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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Planning, Growth and Regeneration is no longer accepting new applications.

The unequal distribution of income, jobs, and welfare across cities, places, and regions is one of the defining issues of our time, and it is increasingly seen as a waste of economic potential, as well as a challenge for social cohesion and sustainable development. The MPhil in Planning, Growth and Regeneration (PGR) is the flagship programme of the University of Cambridge aiming to address issues of urban and regional planning and development.

The programme is based on renowned planning research and practice at the Department of Land Economy, with input from leading planning and relevant professionals. It provides advanced skills training to professionals involved in managing local economic growth and regeneration through place-based public policy, regulating land use, and undertaking strategic planning at different subnational scales.

The course features a multidisciplinary approach which draws from Urban and Spatial Planning, Economics, and Geography, with additional specialism in Law, Finance, and Environmental Policy. It aims to enable students to 1) understand the nature, processes and challenges of planning, growth, and regeneration in an urban/regional context, 2) develop key analytical skills for assessing and devising spatial planning solutions based on international best practice; and 3) work cooperatively with relevant professionals to develop effective and just planning policy solutions.

Core and optional modules focus on both Global North and Global South policy examples and case studies, with the goal of identifying the different spatial planning and developmental challenges and opportunities at different urban, local, and regional scales. Most teaching material draws on original cutting-edge research carried out by lecturers and international best practices, combining quantitative and qualitative research methods.

The focus of the course is applied and policy-relevant, and graduates from PGR are expected to join private (such as consultancies, real estate developers and financial professionals) and public organisations (such as civil service and NGOs) leading spatial planning and development practice at the subnational, national, and international scale. PGR is also an excellent starting point for a career in postgraduate research in local and regional planning and development, with the possibility to progress to the PhD in Land Economy.

The programme is targeted at two groups of applicants. First, those who have finished a degree in a relevant discipline and aim to gain a better understanding of urban and regional planning and development, and build up applied research skills. Second, practitioners, managers and planners who have some work experience in relevant sectors and want to widen their current knowledge in the interdisciplinary environment of Land Economy.

The MPhil in Planning, Growth and Regeneration is designed to provide students with the following competences in spatial planning and development:

  • Understanding the process of and key considerations for land-use and infrastructure planning and development at various spatial levels;
  • Designing efficient and effective spatial planning policies to manage transformative socio-economic, environmental and technological changes;
  • Evaluating alternative approaches for the design and implementation of spatial plans, and then assessing their outcomes;
  • Addressing the legal implications of planning policies for landownership, land/property law and use rights, and resources management;
  • Developing an interdisciplinary and cooperative approach for understanding and managing growth and decline.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, students will:

  • Have gained in-depth knowledge of contemporary urban/regional planning and development topics, explored through both academic and practical policy lenses.
  • Have learned to identify, critically review and synthetise large amounts of literature from a wide range of sources.
  • Be able to identify the factors that lead to variations in local, urban, and regional growth and development, and the consequences of territorial imbalances for society, the economy, and the environment.
  • Possess the skills to assess the scope for planning policy intervention to manage growth and decline, and identify the opportunities and constraints imposed by socio-economic, environmental, and institutional factors.
  • Have developed independent research skills, for example, the ability to independently identify, critically review and synthetise a wide range of materials from multiple sources, as well as being able to identify research gaps, conduct sound empirical research designs, and develop coherent arguments in both oral and written format.


Approval of an application to continue to the PhD degree will depend on three criteria:

  1. Availability of a supervisor
  2. Approval by the Degree Committee of a research proposal
  3. Achievement of a minimum overall mark and minimum dissertation mark in the MPhil examination as prescribed by the Degree Committee in any offer of admission

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

Key Information

10 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Philosophy

Department of Land Economy

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Jan. 31, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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