MSc Planning student profiles

Jonathan Hill – MSc Planning

Undertaking a postgraduate degree with Plymouth was the best decision I have ever made, as it has opened so many doors and enhanced my career prospects.

Since completing his degree in 2017, Jonathan Hill has gone on to work as a Graduate Planner for Arup in Bristol.

Read more about how Jonathan's time at Plymouth has influenced his career

Craig Leger

"I think one of the main benefits of the planning programme is that it prepares students to walk out of the programme and into a planning job with the skills to positively contribute. I feel that I am able to effectively apply the skills that I have learned into my professional work. I also found the programme had the appropriate mix of the academic and professional worlds. The use of field trips and guest speakers/lecturers from the local councils and private industry was great; as was the input from those part-time students who are working in planning. It is really important to be able to see how the material and skills we were learning can be applied professionally.  Additionally, I felt that the program also prepared me to continue on in academia if I wanted to - which, again, speaks to the balance of the programme."

Craig now works for a consultancy company in Canada.

Samaria Bezzina – MSc Planning

Given all the benefits the study programme has to offer, I have grown to be more confident, to think more critically and to further expose myself to the real world outside.

Samaria Bezzina is a Planning Officer within the Malta Environment and Planning Authority’s Local Planning Unit for Gozo.

Read more about how Samaria’s experience has influenced her career

Jamie Staples

"Participating in the MSc Planning programme was the highlight of my academic achievements to date. The University facilities and dedicated planning lecture room was fantastic and could not have been better. Dr Essex and Professor Balch were both extremely supportive and knowledgeable and delivered lectures in an entertaining and informative way where questions were never discouraged. The knowledge and skills that I gained from the MSc Planning programme definitely helped me in my professional career as a district enforcement officer because it increased my ability to put forward sound spatial planning arguments in consideration of appropriate enforcement actions.

Within a month of completing the MSc, I secured a job as the line manager for planning, advice and compliance at county level. This promotion increased my wage by over £10K and I am positive that the quality of the MSc had a lot to do with my appointment."

Jamie is the Lead Officer for Planning, Advice and Compliance, Buckingham County Council

Kathryn Waldron – MSc Planning

The planning degree was a helpful mixture of theoretical and practical learning and teaching. The lecturers are dedicated and help support students so that they can maximise their potential.

Since completing her degree in 2012, Kathryn Waldron has gone on to work as a Graduate Planner for Urbanissta Development Planning in London.

Read more about Kathryn's career

Hollie Nicholls

"​I had recently completed a Foundation Degree in Development Management and also been appointed as a Senior Development Officer at the time of starting the part-time MSc degree at University of Plymouth. My role at the time involved processing a varied case load of minor and major or complex planning applications. The Planning and Regeneration Service was restructured after my second year of the course, after my release from the taught modules. It was evident that those two years on the course had enhanced my theoretical understanding and breadth of knowledge of planning and development and gave my employer the confidence to invite me to form part of the newly formed Strategic Development Management Team. Since completing the course, my role has been focused on handling major and complex planning applications for all types of development including residential, commercial and renewable energy. The MSc course has greatly improved my understanding of development finance, design and legislative procedures, building significantly upon what I learnt on the Foundation Degree course. My experience on the course and subsequent development in my role has given my employer the confidence that the MSc is a worthwhile course for other employees to consider."

Hollie Nicholls is the Senior Development Officer for Cornwall Council.

Ole Petter Løtvedt and Ida Martine Kästel - MSc Planning

We feel that the MSc module has prepared us for the variety of challenges that surfaces when planning in the built environment.
Find out more about our MSc Planning course

Ole and Ida

“The MSc Planning was a great fit for us as international students. The lectures were held by knowledgeable and inclusive lecturers. Through the degree we were introduced to a variety of challenges one might face in planning and what we can learn from previous actions taken. The historic development of planning in the UK was an important part of the module, and we gained knowledge on how planning has gradually changed from focusing on the motor vehicle, towards a focus on the people between the buildings and sustainable development. Even though the planning hierarchy is somewhat different here in Norway, we have been able to transfer the main principles of planning and apply our knowledge towards planning for a more sustainable development. We both work in Bergen municipality, where our job is to receive planning applications prepared by planning consultants. Our job is to make sure that the planning applications are within the rules and regulations, which is set by the local government. We face various challenges, often in regards to a reluctance of private owners to see beyond their own projects. 

"We feel that the MSc module has prepared us for the variety of challenges that surfaces when planning in the built environment. Attending the MSc Planning gave us an insight into what it means to be a planner. The module taught us the various aspects of planning, we were encouraged to think critically, be reflective and the importance of comprehensive planning.

"We are very happy with our experience of MSc Planning and recommend other international students to consider University of Plymouth for further studies”.