MRUP Regional & Urban Planning

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

In today’s complex and rapidly changing world, with the threats posed by climate change, economic crises, energy security and rapid urban growth, planners face the challenge of creating places that combine environmental quality with a vibrant economy, quality of life and distributive justice. This one-year professional planning degree develops the requisite conceptual knowledge and practical skills required by planners in this increasingly complex environment. You will develop an understanding of the administrative, legal and policy frameworks in which spatial planning operates and the social, political, economic and environmental challenges facing planning. In addition, students develop practical skills for plan and policy making, including environmental assessment, retail assessment, public participation methods, development and project management, and GIS. Students will also engage with understanding the role of planning in public policy and sustainability and can avail of independent research or internship opportunities which are assigned on a competitive basis. The UCD School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy has an established international track record as a leading research centre in spatial planning and is in the Top 150 QS World University Rankings by subject area. The School is a member of the Association of European Schools of Planning.

Module Information:
Under the "What modules can I take?" section below you will see general module information, for a more detailed description including module selection rules click here.

The other 1 year version of this programme (W178) is only available to UCD internal students progressing from UCD's City Planning & Environmental Policy degree. All other eligible applicants should apply for the Master of Regional and Urban Planning programme (T399).


Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

The Master of Regional and Urban Planning programme is a one-year professional planning programme, providing graduates with the requisite skills and knowledge to begin a career as a professional planner.. The MRUP is aimed at providing an integrated and inclusive understanding of the challenges required to create places that combine environmental quality, with a vibrant economy, good quality of life and distributive justice. The programme is underpinned by a critical and questioning approach aimed at equipping our students with intellectual confidence and the professional and ethical judgement to make decisions, which promote and ensure sustainable spatial development and manage environmental change.  The programme fosters a learning environment that draws on the research and expertise of our academic staff, combined with insights from innovative practitioners in the planning, development and environmental fields.

Uniquely, we can draw on our location in Dublin and Ireland to reflect on the challenges of a rapidly developing vibrant city and modern economy set in an unsurpassed natural environment.  The MRUP utilises a mix of lectures, hands on computer lab based work, group projects in a studio setting, regular student presentations, independent research, competitive internship opportunities, and academic and professional writing, to provide graduates with the requisite skills and knowledge needed in the rapidly changing global environment facing planning.

  • Apply knowledge and research skills to generate integrated and well substantiated responses to spatial planning challenges at various spatial scales.
  • Appreciate planning and environmental policy research, exhibit the skills of autonomous researchers and recognize the value of research as an input into improved planning policy and practice.
  • Appreciate societal diversity and recognize the importance of equity and equality of opportunity in spatial planning processes.
  • Communicate effectively verbally, graphically and through written documents and to communicate ideas, concepts, knowledge and conclusions to peers, specialist and non-specialist audiences within an interdisciplinary environment.
  • Demonstrate effective research, analytical, evaluative and appraisal skills and the ability to reach appropriate evidence based planning decisions.
  • Diagnose problems, define solutions and make decisions based on balancing a range of competing professional and stakeholder interests.

On successful completion of the programme students should be able to

  • Understand how spatial planning operates within the context of political, institutional and legal frameworks, and understand the wider social, economic, political and environmental context for planning sustainable environments
  • Understand the challenges and responsibilities of balancing competing economic, social and environmental requirements in shaping space, will be open to critically assessing these, reflecting on them and acting in a professional and ethical manner in the interests of the common good
  • Work effectively both on their own as part of a team in an interdisciplinary context

Graduates of the MRUP are to be found working as professional planners in the public and private sector, as GIS consultants, as policy advisors, property  development consultants, and as community & rural development coordinators. Our graduates have found employment with: national and international planning  agencies, government departments, local authorities including urban and rural authorities in Ireland, the UK, Australia and New Zealand; transportation agencies including the National Transport Authority; planning consultancy firms including Tom Philips and Associates, Brock McClure Planning and Development Consultants, and KPMG Future Analytics consulting; urban regeneration companies,  large house builders including Glenveagh Properties; wind and solar energy companies including Eirgrid and ABO Wind, and environmental NGOs including An Taisce.

View All Modules Here

This section links to general module information, for a more detailed description including module selection rules click here.

Autumn Trimester and Spring Trimester

  • Planning: Institutions and Governance (10 Credits)
  • Planning Methods, Skills and Techniques (10 Credits)
  • Planning, Design and Development (10 Credits)
  • Environment and Sustainability (10 Credits)
  • Planning Studio: Plan Making (10 Credits)

One of the following modules:

  • Healthy and Sustainable Cities (10 Credits)
  • Sustainable Cities (10 Credits)
  • Rural and Landscape Planning (10 Credits)
  • Placemaking and Conservation (10 Credits)
  • Advanced GIS (10 Credits) (Subject to student already completing an appropriate GIS module)

Summer Trimester

  • Thesis (30 Credits)
  • Internship* (30 Credits)

* Please note that internships are assigned on a competitive basis and the number of internships available in any given year may vary. Students who are not offered an internship will be required to undertake the Thesis module as an alternative.

* Please note this is a new programme structure for September 2024 entrants and the modules may be subject to change. 

MRUP Regional & Urban Planning (T399) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 10300
nonEU    fee per year - € 29100

***Fees are subject to change

Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see

We are seeking accreditation from the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Irish Planning Institute for Master of Regional and Urban Planning (MRUP)(T399) programme. It is anticipated that accreditation from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) will be awarded in Spring 2024 and this qualification is recognised internationally. 

The other 1 year version of this MRUP programme (W178) which is only available to UCD internal students progressing from UCD's City Planning & Environmental Policy degree is fully accredited by both the Royal Town Planning Institute and The Irish Planning Institute.

  • An honours undergraduate degree (NFQ Level 8) with a minimum upper second class honours or international equivalence in a cognate discipline including Geography, Sociology, Economics, Politics, Social Science, Law, Engineering, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Property Economics, Surveying and/or equivalent relevant professional experience. Those with other degree qualifications may apply but will be required to undertake an interview.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.
  • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes 

Ciara Shevlin MRUP Graduate

"I graduated from the Master of Regional and Urban Planning in UCD in 2022. Before undertaking the MRUP, I completed a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and History in Trinity College Dublin. Although I had no previous academic experience of planning, it was something I was always drawn to. During my undergraduate degree I took part in an Erasmus year in Utrecht. During this time, I realised the differences in how cities operate and their different housing and transportation systems. This led me to decide to apply for the Masters in UCD to pursue a future career in planning. The modules on the MRUP were a great way to introduce students who did not come from planning backgrounds to gain a rounded understanding of the planning system in Ireland. This knowledge really helped me to understand national, regional and local policies which were then utilised in modules such as Placemaking and Plan Making. I personally really enjoyed the Plan Making module as it allowed students to utilise their academic knowledge of planning policy to create new policies, objectives and ideas for the chosen case study sites. The MRUP provided students with opportunities to network throughout with guest speakers from the planning institutes and private and public sector planning organisations. These talks and events were really helpful to see the range of career possibilities which are available to you as a planner, of which there are plenty! I partook in a summer internship in a private planning consultancy and accepted a permanent position with the consultancy the following year. I now work as a planner in South Dublin County Council on the Development Management Team, making decisions on planning applications in the county. "

The following entry routes are available:

MRUP FT (T399)
1 Years
Full Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised