Sidonie Kenward

“There was lots of interaction with the planning sector – I took the placement module, an invaluable experience which led to freelance work”

Sidonie Kenward recently graduated from the Town Planning MSc at Brighton – read about her experience of the degree in this Q&A.


Hi Sidonie. Thanks for chatting to us…

What made you decide to take the Town Planning MSc – were there particular aspects of this course that appealed to you?

“I had been working within HR for over a decade but in my heart I had always wanted to study an environmental-related discipline. I have had a keen interest in the built environment for a long time and the course at Brighton really seemed to fit, particularly the coastal regeneration aspect.”

What A levels and degree did you take to get on to the MA?

“As town planning is a second career path for me, I was accepted as a mature student and I already had a MA which is in Human Resource Management. My A levels were English, History and Classical Civilisation.”

Tell us a bit about the teaching and modules at Brighton.

“The first modules you take are incredibly helpful in providing a great grounding in Town Planning. The teaching was a mixture of lectures and seminars alongside group work, individual presentations and field trips. These methods worked very well and gave a good balance.”

What did you think of the facilities and learning environment at Brighton?

“I love the library! I can always find a quiet spot and study for hours on end. When the library was particularly busy around exam time I would use the Maths computer rooms as these are setup really well, plus you can still study even when a lecture is going on. All the lecture rooms are well equipped with exactly what you need. The food is good too!”

What were your expectations of the course in terms of career progression? And how did the course respond to your individual aspirations?

“As the course is RTPI accredited I knew that there would be a vocational focus and that many students would already be working within town planning. I was pleased to find that there was a lot of interaction with the planning sector, both public and private organisations. I took the Environment Placement module which led to self-employed work and it has been an invaluable experience. The university has links with companies that provide placements and also everyone has an external mentor which can be hugely beneficial.”

What was your favourite aspect of the course?

“My favourite aspect was Minerals and Waste planning. We were given a lecture on this at Shoreham Port and it ignited a spark in me! My placement was with a Minerals and Waste planning consultancy and it is a truly fascinating area but not widely known about. I went on to complete my dissertation on soft sand, and I was awarded the student prize and commended by the RTPI for my research. If I wasn’t so passionate about the subject, and encouraged by the teaching staff, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have done.”

What is next for you?

“I was actually on maternity leave when I graduated but I have done some Minerals planning work particularly in light of the government’s Planning White Paper and consultation – and I hope to continue with this.”

Find out about studying Town Planning MSc  or the Town Planning apprenticeship at the University of Brighton.

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