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Applications for the Masters in Planning and Sustainable Development and the M.A. in Landscape, Built Heritage and Design are now being taken.

Click for further information on the M.Plan Programme and to find out more about the MA in Landscape, Built Heritage and Design.

Click for more information on how to apply.



M.Plan Students and Graduates shortlisted for National Planning Awards

M.Plan Students and Graduates shortlisted for National Planning Awards

Three entries from student/graduate from the Centre for Planning Education and Research have been shortlisted for the Student Awards category in this year’s Irish Planning Institute’s National Planning Awards. The three entries are Stephen Kelleher (M.Plan Graduate, 2012), Stephen Walsh/Kickham Barracks Group (M.Plan Graduates, 2011) and Siun McCarthy (M.Plan Year II Student). The awards ceremony is being held in George’s Hall, Dublin Castle on February 21st February and the 2014 awards are being presented by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan, T.D.

A Planning Research Agenda for Ireland

A Planning Research Agenda for Ireland

The Royal Town Planning Institute has recently commissioned the UCC Centre for Planning Education and Research to carry out a study into the priorities for future planning research in Ireland. At a time where a new emphasis is being placed on the need for greater use of evidence-based policy in public life, the project aims to support planning practice and decision-making through a set of principles to guide both users and producers of research in our field. The study is expected to be completed in Spring 2014.

Metropolitan Government and Local Government Reform

Metropolitan Government and Local Government Reform

Following presentation at a conference on New Regional Governance in Ireland: Perspectives and Challenges, organised by the Regional Studies Association in conjunction with the Department of Geography/NIRSA, NUI Maynooth in January 2013, William Brady and Clara O’Neill published a follow-up article in the Institute of Public Administration’s journal, Administration in January 2014 entitled “Local government reform in Ireland: An opportunity for metropolitan planning.” The paper calls for a new focus on the governing challenges for Ireland’s second-tier cities and makes a case for establishing a new ‘Metropolitan’ scale of government in the case of the Cork city region.

Passage West Planning Study

Passage West Planning Study

The First Year M.Plan students have recently commenced a new project, which will culminate in the submission of a Planning Study based on the town of Passage West, located close to Cork City’s southern suburbs. The study will involve close ties with Passage West Town Council and the local community and will include a comprehensive analysis of the town’s principal social, economic and environmental issues and the students will produce a set of core recommendations to guide the future development of the town.

Rothschild Reserves in Ireland

Rothschild Reserves in Ireland

A new study, conducted by a team from the Centre for Planning Education and Research examining the history of iconic places in Ireland, identified as potential nature reserves by conservationist Charles Rothschild 100 years ago has been published this week. The Rothschild Reserves in Ireland 1914-2014, was compiled by Evelyn Sikora and Karen Ray, researchers in the Centre for Planning Education and Research. It involved field visits to all 17 sites throughout the country originally surveyed in 1914 by the Society for the Protection of Nature Reserves (SPNR). This was followed by an analysis of archive documents to assess the changes to the sites over the past century.

M.Plan International Field Trip

New M.A. in Landscape, Built Heritage and Design

The Centre is delighted to announce that this new MA, commencing in Autumn 2013, is now on the university calendar and open for applications. Influenced by the principles of the European Landscape Convention and other high level instruments, this practical course explores the ways in which decisions about built environments, heritage and landscape assets everywhere can be more robust and sustainable for communities and future generations. It is geared both towards a general graduate intake and to experienced practitioners: more information is available here.

M.Plan Students to exhibit at International Congress

M.Plan Students to exhibit at International Congress

A UCC planning student project has been recognised by the Town and Country Planning Association and the International Federation for Housing and Planning for exhibition at the London Centenary Congress of the IFHP to be held in June 2013. It is one of 14 shortlisted projects from over 90 entries from 25 countries that sought to re-imagine Ebenezer Howard’s garden city principles for the 21st Century. A flavour of the project, which presents the concept as a ‘living conversation’ for our times, can be seen on their specially created M.Plan blog (which includes an imagined Facebook conversation between some historic planning personalities!)

International Conference on Landscape and Education

International Conference on Landscape and Education

The UCC Centre for Planning Education and Research took part in a major international conference in Paris in May 2013, organised by Uniscape, the European network of universities that addresses the implementation of the European Landscape Convention. Doctoral researcher Karen Ray, (language editor for the 140-paper proceedings document) and Centre Director Brendan O’Sullivan presented papers on the challenges that landscape present for planning systems and processes.

First Year M.Plan Students Youghal Plan

First Year M.Plan Students Youghal Plan

First year M.Plan students recently made a formal presentation to local businesses, the Town Council and the wider community in Youghal as part of ongoing consultation exercise for the Youghal Town Centre Strategy. This project is being advanced in close collaboration with the Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group [in association with Youghal Town Council and Youghal Heritage Committee]. Students outlined early progress on the project, the key survey findings and conducted a detailed workshop seminar with the community.

M.Plan International Field Trip

M.Plan Students visit to Copenhagen and Aalborg

Second Year M.Plan students recently completed a 9 day international study visit to Denmark. The trip was based in the cities of Copenhagen and Aalborg and addressed a wide range of themes including metropolitan and sub regional planning strategies, national and transnational spatial planning, urban regeneration and renewal, waterfront redevelopments, urban and rural landscape planning, and city centre public realm/open space strategies. The visit also included a collaboration between planning students from UCC and Aalborg University in the form of a series of student presentations on spatial planning in Ireland and Denmark as well as a seminar and workshop on 'Re-imagining Garden Cities for the 21st Century' as part of an international competition being promoted by the Town and Country Planning Association.

 Colloquium: Conor Newman and Paul Selman Jan 2013


The third session of the weekly interdisciplinary conversations on Environment, Planning and Sustainability will be held this week, Thursday January 31st at 6.00 pm.  ALL WELCOME. This evening's speakers are Professor Paul Selman (Emeritus professor of Landscape, University of Sheffield) and Dr. Conor Newman Chair (Centre for Landscape Studies, NUIG and Chair, Heritage Council of Ireland).

Conference on Regional and Local Government

Metropolitan Cork: Proposals for local government reform

At a conference on New Regional Governance in Ireland: Perspectives and Challenges, organised by the Regional Studies Association in conjunction with the Department of Geography/NIRSA, NUI Maynooth in January, William Brady from UCC's Centre for Planning Education and Research presented a paper exploring the opportunities for the emergence of metropolitan planning and governance in Ireland's main cities. Using Cork city region's experiences of integrated sub-regional spatial planning over the last 40 years, the paper addressed how the government's recently published reforms under the Putting People First proposals might be used as a means of delivering effective metropolitan planning and appropriate governing structures for urban areas in Ireland.

M.Plan Gowran IPI Award

M.Plan project receives IPI Award

At a ceremony following the IPI Annual Dinner held in the Clarence Hotel, Dublin on November 9th, an M.Plan Year 2 Group Village Exercise received an award as part of the Irish Planning Institute Annual Student Awards scheme.  The award was accepted on behalf of the ‘Gowran Village’ group by Clara O’Neill, recent M.Plan graduate. The project was commended by the IPI panel and specific reference was made to its relevance as a real world planning challenge, as well as the comprehensiveness of the contextual analysis of the village and its surroundings, the creative and pragmatic interventions and the high quality of presentation. Pictured at the ceremony are Clara O’Neill [M.Plan], Joanna Kelly [President IPI], Roisin Butler and Ciara Slattery [M.Plan].

Colloquium Series 2013

Colloquium Series 2013

UCC's 2013 Colloquium Series on Environment, Planning and Sustainability was officially launched on Thursday 24th by Professor Caroline Fennell, Head of College of Arts Celtic Studies and Social Sciences UCC and Professor Patrick Fitzpatrick, Head of College of  Science Engineering and Food Science UCC. This programme of seminar events organised by the Programme for Planning and Sustainable Development and the School of Sociology and Philosophy encourages discussion and debate on themes around contemporary environmental, sustainability and planning issues. The Colloquium series continues through the Semester on selected Thursday evenings.

Apply 2012

Applications for M.Plan Programme

Two-Year Internationally Accredited Professional Planning Masters at University College Cork, Ireland


The M.Plan course, which has an international and cross-disciplinary outlook, includes funded study visits in Ireland, Britain and mainland Europe as part of the learning process. Applications are welcome from honours graduates from a wide range of subject areas including Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Law, Government, Science, Health, Business, Architecture and others. Further details about the application procedure for the M.Plan can be found on the UCC Postgraduate Studies website: Click Here

M.Plan Brochure 2012


Graduate - Maedhbh Link

Careers in Planning

Professional planners work in the public, private and non-governmental sectors at national, regional and local levels and gain a broad range of abilities and skills for working in a variety of economic and social contexts. With dual professional and international accreditation, UCC's M.Plan graduates are highly valued by employers in Ireland and around the world. Graduates from the M.Plan programme  have been very successful in gaining employment in a diverse range of professional planning roles and have been successful in making rapid progress as part of their career development.

Click here for Graduate Profiles


Environment, Planning and Sustainability Colloquium Series: A Challenge for Interdisciplinary Understanding

On Wednesday 7th March, a joint presentation by Dr. Cara Nine [Philosophy] and Dr. Brian O Gallachoir [Energy Engineering] entitled 'Resources, Energy and Rights' marked the completion of UCC's first Colloquium Series on Environment, Planning and Sustainability organised by the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, the Environmental Research Institute, the Programme for Planning and Sustainable Development and the School of Sociology and Philosophy. This series of nine evening seminar events aimed to promote a cross-disciplinary approach within the University community in the advancement of discussion and debate on the various themes around contemporary environmental, sustainability and planning issues.

IPI Awards - Ballyvolane and Declan Clarke

M.Plan Student Projects receive commendations at IPI National Planning Awards

Two M.Plan student projects were in receipt of special Commendations at the Irish Planning Institute's National Planning awards which were presented by Ms Jan O’Sullivan TD, Minister for Housing and Planning, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government and Mr. Brendan Allen, President, Irish Planning Institute, in the Custom House, Dublin on February 16th 2012. The commendations were made in respect of the Year 1 M.Plan Suburban Retrofitting Group project [Ballyvolane] and a Year 2 M.Plan Urban Design + Placemaking individual entry - A Masterplan for Tramore Road by Declan Clarke.

CorkCity ELUS Study

Major City Survey completed by M.Plan Students

A team of twelve M.Plan first and second year students, led by one of the programme's PhD researchers, Evelyn Sikora, recently completed an employment and land use survey commissioned by Cork City Council. This comprehensive study was conducted during Summer/Autumn 2011 and involved the recording, classification and analysis of the city's entire employment and business community, as well as a detailed questionnaire and interview based survey of each employer in the city and suburbs. The results of the survey will provide essential evidence for the City Council's ongoing development of policy for land use, planning, and economic development.

London-Lille 2012

M.Plan International Study visit - London-Lille-Flanders-Brussels

M.Plan Year Two students recently completed their week-long international study visit to France in February/March 2012 as part of the PD6201: Applied Dialogues in Planning and Sustainable Development Module. Based in the Lille Metropolitan area, the trip addressed the themes of Transit, Mobility, Regeneration, Culture and Ethnicity in an international setting and also included visits to the metropolitan capital cities of London and Brussels. The study visit forms the basis for a student group project currenlty being advanced by the Second Year M.Plan class.



Conference - Heritage

Conference - Heritage as an Engine of Growth in Mid-Sized Towns

Organised by the Irish Walled Towns Network/Heritage Council in conjunction with UCC's Planning school and the Department of Geography, this one-day conference "Heritage as an Engine of Economic Growth in Mid-Sized Towns" was held on January 26th 2012 in the Wood Quay Venue, Dublin City Council Offices. The conference was attended by a wide variety of academics and practitioners involved in the planning, conservation and management of Ireland's villages, towns and cities, and focussed on identifying a range of approaches aimed at developing ways to support economic development using built heritage in Ireland's smaller urban settlements.

Mr. Sean O'Leary BSc M.Plan of Irish Rural Link addressing the 2010 National Planning Conference in Tullamore Co. Offaly

Planning and the Community Sector

Whilst planning school graduates have traditionally tended to work in local government and other public sector agencies, their skills are increasingly in demand in private practice, in development, and in a whole range of non-governmental settings throughout the world.  

Sean O'Leary a member of the 2008 foundation M.Plan graduate class at UCC is policy and communications officer with Irish Rural Link an umbrella NGO group that represents rural commuities. In April 2010 he presented a paper: 'What rural communities want from planners' to the Irish National Planning Conference.  

Preliminary analyis sketch (extract) of the Tramore Road development site

Urban Neighbourhoods served by public transit networks

The Second Year UCC M.Plan students, under the supervison of urban design lecturer Jeremy Ward, presented their end of year projects on 26th March 2010.

Each student presented detailed masterplan proposals for the redevelopment of an edge-of-centre brownfield site to an assessment panel of experienced planning and design professionals. The project is part of module GG6205 Place, Neighbourhood and Urban Design.

M.Plan Students Poppy McDonald and Niamh Murphy host the UCC stand at the National Planning Conference 2010

UCC at the National Planning Conference 2010

The theme of this year's National Planning Conference (held on 15th and 16th April) was 'Planning for a Smarter Ireland'.

At the conference, and along with the other accredited planning schools, UCC presented a selection of graduate students' work on topics such as sustainable urban neighbourhoods, sustainable rural settlements, reflective professional practice and multidisciplinary working.  

Les Marolles - a complex, evolving and multilayered community at the heart of historic Brussels

International Study Visit to Flanders 2010

Second year M.Plan students completed their two-centre study visit to Flanders in February 2010. 

The trip which was based in the Lille - Roubaix connurbation and in nearby Brussels covered a range of themes such as transnational and regional identity, large scale urban re-invention, social fragmentation / integration as well as the planning and design challenges facing 21st century cities.

It is part of the module SC6201: Applied Dialogues in Planning and Sustainable Development

Bungalow at Loher, near Waterville. Detail of image from 'The Iveragh Peninsula' (J.Crowley and J Sheehan, eds., C.U.P., 2009)

Planning in County Kerry

"Planning and Contemporary Change in the Iveragh Landscape", a chapter in the recent Cork University Press volume The Iveragh Peninsula - a cultural Atlas of the Ring of Kerry, presents an analysis of recent patterns of rural planning permission and development change in the area. 

Wrtten by Brendan O'Sullivan of the UCC Programme in Planning and Sustainable Development, it uses original maps and images to explore the dynamic relationship between planning, landscape and heritage in one of Ireland's most spectacular areas of scenic quality.

Sample planning document from the joint exercise prepared by the fictitious PDP partnership:  'Pure Daycent Planning' !

Planning and Architecture students - joint exercises

This year for the first time, our M.Plan1 students are carrying out a joint assignment with the final year Architecture students from the UCC / CIT undergraduate degree.

 Based around the idea of a new urban campus for Cork, it is an opportunity for students of the two disciplines to learn from one another while, under joint supervision, simulating the real-world dynamic environment in which contemporary practitioners have to operate.


Landscape and Planning

Using the Metropolitan Cork Green Belt as a reference point, Karen Ray, a UCC M.Plan graduate and PhD researcher attached to the Programme in Planning and Sustainable Development examines the synergies and tensions between strategic and local understandings of landscape value.

Her paper was presented to an international conference organised by the French Association of Irish Studies (SOFEIR) at Nantes University 12th-13th March 2010. The proceedings are expected to be published in the Autumn of 2010.   

Chapter 3 of 'The new Spatial Planning' by Haughton, Allmendinger and Counsell, Routledge 2010

Irish Spatial Planning and the Cork Experience

Dr. David Counsell, visiting lecturer and formerly full time staff member of the UCC Programme in Planning and Sustainable is one of the co-authors of an important new planning text.

With a chapter on the Cork area (including the current sub-regional strategy known as CASP) and other case studies from Britain and Ireland,  'The New Spatial Planning' (Routledge, 2010) presents new insights into spatial planning, regeneration and territorial politics. The other co-authors are professors Phil Allmendinger (Cambridge) and Graham Haughton (Hull) and Dr. Geoff Vigar (Newcastle).

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