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Ulster Appoints Professor of Planning Research

Ulster’s School of the Built Environment has appointed its first female professor. 

Deborah Peel, who joined the Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment in 2008 as a senior lecturer, has taken up the new post of Professor of Planning Research and Scholarship.

Professor Peel was part of the successful team that secured professional accreditation from the Royal Town Planning Institute for Ulster’s innovative Integrated Master’s in Planning and Property Development earlier this year. 

She is passionate about the importance of research-led teaching, encouraging research-led learning and is committed to inter-disciplinary and inter-professional research.

“This has been a very significant year for planning at the University of Ulster,” said Professor Peel. 

“We have celebrated the graduation of the first cohort of Integrated Master’s in Planning and Property Development students with two further planning students collecting their degrees at the recent Winter Graduations.

She added: “The Integrated Master’s in Planning and Property Development is one of the few degrees in the UK which has professional accreditation from both the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Royal Town Planning Institute. 

“The radical changes to higher education funding mean prospective students are thinking very carefully about the kind of qualification they want from a university education.

“Research indicates that planning reform not only requires an appropriate statutory framework and relevant strategic policy guidance to support local decision-making, but also demands an appropriate culture to make the system work in the public interest.  

“We believe that this course will help prepare students for the many challenges facing society. Young people are increasingly active in environmental projects and are prepared to voice their concerns over global imperatives such as climate change, and champion improvements in their local communities.

“We offer these students a professional degree that will equip them with both planning and property-related skills and enable them to transform the management of the new planning system.”