Inspiring change and enhancing well-being through collaborative governance.
The course aims to produce graduates with the knowledge and skills to deliver community planning (integrated service provision), manage performance and change, and appreciate the dynamic forces that shape the relationship between people and place through spatial planning, as well as facilitate the personal and intellectual development of students to help them create the conditions for enhancing social, economic and environmental well-being.
Within this overall aim, the course will enable successful students to engage with, understand and debate:
- Community Planning (Service Delivery)
- Performance Management
- Collaborative Governance
- Planning and Regeneration
- People and Place
- Inclusive Engagement
- Resilient Communities
The programme is delivered by the School of the Built Environment, in association with the School of Sociology and Applied Social Studies.
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About this course
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The PgDip/MSc in Community Planning and Governance gives graduates the opportunity to specialise in the fields of public service delivery and place-shaping, and has been designed to provide valuable insight into the evolving relationship between people and place to help create the conditions for enhancing social, economic and environmental well-being. The programme is centred on contemporary governance and performance management debates. Particularly, the programme explores: the models and outcome based approaches of integrated service delivery; the integrative relationship between land use planning and community planning; how to create inclusive and empowered communities for shaping resilient places; and, how devolution and localism are influencing how places are governed.
It is an innovative programme bringing together knowledge from the disciplines of spatial planning, local government, leadership and change management, and community development, to offer a programme designed for those wishing to develop specialist and transferable skills to implement new models of service delivery, successful collaborative working, and span sectoral and organisational boundaries.
This full-time programme requires the following attendance, which leads to the following qualifications:
- Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip): 2 semesters
- Master’s (MSc): 3 semesters (1 full academic year).
- September 2017
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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Applicants to the linked PgDip/MSc (full-time) programme should hold:
(1) an Honours or non-Honours degree from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised national awarding body, or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or
(2) an equivalent standard in a Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate or an approved alternative qualification;
and provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent);
or as an alternative, and in exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities may be considered as an alternative entrance route.
Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Teaching and learning assessment
A variety of learning and teaching methods are adopted across the modules on this course, to place emphasis on independent, reflective and experiential learning, which include, for example, interactive lectures, facilitated seminars, cafe symposium style workshops, problem-based learning scenarios, reflective discussions, project work, case study examples and self-directed learning.
There is a mixture of both formative and summative assessments in all modules. Formative assessment is a core element of teaching and learning, in that it does not contribute to the final mark given for assignments, but instead it contributes to learning through providing feedback and feeding forward to help change and improve the quality of submitted assignments. Summative assessments, which evaluate student learning through assignments, vary across modules. Examples include professional reports, individual and group presentations, academic essays, personal reflective logs, and an independent community planning research project (at MSc level).
Careers & opportunities
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The programme is intended to prepare participants to act as managers, administrators and professional advisers in the public, private and community sectors. There is a strong demand for well-educated individuals who appreciate the changing collaborative working context between professionals and citizens, can influence how places and services are shaped, and understand the opportunities and challenges for delivering and enhancing social, economic and environmental well-being outcomes. Opportunities also exist within the Built Environment Research Institute (BERI) for PhD studies in a wide range of community planning and spatial planning related topics.
Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) for the purpose of fully meeting the educational requirements for Chartered Membership.
Fees and funding
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Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
View Ulster University’s 2017 fees policy
- Northern Ireland & EU:
Where the postgraduate course selected offers multiple awards (e.g. PG Cert, PG Dip, Master’s), please note that the price displayed is for the complete master’s programme. Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are charged at a pro-rata basis. Find out more
Scholarships, awards and prizes
The Royal Town Planning Institute’s Future Planners Bursary, of £1,000, is available to one successful applicant to assist them to study the MSc qualification in Community Planning and Governance at Ulster. The bursary will be awarded to one student based on their personal statement, which should be submitted prior to the beginning of the academic year of intended enrolment.
Additional mandatory costs
Additional costs may be incurred for printing coursework, publishing final year reports, or travelling to site/study visits.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
"The course has helped me deepen my understanding of governance, commmunity planning, spatial planning and collaboration. The support and commitment from the Course Director has been outstanding. The multidisciplinary nature of the programme adds interest and contextual diversity and the teaching team are very flexible. The whole experience has been positive for me, great teaching team, access to onsite and online resources, opportunities for collaborative project based work." (Anna Clarke, Learning for Change Consultancy).
“My participation on the Community Planning and Governance course is allowing me to further my career and professional development, whilst continuing in my full time employment within the Planning and Development Directorate, at Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council. There are strong connections between each module that enable you to continually build on learning throughout the course. The integration of community planning and spatial planning has become an important function for service delivery in local authorities, and this postgraduate study is allowing me to shape its development.” (Paul McAteer, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council)