Why did you choose to study planning?
I wanted a course that combined a high level of academic rigour with aspects of a professional discipline; studying planning seemed to offer this. The MPlan course at Sheffield seemed particularly suitable as it was fully accredited by the RTPI, meaning it provided a comprehensive education in planning, whilst allowing me to develop my wider interests in urban design, politics and climate change.
Now that I have graduated I will be working at Allies and Morrison Urban Practitioners as a Consultant Planner; specialising in consultation, masterplanning and urban design schemes. It was actually through my studies at Sheffield that I got in touch with the Practice to organise a work placement last year. This was something required by my degree in order to be eligible for RTPI accreditation.
What has been the best thing about studying planning?
The connections my department in Sheffield has with many international planning schools provided me opportunity to travel across Europe; most notably where I spent five months studying in Milan. Not only was this a valuable insight into European planning approaches but an amazing experience where I made friends from all over and got to spend a lot of time in the sun!
Top tip for future planners?
As I'm about to kick off my career in planning I'm not sure what tips I'd offer yet! Though I'd say I'm hoping to always push for high quality and inclusive design processes, taking into account social and
Why would you recommend that students consider a career in planning?
By its nature planning is a broad subject which allows you to explore many aspects of geography, economics, politics, design, sociology, the natural environment and more. Studying planning gives you the option to train in a professionally recognised discipline whilst it's academic focus provides you with highly transferable skills; leaving you well prepared within the graduate employment field.
The RTPI supports each accredited Planning School by offering a student prize to be awarded to a high performing student. Mark received the RTPI Student Prize 2014-15 for his studies at the University of Sheffield.