Public Awareness

Becoming a Planner

If you’re interested in learning more about the work of a planner or studying planning at third level with a view to pursuing a career in town planning please visit the tabs below.

Planners play a key role in how the environment where we live and work is developed and/or protected for future generations. Their work is diverse. They help to identify the best way to use land and/or buildings. Their goal is to ensure that a balance is achieved between the environmental, social and economic issues when a decision is being made on how land is used and developed.

The work of a planner impacts on all of our lives and for that reason much of their work involves extensive engagement with elected members (councillors), members of the public, environmental groups, business organisations, community groups, young people, government departments and state agencies.

A planner’s role is not limited to providing expert advice on planning applications or development plans. Many opportunities exist for planners to specialise in areas such as environmental planning, marine spatial planning, infrastructure planning and energy. Opportunities also exist for planners to conduct research and this gives planners an opportunity to propose innovative new approaches that may influence planning policy.

We live in an ever-changing environment where factors such as climate change, political unrest and pandemics impact on our everyday lives and planners have a key role to play in ensuring that our built environment (our homes or places of work or recreation) can adapt and evolve to meet these challenges.

There is a variety of third level courses accredited by the professional bodies (Irish Planning Institute/Royal Town Planning Institute) in Ireland. These courses are available at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Ireland.

Disclaimer* A planning qualification is accreidted by the professional bodies: IPI or RTPI, is normally required to become employed as a planner in Ireland. Please contact the relevant university/higher education institution to ensure the correct accreditation is associated with your chosen course.

Technological University Dublin
University College Dublin
University College Cork
Queens University
Ulster University

Planners work for many types of organisations in the public, private or voluntary sectors or are self-employed. Planners work in local authorities, government departments, An Bord Pleanála and state agencies (including the Office of the Planning Regulator, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, etc.), and in the private sector working with construction professionals including developers, architects, and engineers as wll as the local community.

Technological University Dublin

Undergraduate:
Planning and Environmental Management (BSc) (IPI accredited)
Postgraduate:
Spatial Planning (MSc) (IPI accredited)
Urban Regeneration and Development (MSc)
Other related courses:
Sustainable Development (MSc)
Sustainable Transport and Mobility (MSc)

University College Dublin

Undergraduate:
City Planning and Environmental Policy (BSC) (IPI accredited- Important to note BSc in City planning & env policy is only accredited when completed in conjunction with MRUP accelerated.)
Postgraduate:
Regional and Urban Planning (MRUP) (IPI accredited)
Urban Design and Planning (MSc)
  (MSc)
Other related courses:
Environmental Policy (MSc)
Sustainable Development (MSc)

University College Cork

Postgraduate:
Planning and Sustainable Development (MPlan) (IPI accredited)

Queens University
Ulster University