some of which will have some statutory protection, such as being listed.

Historic buildings and sites are a major part of the built environment.

Many will be hundreds of years old, but there are also more modern buildings considered as heritage. The construction industry’s work is evenly split between new-build and work to existing buildings, some of which will have some statutory protection, such as being listed.

Academic authors
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Henry Russell
20 [10 ECTS credits]

*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. Please note, constraints in timetable scheduling may mean you are unable to take some optional modules at the same time as others.

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.

We present students with a range of options allowing them to tailor their learning to their own career aspirations.

“The planning law and practical side of the course has been most useful in my career as it have an insight into planning practice, however the full course was enjoyable and gave a wide breadth of knowledge on planning history/theory. I have particularly used the knowledge of neighbourhood planning to my advantage in my work.”
Spatial Planning and Development graduate, now working as a Town Planner at Fowler Architecture and Planning, UK

Where are our 2020 graduates now?

97% employed post graduation
Masters Careers Survey 2021
89% of students would recommend their programme
Masters Careers Survey 2021

2020 graduates in this area have secured the following roles:

MSc Spatial Planning and Development:

Assistant Planner at Montagu Evans
Planning Consultant at Gerald Eve
Planning Officer at Hertforshire Council
Planning Officer at Surrey Council
Senior Planning Officer at Whiltshire Council

MSc Real Estate and MSc Real Estate Finance:

Analyst at Catalyst Capital
Analyst at Brookfield Asset Management
Assistant at China Resources Land
Assistant Land Buyer at Barratt Developments
Associate Director, Investment Advisory at Savills
Business Analysts at Aberdeen Standard Investments
Graduate Analyst at Aviva Investors
Graduate Surveyor at British Land
Graduate Surveyor at Montagu Evans
Graduate Surveyor at NHS Property
Graduate Surveyor at Savills
Graduate Surveyor at TfL
Graduate Surveyor at CBRE
Property Graduate at Frasers Group
Senior Associate at Deloitte
Senior property analyst at Knight Frank

Function of employment for graduates

22 MIS 037 REP Function

2020 graduates are employed in the following locations:

22 MIS 036 REP map

Please note the above statistics are based on respondents to our Masters Outcomes Survey in 2021, which was completed by our 2020 graduates.

Respondents are from the following programmes: MSc Real Estate, MSc Real Estate Finance and MSc Spatial Planning and Development.

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)

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

Royal Town Planning Institute

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.

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