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The Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) Programme evolved from the then Master of Planning Science (MPS) programme that was run by the Department of Geography, Faculty of the Social Sciences, between 1974/75 and 1978/79 sessions, The MPS course had to fold up after the 1978/79 session for a number of reasons, chief among which was the non-recognition of the graduates of the programme by the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP).

In the 1980/81 session, the Department of Geography made a determined effort to re-organize the programme in a way that it would qualify for professional recognition. A new syllabus was, therefore, designed with the knowledge of and input from the NITP through its Education Committee. The determination to have a professionally recognized programme led to the appointment of a visiting Professor for one academic year to assist in organizing the programme.

The course was resuscitated and designed to: train professional Urban and Regional Planners at the masters degree level; conduct research and disseminate research findings through journal articles and books; provide facilities for retraining of planners and other allied professionals through workshops and seminars; and provide consultancy services to governments and quasigovernment bodies as well as organizations in the private sector.

The programme, which was renamed Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) on the advice of the NITP, took off in the 1981/82 academic session with 18 students. In January 1983, the NITP sent a visitation panel to the University with a view to assessing the programme and the facilities for the purpose of recognition.